Egocentric Hazard and Witsel bring Belgium on the brink of World Cup exit

Dec 01, 2022 Comments Off by

Belgium’s Golden Generation has come to an end.

What was shown in Belgium’s first opening game against Canada, was brutally exposed again in the humiliating 0-2 loss against Marocco. Belgium has started an old team and has paid the ultimate price.

While Martinez still believes his team is the same from 2018, his confidence in his previous generals has backfired in the worst possible way. In the game against Canada he started with 6x +30 player and 2x 29 year old players.

Belgium played slow, uninspired, no depth, no duels won and no chances. Both ‘captain’ Hazard as Witsel were given a 3/10 for their performance, which was generous. Hazard, who has been injured for over 2 years and has not played 1 decent game since, was terrible.
Always asking the ball on his feet, unable to beat his marker once (!), bringing the ball into an overcrowded Maroccan midfield, then loosing the ball. This not only slowed down Belgian’s game, he also ruined 2 counter attacks from De Bruyne, currently number 2 on the Ballon d’Or of 2022.

While Hazard knew he is no form to compete at this level – The World Cup is brutally hard and one needs to be fit, fast and relentless – he should have given his spot to the younger and in form Trossard. Trossard has been showing his skills in the Premier League, and has shown his form scoring again all top teams, including Manchester City.

Witsel’s performance was even more dreadful. With 90% of horizontal and backward passing, he has caused the Belgian midfield to lack speed, creativity and control. While both players used to be Martinez’ favorites and first on the drawing board, exactly both have sealed Martinez’ faith. The belgian fans are furious at the Spaniard for letting both start and it is just a matter of days when the sponsors will want to end the negative climate and send the man packing.
Witsel STILL receives the instruction from Martinez to keep it simple and NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MIDFIELD GAMEPLAY. This was even acceptable 4 and 8 years ago when Belgium had massive offensive talent. When Lukaku, Hazard, KBD scored and assisted every week. Carrasco and Meunier were key players in Aletico and PSG. When Toby and Jan were the back 2 in Tottenham that went to the Champions League final.
But now the offensive stats have dropped rock bottom. Lukaku has hardly played and scored both for Chelsea and Inter, Batshuay and Mertens play in the Turkisch league, scoring here and there 1 goal. Hazard hasn’t scored 3 goals in 2 years.
Witsel is not good enough for the Atletico nor Dortmund midfield, and so on and so on. When witsel plays all his horizontal and backwards passes, he just says to his team mates: “No, you do something with it, not MY task”.
This way you play with 10 and loose control of the midfield, Belgium dominated for 8 years. Moreover, Toby and Jan are too old in their head to withstand a little pressing, they only play safe passing to the next defender: “No, yóu pass the ball forward”

While it is understandable that Witsel wanted to play, Hazard should have discussed as a captain that he would be better as a substitute. And let a player who outperforms his 4-to-1 start on his position.

The selfishness of Hazard caused Belgium not being able to create chances. Everyone just waits for De Bruyne to fix everything: Dominate midfield, create assists and if possible score as well.
Belgium has no reaction with its old players. One would think to bring in speed and agility with Trossard and Openda, both 2 attackers with good scoring stats. Martinez brought in players too late, players with no confidence (De Ketelaere), and even played Trossard as Wingback.
It seems someome is paying Martinez to go back home on Thursday. No supporter would have done such terrible substitutions.

After the game, several players stood eye to eye. Hazard, Vertonghen and De Bruyne. Midfield is blaming defense that they are not helping/passing, attack is blaming midfield that no creative passes are being made, nor chance created, and defense is wondering when attack will be able to score a goal.

If you look at Spain for 15 minutes, their defenders have played better football than the Belgian team in 180 mins. They defend and attack all together. When there is a counter, 7 (!) players run forward.

Although having failed to win anything with the best generation of Belgian footballers, Martinez had a good spell with a 3rd World Cup place in 2018. But he has been coach for too long, no innovative ideas.
All corners and free kicks generated 0% risk. His tactics of 3 at the back hasn’t worked for a while now with old players. He is unable to put players in form in the starting line up. He is unable to bring in substitutes on time.
While millions of fans kept Hazard and Witsel out of suggested starting 11 for Marocco, Martinez was hoping for both NOT to play the way they have been playing for the last 2 years. Gambling on the lottery has more chance.

He bring is players who currently could not score even if it was a Turkisch league game (Mertens, CDK). He is stubborn and goes against what all 12 million fans see.
For the game against Croatia, Witsel nor Hazard are in the suggested starting line up of both major newspapers. Thousands and thousands of fans disagreeing with Martinez!
Average fans, and even women see what Martinez doesnt want to see: you can’t win with unmotivated and out-of-form players. This is the WORLD CUP. The best of the Best. Not a hospital!

Martinez hired a Yes-man like Thierry Henry as an assistant, and has dug his own grave.

This team has no reason to be at the World Cup. Everything is dreadful, slow and wrong. Only Qatar played worse than Belgium so far.

Now a Must Win is needed against Croatia, which just needs to keep this slow playing team at a draw.

Both Witsel as Hazard are expected and HOPED to resign from the national team. Their bad performance will leave a long lasting stain on their heritage. Hazard will hand over his captainship to Kevin De Bruyne, the real leader on the field. KDB had high hopes to excel on the World Cup, but his older teammates wanted to play, ruining his ambitions.
Also Lukaku, recovering from an injury, stays left behind with only broken dreams.

With the terrible performance of both, a circle closes. When the Golden Generation was taking over from Wilmots, Goor, Verheyen and Simons, the performances of the young super talented but playful generation was unable to get results for a long time.
Their attitude was demonstrated by players wearing Louis Vuitton bags. Both Witsel and Hazard were blamed a lack of professionalism and honor. They were called the “Roze Duivels”, The PINK devils.
Only after Dick Advocaat brought in discipline and rules, both players started to perform according to their talents. Hazard was made captain by Wilmots, so he wouldnt be able to ‘hide’ during games.
Hazard never was captain material. He said about it: “I dont like to talk”

Exactly these 2 players, mainly responsible for the probably early World Cup exit of the team currently ranked number 2 on the FIFA rankings, again mark the troubling end of the Golden Generation. A bitter Circle has closed.
Luckily Martinez will be fired, and Witsel, Hazard, Alderweireld, and Mertens will announce they resign from the national team. Leaving their place for motivated players.
Too little, too late. The World Cup 2022 for Belgium ended in ruins, and could have easily been avoided.

Rating: 9.0. From 1 vote.
Please wait...

Give your personal opinion:



About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet