Official Red Devils EURO 2024 thread

Discussion in 'Belgium' started by Blondo, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013

    First game of the qualis will take place on 24 March, away against Sweden, followed by a friendly against Germany. Tedesco will soon be confirmed as the new Belgium manager. Not exactly getting eased into the job but will be interesting to see if he can breathe life and drive into the team.
  2. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Van Tedesco wordt verwacht dat hij doorselecteert en de nationale ploeg verjongt. Dat is ook nodig, omdat hij als moderne coach zijn elftal druk laat zetten over het hele veld. Dat is niet echt haalbaar met de relatief oude groep onder Martinez op het voorbije WK.

    De bedoeling is een ploeg te bouwen in functie van draaischijf Kevin De Bruyne. De bondstop zou onder de indruk geweest zijn van Tedesco's kennis van het Belgisch voetbal en vooral zijn inzicht in het opkomende talent.

    In zijn voordeel spreekt een verleden als talentopleider.
    - DeTijd

    Over these qualis I do want see if he:

    - indeed trusts young talents/rejuvenates the team
    - can make KDB be more decisive for country and help others to surpass their own capacities/limits
    - gets us to play at a higher tempo and intensity
    - deploys a more effective press (+ prepares our players better for the opponent's press)
    - addresses our dead-ball issues (need to improve at both ends of the pitch)
    - reinvigorates our approach play

    Tedesco is ook niet zomaar te linken aan het 'volgaspressievoetbal' waarmee Leipzig furore maakt als een van de best gerunde clubs van Europa. Hij is niet te beroerd om de boel achterin dicht te gooien als hij de ploeg niet heeft voor aanvallend combinatievoetbal.

    I'm in favor of a pragmatic approach. As Tedesco prefers to play dominant attacking football when possible I don't expect to be bored to tears but in the end results matter and an ugly win is still a win. Tactically I doubt it'll be a seismic shift. Excited to see what he has planned and with any luck everything comes together quickly.
  3. nurvin

    nurvin Member

    Feb 11, 2011
    Name your 26 men squad for 2024. Mine would be this: (age is referred to June 2024)

    Thibaut Courtois (32)
    Koen Casteels (31)
    Maarten Vandevoordt (22)

    Thomas Meunier (32)
    Timothy Castagne (28)

    Toby Alderweireld (35)
    Wout Faes (26)
    Sebastiaan Bornauw (25)
    Zeno Debast (20)

    Arthur Theate (24)
    Daam Foulon (25)

    Leander Dendoncker (29)
    Amadou Onana (22)
    Bryan Heynen (27)
    Youri Tielemans (27)

    Kevin De Bruyne (c) (32)
    Charles De Ketelaere (23)
    Yari Verschaeren (22)

    Alexis Saelemaekers (24)
    Thorgan Hazard (31)
    Yorbe Vertessen (23)
    Leandro Trossard (29)
    Jérémy Doku (22)

    Romelu Lukaku (31)
    Michy Batshuayi (30)
    Hugo Cuypers (27)

    Possible lineup:

    ----------De Ketelaere---------De Bruyne----------
    Belgian guy and Blondo repped this.
  4. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    I'd go for the same goalies as you, @nurvin Migs looking at retirement and it's a good time to start blooding in Vandevoordt. Wouldn't put him in goal right away (against Germany, Sweden and Rangnick's Austria) but later the qualis do offer opportunities to ease him in or at least let him get settled in the squad.

    I'm not that keen on a back 4. With our defense we need the numerical advantage of a 3atb and we aren't exactly blessed with great fullbacks. Castagne is the only decent starter. For cover I'd go with Foket over Meunier (the latter has been woeful). And the other Reims fullback, De Smet, or De Cuyper on the left. That's pretty light on that flank too but playing Theate out of position isn't ideal either.

    OTOH we do have plenty of CBs that have experience playing in a 3atb plus Tedesco tends to use a 3 or 5 man backline. Faes, Alderweireld and Theate are my preferred starters. Debast and Bornauw providing cover is plenty considering Dendoncker can do a good job as back-up. A handful of others could compete for places/add depth in qualis, for example De Winter is getting more minutes.

    Tedesco doesn't always opt for a double pivot. Expecting to see quite a bit of variation. KDB, Tielemans and Onana are nailed-on inclusions but others have plenty to prove at their clubs. CDK has been struggling since his big move, Dendoncker not playing that much, ... Plenty of games before EURO2024 and due to injuries/form you need an extended list to pick from anyway. A lot can change by the time the EUROs start and hard to tell who'll be in form then (e.g. hoping CDK has turned things around). Lavia, Mangala and/or Lokonga could very well up their game. Add to that the likes of Arne Engels, Verschaeren, Vranckx, Trésor, Matazo, Raskin, Vermeeren, ...

    Wingbacks: Castagne, Foket and/or Saelemaekers, Carrasco, T.Hazard and if you need more depth a few wingers could provide it. Samoise, VDBrempt and/or De Cuyper could also be tested.

    Possibly we'll go with two strikers in some games. Besides Lukaku, Batshuayi, Openda, Origi, etc. you could also use Trossard, Lukebakio, CDK, Vertessen and so on. Wouldn't mind playing with young, pacy wingers either. Doku, Ngonge, Ramazani, Trésor, Bakayoko, Balikwisha, Duranville, ... could compete for places with the others. Again, they have to perform for their clubs first to earn call-ups.

    I very much doubt all these kiddies will come good, none would be even weirder, hopefully a few that didn't get a mention come good as well.

    Not that bothered about the shape, something along the lines of:

  5. pindal

    pindal Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Not sure Lukaku is going to be the future striker of the squad. After the injury he seems another player and is struggling to come back to his fitness.
  6. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    He has build up a fair bit of credit for country, Belgium's all-time top scorer after all, and hoping he'll also fight his way back at club level. Against city rivals Milan he could have had a goal and an assist (both disallowed). He looks strong (and the sliding finish was nice too).


    I'm more worried about two of Belgium's biggest attacking talents, CDK and Doku. Must be patient with them as they're quite young. Mertens OTOH is doing very well, helping his side to the title in Turkey. The old guard, that also includes an in-form Vertonghen, shouldn't be shown the exit door overhastily. They still have a role to play. At the very least you need depth to get through an entire cycle and for the sake of continuity they can help guide the younger players.
  7. nurvin

    nurvin Member

    Feb 11, 2011
    Lukaku will definitely come back at his level. The doubt would be who will be the choice behind him: Batshuayi has always been a very good backup, but now also Cuypers is doing pretty well; then there also the likes of Origi, Openda etc., but i see them behind the other two.
  8. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

    Club Brugge
    Aug 19, 2002
    Club Brugge KV
    I think both of Onana and Lavia need to be added to the midfield by Euro 2024.
    With KDB as the third guy. Courtois obviously in goal. Not sure about the backline.
    The Faes-Theate-Alderweireld backline that people are proposing seems especially vulnerable.
    Up front there are lots of good options.

    I also hope some Jupiler Pro League youngsters get a chance. Definitely Trésor. Maybe also Vermeeren. And promising kids abroad like Bakayoko. Doku is already part of the set-up when healthy.
  9. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    16 November is the only date left open. Serbia would be the strongest UEFA side available for a friendly. All the top teams will be playing qualis but Serbia deffo are a quality sparring partner to prepare for the Euros. Ukraine the next best opponent. Would have preferred to get a test v. Germany at the end of qualifying instead of at the start (so use the March friendly to experiment in the beginning of this cycle and play Germany in November to check where the team is at the end of the qualis/in view of the upcoming Euros). Hey-ho we played Spain when Martinez just took over and now with a German manager in charge we'll face Germany in our first friendly.

  10. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    After Eden, Alderweireld is the second one since the World Cup to retire from the international game. Pains me to see you go Toby.

    nurvin and Belgian guy repped this.
  11. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    #11 Blondo, Mar 18, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2023

    Courtois (Real Madrid)
    Casteels (Wolfsburg)
    Sels (Strasbourg)
    Kaminski (Blackburn)

    Logically, Casteels moves up a place after Mig's retirement. And two others battling it out for the 3rd spot. Guessing Vandevoordt is staying with U21s for EURO2023 (+ to qualify for Paris2024 Olympics).


    Vertonghen (Anderlecht)
    Debast (Anderlecht)
    Faes (Leicester)
    Theate (Rennes)
    Bornauw (Wolfsburg)

    Tedesco reportedly tried to convince Alderweireld to stay on but getting injured in the Belgian Cup might have been the final straw for Toby to call time. Debast is still very young but works with Vertonghen day in/out at club level; either Debast or Faes alongside Vertonghen; and Theate as the leftsided CB in a 3ATB. A pity De Winter lost his spot in Empoli's starting line-up but last game he was in again (needed at the U21s anyway).


    KDB (Manchester City)
    Onana (Everton)
    Lavia (Southampton)
    Mangala (Nottingham)
    Praet (Leicester)
    Castagne (Leicester)
    Meunier (Dortmund)
    Saelemaekers (AC Milan)

    Tielemans wasn't called up due to injury. The same applies to T.Hazard, I guess (didn't get a mention but not much LWB depth). Carrasco or Doku could take care of that flank (Castagne has been moved over but prefers to play on the right). Witsel, Vanaken, Heynen and Dendoncker not getting picked over the others makes sense. Mind you Onana, Lavia and Mangala have plenty to prove for club and country but the raw talent is there, somewhat unpolished. Praet is more or less questionable yet he's a versatile option from the bench and like Saelemaekers he's very industrious. Meunier, an even bigger ? currently, keeps out Foket or Samoise (not that bothered tbqh; the latter needed at U21); Castagne to start and Saelemaekers can be moved up/down a line.


    Carrasco (Atlético Madrid)
    Doku (Rennes)
    CDK (AC Milan)
    Trossard (Arsenal)
    Lukebakio (Hertha Berlin)
    Openda (Lens)
    Lukaku (Inter Milan)

    Carrasco, Trossard and Doku were ahead of Trésor; missed out this time because of stiff competition and a lean squad according to Tedesco (and if Doku can't play he might still get a call-up). KDB, Saelemaekers or Praet can also be moved up a line. Mertens left out because of competition for places as well. Even if he didn't get injured Batsman wouldn't have made the cut; leaving him out isn't entirely unwarranted despite Michy chipping in goals.

    On the whole hard to complain much. Minor gripes, if any, and the rejuvenation process has begun. The defense is extremely young, except Vertonghen. And so far Theate has left the best impression on me that he can build a successful career (a real shame Vanheusden is perma-injured). Quite a lot of players that are eligible for the U21 EURO2023 (+/- Olympics) squad: Debast, Theate, Onana, Lavia, CDK, Doku and Openda. Lavia to make his debut as full international and only Verschaeren left out who has already done so among the remaining U21s. A case could be made for a handful of others. But, as is, hardly anybody left in the U21s to compete in the EURO this summer (already have to face one of the host nations, Portugal and Holland in the groups).
  12. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

    Club Brugge
    Aug 19, 2002
    Club Brugge KV
    Bakayoko should have gotten a call-up too.

    CDK and Praet also make no sense if playing-time and form at the club matter.
    At least in the case of Meunier he plays a position where there are few other options.
  13. nurvin

    nurvin Member

    Feb 11, 2011
    #13 nurvin, Mar 22, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2023
    He has been called to replace the injured Doku

    De Ketelaere makes sense imho, he is young and he needs to be regularly in the squad to get self-confidence. Praet is questionable also for me, but he is not a bad player.

    That's a surprise, because imho the only player who could take Batshuayi's spot was Hugo Cuypers. I think that Cuypers deserved a call-up, especially if Batsman is injured, it's not a case if he is the top scorer of the Pro League, and he still keeps netting goals.
    Yorbe Vertessen is another player who is missing from this list and who could have been called up.
  14. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    With the inclusion of Bakayoko we're now at 8 players that are eligible for the U21 EURO2023 (+/- Olympics) squad; 9 if you also count Verschaeren, who's already capped. The others are Debast, Theate, Onana, Lavia, CDK, Doku (returned to his club) and Openda. Tedesco only had to call up 3 more to field an all U21 team, e.g. Vandevoordt, De Winter and Samoise (could even replace the injured Doku with De Cuyper and put him on the left flank).

    -----------De Winter-----Debast-----Theate---------------------
    Samoise-----------Onana---Lavia-------Doku/De Cuyper

    U21 EUROs and Olympics offer valuable tournament experience. The team that did so well in Beijing2008 germinated into the best one in Belgium's history. I hope to see some of these guys in the U21s this summer.
  15. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

    Club Brugge
    Aug 19, 2002
    Club Brugge KV
    The result was good but I am glad that Tedesco said that there was a lot of work left to be done to improve the performance.

    Our defense again looked shaky at times. Against an opponent that isn't very dangerous.

    The positive is that we did finish our chances at a very high ratio.
  16. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

    Club Brugge
    Aug 19, 2002
    Club Brugge KV
    Just a friendly but first victory vs. Germany in 69 years and first victory against Germany in Germany in 113!!! years.
  17. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Fvck me, those first 30' were exhilarating. Germans lucky to be let off the hook, Lukebakio with only the goalie to beat for example, and we had plenty more big chances. Have to hand it to the Germans, they kept at it for 95 minutes; really good intensity; couldn't tell that it was in fact a friendly. The first half hour the Germans got completely and utterly played off the mat by a very young Belgium side; basically Belgium's U21 team saw out the game. In one window Tedesco brought a lot of the excitement back that had been waning since that mouth-watering display in the 2018 World Cup.

    Tedesco only had 4 training sessions to prepare for his first double header. Keen to see how it'll develop over a full cycle with the climax at EURO2024 (and hopefully playing in venues close to the border again). Fullbacks have been a ball-ache for decades. Playing Theate or, especially, Saelemaekers out of position isn't the solution; even Castagne struggled. The CBs acquitted themselves well (still regret Alderweireld's decision but we'll have to manage without him helping guide the youngsters into senior defenders). Onana already plays such a big part at such a young age. Carrasco did a great job and if Doku can stay healthy he'd have a ball under Tedesco. Lukebakio tends to undulate but had players that did so in the golden gen. Hoping Bakayoko's development goes smoothly (mind you, he already didn't look out of place). Expecting KDB to leave his mark on the game far more often in a positive way. Lukaku left his woes at Inter, Trossard otoh has shown he can do better. All-in-all a massive first step; players more eager to show up and buy into Tedesco's plans; 3-0 with a fresh side that had trained together for only 2 sessions in Tedesco's maiden and on paper most difficult game; pretty important with a view to get good seeding in the final event (and Rangnick having turned Austria around after getting a big headstart on Tedesco).

    TBF Belgium and Germany don't play each other all that often (26 games in total; most of them eons ago; only 5 in the last 3 decades).

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