Hear Me Roar

Hopefully, the song of the moment on Tuesday won’t be “The Rains of Castamere”.

I love Belgium – let me say that up front.  They have the best beer, the best chocolate, the best frites and the best waffles in the world – and any country that can say that is OK in my book.  Bruges (or Brugge – in Belgium, that’s quite the significant dichotomy) is one of my favorite cities in the world.  They call it “The Venice of the North” – a spectacular old walled city, once the richest in Europe, stranded in the past when its harbor silted up and commerce packed up and left.  The Belgian people appreciate the finer things in life, and their country is possibly the most underrated in Europe as a travel destination.

Miserable, fat Belgian bastards (thank you, Carol).

For one day at least, they’re all Lannisters to me.  Perhaps the fact that in soccer the world’s greatest superpower is a mouse, and a tiny nation of 11 million a lion that makes the game so fascinating – and makes me such a passionate supporter of the USMNT.  In soccer, we’re House Reed or House Seaworth (though hopefully not House Reyne) and not expected to pose any threat to the great houses.

Belgium’s roster reads like a Premier League all-star team, and they have other stars from across the great leagues of Europe.  But in truth, Belgium is considered a second-tier football power – this is in fact the first World Cup in which a Belgian team was widely expected to pose a threat to go deep.  They’re ranked 11th in the Soccer Power Index, 12th in the Elo rankings, 8th in FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup projections.  Their matchup against the U.S. was considered the second-most evenly matched among the eight Round of 16 games behind Costa-Rica Greece (which ended in penalties), with Belgium being projected a 59% favorite by FiveThirtyEight.  Incidentally, those projections have correctly picked the winner in all four games that have been played so far.

If this game were viewed strictly on individual talent, Belgium would be a far more prohibitive favorite.  But despite winning all three of their group stage matches, they weren’t especially impressive.  If the USA was in the “Group of Death” Belgium was in the “Group of a Mild Cold” – Algeria, Russia and South Korea hardly representing the best the soccer world has to offer.  The general consensus is that they don’t gel very well as a unit, and that coach Marc Wilmots is not an especially astute tactician.  They have several players playing out of position, play a generally conservative style despite having as much flair across the pitch as any team in the field, and have had to fall back on the quality of their stars to save them.  But save them they have – and they have so much quality.

If the Americans have a chance in this game, it’s generally believed to rely largely on this disjointed quality of the Belgian squad.  It’s broadly felt that Jurgen Klinsmann will outcoach Wilmots (he’ll have to).  In addition, the Belgian side is dealing with several injuries, and the USMNT does have an advantage in terms of World Cup experience.  The American side is also generally believed to be fitter – some feel they’re the fittest side in the field.  But even so, we’re definitely the underdogs here.

Belgium has several injury issues, some of which will likely remain unsettled right up until game time.  The most significant of these are starting left back Thomas Vermaelen, the Arsenal captain (hamstring) and Belgium and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (groin), center-back.  Both are game-time decisions, and Kompany seems especially crucial – he’s the heart and soul of his squad, the glue that holds them together.  Belgium was already starting center backs at both fullback positions and seemed vulnerable on the wings (they have injury issues here, too).  Fortunately for them they have 22 year-old Thibaut Courtois in goal, the finest goalkeeper of his generation who led Atletico Madrid all the way to the Champions League final.  They also have a dizzying array of attacking firepower, with the likes of Eden Hazard and the thus-far wildly underperforming Romelu Lukaku – who might conceivably be benched in favor of 19 year-old striker Divock Origi.

So then, as ever, it’s on Jurgen Klinsmann to push the right buttons to make this work.  One thing can be said for certain – the Americans were unimpressive against Germany.  It was on short rest after playing in the hellish nightmare of Manaus, and had the look of a game the U.S. simply wanted to end in a scoreless draw.  But excuses aside, the U.S. has been terrible in certain aspects against their admittedly brutal draw – 31st of 32 teams in both possession and chances created. That simply won’t work against Belgium – they have too much quality to allow them to dominate the ball and pick you apart at leisure.  They appear to me to have some of the same weaknesses as Portugal – vulnerability to speed on the wings and, if Kompany can’t go, in central defense.  It so happens the Portugal game was by far the Americans’ best performance, so hopefully that’s a good sign.

Some of Klinsman’s lineup decisions are straightforward – does he go with Omar Gonzales again after his strong effort against Germany, or back to Geoff Cameron (I would go to Cameron, preferring his mobility and worrying about Omar’s tendency for gaffes)?  And then there’s Jozy Altidore, the holding striker who’s been out after pulling his hamstring against Ghana.  He appears to be close to returning, but it’s a huge gamble to start him, running the risk of needing to sub him out early.  Likewise, though, if you use him as a sub late and he pulls up lame, you might end up having to play a man down.  The betting here is that Jozy doesn’t start, which will leave Klinsmann with familiar tough decisions about how to generate some possession and a few chances.

I still like the idea I suggested against Portugal – Aron Johannsson as a withdrawn forward and Clint Dempsey as a true striker.  Jurgen seemingly doesn’t, which likely means Dempsey as a lone striker again, and that the help he desperately needs will have to come from midfield.  Conventional wisdom is that Graham Zusi and Alejandro Bedoya will both start (after his dismal effort against Germany Brad Davis isn’t even in the conversation), but if Klinsmann is willing to be bold he has midfield options – speedy DeAndre Yedlin or crafty Mix Diskerud, the 23 year-old Norwegian-American who’s yet to play.  It hasn’t been Klinsmann’s nature to be bold, but to me this is a situation that calls for it.  Our best chance is to try and place Belgium under pressure, exploit their weak links and see how they respond.  A conservative, pragmatic approach will make Belgium feel relaxed and comfortable – exactly what we should not want to happen.

Both Yedlin – who’s played quite well as a sub in the last two matches – and Diskerud offer unique possibilities.  Yedlin is quite simply fast – he and Fabian Johnson streaking up the wings all day could pose Belgium real problems.  Yedlin is young and inexperienced, and Klinsmann may be wary of turning a match with a high-powered opponent into a track meet – but this World Cup has showed us that Wilmot is more comfortable in a slog.  As for Diskerud, he would actually be my first choice.  He’s a natural fit below Dempsey – a technically strong player who can hold the ball and be a creator, the closest thing to a true #10 the USMNT has.  With the roster omissions Klinsmann made, Diskerud is really our only option to do those things – and he plays for a strong team in Rosenborg, the best in Norway.  This is the roster Jurgen Klinsmann chose – now the onus is on him to show some courage and use it to its best advantage.

In the final analysis, I believe this game is winnable for the USMNT, with the key being to play on the Phlegm’s uncertainty about their own identity and lack of World Cup experience by making them as uncomfortable as possible.  But I can’t pick against Belgium when the difference in skill is as profound as it is – quality has a way of winning out when the gap is this wide.  I believe this will be a close game, and that the first goal will probably win it – which is another reason I hope Jurgen isn’t saving his firepower to make desperation moves late if his team is trailing.  Belgium is good, but we could have done a lot worse – this is a great opportunity for us, just as going up against Ghana for the right to play a beatable Uruguayan side was in 2010.  Hopefully we can take advantage of that opportunity this time – in truth, that’s the reason a coach of Jurgen Klinsmann’s stature was brought on-board in the first place.  It’s been a good World Cup for the USMNT – here’s hoping they go out on Tuesday and turn it into a great one.

“If the U.S. can retain their organization and focus, make better decisions moving forward and improve their set-piece execution, they could nick this simply by channeling the same Syrio Forel-esque Game of Thrones spirit: “There is only one god and his name is Group of Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: Not today.” 


 – Roger Bennett

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35 comments

  1. m

    I can't believe how slow Germany is looking. They are not doing well against Algeria. This bodes well for France's chance at the semis.

    I believe we are the best conditioned team in the world, and historically that's been our only advantage. We will never be as natural with the ball as other countries who have players who grew up playing nothing but soccer, so we go with conditioning. Not a bad strategy overall, and certainly made better by having Klinsmann as the coach. I think a good part of the reason that no European team has ever won in south America is the heat. They aren't used to the weather and lack the conditioning needed to play at their absolute best. I think having Klinsmann brings an aspect to American soccer that we've never had, and I think if it weren't for our weak soccer history, we'd be getting more credit than we are. We might have had one of the lowest possession rates, but that kind of stat is meaningless. That can be countered by saying why haven't we given up that many goals, or why did we move on from the group of doom? The facts are Belgium and the US are similarly ranked, maybe Belgium is a little better on paper, but we've seen how much that has mattered this WC. We have been playing better as a team, have a better coach, and better conditioning for this awful heat. As you said, their weaknesses are Portugal's, and if we don't make sloppy mistakes we should be able to win this without needing luck. We aren't a worse TEAM than Belgium, they have better PLAYERS, but that means nothing to your TEAM. I think when the dust settles we move on and then it becomes about stopping Messi. Well hopefully anyway, there's no guarantee that we win, and it's not as if Belgium is bad, but I don't consider us underdogs. I feel like even 59-41 is hardly an advantage one way or another. That's barely better than betting red or black in roulette. I feel like favorite or underdog implies that it's far less of a toss up and more of a 75-25 kind of thing.

  2. 4 goals surrendered in 3 games is really nothing to brag about, if you want to crow about something. Belgium gave up 1, and that was on a dubious penalty.

  3. m

    That's why just throwing out base stats is often misleading. You can find stats to justify almost any reasonable argument in sports. It's not about what was given up, but more of how they played and how their opponents played. 7a3ee4cc….(really long name btw) made an excellent point about the first two matches Belgium played. They did not look like a team to fear in those games, and won essentially on luck and individual quality (much like your argument as to why Argentina isn't a team to be greatly feared). I agree 100% that none of that matters at the end of the day because they won. Winning is literally the only thing that matters, especially in an elimination game. But Belgium has not looked like an elite team despite having elite names all over their roster. They haven't looked so bad as to think that this is an absolute easy victory for the US, I never said that, I only said that Belgium isn't so much better than the US to think that if they play their best, that they have a guaranteed win.

  4. m

    Btw I'm gad you are covering the WC. Even though I disagree with you on a lot of stuff, and we seem to like much different teams, I always enjoy arguing world cup soccer with people, so it's been fun.

  5. 7

    Fun read. My take on it: I agree with 99% of your initial observations, but I vastly disagree on your main point regarding the approach Klinsmann should implement.

    Algeria successfully stifled Belgium for 70 min by playing a cohesive, compact low defensive block (ie. 'they parked the bus'). They were actually one goal ahead before Hazard's genius briefly turned this game on its head, and Mertens scored the winner from a wonderful pass from Hazard on the counter. Russia has been a pragmatic, counter-attacking side for a good while now, Capello's appointment amplified this quality. Belgium only managed to break the deadlock 2 minutes from time. In these two games, even though they had won, Belgium looked utterly poor because they were forced to play a style they weren't accustomed to. Being proactive and reliable in possession is not something they can do. They only won those 2 games thanks to individual quality and their fair share of 'luck' (huge effect on non-league tournaments). By that time, the qualification was in the bag and the top spot was practically assured, so they rested their key players against South Korea.

  6. 7

    Belgium is a team that performs to its full potential on the counter-attack, and here's why:
    1) Speed. Belgium has lots of pace with Hazard, Mirallas, Mertens, Lukaku… You press Belgium in midfield and they'll rip you apart in a few seconds.
    2) No true fullbacks. They've resorted to playing centre-backs (Vertonghen and Alderweireld) out of position. Those two are fairly comfortable on the ball, but don't offer the dynamism that is vital for modern fullbacks. No dynamism means no overlapping, no overlapping means no stretching the defense and no giving the opposing defenders more to think about, which makes keeping the offensive players out of the game much easier.
    3) Striker situation. Lukaku cannot play in a proactive side at the moment. Despite his physical attributes, he cannot play as a target-man because he doesn't have the touch or movement, nor does he have the passing ability to keep offensive moves flowing. His jumping ability is remarkable (he truly is an impressive physical specimen), but his timing and reading of crosses still is underdeveloped. All these defaults make him a pretty terrible option in a possession-based side. He's accustomed to playing on the shoulder of a defender, sprinting past him and using his incredible strength to outmuscle anyone who catches up with him. Origi's style is much more suited to a proactive side, which isn't particularly surprising since he's a product of Lille's academy, but he is much rawer than Lukaku and can't be relied on to lead a World Cup team.
    4) De Bruyne playing style. Players have patterns. The favorite pattern of Belgium's #10 (in position, not shirt number) is to move the ball directly to a player in a better position. He treats the ball as a hot potato and gets rid of it as soon as he identifies the situation, which is absolutely remarkable for a player of his age. This direct quality would be best used in a counter-attacking set-up.
    5) The most important point. Belgium don't have a tempo-setter to keep hold of the ball reliably in midfield, nor do they have a player gifted enough to provide creativity from deep. The former keeps the ball circulating in midfield and ensures you don't lose it, the latter provides a creative outlet in case your offensive players are stifled. Elite teams that are comfortable in possession possess these players, and sometimes you even get a player that offers both attributes. Belgium do not have a player in that mold. The best they can do is rely on Axel Witsel, a fine player with a fairly complete game, who is a 'jack of all trades but a master of none'. Their other midfielder, Marouane Fellaini, has a good engine and excellent aerial ability but the rest of his game is sorely lacking. These 2 players cannot be depended on to provide these 2 elements crucial to a proactive side.

    The USMNT have a much better shot at progression by playing a pragmatic low-block style. Giving them the ball is the less dangerous option, because Belgium are not that comfortable in possession. Double-mark Hazard, keep a man on De Bruyne at all times, use fast counters to blow past the unsettled centre-backs that are out of position and the extremely slow Van Buyten. Gamble on offensive set-pieces.

  7. You argue your point well, but even if you take the defensive approach you suggest, I think the case is stronger to include Yedlin for his speed or Diskerud for his possession.

    Vermaelen is out, supposedly, which makes Belgium even more vulnerable in the back – but it doesn't matter if you never pressure their back four. I suspect it would take an army to keep Kompany from playing in this game, but who knows how fit he'll be? Fallaini may not play either. Witsel is definitely a danger man for the US – I think he's even better than you credit him – and I'm hoping Origi doesn't start, because Belgium look more dangerous when he's on the pitch.

    Supposedly Altidore is "available" – but I would bet against seeing him. If you use him I think you have to start him for the reason stated above – you can't risk using him as a sub, especially the last sub.

  8. m

    How do you think the rest of the tourney will play out? I see Columbia over Germany in the semis and Argentina (after beating the US) over the Netherlands in the semis. Then Germany in the 3 spot over the Dutch and Columbia over Argentina. I don't think Columbia is getting enough credit. The announcer basically said Germany was going to have to beat France, Brazil, and either the Netherlands or Argentina to win it all while the Germany-Algeria game was going on. I was shocked to hear that seeing as how Columbia has been the only team that has played their absolute best in every minute of every game. Talking about GA they've only let up 2 in four games and shut out 2 teams who made the elimination round. Not that Uruguay without Suarez were at their best, and Greece isn't that great either, but they've also won those four games by a combined 9 goals. 5 from James Rodriguez (at least 1 in each game which is better than Muller's 3 in one game) and 4 from other players. So they have the superstar who can score on his own and lead them, and also have other players capable of scoring so they don't have to do what Argentina has done relying on Messi to win 2 of those games singlehandedly (arguably the 3rd as well).

    Brazil has struggled in their only tough matches against Mexico and Chile. They did win, but that could be attributed to the home field advantage they have. Germany didn't their best against Algeria or Ghana so they aren't a lock either. The Netherlands showed small weaknesses against Mexico in the heat (a factor which won't get any better), and didn't play their best against Australia either. France has played well, but I don't think they are as strong a team as Columbia is overall. Argentina has had to rely on Messi too much, and neither Belgium nor the US have a very realistic chance at winning it all. I think this is Columbia's year. Even without Radamel Falcao they have a guy who's playing as well as anyone in the world right now in Rodriguez, they've played solid D allowing only 2 goals in four games, and they have 11 goals in those (6 of which weren't all from one player). They have everything needed in order to make a legit case for them being the best team in the world at the moment.

  9. Favorites 6, Underdogs 0. There have been some close matches, but in football the team with more individual quality usually finds a way to win.

    Algeria certainly played a much tougher match against Germany than the US did. And Belgium beat Algeria. A bad sign? We'll see.

    As for the rest of the tournament, I'll think about it after tomorrow. I can't pick against Brazil in their home country, but Colombia is not the team I'd want to be facing right now.

  10. J

    Pretty fun reading everyone's view on the matter. Would love to see Argentina get to play with Germany, though that's a long way off and would need a lot of luck on both sides. I just want a rematch, esos alemanes caerán esta vez : )

  11. Z

    The Red Viper vs the Mountain

  12. M

    Considering the majority size of the USA players I gather Belgium will be receiving the face-lift? 😉

    …not that I'd wish the horror that was Viper's fate on any team in any given match up.

  13. Z

    Nice Goal by Green, but in the end this was the result.

  14. S

    Do you know the story behind this Belgian football team?
    It’s a beautiful one, almost out of a sports anime: About 5 or 6 years ago the team enjoyed zero popularity. The results were abysmal, their FIFA ranking was around 50, they couldn’t qualify for any EC or WC, seats were empty and TV stations didn’t want to broadcast away games since it would result in a financial loss. The squad was talented, but many were young and inexperienced.
    Afterwards, many players of the current team started to blossom and got transferred to bigger clubs outside their own small league. But still, they couldn’t qualify for the 2012 EC due to internal problems and lack of team spirit. It was a friendly match against the Netherlands in September 2012, where they beat us with 4-2, that marked the turnaround. The Belgian people started to believe in their own team. Their football federation even hired a publicity agency to boost the popularity of the “Red Devils” and it worked. The results became good (no losses during qualification for 2014), stadiums were sold out and their popularity is now at its height. This team came out the bottom of a pit and they’re climbing the mountain now while bringing joy to the people after a 12 year draught.

    The success of the Belgian team also has a positive impact on the nation.
    As you may know, Belgium is a bilingual country. In the northern half, Flanders, they speak Dutch (with an accent) and in the southern half, Wallonia, the main language is French. This division has resulted in cultural differences so the people of the two regions generally don’t go along well with each other. It’s a “we and them” story, but there is no “us”. There were even rumors that separatists wanted to split the country.
    But now the success of their national team has given the whole country a sense of unity (though it’s probably temporary) with folks waving the three-colored Belgian flag instead of their own. And that feeling is valuable, since it’s something politicians and others have failed to realize.

    Hope you liked it (maybe I’ll tell about the Dutch next time if you’d like to hear)

  15. I've visited Belgium and have several Belgian friends so I know all about the linguistic strife, believe me – and it's compounded by the fact that the French half is far poorer than the Flemish half (and the folks I stayed with in Brugge didn't believe they spoke accented Dutch – they said they spoke Flemish. Though of course they spoke Dutch and French – and English and German – fluently). And the separatists are more than a rumor – they're a political force with a good deal of support in the country.

    In other circumstances, I would be rooting for Belgium – they'd then become underdogs, and I love the country and what the football team has done for it. I'll likely root for them if they beat the USA. But tomorrow, they're Lannister bastards.

  16. M

    10 pm! Go USA! Go Klinsmann! I think Belgium will win, hope not.

  17. Origi starts? Ugh. Cameron in midfield, no Beckerman. Very, very defensive.

  18. Very, very nervous start.

  19. 0-0 halftime. Losing Johnson hurts, but Yedlin looked dangerous.

    That was a lot more back-and-forth than I expected. Maybe too much so for the US chances but lucky us, we seem to have gotten the Belgium that woke up.

  20. I'm amazed we survived 90 minutes of that.

  21. The Rains of Castamere…

    I have issues with Klinsmann's tactics, and the US obviously doesn't have the technical quality of most teams in this field. But their tenacity and stamina is off the charts. They believe in him and they'd eat a brick wall if he asked, and that counts for a lot.

  22. t

    too bad for getting an early goal in the ET.
    but hey USA didn't give up and were so closed to tie the score and force penalties. that freekick drill was really something. besides, the ET was so dramatic and thrilling the entire time. it was really nerve-wracking.
    in the end of the day, I think Belgium deserve the win. great performance for the goalkeeper Howard.

    and interesting fact about the round of 16, in all games, no goal were scored during the first half. 5 games out of all 8 were dragged into ET in which the teams started to leave tactic aside and "run for their life" as they say. we even get goal in most games that had ET.
    it really is a very unique world cup from the previous ones. no team is really safe and truly demonstrate dominance. next phases will probably be nerve-wracking as well..

  23. I know without even checking that Brazil and Chile each scored in the first half…

  24. t

    oh, you're right. my bad on this (though there were no goals on 2nd half..it's a balance with what I said! just kidding).
    yet, no scoring in the other games through first half and in some barely made second half or ET.
    anyway, the point is that.. I haven't seen any stable team that plays their usual or best each and every match. Brzail were good only half-way in first half against Chile (and it's not like they were bright before). Germany are strong team but performed pretty bad yesterday. Netherland had lots of luck and spirit against Mexico, their performance wasn't as good as we used to. same applies for the French.
    maybe Columbia or Costa Rica somehow stable with their performance.

  25. m

    Uh go back and watch every minute of Columbia's play and I dare you to find one example of a game where they didn't look dominant. Maybe the few mins where they ended up giving up the 2 goals in four games? Or the 70% possession time they had against Uruguay….Colombia is unbeatable at this point unless someone steps their game up a lot. James Rodriguez is the best player of the tourney so far according to the Castrol Index (though I'm not sure how they measure that exactly) but he's the playing the best regardless of how you measure it. Excellent team play as well as the rest of the team has 6 goals in 4 games to James Rodriguez's 5. There isn't one aspect of the game in which they aren't firing on all cylinders. And on the off chance that being Columbia makes you place them in the same group as Costa Rica, they were ranked 8th in the FIFA world ranks before the WC started.

  26. m

    1 last thing: James Rodriguez is so good that Real Madrid is trying to sign him for 40mil pounds, but not before getting rid of Angel Di Maria. If you make a team get rid of Di Maria so they can sign you you're having a great stretch of games.

  27. Here's incredible class from one of the classiest guys in football:


    Vincent Kompany ‏@VincentKompany 7m
    Two words.. TIM HOWARD #Respect #BelUSA

  28. m

    De Bruyne also is a class act with the immediate stopping to check if Jones was ok after blasting him in the face with the ball.
    Unfortunately that didn't stop the internet from blasting him and his looks….

  29. Belgium is a classy side. You didn't see any chippy fouls or diving – it was a clean game. I'm rooting for Belgium now, I suppose.

  30. m

    Yeah, as much as I want to hate them for beating the US I just can't bring myself to feel any animosity towards them. They play the game the right way, and they win with class and sportsmanship. You can't find anything negative to say about them as players, even the yellow they got was one of those just sloppy plays, nothing with malice or bad intent.

    I'm rooting for Costa Rica as long as they're around since they are the underdog of underdogs of the remaining teams, and for Columbia because they are also underdogs in terms of not having the history most of the other teams have. Also because watching James Rodriguez play is a lot of fun.

  31. m

    Well I was dead wrong on that one. Howard and a few others aside, we played like shit. Wondolowski is lucky that he unfairly got called offside on that last min miss because that was embarrassing.

  32. M

    I have to say, as a Belgian it was amusing to see Americans discuss soccer, seemingly like they do nothing else.
    As Sylpher mentioned aboved, the Red Devils are insanely popular in Belgium. But they did get some criticism for the lame play in the group stage. But this team hasn't lost a game since Wilmots is in charge: apart from the footballing qualities, they seem extremely focused and mentally unbreakable. The people on the other hand, still have to adapt to being 'the favourite' instead of the underdog that limped through. Many Belgians still think they'll go down against Argentina, while that match is far from a done deal

    It's also not a one time shot. With the exception of Van Buyten, this team can be fielded at EC2016 and WC2018. Also, youth coaching is Belgium has been completely overhauled in the early 2000's. This team is the first generation of that new system, but the current youth squads also contain plenty of future talent.

    Kudos to the USA, btw. Their dare to play forward was what made this great match possible. And they did their homework: those attacking full-backs were the only real source of danger. Given that on pure talent probably not one of their players would make the Belgian roster, they put up a great fight.

    Final note: if someone ever again says that you can't play centre-backs at full-backs, he will be forced to watch all of Vertonghen's rushes and Alderweireld's cross-passes on an endless loop.

  33. M

    Also, next time you visit Bruges stop for a layover halfway in Ghent. It's not as intact as Bruges, but way more vibrant and less touristy.

  34. Ah, the condescension towards Americans and soccer – it never gets old…

    Despite my pledge never to visit cities where treaties ending US-Britain wars were signed, I did have Ghent on my agenda last time and just couldn't squeeze it in. I'd definitely like to go.

    I made the point on another board that if the team isn't ripped apart by dissension, Belgium should be a huge threat in 2018 – it's a very young squad, on the whole.

  35. M

    I think all now know for sure who the real Lannisters (or Boltons for that matter) are in the realm of football!

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