Marc Wilmots may have been one of the more successful Belgium national team head coaches ever, certainly in terms of winning percentages, but given the amount of talent available to him, the quarter-final finishes in both World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016 were largely looked at as disappointments. His departure after Belgium were eliminated in a shambolic display of defending and three goals conceded to Wales -- Hal Robson-Kanu is still without a team, mind you -- was hardly surprising.
His replacement was a bit more shocking, with former Everton manager, noted Jason Derulo fanatic, occasional nice guy on ESPN, and shower karaoke advocate Roberto Martinez taking over. His recently got himself an assistant coach as well, GIF-hero (and legend of world football) Thierry Henry.
All of you when you heard Thierry Henry had been appointed Belgium's assistant boss https://t.co/4EBE6uwwgw— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) August 26, 2016
Just in time for the first international break of the season! Martinez and Henry’s first Belgium squad looks pretty much like the usual Belgium squads, though the younger Hazard makes an appearance as well, alongside three Chelsea players, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, and Michy Batshuayi.
Belgium’s first match of the break will be against Spain, who also have a new head coach in Julen Lopetegui. He’s chosen to include Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta in his first squad, but not Cesc Fabregas or Pedro. The latter isn’t surprising, given his controversial comments at the Euros, but the Fabregas omission, just because he’s only started one Chelsea game so far this season seems a bit harsh.