There are no longer many opportunities to lubricate the machine. The diptych against Wales and the Netherlands will be the last big test for the Red Devils towards the World Cup. An important indicator? Peter Vandenbempt makes the assessment: “Revenge against Orange would give the nation peace of mind.”
The countdown clock is ticking faster and faster.
In less than two months the “World Cup of the last chance” for our Golden Generation will start. It makes the Nations League matches against Wales and the Netherlands – both soon also flying to Qatar – a particularly interesting evaluation moment.
“I would like to see the Red Devils dominate and control a match”, commentator Peter Vandenbempt opens. “And that that also translates into a limitation of the target danger by the opponent.”
That was a problem in the previous matches, Vandenbempt remembers well. “In Poland, the Belgians were actually in charge of the entire match, but they still gave away 3 or 4 open chances. Fortunately, they did not fall at the feet of Robert Lewandowski, but of teammates. Or the positive evaluation of the defense would have been completely different.”
You want to see something you can lean on, a kind of stability.
Certainly tonight against Wales, Vandenbempt is counting on a convincing performance: “Because that is not an opponent of the level of the countries that will soon have to be beaten. Think of Spain, Brazil and Portugal… Are our flanks good enough? And does it work with Dendoncker and Alderweireld centrally? You actually have to make those evaluations with a view to further rounds.”
As a result, the derby against the Netherlands in particular will be very exciting. “Certainly also for the national coach”, emphasizes Vandenbempt. “Louis van Gaal has stripped Roberto Martinez quite a bit after the previous match (when Belgium lost 1-4, ed.). Especially by announcing afterwards that he was convinced that the Netherlands would win, if his players take advantage of the indicated weaknesses.”
“Revenge would give the nation some peace of mind now. You want to see something you can lean on, a kind of stability.”
Alderweireld and Vertonghen during the disgrace against the Netherlands a few months ago.
And so the commenter wouldn’t experiment too much. “I would play against the Netherlands – not counting the injured Lukaku, of course – with the team that normally starts against Canada. Then you immediately know where you stand. Because now is the time to test someone like Debast? In principle, you know what such a person can do.”
If Hazard does not play at Real in the coming months, we must ask aloud whether he is still a basic player.
But what if the coming week becomes a hard reality check for the Devils? Then, according to Vandenbempt, we should not despair completely.
“Because in two months the world could look completely different. That’s how it works in football. Are we going to see the very best Lukaku in Qatar? And will Hazard still be playing at Real? If the latter is not the case, we must ask aloud whether he is still a basic player. Perhaps Trossard or Carrasco are more suitable.”