Thoughts on the Belgium squad to play the Netherlands

By | August 10, 2012

Witsel and Chadli, back in the squad.

Although there are no major surprises in the squad, the fans are not happy that Nuremburg’s Timmy Simons is still there. He’s been excellent for many years but the general feeling is that it’s time to move on. Coach Marc Wilmots said that he hadn’t selected either Gaby Mudingayi (who recently signed for Inter) or Radja Nainggolan (highly rated at Cagliari) as he had sufficient cover in the defensive midfield position with Simons and Steven Defour.

Looking at the keepers, Simon Mignolet has the number one spot and is likely to retain it unless he makes some serious mistakes. Thibaut Courtois will have to be patient.

In defence, the recall of Standard’s Laurent Ciman is a minor surprise. He can fill in at right back but he’s another centre back by trade. Vincent Kompany will have a fitness test before the match. Daniel Van Buyten is still there, which could surprise some people.

In midfield, all the usual suspects are included, with the addition of Kevin De Bruyne who has made a fine start with Werder Bremen. There’s no place for Vadis Odjidja and it’s hard to see him breaking in with such a depth of talent; maybe he needs to move to the Premier League.

In attack, there is a lack of true quality. Jelle Vossen has been left out and he can feel himself unlucky. He could play in the ‘false number 9’ role that was given to Eden Hazard last time out. Vossen’s certainly got more guile than his rather straightforward club colleague Christian Benteke.

Possible team: Mignolet; Alderweireld, Kompany (or Van Buyten), Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Defour, Witsel, Fellaini; Hazard, Benteke, Dries Mertens.

Thibaut Courtois (A. Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland, Jean-François Gillet (Torino).
Toby Alderweireld (Ajax), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Laurent Ciman (Standard), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Sébastien Pocognoli (Standard), Guillaume Gillet (Anderlecht).
Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Dries Mertens (PSV), Timmy Simons (Nuremberg), Marouane Fellaini (Everton), Steven Defour (Porto), Axel Witsel (Benfica), Moussa Dembele (Fulham), Nacer Chadli (Twente), Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Brême).
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea), Igor De Camargo (B.Monchengladbach), Christian Benteke (Genk), Benjamin De Ceulaer (Lokeren), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiacos).

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Belgium squad to play the Netherlands

  1. Flor

    Continuation of the failed policies of the Leekens-era, as I feared when Wilmots was appointed. If Defour plays instead of Moussa Dembele we might as well give up. Simons getting the nod is dispiriting as well, but seems inevitable at this point.

  2. Jonas Scherrens

    Agreeing with Flor above, but it seems Defour is going to get a start. But the forward three continue the be a problem. Mertens and Chadli on the wings, Benteke center forward is just not good enough. De Bruyne should always be given a start, whereas Benteke should be chosen at the wings rather than in midfield. Upfront it still wouldn’t hurt to continue giving Lukaku a start. He never really disappointed with the Red Devils and is still the only hope in that position. Only if his loan this season doesn’t work out should other options be considered. In my opinion Vossen, who scores so easily and has good feet, or Benteke, who raised his game a lot the last half year. Wilmots should forget about De Camargo, Hazard or Mirallas as a central striker.

    Imo, the natural starters in midfield and attack should have been for quite a while now: Defour, Fellaini and Witsel and Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku

    The biggest problem for the Belgian team still lies with the fullbacks. Vandenborre on the right is top class, but he just can’t get his career on the right track. Alderweireld is the alternative but is a bit vulnerable with space in his back, never filling in there for Ajax. Gillet and Odoi are really not be considered. Another option could be to start Pocognoli on the right. He has good feet, is a specialist on this position and I believe he good do well.


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