Based on his two-plus seasons of performances for club and country, Kevin De Bruyne has earned the right to publicly voice his and his teammates’ frustrations — the unofficial players’ spokesman, if you will.
Thus, it would clearly behoove Belgium manager Roberto Martinez to have De Bruyne, Manchester City’s transcendent playmaker, firmly on his side a mere seven months before the 2018 World Cup. With that in mind, let’s check in on one of the trendier picks to triumph next summer, following Friday’s 3-3 friendly draw with Mexico — quotes from Goal.com:
“Mexico were just tactically better. Their system made our five defenders sit deep and we were swimming in midfield — it was five against seven.
“Look, we still put too much on our talents. As long as we don’t have a good tactical system, we will have difficulties against countries like Mexico. It’s a pity that we have not yet found a solution.
“Of course we play with a system that is in principle very defensive, but it is filled with many attacking players who want the ball.
“Then you have a bit of a problem, like against Mexico. It was a match in which we had very little possession and everyone in a system that doesn’t really fit. We now know that something must be changed against such teams.
“But, eventually. Martinez decides. I think the trainer has to find a solution so that we can avoid such situations as against Mexico in the future.”
Well, that’s not exactly ideal, but on the bright side, Martinez has proven
tactically flexible extremely stubborn and rigid while manager of Everton and Wigan. There’s probably very little to validate De Bruyne’s gripes.
Fortunately for De Bruyne, Martinez and Co., the Red Devils breezed through their qualification group as one of Europe’s four unbeaten sides (alongside Germany, Spain and England), thus the current international break — along with those closer to the World Cup in March and May/June — are meant to be used for experimentation and fine-turning.
Of course, said experimentation and fine-tuning must result in a handful of affirmative answers, otherwise you’ve really only managed to halt momentum and unbalance a side, which will inevitably prompt your star player to question your leadership in a public forum.
You stay you, Roberto.