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The alarms sound in the Belgium of Roberto Martínez

The alarms sound in the Belgium of Roberto Martínez

The alarm bells are sounding in Belgium: after the failures in the League of Nations and in the European Championship last summer (boreal), the golden generation runs the risk of remaining in a failed generation.

The ‘Red Devils’ of the Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne or Romelu Lukaku dreamed of a first trophy on Sunday. The most optimistic Belgian supporters have come down to the ground to the point of questioning the soundness of coach Roberto Martinez’s position.

Because the Spanish coach’s men have fallen. First against world champion France on Thursday (3-2). Then against the European champion, Italy, on Sunday (2-1), in the duel for 3rd place.

This League of Nations has revealed something that has been repeating itself for some time: Belgium, number one in the FIFA rankings for more than three years, barely prevails against the great football nations.

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With the exception of their spectacular 2018 World Cup quarter-final triumph against Brazil, the good news against teams from the planetary top-10 has been rather scarce.

– Martinez “by default”? –

But to win a title you necessarily have to face the best. For this reason, a kind of fatalism has settled in the country.

“Do you still believe in us?” Winger Yannick Carrasco asked openly on Saturday, annoyed with the editorials of a press that now seems to lose patience after having praised this brilliant generation since 2014.

“We do believe!” Said the Atlético de Madrid player.

For the first time since taking office in 2016, Martínez lost his temper at a press conference after the loss against Italy, far from his usual calm.

The Spaniard does not seem to want to abandon ship in the middle of a storm and despite the fact that rumors regularly place him at FC Barcelona or the newly rich Newcastle.

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On the contrary, ‘El Señor’ Roberto has been more combative than ever, responding to the attacks he receives more frequently, especially on his tactical abilities to improve his team.

“It is not a tactical change that will make the difference. What counts is animation ”, he answered those who consider him too rigid or stubborn.

«We were beaten by the European champion (Italy) but we created more chances. Sometimes you have to look beyond the simple result, “he was angry at the astonished Belgian journalists, who had never seen the former Everton manager so tense.

An attitude that is undoubtedly explained by the media criticism that emerged after the defeat against France on Thursday.

“It is time for professionals to start analyzing Martínez’s work. In France, Didier Deschamps was world champion, failed at the European Championship and was massacred. We here have the feeling that there are many people who do not dare to talk about Martínez. There has been a World Cup, a European Championship, the League of Nations and that has not worked, “said Nordin Jbari, former Anderlecht and Bruges striker and now a commentator.

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The wave of criticism comes as Kevin de Bruyne, the ‘Diablos’ midfielder, believes that the results must be relativized: “We are only Belgium, with a smaller incubator than France or Italy who have a squad of 22 ‘top’ players . That is not our case.

In any case, Martinez is expected to hold out until Qatar-2022, “a bit by default,” according to the newspaper Le Soir. And it is that the possible candidates to replace the Spanish are not numerous, although the name of Michel Preud’homme has come to the fore on occasions. AFP (HN)

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