Former Everton and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is the new Belgium National manager and his job is to take the very talented Belgium players he has available at the moment and make them into a very good National side.
One of those up-and-coming players for Belgium is Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels who is currently number three behind 24 year-old Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and 28 year-old Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
It seems it was quite a shock in Belgium when Rafa decided to drop Sels for the home game against Norwich City last Wednesday after Matz had played in all nine previous Championship games as he was getting used to football in England.
Matz Sels in action at Bristol City
Journalist Stefan Smet is the Gent reporter for Het Nieuwsblad and he had this to say in the Chronicle today about the dropping of Sels:
“It got big coverage in Belgium.” “He’s one of the top three goalkeepers in Belgium and is one of the big promising players for the next few years.”
“So to see him dropped in the Championship made headlines over here.”
“It seemed strange for people over here when you look at his performances and the number of clean sheets he has got, it didn’t look too bad.”
“He is an excellent goalkeeper and when he left, he went with the best wishes of everyone at Gent.”
“It was strange to see what happened on Twitter as well, but we have the same problems in Belgium.”
“Knowing Matz and the way that he trains and competes, I think he will be back stronger than before.”
“He is a sensible guy and an intelligent, measured individual. Whatever he thinks about what has happened to him, he will just get on with working hard.”
“He is not the kind who will criticize the decision of the trainer or disrupt the situation at Newcastle. Instead he will keep his head down and keep working hard.”
“Matz is an intelligent, sensible guy. He is not showy and I think this is a setback for him to deal with,” he said.
“Most of all he is an excellent goalkeeper. You don’t play as well as he did in the Champions League and become the Belgian goalkeeper of the year if you are not.”
“It might not mean as much in England but there are some good goalkeepers who he is competing with.”
“I know that he still talks to many of his old team-mates in Gent and the goalkeeping coach – he has a lot of support in Belgium,”
Sels being dropped is nothing to panic about and he has had a decent baptism of 9 Championship games and he will be all the better for it when he gets another chance in the Newcastle goal.
But the Twitter abuse he unfairly received from a small contingent of Newcastle fans after the game at Villa Park was simply unacceptable – and didn’t put Newcastle in a good light.
The player is new to Newcastle and new to the country so he needs both time and the full support of fans as he gets used to things in England; there’s no doubt he has great potential.
It’s interesting that number two Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has also just been dropped by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, as their new signing from Mainz Loris Karius is currently preferred having now recovered from an early season injury.
What do you think?