All's not well in House of T-BO.
A disappointing club season, for perhaps the first time in his playing career, both personally in terms of injuries and form, and professionally in terms of team results had him hoping that he could at least achieve something great with Belgium at Euro 2016. Alas, that dream came crashing down on Friday as well, with a 3-1 elimination loss to a well organized and resolute Wales side.
"It's the biggest disappointment of my career and I've played in the final of the Champions League."
"We started the game well -- we created two or three chances and we got the goal. But afterwards we fell back into our half, we left too much space and we couldn't hit back. Wales had more chances than us and were more dangerous. They controlled the match and we felt like we couldn't create any chances."
Courtois wasn't exactly jumping to his manager's defense when it came to questions about Marc Wilmots, whose tactics once again proved a major weakness to Belgium's ambitions.
"This was an opportunity we may not get again. I gave him my opinion in the dressing room. He has to make his own decision."
"I pointed the finger where it had to be put after the game. We have to remain intelligent. We're young and we're going to still spend a lot of time together. But it's a disappointment because we had a golden chance to go to the final."
-Thibaut Courtois; source: ESPN
Wilmots, who for some reason didn't immediately resign, fired back.
"Courtois was frustrated after a poor season with Chelsea. His dream of winning a trophy is gone."
-Marc Wilmots; source: ESPN
Coach and player are probably both correct. This was a devastating result for Belgium's "golden generation" and somebody has to take responsibility. That Wilmots hadn't immediately resigned is baffling to me, but if Courtois truly wanted to throw his national team head coach under the bus, he could've and would've said far more incendiary things to the media.
The young Chelsea goalkeeper has managed to acquire a bit of a reputation already when it comes to comments to media, and this won't help that. But he's not wrong. He may be a bit too outspoken, and often a bit too "realistic" (such as when it comes to denying transfer rumors), but he's not wrong. Neither is Wilmots, in all likelihood, but there is only one outcome here. Surely, Belgium's tremendous collection of sparkling talent deserves a similarly talented coach, no?
Once everybody calms down, they'll hug it out and be on their merry ways. Or they won't. Nowhere is it written that everybody has to get along, or that Courtois has to get along with every coach (see: Lollichon, if rumors are to be believed). As long as he keeps goal for Chelsea as excellently as we know he can — and he was, one dodgy cross aside, quite good against Wales — I doubt we'll care too much.