Review Belgium-Netherlands: Boyata was narrowly worse than VTM

After an evening full of ‘issues’ and clumsy name changes, the scoreboard was not happy after the 128th derby of the Low Countries. Belgium had a blast against the Netherlands: 1-4.

Jan Hauspie

However, it started well for the Red Devils. Roberto Martinez had Romelu Lukaku cleverly pulled away from the center and placed him on the right side. There he could Nathan Ake make life miserable and he avoided having to fight with Virgil van Dijk, which is surely one of the world’s strongest defenders. ‘Remarkable’, had Gilles De Bilde seen it right right away, while commentator next to him Jan Dewijngaert his chair was still swiveling to the correct height.

Unfortunately, before half an hour, Martínez’s plan had to be thrown in the trash. Lukaku knocked Ake over, after which he hit Lukaku’s ankle in his fall and the attacker was left lying dead for footballers. Exit Lukaku, mainly thanks to himself. ‘You can feel the disappointment among the Belgian fans’, I heard on Dutch television while zapping. I did not get that information from VTM, where Dewijngaert spoke remarkably often about ‘issues’ at Orange. It would be his catchphrase of the evening.

In the meantime, it was really the Red Devils who had a few issues. It quickly became a bit much for Dewijngaert: ‘I haven’t kept up with it, but I think this is the first corner kick for the Red Devils’, he confessed at a certain point. The corner kick led in the first goal, but then on the other side: 0-1 via Steven Bergwijn† ‘That will be a bit of a mess’, the VTM commentator promptly switched to a Dutch accent. No, the Red Devils weren’t just in need of a holiday.

About the klutz of the evening, they agreed halfway through the game at the analysis table: Dedryck Boyata† “If you have to go to the World Cup with Bayota, you are lost in advance,” he scrambled Jan Mulder a bit clumsy his name. That was contagious, because then Maarten Breckx talking about ‘Boyota’. A variant that Ruud Vormer Then again, because after the match there was a pretty embarrassing 1-4 for Belgium on the scoreboard, he was more than happy to break a lance for his teammate at Club Brugge: ‘With all due respect, but when I see that Boyota you can play too Brandon Mechele to make.’

The second half had started with two new players in the Belgian squad: Dries Mertens and Amadou Onana† ‘We’ll see for whom,’ Dewijngaert had kept the tension under. On the field, however, that tension quickly disappeared: 0-4 after 65 minutes. The second goal in particular exposed Belgium’s vulnerability: Boyata made a mistake, and Toby Alderweireld nor Jan Vertonghen could straighten it out. Marc Degryse knocked – predictably, but rightly – on the same nail he has been tapping for so long, a little cynically this time: ‘Our friends Jan and Toby are not getting any younger and faster.’

Mulder thought he had already found the solution: Hannes Delcroix, the Anderlecht defender who was already played by Martínez before his serious injuries. “Lacroix,” he said, even though it really is Delcroix. Bayoto, Lacroix – trop is too much and as good as Raymond Goethals it never gets any sweeter. It was played sloppiness at best, irritating laziness at worst and in that case completely in line with the performance of the Red Devils.

Mulder was also strict with Martínez, who he almost demanded that he “stop drafting people who are not suitable for the national team.” It was the only time that the name of Eden Hazard fell. The good listener heard a reference to it Louis van Gaal in, the Dutch national team coach who Georginio Wijnaldum at home, which would have caused a small storm in the Netherlands, because after all, Wijnaldum plays for PSG. However, anyone who does not perform, no matter how big his name and fame, will not come to Van Gaal.

In the meantime, the umbrellas had been pulled open at the analysis table, because it had started to rain in Brussels. Zapping away to the NOS one last time I saw Rafael van der Vaart and Pierre van Hooijdonck chatting happily in a dry studio with a view of the shiny spheres of the Atomium. ‘We came on all affront shortage’, Degryse concluded with the most beautiful statement of the evening, leaving it open whether he meant the Red Devils or his other colleagues with a microphone in front of them.

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