Matthew Crichton: Vincent Kompany’s appointment as Burnley manager came as a surprise to many this summer, how are fans enjoying your new style of possession-based football?
Vizeh: The transition from Sean Dyche football to Vincent Kompany could not be any different. Every feature of a typical Burnley side is almost flipped on it’s head. Progressive possession based football, passing out from keeper, all set-pieces taken short with tricky wingers aiming to break down teams with pace and flair.
This is the new era of Burnley Football Club, which has been the plan since ALK our new ownership came in. The fans have been rejuvenated, which fantastic numbers at home and away which in previous years has been decreasing in the Premier League due to the lack of enjoyment at the football, even when winning.
MC: Looking at your results, The Clarets are unbeaten in 12 championship matches and sit third in the table - what is making this new-look Burnley side so effective?
V: A solid balance of experience and youth, not one of our 16 signings in the summer was below the age of 25, keeping some key players like Jack Cork, Jay Rodriguez, Josh Brownhill and Charlie Taylor to carry the foundations of Burnley that made us well into this new style.
We aren’t the finished product, but considering how much has changed in such a short span of time we’ve made a very good start. We’ve scored the most goals but it’s either we score 1 or 4, our current problem is killing teams off as when we face a team who aim to defend deep we can find that difficult to break down.
Also due to how high we push our team we become prone to counter attacks which each team gets their chance on us at least 3 times a game. That is how Sunderland should aim to play if they want to get a result.
MC: In terms of recruitment, Kompany has mainly brought players from familiar markets in Belgium and Manchester City, which of your new signings has impressed you most and who is yet to hit the ground running?
V: The large majority of our signings have been great, with a solid mix of loans making their mark like Nathan Tella and Ian Maatsen to Permanent deals like Josh Cullen who’s a staple of the way we play.
Nathan Tella has become a fan favourite due to his energy to always stretch the defence and become so direct when he gets the ball. Keep in mind this is Burnley who have been starved of any kind of pace and unpredictability for almost an entire decade.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis is one of the most composed centre backs I’ve ever seen and debatably could be our best passer in the entire squad, can tell from a mile away his Man City roots.
MC: Having lost many core players such as Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Nick Pope, Dwight McNeil, is part of you surprised at just how well Burnley have coped with relegation and such a big player turnover?
V: We did expect some sort of hangover, especially defensively as the cornerstones of what made Burnley the way we are have been stripped apart in such a short space of time.
We usually do concede a goal a game but usually from a counter which is a consequence of the style of football we want to play.
MC: Jay Rodriguez has rediscovered his goal-scoring form at Burnley this season, scoring seven goals already, do you think shows just how big a jump the Premier League is?
V: Jay Rodriguez has always been a fantastic player, an England Capped International and it’s no surprise to see him perform the way he has.
He’s the perfect Championship player when you keep in mind his physicality, aerial ability, link up play and his eye for goal.
MC: Daniel Ballard’s move to Burnley fell through prior to his move to Sunderland, was this something that disappointed your fanbase and do you know the reasoning behind it?
V: We’ve been linked to a large variety of players in the summer so this was not the first almost signing by any stretch.
We weren’t too knowledgeable of him before our links so it’s not hit the fanbase that hard.
We believe at the time it was between him and Luke McNally which the McNally deal the club felt like they got the better value of. I doubt he would get ahead of either of our centre backs at this moment.
MC: Sunderland signed under-21 forward Max Thompson from Burnley this summer, but despite injuries to Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms, he is yet to feature - are you surprised by this?
V: He’s not been given much of a chance at Burnley but due to Premier League that’s not a surprise, was surprised to see him go to a Championship club as I felt like it was too early for him to make that step.
Only time can tell if it will work out but a loan to the lower leagues would clearly do him some good.
MC: With both sides set to look to control the ball and attack, it could be set for quite an open game, how important is stopping Josh Cullen to the way Kompany’s side play?
V: Although Josh Cullen is a great player, I would personally say our most important player is Jack Cork. If you can make him uncomfortable and gang up on him then you will find some joy.
As we aim to pass from the pack without doubt you will need to press us to force a mistake, which was can be prone to as we weren’t at our best on Wednesday night against Birmingham City.
MC: In terms of your team news and your starting XI, who is set to miss out and who do you think Kompany will select?
V: Would like to see Ian Maatsen make a return as LB as he was out on Wednesday for a knock.
We like to rotate one of Zaroury or Benson so would expect Benson to start alongside Tella and Rodriguez in attack.
Midfield as always will be the solid core of Cullen, Cork and Brownhill and our defence should be Maatsen, Taylor, Harwood-Bellis and Vitinho with Muric in goal.
MC: Sunderland beat Burnley 3-1 in our last meeting in 2019, what is your score prediction for this time around?
V: Considering our usual 1-1 draw has just gone on Wednesday, I’d expect us to crack on especially considering the big injuries that Sunderland have at this moment.
We have scored a goal in every game we’ve played this season so I believe that will continue but we always have a goal conceded in us.
I believe we will control possession and Sunderland will aim to soak it up and hit us on counter. I do have faith in our attack and believe it will end 2-1 to Burnley.