As we mentioned yesterday, Thibaut Courtois, who usually cuts a fairly silent figure on the pitch, is showing signs of developing some (more vocal) leadership abilities. Unfortunately, not many appreciated him practicing and asserting said skills in front of the media after Belgium's 3-1 friendly win over Iceland, when he (and Kevin De Bruyne as well) called out some of their teammates over what they perceived as lazy play.
Yesterday, the technical director of the Belgian FA called these comments unnecessary, adding that "these are technical issues that we [should] leave to the coach." In fairness, speaking soon after the Iceland match last week, Wilmots didn't think the comments were a big deal -- in stark contrast to calling out Eden Hazard for choosing an "inefficient" rabona against Wales over the following weekeend.
"What Thibaut saw, I've also seen. Too many players were initially thought to attack instead of defend, and we left too much space. It is not just the fault of Nicolas Lombaerts and Toby Alderweireld, but the whole team. We attack and defend together. Thibaut (Courtois) is a perfectionist and everything has not gone the way he wanted. But it was a friendly match. I'm sure my players will not lose their concentration after 75 minutes in a crucial match. In short, it's much ado about nothing."
-Marc Wilmots; source: 7sur7 via Google Translate
Validated or not, it's still poor form to call out your own teammates in public. Appropriately, Courtois did see the error of his ways, and admitted as much the next day.
"I should not react so fast because I was still full of adrenaline after the [game]..."
"As a goalkeeper you [do] not like to concede goals. The goal is like a house that you want to protect, even in friendlies . I understand that such games must to try things, but because we also gave away too much space. The last quarter was not good and some tasks were not performed... [but] it was on the whole team."
-Thibaut Courtois; source: HLN via Google Translate
Hopefully the Belgian FA can move on now as well.