It took all of 90 minutes for Roberto Martinez to be booed by the Belgium fans – some 89 minutes longer than we had expected – with the Spaniard losing his opening match in charge of the Red Devils, 2-0 to Spain.
David Silva’s brace ensured it was a miserable start for the ex-Everton boss, after Belgium were outclassed from the first whistle to the last. Although it’s early days, it begs the question why the bloody hell did the Belgium FA appoint a manager such as Martinez, in the first place?!
For all of Martinez critics, the ex-Wigan Athletic boss has been credited in playing ‘fluid, attacking football’. Yet, Belgium managed one lousy shot on goal yesterday evening through Kevin de Bruyne.
With a squad that any Football Manger boss would be proud to show off to their pals, the Red Devils looked disjointed, unfamiliar with each other and lacked any kind of rhythm.
And, just like Football Manager, the Belgium FA seems to be in a virtual game with one another; clueless to the fact that their model will not work.
For instance, appointing Thierry Henry as assistant manager?! It seemed an appointment for the sake of the cameras; instead, Belgium needed a defensive-minded assistant who could anchor the side, and create a compact unit.
In Henry, you have two attack minded coaches spearheading the Belgium management. Yes, as mentioned it is early days, but where is the defensive shape going to be implemented? With very good defenders such as Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany, it seems criminal for them to be managed without pragmatic coaches.
Regardless of the potential defensive issues, the Spaniard failed to get the best out of his Everton players; and then gets a promotion to one of the most promising international sides – it does not make any sense, AND without ANY international pedigree.
This Belgium side have been dubbed the ‘Golden Generation’, yet you can’t help but feel if Martinez stamps his ‘philosophy’ on the side, they will fall short of expectation.
As it was yesterday evening, the Belgium’s will get punished by the so called ‘bigger’ countries, such as Spain, and will not be challenging at the next World Cup. For a squad as impressive as Belgium’s, they should be as competitive as any, as well as coming into their own in future tournaments due to age being on the side of most of their star talents.
Perhaps an appointment such as Louis van Gaal would have been more appropriate for the Belgium’s. We are aware that the Dutchman was utter bollocks at United, but, the ex-Reds boss is proven at international level, and comes with a clear defensive plan.