Courtois, De Bruyne, Lukaku … why Martinez will not summon any executive in March

Invited in an RTBF program to discuss the news of the Belgian team, Roberto Martinez spoke of a surprising plan for the friendly matches of the Red Devils in March. The coach wants to leave his executives at rest and only retain players with less than 50 caps.

A little less than a year before the World Cup in Qatar, Roberto Martinez is already preparing for the post-2022. The Belgian coach sees himself in 2026 on the side of North America where the next World Cup will take place, as he explained on Monday in the RTBF show La Tribune. And to prepare now for the next World Cup but also the next one, the Spanish coach has an idea.

Four months after Belgium’s last matches, the Red Devils will meet again in March for the next rally to play two friendlies. A period that Martinez will allocate to selectable youngsters. « It will be an opportunity to develop players, not for 2022 but for 2026. It is a project on which we have been working for a long time. We will leave with players who could reach their best level in 2026 », he explains. .

Players with more than 50 capes will therefore not be welcome in selection next March. Exit Thibaut Courtois, Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Kevin de Bruyne or Dries Mertens, all selected in recent months. The objective for Martinez is to advance young people, who can help if necessary at the next World Cup in Qatar.

Rely on players born after 1998

« It’s important to take these players and give them the keys to the team », explains the Belgian coach who wants to focus on players « born after 1998 » and who offered several players a first selection since the Euro ( Arthur Theate, Charles de Ketelaere, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Dante Vanzeir) and recalled others who had known a few capes before 2021.

It is on these players that Martinez will rely on next March, before looking at the meetings of June and September which will precede the start of the World Cup in November. « In these six games (June and September, editor’s note), it will be a good opportunity to mix those who will have performed in March with those who have already proven everything in the Devils. This is when we go finalize the list for Qatar 2022 « , explains the Spaniard.

The idea is still surprising, when we know that due to tight deadlines, the selections will not be able to play friendly matches before the start of the World Cup on November 21. Preparation times for the teams will be limited and any opportunity appears good to work on the automatisms. But Martinez doesn’t seem overly worried.

The month of March to put executives to rest

The coach of the Red Devils mainly relied on the experience of the World Cup in Russia to make this choice. « In 2018, during the preparation for the World Cup in March, we made the decision not to call some experienced players and we had only played one game. Club experience has shown me that the rally in March is the most complicated for players who play all year round, ”said Martinez, former coach of Swansea, Wigan and Everton.

« This break in 2018 helped make us better in the seven games of the World Cup. It will be the same this year: we want to give our executives this mental and physical break to prepare them to be on top in December » , underlines the coach of the Red Devils.

Laisser un commentaire