Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday January 29 2010
VK answers VMC
VMC caught up yesterday with the classy Vincent Kompany. The eloquent Belgian gave an insightful view of a modern day top flight footballer's life and times...
City's squad immediately returned to training at Carrington on Thursday morning. All talk of the Carling Cup Semi-Final defeat dispensed with and the focus now firmly upon the future of this season's campaign.
Following last year's lively VMC Meets SWP, Vinnie was delighted to take some brief time out and catch up with Vital Manchester City, answering a selection of questions from the VMC worldwide community...
Ok Vinnie, your English is very good, do you ever go on fans sites and read the newspapers?
'I don't do that too much. Just because as a player I don't think it's a good thing to do. There are a lot people who have a lot of common sense and say a lot of goodstuff but there is always the negative side. You shouldn't do it as a player because it takes up to much space in your mind afterwards.'
Do you think any players ever look at the Man City fan websites, or any of the forums to listen to what the City fans are saying or is that something you shouldn't do?
'I think that some of the stuff that's being said, the general tendency or the general topics, we kind of hear about it through either the media/ press or other people who come and tell us.
'So we do know what is going on, it's just more the fact that as I said, we don't need to hear for example not so much stuff about ourselves but negative comments about our team-mates. We don't need to hear that about our team-mates, but we do know what the general tendencies are.'
Would you happy to play at Centre Back for City on an ongoing basis considering you were originally brought in to play defensive midfielder?
'I don't think I've been brought in to play any specific position. Every player is brought in to play the position the manager wants him to play. At the moment I am happy to play, that's most important for me.
'As I've said before, I love to play Defensive Midfielder, but I don't consider myself weaker at the back. In the same way that I want to be the best Defensive Midfielder in the Premier League, I want to be the best Centre back in the Premier League if I am playing there. Nothing less than that. So no excuses from me in either position.'
Which settled formation do you think you'd prefer City to play?
'I like tactics that change according to the game concerned. We can play a 4-4-2 at home or we can play a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 away.'
Are there any top players from Belgium or the Bundesliga that you would recommend to the City manager as being a worthwhile future signing for City?
'There's a couple, but I'm not sure if it's my role to recommend them because I am sure the scouting and the manager are doing very well.'
In an arm wrestling contest, who would win between you and Nigel de Jong?
'I'd win. 200%.'
Who is your best mate in the City squad and why?
'It might sound a bit, I dunno, but we are like a big family. We look out for each other and we defend one another and we feel like we are responsible for one another.
'We act more like a family than friends.'
How come your English is so good?
'I guess it's because there have been a lot of foreign players in teams where I have played and the best way to communicate with them is always English.'
We all heard last season from the club that you had a toe injury. We understand that you were playing through the pain barrier in a few games which won massive respect from all the fans. Was the actual injury directly to your toe and can you tell us a little bit about what went on?'
'It was more than a few games. It was in February last season I felt I hit someone's heel and obviously the heel is like the hardest part of the body and it felt like smashing your foot against a rock. I felt some ligaments pulling and bruising. And from then on it was just all pain, so it doesn't take a lot to imagine that a footballer who is right footed with an injury to his right foot is going to struggle.
'But at that time I spoke to the manager after playing on for a couple of games and said 'What you see now is all I can give you to the end of the season because of the pain.' He said 'I'll take it.'
'And for me from then on it was no question about me pulling out of something and I'd do my best to be there for the team and adapt my game to the way my body feels.
'It turned out I helped the team, but people that saw me at the end of the season see me playing now and realize that I feel much better now and I'm more comfortable now. But I still seemed to do alright even though my toe was injured.'
Apart from football what other sports do you like?
'I like boxing a lot. I follow a bit of everything like NFL, NBA, American sports.'
Who is your all time favourite football player?
'I'd have to say Zinedine Zidane of France.'
Would you like to be a manager when you retire and if so, which current manager would your style be like?
'I might do, but there are so many other things I want to do, so it's not a priority for me at all. But if I would, then I think I'd be a mix, taking the best out of all the managers I've worked under so far and try to act without their weaknesses.'
Do you have any pre match rituals or superstitions?
'I used to, but you do it once you win, you do it another time, you lose and you think it's bullshit. I'm not really superstitious at all.'
What's a daily training session like and how does it compare to other clubs you have played for?'
'You've got more options to do your own stuff here. When I was in Germany for example, it was hard work as a group all the time and here you manage a bit more your own time as there are a lot more games.
'You decide whether you want to go on a hard training session or not, usually. I like hard training sessions. For me it's good that the facilities here help you to do that bit extra.'
In Belgium they are famous for their chips and French fries. Do you prefer Ketchup or Mayonnaise?
'Mayonnaise all day!'
Who is City's worst dressed player?
It's a half and half situation. People would say either Micah Richards is the best dressed or the worst dressed. I am not going to say he's the worst dressed, just the best or the worst dressed! I'd say he's the most controversial. The best or the worst. I'm not saying he's bad!
Since you've been at City a few players have left, been sold to other clubs. Were there any other players or good friends you were particularly sad to see go?
'I think a lot of good players left but that's just part of football. You might regret it sometimes. I could leave, they could leave, we live with it. It's just a normal thing in football.'
The songs that the crowd sing, are there any songs that have made you laugh while you've been here?
'Er, none that I should mention, but opposition crowd singing to one of our players. I thought it was funny but not something we can laugh about!'
What do you think of Manchester?
'I love the atmosphere in Manchester, the way people are. So far I have had a great time here.'
Very many thanks to Vincent for making the time to answer our questions during the important build up to the clash with Portsmouth.
Thanks also to Roberto Mancini and his management team for this opportunity.
Special thanks to Simon Heggie and Sam Cooke of The Manchester City Media Relations team for organising the interview.
Copyright: Vital Manchester City 2010, The Vital Football Network and Manchester City Football Club.
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Date:Friday January 29 2010
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