Craig Bellamy says Pep Guardiola’s influence on Vincent Kompany’s managerial style has had a profound effect on his own coaching career.
The former City duo reunited at Anderlecht this summer, where the Welshman oversees the Belgium outfit’s U21 side, and he already feels he has improved as a coach for working alongside our legendary former captain.
An admirer of Guardiola’s, the Cardiff native can see his influence on the Belgian and whilst Bellamy insists Kompany is his own man, he feels similarities with his former boss’ tactical vision are only natural.
“How can you not be impressed by Pep,” Bellamy said.
“Look at the football he is playing. How is he able to create that intensity? How is he able to lock teams in as much as he does?
“How does 50-60% of possession change to 70-80%, because that’s what he’s done. He has a stranglehold on teams. They can’t go anywhere; they can’t get out.
“That’s not just because he has good players, it’s because of a certain system.
“Now Vinnie is trying to do something similar because why wouldn’t you want to learn off one of the best managers who’s been involved in football over the last 20-30 years?
“If you’ve played under him, why wouldn’t you want to take some of the knowledge, creativity and even the sessions that he has?
“Why wouldn’t your coaching be similar to that, with your own identity, because he has done that. Vincent is his own man.
“From my perspective, from being around Vinnie on a day to day basis I’ve learnt more in these last two months than I have in four or five years of coaching.
“And I thought I was a half decent coach!”
Friends during their time at the Etihad Stadium, Bellamy and Kompany maintained that relationship in the years that followed, discussing everything from football to the defender’s studies.
With a shared belief about the way the game should be played, the 40-year-old, whose coaching career began at Cardiff City, admits Pep’s arrival in Manchester prompted further conversations.
“We’ve always had an appreciation of how we see the game,” he explained.
“With Pep coming to City there were a lot of questions I asked and Vinnie went into a lot of detail on what I wanted.
“With me coaching and how I found it after playing, I was able to give him a bit of detail, too.
“When he did some sessions with City’s women’s team, we’d discuss tone of voice and how you relate the ideas that are in your head so players can understand them.
“We had a mutual respect for how we wanted to play football. We’re big Johan Cruyff fans and it went from there.”
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From there, is a series of missed phone calls following the 33-year-old’s unveiling as Anderlecht manager.
Kompany eventually got in touch with his former colleague, however and was met with an unequivocal response when he asked if he’d join him in Brussels.
“We missed each other’s phone calls for about a week or so. I was on holiday at the time and I had a missed call so I rang him back and he asked if I’d be interested in going over to coach the U21s and be part of his backroom staff.
“It wasn’t even a debate. I knew straight away.
“We had a couple of discussions. I said if I was going to join, I was going all in. I’ll work to the last minute of the day and however you work I’ll work.
“We’re going to be around each other a lot. We’re going to do each other’s heads in, but I’ll do everything I can to make him the best coach he can be.”