Belgium are now like England also looking for a new manager for their national side after Marc Wilmots announced his decision to step down. The 47 year old was at the helm for 4 years but after a Euro 2016 tournament that didn’t quite live up to expectations he has bought his time to an end.
After only managing to reach the Quarter Finals and suffering defeat to hands of Wales the pressure was beginning to mount for Wilmots. Many felt that this was the perfect opportunity for Belgium to land their first ever major tournament win.
Going into the tournament they were for many one of the favourites especially with the amount of talent they had at their disposal, they were considered Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ but as England fans will attest to ‘Golden Generations’ rarely live up to the hype.
It didn’t also help Belgium that Wilmots was tactically inept at times. Maybe people wondered before Jan Vertonghen was injured halfway through the competition why he wasn’t paired up with Toby Alderweireld at Centre Back. A partnership that was so impressive for Tottenham last season.
They could have slotted in perfectly and hit the ground running, it’s hard to get a solid centre back partnership at international level due to infrequency of matches but here was one staring Wilmots in the face and he refused to use it. You only have to look at Italy’s backline and the fact that Gianluigi Buffon had his three Juventus teammates ahead of him to see how effective familiarity can be.
Another problem that besieged Wilmots was the fact that the squad was never particularly a harmonious one. There was always the undercurrent of tension there due to the clique’s that are formed between the French and Flemish speaking factions of the squad. But that has always been a long standing one and only when that can truly be resolved will Belgium be a real international superpower.
The question is who will be the next man to try and bring the squad together and finally turn the potential into success. That man could very well be Louis Van Gaal, after the Dutchman was sacked by Manchester United in May it seems his footballing exodus may be not such a long one.
Van Gaal went on record to say he is looking to retire soon but he could very well be tempted by a top international management role due to the fact that he won’t have to deal with the demands that club management brings.
The only stumbling block may be Van Gaal’s wage demands he certainly won’t come cheap so it depends on whether the Belgian F.A. will want to break the bank or whether they feel they can get a cheaper, I guess we will have to watch this space.