In one of the surprise moves of the transfer window, Thierry Henry was named Belgium’s assistant manager by Roberto Martinez, who succeeded Marc Wilmots on the 3rd of August.
Suffering a defeat in their first game in charge of the talented footballing nation, the pair suffered a bit of backlash from fans and media alike, such are the expectations placed on the group of players at their disposal.
Coming off the bench in their 2-0 loss to Spain, Romelu Lukaku was interview by DH about the change of management, and what it meant for the rest of the team.
He said: “With Wilmots, we used to do what we wanted in the final 30 metres. We had full freedom of expression up front. Martinez? He’s calm, direct and clear. We have to fight for our spot. He won’t hesitate to put someone on the bench if they play badly.
“He’ll need time, though, because he likes working on tactics. The instructions for the forwards are very clear, and everyone knows where they need to go. He’s got a global approach that can be good for us.”
As for the arrival of France’s greatest striker as part of the coaching staff, the Everton striker explained there was a lot of respect there, despite the former Arsenal star happily mixing in with the players.
He said: “I call him Monsieur Henry. Out of respect. However, there’s no barrier between us. He’ll sometimes just come and have a cup of tea or play PlayStation with us. He’s already taken some of us to one side to analyse two hours of video. It was very interesting.”
With someone like Henry at his side, instructing him on what to do when going forward, there’s a big chance Romelu Lukaku will be able to improve his game and become a better player than he already is.
That is, of course, if Martinez and Henry stick around for a while. Another couple of bad results (especially with Cyprus coming up in the World Cup qualifiers) and the pressure will continue to rise.