BELGIUM thread

lo zio

International
24 October 2005
Palermo
Re: The Belgium thread

hey Gerd, just dropping by to say congrats for belgium! u had a great run, and given this team's inexperience, things can only improve from here. :))

also, this world cup finally gave me a chance to watch this de bruyne kid u always mention.... and i gotta say, i understand now why u're so excited about this guy. :CONFUSE:
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Re: The Belgium thread

Hi Ben, thanks.
It was a fantastic journey for millions of people here in Belgium.
Bear in mind that we are crazy about this team but we are much more realistic about there prospects than most foreigners.
The aim in Belgium was second round and then play a good match against Germany or Portugal.
It seems that the rest of the world thought this team was among the very best in the world. With the exception of the USA all the teams played very carefull against us, even Argentina. Our inflated reputation was a handicap.
Against Argentina we were a bit unlucky. The ball came to Higuain by an unlucky defelction and his finish was fantastic...Once this happened we knew it would be very difficult. Argentina have a very mature team and Belgiun never stood a chance...they really killed the game. Am i saying that Argentina didn't deserve to go through ? Not at all, Argentina were the better team, but in the 82 minutes that followed the goal, they showed that they were afraid of our team...perhaps unjustified.

If you look at this World Cup as a pessimist then you have to say that our team only played one very good match, against the USA. No surprise because that was the only team that really played an open game against our team. A talented squad like this should have done better and the match against Argentina was a bit on an anti-climax...

An optimist will say that we played a good WCand showed character:against Algeria (a better team than most people think, they proved that afterwards) they came back from 1-0 down, against Russia we played bad but were physically stronger and won, against Korea we were one man down for more than one half but still won and against USA we played against the American equivalent of the Berlin Wall, but scored twice and won perhaps the best match of the tournament (so far).

In Belgium people are critisizing our coach. He is a great motivator and really is goodin man management but he is tactically weak...we didn't have a plan and the players clearly searched each other...

This is a young team and they will only get better. Daniel Van Buytenis the only player who ever played in a WC. The rest are young players who have at least one or two WC in them in the future, and on top of that our real golden generation is coming through (Januzaj and Origi were part of a fantastic team with lots of other talented players).

And yes, apart from Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne is our best player...he is better than Eden Hazard.

Let's see how we perform at the Euro's...if we qualify.
 

drekkard

International
23 March 2005
Barcelona
Barça, Arsenal, Ajax
Re: The Belgium thread

I think Beligum played better than you think, Gerd. Granted, the matches against Russia, Corea and Algeria weren't great but it's a World Cup and Belgium is still a tender young team. They learnt against Argentina how do you win this tournaments nowadays. You score and you kill the match.

That's what Spain has done for years and what all of the teams in semifinals have done for decades (except Netherlands, who always loose, but hey, they mat win it this time).

The moment this young players learn how to control those matches, I think Belgium is a potential semifinalist for the Euro and next World Cup.

PS: I love De Bruyne, and the best about him is that he still has lots of space to grow.
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Re: The Belgium thread

Did our national ever played a better match than yesterday against France?
That was really great.

Shame about France two late goals when both coaches killed the match with substitutions.

Also big shame for Tremoulinas foul on Mertens, that should have been a straight red.
 

Topaz

Programmer/TheAwesomeGem
21 October 2011
United States
Chelsea, Spain
Re: The Belgium thread

Belgium is looking more dangerous each and ever day. Football is going to be interesting.
 

ss4_goku

Premiership
26 May 2004
Hong Kong / Toronto
Man Utd
Re: The Belgium thread

Sorry, Haven't followed much Belgium football news, but they really have been producing many many great footballers and are continuing to produce one with great prospect. To my knowledge, the league isn't that strong/competitive, however, the players coming out from there are all getting recognized as great talent. May I know what the Belgium FA has been doing to aid this great generation of players? Or is it the clubs that are producing them??
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Re: The Belgium thread

This is an answer to your question ss4_goku, i posted this in 2013 in the blog section of this forum.

At the beginning of my article, i talked about a youth team with Januzaj. Meanwhile Jason Denayer, Leander Dendoncker and Youri Tielemans all were in the squad against France and Denayer was even a starter.

With a 1-2 win in Croatia, the Belgium national team qualified mathematically for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This litle country is in total euphoria. The Sunday after the qualification match 5000 fans were present for a training session in a torrential downpour, a further 85.000 followed the training session on Youtube. And this for a team that less than 5 years ago played home matches for less than 7000 fans. A team that played an away match against Finland and that wasn’t accompanied by a single fan…For their recent away match in Scotland, the Red Devils were accompanied by 10.000 fans. This is totally insane.
And the expecatations, are they high ? Who knows. The Belgian FA and coach Wilmots will be happy with a quarter final place in Brazil. This team might do better at the Euro’s in France and perhaps also in Russia in 2018. But the people who follow football expect most of the 2022 World Cup in the desert. Wait a minute, will the current team not be too old by then ? Yes. But there is a golden generation coming. The true golden generation.
In 2022 Belgium might start the WC with the following team: Alexandro Craninx (GK Real Madrid, currently 17 years old) – Leander Dendoncker (CB Anderlecht – 18) – Jason Denayer (CB Manchester City 18) – Mathias Bossaerts (CB – Manchester City 16) – Adnan Januzaj (SMF – Manchester United 18) – Charlie Musonda Jr (CM – Chelsea 16) Youri Tielemans (CM Anderlecht 16) – Andreas Pereira (SMF – Manchester United 17) – Divock Origi (Winger Lille 18) – Siebe Schrijvers (CF Racing Genk 17) – Zakaria Bakkali (Winger PSV 17).
Former football player, coach, pundit and youth specialist Johan Boskamp is following this team for some years now and has constantly been calling them, “the best football team in the world”. An exageration out of some misplaced chauvinism ? Johan Boskamp is not a Belgian, he is Dutch (traditionally our biggest rivals). And it seems that talent scouts from around the world certainly don’t disagree with Boskamp. Look at the teams were those young lads ply their trade. And then there is also the Anderlecht youth team from the same age that outclassed every other club team in the prestigious Viareggio Tournament, with players like Sammy Bourard and Nabil Jaadi. All those players are born in 1995 or 1996. Is this a coïncidence ?
No. This is Vision 200 delivering results.
It all started among youth coaches on a brainstorm weekend in 1999. Those Youth coaches were very pessimistic about the short term expecations foor Belgian youth development and were thinking about a long term action plan that aimed to do something with the talent that had to be present. This was the birth of Vision 2000, a new vision about youth education in Belgian football. Those youth coaches looked at what happened in Belgium’s neighbouring countries: Holland, Germany and France. They decided to mix the analytical way of doing things that was used in France and Germany, with the spontaneïty that rules in Holland. Vision 2000’s basical principles are rather simple:it’s all about aiming to make things as hard as possible for the young football talents and about playing a 4-3-3 formation.
That 4-3-3 formation is used by all Belgian youth selections an this not because the coaches are necessarily convinced that tactically this is the best possible formation, but because this formation is the most demanding for young players. Young players who constantly play 4-3-3 become complete football players and this formation is also ideal to learn as much as possible. It is no coïncidence that Wilmots’s favourite formation with the senior team is also 4-3-3. A 4-3-3 where AMF Kevin De Bruyne plays as a right winger. The left winger of that formation is Eden Hazard whose favourite position is AMF, left back Jan Vertonghen is a CB and DMF Axel Witsel was once a SMF or an AMF. Young Belgian football players seem to be very versatile… The reason for all this is Vision 2000 and the focus on 4-3-3.
Vision 2000 is not about results. Belgian youth teams prefer to play ‘good football’ to winning. The paradox is, that they end up winning after all. The 4-3-3 formation and the way it is learned to those young players guarantees technical and skilled build-up from the back, high pressing and lots of one-on-one situations. The fact that coaches adapt a playing style that results in lots of one-on-one sitautions means that players have to take important decisions from a very young age and that, consequently, they are not afraid of making actions that might result in the loss of the ball. That is also the reason why loosing is not seen as a big problem. The objective is always long term.
Another of the main principles of Vision 2000 is the fact that Belgian youth teams are aspiring as much possession as possible. This is a very un-Belgian thing to do, our last succes team played counter football and since then all Belgian teams played from an underdog position: counter football and a very defensive use of the off-side trap, and this even at grass roots level. Vision 2000 stopped all this defensive nonsense. It is ridiculous to learn the off-side trap to a six year old kid. The aim of football is that kids amuse themselves. Very young football players amuse themselves most by trying to be skillfull, not by running miles and miles or by learning how to use the off-side trap in the most succesfull way. Coïncidentally the best players are also the ones with skills, the ones who have learned to take decisions and who are used to play one-on-ones… Possession is important because young players only learn football skills in match situations if they have lots of ball possession.
And what about the results? Does the Belgian youth selections win ? Not always. Last year the Belgian U-17’s lost 2-1 to Spain, but afterwards the Spanish coach admitted that Spain were lucky and that his team never played against a better team. Football is about winning, but afterwards the Spanish FA asked the Belgian staff if they could come to Madrid and explain Vision 2000. A couple of weeks ago the U-16 side beat Germany 4-1. The second match was lost 1-0, but the German coach conceded afterwards that his team had adapted totally to the Belgian way of playing and that this was the first time he did this. He also admitted that the best team had lost and was very curious about Vision 2000.
Is this all the result of Vision 2000 ? We might never know, but how is it possible that suddenly the Belgian youth teams start to win and that half the world of youth football is interested in Vision 2000 ? It might all be coïncidental, but that seems very unlikely.
And then there are the youth academies. Belgian clubs still are among the minnows in Europe, but they are among the financial high flyers of the continent. In the period of 2010-2013, the Belgian clubs are doing very well with transfers. The club with best transfer ratio (who won the most money with transfers) was AC Milan, Spurs were second (Gareth Bale), but Genk, Standard and Anderlecht were 4th, 5th and 6th. Not bad for a litle country of scarcely 10 million inhabitants. Genk, Anderlecht and Standard have understood that they don’t have the money to buy first class foreign players. In the 70’s world class players like Rensenbrink, Haan, Lubanski, Lato and Preben Elkjaer Larsen played in Belgium. Now a club like Anderlecht buys very young players like Biglia or (their new Serbian CF) Mitrovic, hoping that they will develop and become better in order to sell them with a large profit. Most Belgian clubs can only buy third rate foreign players. The number of French players that come from a level beneath league 2 is astonishing. Now and then there is a hidden gem like Delaplace, but after one good season with Zulte-Waregem, Delaplace is once again playing in France, albeit this time in Ligue 1for Lille.
If you can’t buy good foreign players, and you don’t want to waste money on relatively expensive third rate foreigners, there is only one alternative: youth academies. Standard, Genk and Anderlecht have understood this 10 years ago and have been very succesfull because of their youth academies. One only has to look at the names that came from those academies Kompany (Anderlecht), Witsel, Mirallas, Carcela, Fellaini (Standard) and Defour, Benteke, De Bruyne and Courtois (Genk). Clubs are starting to realize that giving youth players first team opportunities might be the shortest way to financial wealth or at least financial break even. A club like Racing Genk has earned more than 30 million euro two seasons ago. For a Belgian club this is a massive amount of money and who knows what it might be worth if Financial Fair Play ever really takes off. And this isn’t the end, all the above mentioned players are not one-offs. Currently foreign scouts go to Standard matches for forwards Batshuayi and Ezekiel, to Genk for Sieben Schrijvers and to Anderlecht for Dendoncker, Tielemans, Bourard and Jaabi.
If teams earn lots of money for youth products, that means that the next generation will also play for the first team (17 year old Youri Tielemans is currently the leader of the new Anderlecht team after they sold Mbokani, Biglia and Jovanovic) and this in turn will attract other youth players. Ten years ago players went to clubs like Lille, Ajax and PSV at the very young age of 11 or 12 years old (Hazard, Mirallas, Vertonghen, Vermaelen, Dembele), ten years ago Anderlecht dumped a player like Dries Mertens. Now those young talented players stay with Belgian clubs, play one or two seasons for the first team and then go to big foreign clubs.
The last factor that has helped to develop all these extraordinary young talents is the fact that Belgian football finally succeded in seducing players from foreign origin who were born and raised in Belgian. Countries like France and Netherlands have multi-ethnic national teams for ages, in Belgium this is something relatively new. Lukaku and Kompany have Congolese roots, Witsel has a mother from La Réunion, Fellaini has Moroccan parents, Dembélé’s father is from Mali and Mirallas’ father is from Spain. Zakkaria Bakkali has Moroccan parents but choose to play for Belgian. And we all know everything about Janzaj’s origins.
So the 2022 WC is guaranteed and it nothing can go wrong ?
Of course things can go pearshaped. Players like Januzaj, Fereira, Musonda Jr. and others can choose to play for other countries. Sieben Schrijvers is a centre forward who is lightning quick, technically highly skilled and has lots of scoring abilities, but he is perhaps too small to be a world class centre forward. Can all those players really break into the first team of all those big clubs ? One can cast doubts about this. And it also seems that the real golden generation, the kids who were born in 1995 and 1996, still has to develop a real team ethos where the focus is on the collective and not on the individuals.
Will Belgium win the 2022 WC ? Probably not and frankly, who cares… the important thing is that Belgian coaches have developed a vision that might help other countries too (England anyone ? Maybe the English FA might ask about Vision 2000 instead of hoping that Januzaj will wait 5 years before playing international football for England).

The important thing is that now the Belgian FA is supporting grass roots talent.
 
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MadbaLL

Interista per sempre!
11 February 2008
"Curva Nord"
Inter Milan
Re: The Belgium thread

@gerd

your national team dissapointed me very, very much last night... ok, congrats to wales, but why did you have to lose?

i just can't get it...
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Re: The Belgium thread

Wales where the better team and our team had an off day.
I don't like our national coach. He just doesn't seem to fit our two best players in the same team. Both De Bruyne and Hazard are playing better when the other isn't in the team, and that is a shame because imo they are among the very best player in the world (top 20, not in the same league as Messi and Ronaldo of course).

Nianggolan (who has become one ofour best players), made a stupid mistake and this resulted in Bale's goal afterwards we weren't good enough to score. All credit to Wales.

Burt Wilmots again made a tactical mistake. Why subsititure one of our best players (Dries Mertens) for a very disappointing Lukaku?
 

MadbaLL

Interista per sempre!
11 February 2008
"Curva Nord"
Inter Milan
Re: The Belgium thread

but you lost to them and previous game was draw.

how can you such underperform against them?

you choose bad time and wrong team to underperfom :P
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Re: The Belgium thread

It would have been nice to win our first match after the bombings, but this always seemed unlikely with all the injuries.

The team that lost against Portugal played without the following regular starters: Kompany, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, De Bruyne and Hazard. One might even ad that Romelu Lukaku is our third choice striker (both Benteke and Origi were also out), and that Carrasco was also injured and is theathening to take Mertens' spot on the right wing.

A midfield with Witsel, Nainggolan and Fellaini seriously lacks creativity.

Yesterday once again was proof that Wilmots isn't the right coach for this team. We need a real, good national coach, not this man who is popular but tactically inept.

Nobody here understands why Charly Musonda wasn't even in the squad. He is considered our biggest prospect ever (bigger prospect than Hazard and De bruyne ever where) and currently he is playing very well for Betis Sevilla. Why not give this creative player the chance to prove himself in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne?

We were lucky that Ronaldo went off pretty early. 2-1 seems a decent result with a B team, but weren't it for Courtois, Portugal could have scored 4 or 5 goals in the first half...

Congratulations to Portugal and thanks for the inpressive minute of silence!
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
I have a feeling that our national team might well turn out to be the big disappointment of the Euro's in France.
Wilmots is fucking up big time at the moment. It's true that with the injuries of Kompany and Lombaerts, we have problems at the back...but are they really that important. More and more people in Belgium were having doubts about Kompany before his latest injury. More and more people wanted to play with Vertonghen-Alderweireld at CB.

But Wilmots has this fixation about Thomas Vermaelen. Vermaelen would have played even without Lombaerts' injury. Vermaelen is a player who scarcely plays for Barcelona and it seems that when, he's playing he's not very good. He has had lots of bad luck with injuries, but the sad thruth is that his best years are behind him now.

Then there is the midfield. Another of of Wilmots' certainties is Axel Witsel. If our building-up play is too slow, that has a lot to do with Witsel. Kums had a fantastic season, but isn't even in the selection. Kums is a player who always thinks forward and has the vision of Kevin De Bruyne.

If you look at the forwards, then Hazard seems to be the big problem. Wilmots made Hazard captain to stimulate him (the logical captain should be Jan Vertonghen). It's true that Hazard is our player with the biggest potential, but he rarely delivers for our national team. Dries Mertens is our most consistent forward, every single match he creates danger. But it's clear that Wilmots will not play him. He will come on as a substitute when things go wrong. Wilmots will play both Carrasco (logical) and Hazard (not Obvious, unless he finally explodes) as wingers.

Then there is the problem who should start as CF. It will be Lukaku most likely. IMO he is not good enough. I would play Batschuayi who is better in small spaces. Lukaku has a very poor first touch.

Besides that, the Lukaku brothers are a danger to the team spirit (until now the strongest point of this generation, they are genuine friends of each other). Wilmots has called up Romelu's younger brother Jordan. He is not the the brightest kid in town. In interviews he's saying stupid things ('the Belgian people don't like the Lukaku brothers' or 'i didn't come to the national team to be on the bench') and surely that can't please the other players...

I think Kevin De Bruyne and Courtois will have to be very outstanding to avoid a major disappointment. Normally they are our two best players. KDB's injury might turn out to have been a blessing in disguise, but Courtois has had a very bad season for Chelsea...hope he does better at the Euro's...

1-1 against Finland is a bad result, even if the team created lots of chances (KDB and Mertens), but they were almost all missed (Finnish keeper played a fantastic match too).

I'm not very optimistic...in this group we may not even progress to the knock-out stages.
 
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gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
KDB has created 19 chances in the last 2 games. Crazy

Quite impressive, but the down side is that Belgium is too dependent from one player.
Yesterday Norway surrounded KDB with midfielders who wanted to prevent him from playing football and he was rather useless until Wilmots decided to put Hazard as AMF and KDB as a winger. Then KDB started to create chances (and Hazard scored).

The Belgium i have seen in the 3 last matches is the same team that played 3 very bad matches in the WC group stage in Brazil, boring, slow football.

Perhaps we will play better against better teams...if we have to take the initiative, we're not good enough.

Due to injuries, Wilmos finally played both Vertonghen and Alderweireld as CB's, but our SB's were not good enough. Denayer failed misarbly (he has a bad season with Galatasaray) and Jordan Lukaku is good offensive, but defensively he is an accident waiting to happen...and Courtois is out of form...if he plays like this, he will not win matches for our team...

Very pessimistic about the Euro's...the team was booed by the Belgian fans..the hype seems over...before Brazil there was this massive hype and optimism. Now people see very expensive tickets, for boring preparation matches and an FA that throws money out of windows and doors...

It seemed our national team could unify the country, but the momentum is over...of course people are exagerating, but it is very strange how things can change in less than two years time...bening number one on the FIFA ranking hasn't helped. People react like: "is this the best (now second best) team in the world?".
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Hè started 12 times for them...not exactly a sign his coach has much confidence in him...unless he had injuries of course.
 

Godotelli

Stroking Silva's Hair
27 July 2012
Manchester
Manchester City
He made 28 apps, playing 2200 mins (avg of 80 mins per app).
He did have a few injuries tho, missing 17 games through 4 different injuries and a further 3 due to rest.

He played quite a few games at RB and did well by all accounts, still it's quite strange to move him to RB for Belgium in the last pre-tournament game. Should have had him there for a while to get used to it with different teammates.
 
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gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Yesterday's commentator Saïd that he only played 12 matches as a starter.
A year ago he played a couple of matches as cb and he was fantastic.
Yesterday he was absolutely dreadfull. Wilmots substituted him at half time and not only that but he substituted him by Laurent Ciman. Ciman normale wasn't even in the selection. He is the sort of player who is often selected as 23 th man because he is genuinely liked by the other players. Against Norway Ciman scored the winner and the rest of the selection celebrated him like he scored the winner in a wc final.

The problem of our team is the coach. Wilmots has no plan...
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Oops. I'm sorry. Totally forgot that he was't subbed at half time. I'm sorry.
So you watched the game. We were really bad, no?

I really wanted Wilmots to try the Spurs CB's. It doesn't seem a good solution because of the poor sb's. I have nothing against Denayer. Maybe Wilmots should try a back three (Vertonghen, Denayer, Alderweireld) and add Dembele in midfield in his Spurs role. But then we would lack width. In that case both wringers would have to defend. And with Hazard that is utopic.
 

Godotelli

Stroking Silva's Hair
27 July 2012
Manchester
Manchester City
You weren't great (neither was Denayer) but it's the last friendly before the tournament. No-one wants to get injured. I wouldn't worry too much. Belgium still have one of the best squads.

Alot will depend on how good a tournament Lukaku has. If he has a good one it wouldn't surprise me at all if you win it.
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
That was really very bad...could someone in our FA finale have the guts to fire Wilmots immediately. He's absolutely clueless.

Congratulations to Italy for a well deserved victory. Don't get euphoric, however. You won from the weakest team in the group.
 

dplane

Big Kahuna Burger
17 August 2012
US of freakin A
ManU/Oranje
That was really very bad...could someone in our FA finale have the guts to fire Wilmots immediately. He's absolutely clueless.

Congratulations to Italy for a well deserved victory. Don't get euphoric, however. You won from the weakest team in the group.
Damn Gerd with the Netherlands being out I am trying to root for you lot but you're making it difficult. Now I'm all depressed reading your post. On the flipside: I haven't really seen any team play really convincingly,bar perhaps Germany. I don't know how they keep putting in poor displays following tourneys only to be ready to go again when a tourney is actually there. Anyway, hope Belgium starts clicking despite Wilmots being in charge, it ll be good for the so far underwhelming games we've seen.
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Yesterday's match was between a team with good players and a coach with no plan A,B or C and a team with lesser players with a fantastic coach...

Italy made it all look so simple and that is the most difficult thing in football.

And Belgium, we are the free jazz version of football: it seems very elaborate and virtuoso (well yesterday not) but it leads to nothing.

And can somebody tell Wilmots to play with a good forward, Batschuayi, Origi or perhaps even Benteke, but not, i repeat NOT ROMELU LUKAKU.

Oh and please: make Mertens and Carrasco starters and put Hazard on the bench for a couple of matches. Let KDB play as a number 10.
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
This is the first poor match i saw KDB play since he played for our national team, and even then he could have had an assist hadn't Lukaku not missed that big chance...
 

Godotelli

Stroking Silva's Hair
27 July 2012
Manchester
Manchester City
Why isn't Dembele playing?

Nainggolan, Fellaini, Witsel is a horrible midfield 3 in terms of possession and forward threat
 
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