It came as a surprise that Domenico Tedesco became the coach of the Belgian national football team. The expectations before his debut on Friday (03/24/2023) against Sweden are enormous – and four days later Germany is waiting.
Tedesco is definitely a very ambitious coach with international experience at the highest level, a broad knowledge and tactical ideas. That will probably be fully confirmed in his previous places of work, i.e. the youth departments of VfB Stuttgart and TSG Hoffenheim and in the professional teams of Erzgebirge Aue, FC Schalke, Spartak Moscow and RB Leipzig.
It is not known whether Tedesco had this confirmed in writing in job references, but it would certainly not have been detrimental to his new job. Because the Belgian association put this out for tender in a public application process in December, while the World Cup was still going on in Qatar.
Job advertisement published at “LinkendIn”.
The thing about the great ambition, the experience and the tactical knowledge in football was actually the content of this job advertisement, which the association first tweeted and then published on the professional network “LinkedIn”. The deadline for applications was January 10, 2023.
According to the requirements of the advertisement, the successor to Roberto Martínez, who is now responsible for the national team of Portugal after his crashing elimination from the preliminary round with the “Red Devils”, should also have experience in collecting “trophies in world-famous competitions” and in dealing with the ” best players in the world”. In addition to a certain satirical value, both also express very understandably what Tedesco’s predecessors all failed at.
Big titles with Belgium long overdue
Because Belgium, through skillful scheduling of friendlies and a large number of victories in the intervals between tournaments, has repeatedly appeared at number one in the FIFA world rankings over many years, the association apparently believed, and still does, that major titles are long overdue. However, this has never worked, neither on a global nor on a European level. Tedesco is now starting the next attempt in 2024 at the European Championships in Germany – that’s how long his contract is dated.
For Belgium, however, the first thing to do before the European Championship triumph is qualification. It starts on March 24th in Stockholm against Sweden, a game with groundbreaking effect. Qualifying group F is not easy, Austria, Azerbaijan and Estonia are the other contenders.
Axel Witsel sorted out
“We want to go to Germany, we want to go to the EM 2024“Tedesco made it clear in his inaugural speech, which of course is not surprising. But it was eagerly awaited which of the allegedly so many world-class players he would recruit for his goal – and who he would sort out.
“My opinion is that there is no such thing as young and old, only good or bad. We don’t have that much time for experiments“, Tedesco sent ahead of his first nomination. He then immediately rated a very prominent leader of the past decade as too bad. Axel Witsel, ex-Dortmunder and now under contract with Atlético Madrid, no longer plays a role in the European Championship qualification. Tedesco flew to Madrid, met with Witsel and informed him of his decision.
Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Simon Mignolet all resigned
The aging Eden Hazard and Toby Alderweireld voluntarily resigned in time, as did substitute goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. The only one left from the very old guard is 35-year-old central defender Jan Vertonghen, who now plays for RSC Anderlecht.
It is to be expected that in addition to the only real world-class players, Kevin De Bruyne von Manchester City and Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois in future AC Milan’s Charles De Ketelaere and Amadou Onana from FC Everton get more responsibility. Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku also remains a fixture. From the Bundesliga, Tedesco has nominated the two Wolfsburg players Koen Casteels and Sebastiaan Bornauw, as well as Dortmund’s permanent reserve Thomas Meunier and Hertha’s Dodi Lukebakio, who fluctuates weekly between top and flop.
“Attacking style of football with a lot of forward pressure”
Belgium’s general manager Peter Boassaert now wishes from Tedesco, who is said to have outdone ex-Leverkusener and Dortmunder Peter Bosz and the previous assistant coach Thierry Henry in a task force of the association, “An attacking style of football with a lot of forward pressure.“And that the new national coach should work full-time and know “how to win” was also part of the job advertisement.