Belgium national team

Inter Yer Nan

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How are they shaping up? I haven't seen them play since Martinez' first game (vs. Spain) but seems they are scoring for fun and haven't lost since. Obviously there's a lot of top class talent and some of the PL's best players, but are they going to be a serious contender next summer? Surely they have one of the 4-5 best squads. I'd like to see them go far.

How does their XI look like right now?
 

DWelbz19

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Starting XI looks something like:

Courtois
Alderwiereld - Kompany - Vertonghen
Meunier - Witsel - De Bruyne - Ferreira-Carrasco
Mertens - Lukaku - Hazard
It's a good squad, but the talent is a little overstated. I think a part of that is down to exposure; most of the squad plys their trade in England at the minute. I certainly wouldn't have them down as a serious World Cup contender or anything: they lack a genuine LB, Witsel somehow starts ahead of Dembele and Nainggolan (who has retired due to a very poor relationship with Martinez), and Martinez isn't a very good manager just from a tactical perspective.
 

Enigma_87

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Starting XI looks something like:

Courtois
Alderwiereld - Kompany - Vertonghen
Meunier - Witsel - De Bruyne - Ferrera-Carrassco
Mertens - Lukaku - Hazard
It's a good squad, but the talent is a little overstated. I think a part of that is down to exposure; most of the squad plys their trade in England at the minute. I certainly wouldn't have them down as a serious World Cup contender or anything: they lack a genuine LB, Witsel somehow starts ahead of Nainggolan (who has retired due to a very poor relationship with Martinez) and Dembele, and Martinez isn't a very good manager just from a tactical perspective.
That's a solid team. Blend of experience and youth.

I'm not sure if Martinez is the right man to guide them in the finals tho.
 

AR87

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Starting XI looks something like:

Courtois
Alderwiereld - Kompany - Vertonghen
Meunier - Witsel - De Bruyne - Ferrera-Carrassco
Mertens - Lukaku - Hazard
It's a good squad, but the talent is a little overstated. I think a part of that is down to exposure; most of the squad plys their trade in England at the minute. I certainly wouldn't have them down as a serious World Cup contender or anything: they lack a genuine LB, Witsel somehow starts ahead of Dembele and Nainggolan (who has retired due to a very poor relationship with Martinez), and Martinez isn't a very good manager just from a tactical perspective.
How has Carrasco been at LWB? That seems less than ideal for him and the team tactically. Interestingly enough all 3 CBs have experience in a 3 at the back at club level so that may suit them more than it'd seem at first glance.

That attack with KDB behind it though :drool::drool::drool:
 

Inter Yer Nan

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Starting XI looks something like:

Courtois
Alderwiereld - Kompany - Vertonghen
Meunier - Witsel - De Bruyne - Ferrera-Carrassco
Mertens - Lukaku - Hazard
It's a good squad, but the talent is a little overstated. I think a part of that is down to exposure; most of the squad plys their trade in England at the minute. I certainly wouldn't have them down as a serious World Cup contender or anything: they lack a genuine LB, Witsel somehow starts ahead of Dembele and Nainggolan (who has retired due to a very poor relationship with Martinez), and Martinez isn't a very good manager just from a tactical perspective.
Wouldn't it make more sense for a back four? And yeah Dembele and Nainggolan should be starting even if that means perhaps Mertens or Carrassco having to be super sub.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Starting XI looks something like:

Courtois
Alderwiereld - Kompany - Vertonghen
Meunier - Witsel - De Bruyne - Ferrera-Carrassco
Mertens - Lukaku - Hazard
It's a good squad, but the talent is a little overstated. I think a part of that is down to exposure; most of the squad plys their trade in England at the minute. I certainly wouldn't have them down as a serious World Cup contender or anything: they lack a genuine LB, Witsel somehow starts ahead of Dembele and Nainggolan (who has retired due to a very poor relationship with Martinez), and Martinez isn't a very good manager just from a tactical perspective.
Slight correction-Nainggolan hasn't retired apparently, he just withdrew from this latest round of games. He does have a poor relationship with Martinez though.

Mertens is a brilliant player but for me they might be better off pushing KdB further forward and bringing Dembele or Nainggolan into the team; I worry about their ability to control midfield with those two. Carrasco can suffer from defensive lapses at times and he certainly did so against Greece so that is absolutely a concern as you rightly pointed out. A better manager than Martinez (i.e. like Conte) could make it work potentially, although to be fair drilling a player regularly in training would make this a lot easier. Belgium might be better off playing Jordan Lukaku there to be honest. He's a bit crap defensively so he might be more suited to a role as a wingback anyway.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Wouldn't it make more sense for a back four? And yeah Dembele and Nainggolan should be starting even if that means perhaps Mertens or Carrassco having to be super sub.
It would sort of make sense but they don't really have anyone to play left back. They've traditionally used Vertonghen there but he's never been an ideal option and is even less so as he's older now.
 

AR87

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It would sort of make sense but they don't really have anyone to play left back. They've traditionally used Vertonghen there but he's never been an ideal option and is even less so as he's older now.
Right. 3 at the back actually makes sense for them. The major issues I can see are getting torn apart defensively in midfield by teams that are equal or superior to them in talent and a lack of a natural left sided wingback.
 

Blind

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Do they really need Kompany, for me he's past it (obviously injuries have accelerated that), and Alderweireld and Vertonghen have an excellent partnership at Spurs. I'd switch to a back four with Lukaku's brother at left back and Dembele in midfield who should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
 

DWelbz19

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Do they really need Kompany, for me he's past it (obviously injuries have accelerated that), and Alderweireld and Vertonghen have an excellent partnership at Spurs. I'd switch to a back four with Lukaku's brother at left back and Dembele in midfield who should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
I can't speak for his Lazio performances but he's basically disappointed in every NT feature. So much so, before Kompany regained fitness for this round of fixtures, the side was set up the exact same, but with Laurent Ciman in the central CB spot - CB formerly of Standard Liege, currently playing for Montreal Impact in the MLS. So yeah, Kompany probably is a bit needed... :D
 

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There's a good core and any half decent manger would do well with them. Martinez will feck up tactically at some point in the world cup.
 

Hullyback

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One hell of a squad. They have the aroma of England though, maybe not now but a few years ago. Lots and lots of brilliant players, you just don't see them doing very well and always flatter to decieve.

It'd be a brave man to bet on Belgium winning anything, or even reaching a semi. Yet on paper their first team should be able to give anyone a game. Ala the England Golden gen team. Is it mentality that stops them showing potential? Having Martinez as a manager can't help much but is he any different to Sven who we all had high hopes for.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Right. 3 at the back actually makes sense for them. The major issues I can see are getting torn apart defensively in midfield by teams that are equal or superior to them in talent and a lack of a natural left sided wingback.
Yep, I think they should probably bite the bullet and drop Mertens and Carrasco in order to play more functional players like Nainggolan and Jordan Lukaku. It's a lot less sexy but the team would probably be improved as a whole in my opinion.
 

NYAS

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They also have good depth. Ciman, Vermaelen, Jordan Lukaku, Dembele, Fellaini, Defour, Dendoncker, Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Chadli and Mirallas. And everyone knows about their other strikers (Origi, Benteke, Batshuayi). Can't see them making the semis though.
 

VorZakone

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They'll bottle it as usual. I find them to be a bit of a spineless team when the going gets tough.
 

RobinLFC

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Our game against Greece was truly awful. Martinez, much like Wilmots did before him, will waste this generation's talent. We haven't shown any signs of progression since he took over more than a year ago. I'd have us down for a QF exit in Russia once we meet a good opponent with a tactical coach, same as four years ago basically.

Carrasco as LWB says it all really - he has a high workrate but simply doesn't know how to defend. Meunier is good as a wingback but not the best defensively either, we'd struggle against any decent attacking side like Spain showed last year. After the Greece game, De Bruyne was critical that our defensive set-up needs to be on point and he was bang on. We need to revert to a 4231 or 433 but our hipster manager won't do that for sure. He has also proven that he has no idea how to influence or alter a game with game-defining substitutions, which is a huge concern imo. The "now we can win without playing well" brigade needs to shut up as well because we've been doing that since '14. Some things or results hide our deficiencies but we're miles off the likes of Spain and Germany at the moment. For me, the team that should be starting in Russia is a 433 with Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan, De Bruyne; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard. No fecking about putting players in positions where they don't belong or they're not used to play in. I'd be fine with Dembele instead of Nainggolan as well.
 

Sarni

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Wouldn't it make more sense for a back four? And yeah Dembele and Nainggolan should be starting even if that means perhaps Mertens or Carrassco having to be super sub.
The problem for them has always been with the full backs. They have sorted the right flank with Meunier but are still missing someone to play on the left and they have three solid center halves so it works better for them to play three at the back.

Balance has always been problematic for them I feel. They have had very good players in a few positions but then nobody in other positions and their best players always seemed kind of similar to each other.
 

Ainu

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Do they really need Kompany, for me he's past it (obviously injuries have accelerated that), and Alderweireld and Vertonghen have an excellent partnership at Spurs. I'd switch to a back four with Lukaku's brother at left back and Dembele in midfield who should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Yep, I think they should probably bite the bullet and drop Mertens and Carrasco in order to play more functional players like Nainggolan and Jordan Lukaku. It's a lot less sexy but the team would probably be improved as a whole in my opinion.
Jordan Lukaku is a terrible defender, he'd get ripped to pieces by any half decent winger or wide forward. He got ripped to pieces by Wales at the Euros. To be fair, he had Denayer alongside him in that makeshift defence, which didn't help, but I wouldn't be comfortable with him in any defence. A team aspiring to go far into an international tournament can not afford a player of such poor quality as Jordan in their starting XI.

I don't think the 3-4-3 is the answer though. Our defenders still don't seem to be able to implement it well and Carrasco has been consistently poor in this system. I'd still prefer to put Vertonghen on the left and add that extra midfielder.

--------------------------Courtois
Meunier - Alderweireld - Kompany/Vermaelen - Vertonghen
-----------Nainggolan - Dembélé - De Bruyne
----------Mertens/Carrasco - Lukaku - Hazard

Not going to happen under Martinez though.
 

duffer

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Why on earth didn't they go for a good manager? I know the Belgian FA is probably not rolling in money but if they'd offered a few million to someone decent, they'd be in the running to win.
 

FromTheBench

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They are like poor man's version of France.

Great on paper but flatter to deceive as a cohesive unit and don't have the greatest of managers.
 

Blind

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Jordan Lukaku is a terrible defender, he'd get ripped to pieces by any half decent winger or wide forward. He got ripped to pieces by Wales at the Euros. To be fair, he had Denayer alongside him in that makeshift defence, which didn't help, but I wouldn't be comfortable with him in any defence. A team aspiring to go far into an international tournament can not afford a player of such poor quality as Jordan in their starting XI.

I don't think the 3-4-3 is the answer though. Our defenders still don't seem to be able to implement it well and Carrasco has been consistently poor in this system. I'd still prefer to put Vertonghen on the left and add that extra midfielder.

--------------------------Courtois
Meunier - Alderweireld - Kompany/Vermaelen - Vertonghen
-----------Nainggolan - Dembélé - De Bruyne
----------Mertens/Carrasco - Lukaku - Hazard

Not going to happen under Martinez though.
Well maybe not Lukaku's brother then, but someone who could do a decent job at left back. It seems a waste not to make the most of that Alderweireld and Vertonghen partnership, especially when Kompany's declining.
 

Ainu

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Well maybe not Lukaku's brother then, but someone who could do a decent job at left back. It seems a waste not to make the most of that Alderweireld and Vertonghen partnership, especially when Kompany's declining.
That player just isn't available. We can't call him up if he doesn't exist. Vertonghen is the closest we'll get. It's either that or persisting with the 3-4-3 and having Carrasco there.
 

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It is a very good squad of players, but until they win something, I will hold off on my judgement...

They look very strong on paper, but this do not win tournaments...
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Jordan Lukaku is a terrible defender, he'd get ripped to pieces by any half decent winger or wide forward. He got ripped to pieces by Wales at the Euros. To be fair, he had Denayer alongside him in that makeshift defence, which didn't help, but I wouldn't be comfortable with him in any defence. A team aspiring to go far into an international tournament can not afford a player of such poor quality as Jordan in their starting XI.

I don't think the 3-4-3 is the answer though. Our defenders still don't seem to be able to implement it well and Carrasco has been consistently poor in this system. I'd still prefer to put Vertonghen on the left and add that extra midfielder.

--------------------------Courtois
Meunier - Alderweireld - Kompany/Vermaelen - Vertonghen
-----------Nainggolan - Dembélé - De Bruyne
----------Mertens/Carrasco - Lukaku - Hazard

Not going to happen under Martinez though.
Yeah I know he's not great, which is why I'd play him at LWB instead of at LB. I think he'd be a viable option there to be honest, and as you say Denayer wasn't exactly great cover behind him at the Euros when he was playing at LB.

I'd just worry a bit in this 4-3-3 about Hazard getting isolated possibly but this isn't bad on paper. It's a pity there aren't any great options at fullback; Meunier at least has been a godsend on the right.
 

AllezLesDiables

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Why on earth didn't they go for a good manager? I know the Belgian FA is probably not rolling in money but if they'd offered a few million to someone decent, they'd be in the running to win.
No money and the FA is a mess. Would have preferred Vanhaezebrouck over Martinez.
 

AdnanRED

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Bosnian red here, just want to congratulate you on qualifying. I really hope you guys play Origi or your C team coz we have been awful and really need to qualify lol. Cant see greece losing to cyprus and gibraltar.
 

sammsky1

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They also have good depth. Ciman, Vermaelen, Jordan Lukaku, Dembele, Fellaini, Defour, Dendoncker, Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Chadli and Mirallas. And everyone knows about their other strikers (Origi, Benteke, Batshuayi). Can't see them making the semis though.
why isn't Fellaini in the squad?
 

meninred

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It is also important to note that they are overrated esp by the media because they play in england.
 

Ainu

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No money and the FA is a mess. Would have preferred Vanhaezebrouck over Martinez.
Doubt he was ready to leave Gent. I wanted Preud'homme, complete madman but he does get results with his teams. Sadly the timing was all wrong. Now that he's taken a year off, surely after the World Cup the FA can't look beyond him. Let's just hope they don't do anything braindead like extend Martinez's contract before the World Cup has even started.
 

golden_blunder

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One hell of a squad. They have the aroma of England though, maybe not now but a few years ago. Lots and lots of brilliant players, you just don't see them doing very well and always flatter to decieve.

It'd be a brave man to bet on Belgium winning anything, or even reaching a semi. Yet on paper their first team should be able to give anyone a game. Ala the England Golden gen team. Is it mentality that stops them showing potential? Having Martinez as a manager can't help much but is he any different to Sven who we all had high hopes for.
Sven had coached in Italy etc. Martinez had coached Wigan and Everton. I'd say that's a world of difference
 

Santi_Mesut_Alexis_87

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They are among the best 5 teams in the world along with Germany, Spain, France and Brazil. The problem is that they are mentally weak.
 

The Outsider

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Sven had coached in Italy etc. Martinez had coached Wigan and Everton. I'd say that's a world of difference
Martinez won the FA cup with Wigan against the odds and just perhaps the Belgian football gurus see the FA Cup as similar to top international tournaments.
He also had a 50% win rate at Swansea.
I agree though he is a gamble.