Carried about in all directions by an attractive Canada, Belgium has not answered the questions surrounding it for several weeks. Enough to give Roberto Martínez a headache, who will have to rethink his recipe before struggling with Morocco and Croatia over the next eight days.
By Alexandre Lejeune
An exit from the track in the quarter-finals of the last Euro, several worrying performances in recent months (two losses against the Netherlands, and another in a friendly last week against Egypt), an aging defense which raises questions and a Romelu Lukaku still lame: the Red Devils entered their World Cup this Wednesday with a thousand questions in mind. Roberto Martínez also had an obligation: that of winning, to already take the lead of group F, against a Canada whose hype has only grown in recent months, and above all, to avoid the state of accounting emergency in which Argentina and Germany are already placed. The main mission was checked, thanks to a nice achievement by Michy Batshuayi at the end of the first act, but the overall content of the 90 minutes did not convince anyone, and Belgium already knows that it will have to offer more to raise eyebrows consecutively Morocco then Croatia over the next eight days.
The three points, and then that’s it
It was enough to see the reddened cheeks of Kevin De Bruyne from the first minutes of the match, shouting at his teammates, to understand that serenity was not the key word of the evening on the Belgian side. The 1-0 at the break should not make us forget the apathy served by the troop of Martínez (14 shots conceded in the first period!), which sometimes flinched in the face of overflows from Buchanan, was surprised by the magic d’Eustáquio, and counted above all on David’s failed evening. With the ball, the Tielemans-Witsel pair sank in the middle, Carrasco did not exist and Hazard still has not found his legs of yesteryear. And the Belgians themselves know this better than anyone. “Canada is a very young team, very offensive, with a lot of speed and strength. It was not an easy match, and I think we haven’t found our best game yet. If we want to go far, we have to improve our football, that’s for sure.” first pushed Thibaut Courtois to the microphone of TF1. “It was not the best Belgium tonight. Overall, I think there are only three takeaways. We are going to make videos, we are going to talk to each other, because there have been both negative and positive things, and the goal is to work on our faults. chained Michy Batshuayi to BeIN Sports.
A plan to rethink and the Lukaku case to manage
Faced with Morocco and Croatia who showed, earlier in the day, unstoppable defensive virtues rather than clear offensive ideas, Belgium will not be able to confine themselves to swinging long balls as we saw them do in the first period. against Canada, despite the success of this tactic on the only pawn in the game. “At half-time, the coach was angry, he shouted. It is normal that he is not happy. He asked us to stall and try to dictate the pace of the game.” continued the striker of the evening. “Canada deserved to be better than us for the way they played. The result shows above all that we fought for each other and took our only chance. , wanted to positive Martínez in front of the journalists of the BBC. It remains to be seen if this Belgium still has some in the trunk to offer more or if it intends to pass a World of stragglers, not very elegant but killers when necessary, which Canada has not been able to be. While waiting to have a first element of response against Morocco this Sunday, the medical staff will also have to manage the Lukaku case, who we saw annoyed at times in the stands and who wants to come back earlier than expected, while he could only be at 100% of his abilities for the duel against Croatia. The question of victory has been settled, but the certainties are still not there.
By Alexandre Lejeune