Falling Upwards: Kompany joins Exclusive club that (briefly) defies gravity

With Vincent Kompany officially confirmed as the new Bayern Munich head coach after what has felt like an eternity of speculation and rejection following the decision to remove Thomas Tuchel, the Belgian has joined an exclusive club of managers who have fallen upwards after relegation from the Premier League.

Kompany departs Burnley after amassing just five wins and 24 points with Burnley comfortably relegated from the Premier League.

Kompany was appointed in June 2022 and lifted Burnley to promotion with seven games still to play in the English second division.

With only three defeats in 46 matches, Burnley accumulated 101 points, the first club to break the 100-point barrier since Leicester City in 2013–14.

However, after spending over €100 million in the summer transfer window, Kompany’s side were one-season wonders.

Kompany’s promotion from Premier League relegation to Champions League stalwarts, Bayern Munich comes as a major surprise across Europe.

Bayern Munich had openly pursued Hansi Flick, Roberto De Zerbi, and Mauricio Pochettino, among others, before eventually settling for Kompany.

Kompany joins former West Brom manager, Tony Mowbray, former Hull City Head Coach, Marco Silva, and former Watford manager, Roy Hodgson who were relegated from the Premier League and soon promoted.

Tony Mowbray

In 2008, Mowbray was promoted to the Premier League with West Brom and reached the FA Cup semi-finals (losing to Portsmouth).

Mowbray was rewarded with the League Managers Association manager of the year award but a season later, Mowbray was out the door.

Conceding a league-high 67 goals, West Brom finished last in the 2008/9 Premier League season.

Mowbray left West Brom for Celtic shortly afterwards, where he was sacked less than a season later.

Marco Silva

Marco Silva is another manager who fell upwards after Hull City were relegated in 2017.

Just two days after resigning, Silva took charge of Watford in the Premier League.

Silva would survive just six months in Hertfordshire before ending up at Everton after an “unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival” that caused “significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised.”

Silva would last at Everton for just 18 months before being dismissed, with his side floundering in the relegation zone.

Roy Hodgson

Most recently, Roy Hodgson fell upwards as his Watford side were relegated in 2022 with 23 points.

Hodgson said that he would not be at the club after the end of the season and that he would not be seeking another managerial job in the Premier League.

Nine months later, Hodgson returned to his beloved Crystal Palace, replacing Patrick Viera as manager until he retired 11 months later for health reasons.

Sean Dyche may also lay claim to falling upwards but the former Burnley manager was not *technically* relegated.

Dyche was dismissed Burnley in the relegation zone with eight games remaining.

Burnley would ultimately be relegated and nine months later, Dyche would take charge at Everton but his induction in this hall of fame will have to wait.

The common thread between those that fall upwards is that they do not tend to do so for long.

Kompany will hope to buck the trend but Bayern Munich expect success, and they expect it quickly.

History suggests Kompany may quickly fall back to earth.

GGFN | Oscar O’Mara

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