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BELGIUM thread

Discussion in 'National Teams' started by gerd, 30 May 2013.

  1. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    I've hesitated a long time, because even now it isn't unthinkable that Belgium doesn't qualify for the World Cup. They are in a group with Croatia (currently ranked fourth) and at the moment are equal on point s with that team. Whoever ends second of these teams, will have bad luck. Both teams deserve to qualify.

    But nevertheless i think a Belgium thread is quite appropriate.

    Yesterday Belgium won 2-4 in a friendly match against USA. Arguably the score could have been higher since the ref made a couple of mistakes (Belgium should have got a penalty, IMO Lukaku wasn't off-side when he scored and the American goal scorer clearly pushed JanVertonghen before he scored), but they were also lucky the USA made some blatant mistakes.

    I'm glad the US soccer fans got to see our best player, yesterday Kevin De Bruyne once again proved that he is by far our best player (and i haven't forgotten Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany).

    Yesterday both Lukaku and Benteke also proved that they can play both upfront, which is important for the future.

    All in all a good match, but now the important thing is to win from Serbia. In Serbia Belgium won the match, but i was very impressed with the first 30 minutes of the Serbian team, they could have led with 3-0 by then...


    PS: when Belgium played the USA at home, i was very impressed with Agudelo, what happened with him ???
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 12 May 2016
  2. bebo

    bebo Looking for a Manager

    25 July 2005
    Arsenal Thread
    The Arsenal FC
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Yh the Belgium were too strong and they took advantage of the US defensive errors. I'm not sure if that was the US strongest squad. Agudelo is supposedly the US secret weapon even Thierry Henry said so. I'm not sure I know he was a cup half full at the time. I can't believe Beasley was playing again .
     
  3. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Bebo, i don't want to sound too cocky but Belgium didn't play with the strongest eam either: Courtois, Hazard, and benteke didn't start. Vermaelen and Dembele got injured or sick. Normally Feallini is also second choice (i think he played instead of Witsel).

    To be fair, IMO our central defenders should be Kompany and Vertonghen and Lombaerts or Vermaelen should play at LB...
     
  4. bebo

    bebo Looking for a Manager

    25 July 2005
    Arsenal Thread
    The Arsenal FC
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Gerd you have every right to be cocky . What I questioned was the USA's strength . Who are the best defensive line we have. We beat Spain in confed cup once and that team looked fragile at the back. US played a well oil machine Belgium side and they play a B German side on Sunday. They just beat 10th ranking Ecuador .

    Sadly I know more of the Belgium players then the US players , to think we have qualifiers coming.
     
  5. Steve-O21

    Steve-O21 Championship

    21 February 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Des Moines Menace
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Great idea for a thread, gerd! I was actually going to PM you yesterday about starting one for Belgium. I was at the game last night and I was really looking forward to seeing de Bruyne, Benteke, Mertens, Vertonghen, and Courtois live. Mirallas and de Bruyne were by far the best players on the field for Belgium last night. Their movement off of the ball was excellent -- always switching sides and opening up space on the wings for either the outside backs to overlap into or for Lukaku to run into the channels when they cut inside.

    I was also pleasantly surprised by Fellaini and Defour who did a good job of balancing when to stay home and break-up play and when to go forward. I rarely see (or rarely associate) Fellaini with that kind of positional discipline when he plays for Everton because of how advanced Moyes asked him to play.

    Now, before the game, my friends and I were calling 3-1 or 4-1 scoreline in favor of Belgium. Honestly, the 4-2 scoreline flattered us a little bit because Dempsey's penalty should never have been given. However, there is a big difference between the USA squad you saw last night and the one that we will roll out at full strength for our upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. We were missing Timmy Chandler (RB) - 1.FC Nurnberg, injured, Fabian Johnson (LB) - Hoffenheim, Michael Bradley (CMF) - AS Roma, Coppa Italia, and Hérculez Gómez (LWF) - Santos Laguna, injured. Missing Michael Bradley was huge because we instead had to use Sacha Kljestan -- who starts for Anderlecht -- but he simply isn't good enough to play a central midfield position at the international level. We were also missing key subs like Steve Cherundolo (RB) - Hanover 96, injured, Brek Shea (LWF) - Stoke City, and Edgar Castillo (LB) - Club Tijuana, injured...and don't even get me started on Landon Donovan who is being punished for going on sabbatical during our most recent World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

    The weakest part of our team last night was the left side and Belgium went after them at every opportunity. I would too if I was going up against DaMarcus Beasley -- a winger forced to play left back because of injuries -- and Brad Davis -- a 31-year-old winger with no pace who refuses to take right backs on 1 v. 1. There were few penetrating passes all game long and that is something Bradley and Donovan would have helped with. The movement up top was poor at best. We could never find the highest line because neither Altidore or Eddie Johnson were targeting up in the channels to receive the ball at feet. In fact, Dempsey ended up having to run those channels just so that we could temporarily find the highest line and get Belgium to move out of shape a little bit.

    So gerd, while I thought Belgium was by far and away the superior team last night, we certainly did not do anything to help our cause and I believe that a USA squad at full strength would have put up a more respectable scoreline -- maybe 2-1 or 2-2. But that's beside the point. Belgium has a lot of talent coming through right now and I hope they qualify or 2014. More importantly, they seem to actually be enjoying themselves playing on the field together...which from your earlier posts, it seems that that sort of camaraderie is what Belgium has lacked in the past. Wilmots also had them organized really well, and despite all of their attacking options, they were a fairly tough team to break down.

    And no -- to answer your last question -- Agudelo, would not have helped. He's good (and getting better) but he is just starting to get back his match fitness after not playing that much for Chivas USA last year. They traded him to the New England at the beginning of this season where he is finally starting every match and beginning to score goals. Hopefully, his confidence increases and we will see him in USA uniform for this summer's Gold Cup.
     
  6. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Very interesting post Steve-O21.
    About Fellaini: his natural position is DMF and not the way Moyes played him for Everton.
    Glad that he played a good match.

    In our national team he is only a sub. Usually Wilmots plays with Axel Witsel as DMF and both Dembele and De Bruyne as CMF's. Sometimes he plays De Bruyne out wide and then Fellaini plays as a CMF/AMF.

    Did Mertens play ? IMO he is one of our very best players. Our team is that good that even Hazard isn't certain of a starter rol since both Mertens and Chadli are really good to.

    The weak point is our back four: Kompany/Vermaelen often make defensive mistakes (less this qualifying campaign, Belgium conceded only one goal until now) and we don't have real SB's.

    Vertonghen usually plays as LB but he is a CB. Lombaerts sometimes plays LB but he is also better as CB.
    RB is an even bigger problem: Gillet usually plays there, but he is an AMF, a SMF, or CMF. Alderweireld is sometimes also RB, he is a CB.
     
  7. Steve-O21

    Steve-O21 Championship

    21 February 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Des Moines Menace
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Belgium's line-up last night:

    de Bruyne----Lukaku----Mirallas
    Dembele​
    Defour-----Fellaini​
    Vertonghen---Vermaelen---Kompany---Alderweireld​

    Benteke came on for Dembele after he went off with an injury at the end of the first half and Mertens came on for Mirallas with about 15 minutes left to go in the second half. Mertens looked excellent. I can see why it is so tough for Eden Hazard to break into the line-up. Thorgan Hazard also made an appearance and he looks just as good (if not better than) his brother. I only wish I could have seen Courtois play live. He will be the best goalkeeper in the world in the next three or four years. I already think he is ahead of de Gea in terms of development -- and de Gea is someone who I rate highly.

    I agree with you on Belgium's main problem being the back four. It is essentially four center backs being asked to play across the back and they will get exposed against national teams with much better wing play. Our wingers were atrocious last night, so Alderweireld (and Lombaerts who came on for him) were never tested. Those two are the weak points -- which is why all of our attacking play came down Belgium's right-hand side. I think a player like Brek Shea would of opened up the game had he been fit enough to play. I guess we'll never know.

    OT: Did you see Vertonghen's backheel trap last night?! Alderweireld hit a crossfield ball to him to switch play from the right side to the left side and Vertonghen looked like he had misjudged the flight of the ball only to stick out his left heel and kill the ball right into his path. What an absolutely incredible first touch!

    gerd, what I would like to know from you is how did all of these players manage to come through at the same time? Being a coach yourself, did the Belgium FA place greater resources on coaching schools and player development throughout the country to increase the likelihood that better players would come through? If you haven't seen this article on the guardian's website already, I definitely recommend that you read it. It was very eye-opening to me.

    Please share your wisdom with me, because as a current college and club coach, I see cracks in our player development system all the time -- which is inexcusable given the size of the player pool we have to draw on compared to a nation like yours. However, we also charge families money to play club soccer...which is completely backwards and a major reason why we cannot find players who have a "street sense" to the way they play. Anyways, I digress: Help me understand what your country is doing to turn out such high-caliber professional footballers!
     
  8. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    That is a very difficult question Steve-O21.
    Part of the answer is easy, it's a coïncidence that all those very talented players come together in one generation.
    Belgian football was extremely poor managed by our FA until they decided to appoint Steven Martens as boss of the competitive branch. Martens was very successfully in tennis (he was our national coach when Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin came through youth ranks and went on to be some sort of national coach in England).
    IMO the main factor is that a couple of clubs had splendid youth working and that one of them decided to work together with Ajax. I'm talking about Beerschot (a club that just got relegated from our first division and that went bust and is in serious danger to disappear). Players like Vermaelen, Dembele, Vertonghen, Alderweireld all come from this one club and went on to play for Ajax at youth level. Some of them continued to play for Ajax (Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld), some of them were sold to lesser clubs (Dembele, but also Chadli). Traditionally Holland plays very offensive football, whereas in Belgium we play very defensive. At youth level almost every team plays the off-side trap, which was a huge success factor in the success of our national team in the 80's (one final in the EC and a fourth place at the 1986 WC).
    Those players went to play in Holland at a very young age played an entirely different sort of football. It is remarkable that Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dembele, Chadli, but also Eden Hazard, Kevin Mirallas and Nainggolan never played for a Belgium club at senior level.

    The second club with a wonderfull youth working is Genk, when they became champion they did that with a team of homegrown players, 8 of the champion's team came through their own youth ranks. From our national team Courtois, Defour, De Bruyne, Benteke and also Casteels played together in Genk (Casteels was third GK, because Sinan Bolat who plays for Turkey was also a Genk youth player).
    And then there is Standard: Fellaini, Witsel and (later) Defour (who was transferred from Genk to Standard) all played together in one magnificent team that also won the title.

    At grass roots level youth coaches finally attach more importance to skills than to the size of the players. Lukaku was rejected at Lierse because he was too small...That would not happen again.

    Finally there is another reason for thesuccess: Multi-cultural integration. Football is one of the only fields were people from foreign origin are accepted (Belgium has racist tendencies). Lots of our star players have foreign roots (Witsel, Fellaini, Mirallas, Chadli, Dembele, Lukaku, Benteke).

    I hope this is the beginning of an answer.
     
  9. fd1972uk

    fd1972uk ---------------------

    9 January 2002
    Glasgow
    Celtic
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Hi Mate,

    Not sure if your team is still to play off against Croatia, but see the Cocky Croats are saying they'll put anywhere from 3 to 5 goals against Scotland.

    Unfortunately I wouldn't be surprised at that.

    We're bad enough as it is, but there's been plenty of call-offs and there are a few young players possibly getting a run-out.

    I think it may finish 2-0, but wouldn't be surprised if it was more.

    Obviously you's will have to do a good job against Serbia, which I think you will.


    FD
     
  10. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Re-reading that last post of Frank (FD) is ironic, because Scotland did us a huge favour by winning in Croatia.
    Belgium could be as good as qualified after today's matches if we win in Scotland and Serbia beats Croatia, but that is a very big if...

    Somehow since our last match i have a funny feeling that Scotland will beat us in Glasgow...i've always had much sympathy for Scottish football and the way some English fans ridiculize Scottish football is completely classless...but of course today i want Belgium to win. That will be far from easy. Scotland's win in Croatia was a huge achievement, in Strachan they have a good coach now and our national team is becoming dangerously overhyped in our press. There are pundits who are already saying we will the World Cup (very uncharacteristically, the Belgian is a born underdog and loves underdogs)...

    Add to that Kompany and Vermaelen (both our regular CB's) are injured and that it looks as if Hazard is out with injury too...we could be in for a very big disappointment. IMO Jan Vertonghen is a better CB than Vermaelen, but is this the right moment to form a new partnership with Van Buyten (who is error prone, but a good header) ?

    And this in a period where no less than 10.000 fans travelled to Scotland (3 years ago Belgium played home matches before an audience that was hardly bigger than that). At the beginning of this campaign only FYROM was ranked benath us on the FIFA-rankings: Croatia, Serbia, Scotland and Wales were all ranked above us (we were ranked 60th). Now we are 10th on the FIFA rankings.

    In lots of villages the match will be watched on big screens and neigbours and friends will watch the match together in a party atmosphere (we will do the same with the parents of my son's football team, for pictures of their latest exploits there is a link in my signature by the way - my son plays with number 8).

    The friendly match against France in august (august: holiday period !) was sold out in less than 30 minutes....Crazy. I would like to watch our team in the stadium but i can't get in...

    This is the perfect time for it all to go pear shaped and loose in Scotland will Croatia beat Serbia...after all these years in limbo, the current situation seems too good to be true.

    Good luck Scotland...
     
    Last edited: 6 September 2013
  11. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Belgium – favourites for the world title ? Yes, in 2022 !


    With a 1-2 win in Croatia, the Belgium national team qualified mathematically for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This litle country is in total euphoria. The Sunday after the qualification match 5000 fans were present for a training session in a torrential downpour, a further 85.000 followed the training session on Youtube. And this for a team that less than 5 years ago played home matches for less than 7000 fans. A team that played an away match against Finland and that wasn’t accompanied by a single fan…For their recent away match in Scotland, the Red Devils were accompanied by 10.000 fans. This is totally insane.
    And the expecatations, are they high ? Who knows. The Belgian FA and coach Wilmots will be happy with a quarter final place in Brazil. This team might do better at the Euro’s in France and perhaps also in Russia in 2018. But the people who follow football expect most of the 2022 World Cup in the desert. Wait a minute, will the current team not be too old by then ? Yes. But there is a golden generation coming. The true golden generation.
    In 2022 Belgium might start the WC with the following team: Alexandro Craninx (GK Real Madrid, currently 17 years old) – Leander Dendoncker (CB Anderlecht – 18) – Jason Denayer (CB Manchester City 18) – Mathias Bossaerts (CB – Manchester City 16) – Adnan Januzaj (SMF – Manchester United 18) – Charlie Musonda Jr (CM – Chelsea 16) Youri Tielemans (CM Anderlecht 16) – Andreas Pereira (SMF – Manchester United 17) – Divock Origi (Winger Lille 18) – Siebe Schrijvers (CF Racing Genk 17) – Zakaria Bakkali (Winger PSV 17).
    Former football player, coach, pundit and youth specialist Johan Boskamp is following this team for some years now and has constantly been calling them, “the best football team in the world”. An exageration out of some misplaced chauvinism ? Johan Boskamp is not a Belgian, he is Dutch (traditionally our biggest rivals). And it seems that talent scouts from around the world certainly don’t disagree with Boskamp. Look at the teams were those young lads ply their trade. And then there is also the Anderlecht youth team from the same age that outclassed every other club team in the prestigious Viareggio Tournament, with players like Sammy Bourard and Nabil Jaadi. All those players are born in 1995 or 1996. Is this a coïncidence ?
    No. This is Vision 200 delivering results.
    It all started among youth coaches on a brainstorm weekend in 1999. Those Youth coaches were very pessimistic about the short term expecations foor Belgian youth development and were thinking about a long term action plan that aimed to do something with the talent that had to be present. This was the birth of Vision 2000, a new vision about youth education in Belgian football. Those youth coaches looked at what happened in Belgium’s neighbouring countries: Holland, Germany and France. They decided to mix the analytical way of doing things that was used in France and Germany, with the spontaneïty that rules in Holland. Vision 2000’s basical principles are rather simple:it’s all about aiming to make things as hard as possible for the young football talents and about playing a 4-3-3 formation.
    That 4-3-3 formation is used by all Belgian youth selections an this not because the coaches are necessarily convinced that tactically this is the best possible formation, but because this formation is the most demanding for young players. Young players who constantly play 4-3-3 become complete football players and this formation is also ideal to learn as much as possible. It is no coïncidence that Wilmots’s favourite formation with the senior team is also 4-3-3. A 4-3-3 where AMF Kevin De Bruyne plays as a right winger. The left winger of that formation is Eden Hazard whose favourite position is AMF, left back Jan Vertonghen is a CB and DMF Axel Witsel was once a SMF or an AMF. Young Belgian football players seem to be very versatile… The reason for all this is Vision 2000 and the focus on 4-3-3.
    Vision 2000 is not about results. Belgian youth teams prefer to play ‘good football’ to winning. The paradox is, that they end up winning after all. The 4-3-3 formation and the way it is learned to those young players guarantees technical and skilled build-up from the back, high pressing and lots of one-on-one situations. The fact that coaches adapt a playing style that results in lots of one-on-one sitautions means that players have to take important decisions from a very young age and that, consequently, they are not afraid of making actions that might result in the loss of the ball. That is also the reason why loosing is not seen as a big problem. The objective is always long term.
    Another of the main principles of Vision 2000 is the fact that Belgian youth teams are aspiring as much possession as possible. This is a very un-Belgian thing to do, our last succes team played counter football and since then all Belgian teams played from an underdog position: counter football and a very defensive use of the off-side trap, and this even at grass roots level. Vision 2000 stopped all this defensive nonsense. It is ridiculous to learn the off-side trap to a six year old kid. The aim of football is that kids amuse themselves. Very young football players amuse themselves most by trying to be skillfull, not by running miles and miles or by learning how to use the off-side trap in the most succesfull way. Coïncidentally the best players are also the ones with skills, the ones who have learned to take decisions and who are used to play one-on-ones… Possession is important because young players only learn football skills in match situations if they have lots of ball possession.
    And what about the results? Does the Belgian youth selections win ? Not always. Last year the Belgian U-17’s lost 2-1 to Spain, but afterwards the Spanish coach admitted that Spain were lucky and that his team never played against a better team. Football is about winning, but afterwards the Spanish FA asked the Belgian staff if they could come to Madrid and explain Vision 2000. A couple of weeks ago the U-16 side beat Germany 4-1. The second match was lost 1-0, but the German coach conceded afterwards that his team had adapted totally to the Belgian way of playing and that this was the first time he did this. He also admitted that the best team had lost and was very curious about Vision 2000.
    Is this all the result of Vision 2000 ? We might never know, but how is it possible that suddenly the Belgian youth teams start to win and that half the world of youth football is interested in Vision 2000 ? It might all be coïncidental, but that seems very unlikely.
    And then there are the youth academies. Belgian clubs still are among the minnows in Europe, but they are among the financial high flyers of the continent. In the period of 2010-2013, the Belgian clubs are doing very well with transfers. The club with best transfer ratio (who won the most money with transfers) was AC Milan, Spurs were second (Gareth Bale), but Genk, Standard and Anderlecht were 4th, 5th and 6th. Not bad for a litle country of scarcely 10 million inhabitants. Genk, Anderlecht and Standard have understood that they don’t have the money to buy first class foreign players. In the 70’s world class players like Rensenbrink, Haan, Lubanski, Lato and Preben Elkjaer Larsen played in Belgium. Now a club like Anderlecht buys very young players like Biglia or (their new Serbian CF) Mitrovic, hoping that they will develop and become better in order to sell them with a large profit. Most Belgian clubs can only buy third rate foreign players. The number of French players that come from a level beneath league 2 is astonishing. Now and then there is a hidden gem like Delaplace, but after one good season with Zulte-Waregem, Delaplace is once again playing in France, albeit this time in Ligue 1for Lille.
    If you can’t buy good foreign players, and you don’t want to waste money on relatively expensive third rate foreigners, there is only one alternative: youth academies. Standard, Genk and Anderlecht have understood this 10 years ago and have been very succesfull because of their youth academies. One only has to look at the names that came from those academies Kompany (Anderlecht), Witsel, Mirallas, Carcela, Fellaini (Standard) and Defour, Benteke, De Bruyne and Courtois (Genk). Clubs are starting to realize that giving youth players first team opportunities might be the shortest way to financial wealth or at least financial break even. A club like Racing Genk has earned more than 30 million euro two seasons ago. For a Belgian club this is a massive amount of money and who knows what it might be worth if Financial Fair Play ever really takes off. And this isn’t the end, all the above mentioned players are not one-offs. Currently foreign scouts go to Standard matches for forwards Batshuayi and Ezekiel, to Genk for Sieben Schrijvers and to Anderlecht for Dendoncker, Tielemans, Bourard and Jaabi.
    If teams earn lots of money for youth products, that means that the next generation will also play for the first team (17 year old Youri Tielemans is currently the leader of the new Anderlecht team after they sold Mbokani, Biglia and Jovanovic) and this in turn will attract other youth players. Ten years ago players went to clubs like Lille, Ajax and PSV at the very young age of 11 or 12 years old (Hazard, Mirallas, Vertonghen, Vermaelen, Dembele), ten years ago Anderlecht dumped a player like Dries Mertens. Now those young talented players stay with Belgian clubs, play one or two seasons for the first team and then go to big foreign clubs.
    The last factor that has helped to develop all these extraordinary young talents is the fact that Belgian football finally succeded in seducing players from foreign origin who were born and raised in Belgian. Countries like France and Netherlands have multi-ethnic national teams for ages, in Belgium this is something relatively new. Lukaku and Kompany have Congolese roots, Witsel has a mother from La Réunion, Fellaini has Moroccan parents, Dembélé’s father is from Mali and Mirallas’ father is from Spain. Zakkaria Bakkali has Moroccan parents but choose to play for Belgian. And we all know everything about Janzaj’s origins.
    So the 2022 WC is guaranteed and it nothing can go wrong ?
    Of course things can go pearshaped. Players like Januzaj, Fereira, Musonda Jr. and others can choose to play for other countries. Sieben Schrijvers is a centre forward who is lightning quick, technically highly skilled and has lots of scoring abilities, but he is perhaps too small to be a world class centre forward. Can all those players really break into the first team of all those big clubs ? One can cast doubts about this. And it also seems that the real golden generation, the kids who were born in 1995 and 1996, still has to develop a real team ethos where the focus is on the collective and not on the individuals.
    Will Belgium win the 2022 WC ? Probably not and frankly, who cares… the important thing is that Belgian coaches have developed a vision that might help other countries too (England anyone ? Maybe the English FA might ask about Vision 2000 instead of hoping that Januzaj will wait 5 years before playing international football for England).

    The important thing is that now the Belgian FA is supporting grass roots talent.
    I’m coaching my son’s team for 4 years now and they are higly succesfull. This team has been the best Belgian youth team (in their age category) for 4 years in a row (it’s a coïncidence), and the FA is actively supporting us with know how and with more experienced youth coaches who are learning us their tips and tricks. Next season our kids will for the first time play on a big pitch in 11 versus 11 matches and the only thing the FA wanted from our club is the promise that these boys will play 4-3-3.
    We as parents choose to let our kids (10 of them are in the same school and even the same class) continue their football at grass roots level instead of big clubs like Anderlecht, Mechelen, Genk and even Lille and Ajax. Right at the moment their school carreers and their other leisure activities are at least as important as becoming the next Eden Hazard. The good thing is that the Belgian FA helps us with their know how. By doing this we as parents don’t have to make difficult choices when our kids are still at a very young age. Our kids can live like other kids, can enjoy themselves and still be kids at a young age.
    A couple of weeks ago our team once again won the final tournament in the under 11 competition for the whole of Belgium. In the final tournament they won all their matches against teams who have four or five training sessions in a week, while our kids have only two and are not burdened by the pressure that they should become the next big thing. Probably those kids will never be football stars, but we never had to take the gamble to give everything up in order to fail…
    Our kids learn a lot on the training field, but they still enjoy themselves. When our kids (from a club that is the Belgian equivalent of a division under the Blue Square Conference) beat the under eleven team of Lierse (Jupiler League, the Belgian equivalent of the EPL), all the players of the loosing Lierse team cried bitter tears…Our kids were astonished. Their mentality is that you win some and you loose some and you only really loose when playing football isn’t about fun anymore… All this thanks to the Belgian FA and some really clever youth coaches. Perhaps that is Belgium’s biggest victory.
     
  12. bebo

    bebo Looking for a Manager

    25 July 2005
    Arsenal Thread
    The Arsenal FC
    Re: The Belgium thread

    The grass route looks promising , but things change just as fast. I think in the US there is more youth soccer then anywhere in the world. Soccer moms think to be a good mom you have to have your son/ daughter playing soccer. I know at the age of 3yrs you have your kids kicking around , but the earliest competitive level is U5. The problem is by 14yrs old (boys only) they are encouraged to start playing other sports and soccer becomes a cardio workout or worse a childhood memory when family gets together and supported them.

    When, I look at our national team I see more hyphen - Americans playing then evekr before. I credit Klinsman for looking for talent n giving players that normally would be over look and given a chance. They were many folks against him. Klinsman took the US on top on the group won 12 matches and made US history. My point is Zusi is from central Florida a kid that played in the Central_Florida_Kraze a very well develop club. He won't ever be world class, but good enough to have a good career all grass rout.


    Now, as for Belgium a small country with famous food :) someone mention steak n fries came from Belgium \0/. I think I'm more familiar w/ Belgium players n their football careers . Then , the US players. I find your post very informative and seeing them dismantle the US team w/o breaking out of 2 gear says a lot imo. They deserve to be in every NT tourney ... If , you think the next current crop of players are better... Hell yea!! That's great! Do the Belgium play any other sport? Out of the youth in your club... How many have a serious chance of making it? I'm glad to see your Belgium at the WC :)
     
    Last edited: 14 October 2013
  13. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Our national sport is (by far) cycling, but we aren't doing very well lately.
    Football is the number 2 sport.

    Funny you should ask this and also ask about the prospects in our youth team. Statiscally it probable that none of them will make it to the top. I've only been active in youth football since my son plays, so i have no reference point. Others who do have reference points claim that this team is unique, but we after all what is said and done around this team, we are nevere sure what is realistic. A couple of years ago i went to play a tournament in Venlo (Holland) with this team. That was after our team beat the best youth selection of Beerschot ( Beerschot is the team that had players like Vermaelen, Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Dembele as kids). The Beerschot people had worked together with Ajax and they asked the organisation of that highly rated tournament to allow our club to play against the youth selections of really big clubs (Ajax, PSV, Dortmund, Schalke, Mönchengladbach, Feyenoord and Lille where also present). Our team played the final against Ajax and beat them 8-0 (with 7 assists from my son). And then it all started. We had to change telephone numbers. At the time those kids were 8 years old...fortunately they never were aware of what happened. That is also when we had a talk between the parents of the team. We decided that the boys would play together in their home club at least until they are 14 years old. Last season, suddenly the Belgian FA asked us if we wanted help from them. Since this season we get all the possible help. They are currently doing this with 9 clubs throughout Belgian...all lower league clubs with an exceptional generation...

    As much as i love football, personally i don't care if my son becomes a professional football player. He is also good at music (plays 3 different instruments) and does well at school...At the moment i want him to amuse himself with his friends and be happy...later on it's his choice to make, but i will protect him against the sharks out there...

    This team is very good because the players are talented (but i often see players with more skill), but most of all because this is a bunch of friends. One of the kids' mother is a schoo lteacher and had this bunch in her class. She's been a teacher for almost 20 years and she says she never saw a bunch that was as close together as these guys (and girls). IMO that is their main strength. Last season my son had serious growing pains (both knees) and for the first 3/4 of the season he was dramatic. His team mates have always supported him, never picked on him when he played a bad match (and he had plenty of them). When he started playing good at the end of the season, they were as happy as he was... I just wrote that often i see individual players who have (far) more technical skills than our players, the difference is that almost all these players are individualistic.

    Since last summer the natural leader of the group has started to watch cycling and he is passionate about it. The guy has lost his mother (she died) and during school holidays he comes sleeping with our kids (this to help his father who now is alone with 3 kids). He watched the Tour de France with my son and they decided then that they would play football until they can cycling for competition (14 years old). My son would be a very, very bad cyclist and i'm sure he will never start this, i'm pretty sure he has already forgotten about it. His friend hasn't forgotten it, he's very passionate about it and since he is a natural leader, other team member also want to become cyclists...it may well be that once they are 14 years old, they will collectively stop playing football...it happens quite often in Belgium.
    Maybe the current hype around our national team might stop them...but in the end it's their decision.

    Sorry for this long post, but Bebo asked some questions...


    PS: steak and fries is a typical Belgian dish...
     
  14. bebo

    bebo Looking for a Manager

    25 July 2005
    Arsenal Thread
    The Arsenal FC
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Resturant mostly: Steak n fries is popular in the states . I opt for broccoli mostly :)

    I'm enjoying the hype of the Belgium NT. I find NT boring so any sparks has me hoping for excitement . I'm bore of Spain .
     
  15. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    I really love Spain.
    Belgium currently playing a very bad match against Ramsey and some Cheltenham players...
     
  16. dplane

    dplane Big Kahuna Burger

    17 August 2012
    US of freakin A
    ManU/Oranje
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Gerd: you mentioned that Belgium considers the Netherlands their biggest rivals but from what I know the Netherlands feels that way about Germany and not Belgium. Would you say the reason for this is what has traditionally been a complete clash of playing styles when comparing the Netherlands and Germany (tho not near as much nowadays) whereas w Belgium its mostly down to ..what? Close and shared history w the northern neighbors?
     
  17. bebo

    bebo Looking for a Manager

    25 July 2005
    Arsenal Thread
    The Arsenal FC
    Re: The Belgium thread

    I think Belgium as a country rivals Netherland they all '3' speak German-Dutch-whatever have you , Frenchie
     
  18. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    They are our rivals because of history. Belgium won independence from Holland. And it's true that The Dutch consider the Germans as their big football rivals. That is because of München 1974 and the defeat of Total football by the Germans.


    Yesterday's draw against Wales was a bit of an anti-climax. First half was bad, but the second was very good. Despite all the goals of both Lukaku and Benteke in the EPL, we miss a killer upfront.
     
    Last edited: 16 October 2013
  19. miki.92

    miki.92 The Doctor #46

    10 August 2010
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Barcelona BVB Zeljo
    Re: The Belgium thread

    CONGRATS !!!
    really looking forward to see you in Brasil, such an exciting team to watch
     
  20. Damjan

    Damjan World Cup Winner

    16 July 2011
    Arsenal|Juventus|ASSE
    Re: The Belgium thread

    The general opinion amongst most idiots here is that the rivalry between Germany and the Netherlands is because of World War II.
     
  21. S-NipE

    S-NipE World Cup Winner

    17 May 2008
    Germany
    German NT
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Really, do you think so? In Germany, or at least the very western part around where I am living consider the Netherlands as their small (in regard to the size of the country) neighbours and friends and it's a more or less friendly rivalry. Of course we want to beat them anywhere and be better, but the general consensus is that we are very similar to each other. And that's the reason why the rivalry to the Netherlands is considered the most important one for us.

    The same goes for people from Belgium, too, only difference to the Dutch inhabitants is the language border between French and German, while Dutch and German are that similar that people that learned one language are usually able to understand the other one (at least roughly), too.
     
  22. Damjan

    Damjan World Cup Winner

    16 July 2011
    Arsenal|Juventus|ASSE
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Yeah some really thickheaded people here. I actually appreciate Germany and love their team. Maybe because I don't really support the Dutch team.
     
  23. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    It's not about WWII, but some idiots always do mention the war.
    It's all about the 1974 WC where the Dutch have the impression that their best team ever lost against a team that had less quality and also because of a dive (and subsequent penalty) by Hölzenbeim. This defeat was a national trauma for the Dutch.

    I'm not so sure if the 1974 German team was really inferior...

    About Belgium at the world cup. People expect way too much.
    Yesterday was a fine example of what could happen in Brazil. Belgium's team has a stellar reputation and their adversaries play very defensive. The forwards haven't got enough of akiller mentality to score from the odd chance in those matches...

    If Van Persie was a Belgian player, then we might have a half decent chance to win the WC, now a QF place will be a big success. It also worries me a litle bit that Courtois made some errors against both Croatia and Wales. Nothing spectacular (against Wales he had a fantastic save right after his error), but this is new...he seemd vulnerabel on corners and crosses...
     
    Last edited: 16 October 2013
  24. fd1972uk

    fd1972uk ---------------------

    9 January 2002
    Glasgow
    Celtic
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Gerd Banned? Obviously I have, but what have I missed?


    FD
     
  25. Steve-O21

    Steve-O21 Championship

    21 February 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Des Moines Menace
    Re: The Belgium thread

    What?! Why?!
     
  26. S-NipE

    S-NipE World Cup Winner

    17 May 2008
    Germany
    German NT
    Re: The Belgium thread

    You sure he just didn't edit his status? Can't see a reason in his last posts that would speak for a ban...
     
  27. fd1972uk

    fd1972uk ---------------------

    9 January 2002
    Glasgow
    Celtic
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Nope, he's defo banned.


    FD
     
  28. S-NipE

    S-NipE World Cup Winner

    17 May 2008
    Germany
    German NT
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Still don't think so, his last activity was yesterday 17:34.
     
  29. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Hi, i was banned for trolling Lami, but the ban is now a warning. Let's just close this chapter....

    Thanks very much to FD, drekkard, lo zio and most of all Bobbybox.
     
  30. fd1972uk

    fd1972uk ---------------------

    9 January 2002
    Glasgow
    Celtic
    Re: The Belgium thread

    Thought Trolls were Scandinavian?

    :p


    FD
     

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