Beaten against Morocco, Belgium is in danger in this 2022 World Cup in Qatar and it shows in the locker room.
The atmosphere is not good in the locker room of Belgium. Hardly winners of Canada in the first match, the Red Devils were surprised by Morocco and lost this Sunday in their second match of this 2022 World Cup. Announced as a favorite or a serious outsider to the final victory, Belgium will therefore have to win against Croatia or risk returning to the country earlier than expected.
De Bruyne and Vertonghen set fire to public
If on the sporting level Belgium is disappointing, internally it is not joy either. Before the game against Morocco, Kevin De Bruyne had already hinted that his team is not as strong as expected: “I think our luck was in 2018. We have a good team, but they are aging. We have some good new players coming in, but they are not at the level of the other players in 2018. We don’t have the three centre-backs the fastest in the world but that they know it”.
And inevitably the defeat against Morocco did not help, especially given the statements of Jan Vertonghen after the meeting: “I guess we attack badly because we are also too old in front”. A beautiful atmosphere therefore within a Belgium which does not seem as united and strong as in 2018. If tensions seemed clear after these declarations, Roberto Martinez confirmed them this Monday in an interview with RTBF.
Martinez does not put out the fire
“Yes, there are tensions in the group. It’s natural. The players have been evolving together for a very long time. It’s like in a family. If you don’t have tension or disagreement in a family, it’s because you don’t have emotions. I am disappointed with our performance, of course. I saw a fear of losing on people’s faces, and that’s my responsibility to find solutions, to change the mindset of the players.”admitted the coach of Belgium.
“Because when you play a game with this fear, it is very difficult to use your qualities and win. We are not a team that likes to leave the ball to the opponent, who only bet on counter-attacks Our team is offensive and likes to create chances. […] Our team needs to get opportunities, to have fun on the pitch. We are not managing to develop our full potential at the moment“, added Roberto Martinez.
However, the Belgium coach does not despair and thinks his team can raise the bar: “I know what to do to bring joy back to the team. We have a few days ahead of us. If we manage to overcome this obstacle, I think we will see the full potential of our team in this tournament. enough stuff in the first game to win it. […] Personally, I believe in it 100% because I believe a lot in the potential of my team”.
Roberto Martinez has his work cut out for him. Deprived of Romelu Lukaku, aging in defense, less resplendent in attack like Eden Hazard at the top in 2018 and in difficulty in club today, Belgium will have to seriously raise their level of play to be able to achieve their objectives, but above all to avoid immense disappointment and immense humiliation by seeing his golden generation being eliminated from the group stages.
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