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“Iceland is a wounded animal’

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Coach Roberto Martinez explains why 6-0 loss against Switzerland is negligible

“Iceland is a wounded animal’

The Red Devils are lucky or not? The fairy tale of Iceland looks after the 6-0 last Saturday against Switzerland, it gradually over. Or is that not so, and the islanders again? According to Roberto Martinez.

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The Red Devils trained yesterday for the last time for the international match against Iceland. “We should be so concentrated. And sharp’, warns Roberto Martinez. photo news

Coach Roberto Martinez explains why 6-0 loss against Switzerland is negligible

“Iceland is a wounded animal’

The Red Devils are lucky or not? The fairy tale of Iceland looks after the 6-0 last Saturday against Switzerland, it gradually over. Or is that not so, and the islanders again? According to Roberto Martinez.

Carrasco or Thorgan is on the left

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With a win, again, number 1 in world ranking

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Four Devils was nominated for Fifa wereldelftal

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VoetbalRode Devils

Ludo Vandewalle

Reykjavik If you’re the cold – about 9 degrees – just forget, you can enjoy Iceland. Beautiful views, great plains and plenty of water. Pure nature. “But not to enjoy a lot’, says Roberto Martinez. The coach is like death, that after that monsternederlaag of Iceland something like underestimation would arise. ‘That result should be put in context, ” says the coach, and he pulls out his slide with arguments with a big swing open. He lists four reasons.

By bad luck 3-0 behind

The 6-0 of Sankt Gallen was the biggest defeat for Iceland in 17 years. But the coach pulls out all the stops to make that loss into perspective.

“I got to the match against Switzerland looked at the first three goals was not much to do. Thus they stood, for they knew, with 3-0 behind and they could do nothing about it. Iceland played as it did at the european CHAMPIONSHIPS and the world cup (so defending daddy on the counter-attack, editor’s note) but it was simply against. The first goal was a great shot from nothing to Zuber. The second and the third came after a free kick. The second was an unfortunate rebound, the third a owngoal. I attach no importance to it.”

The Vikings will respond

‘Iceland is an experienced team with a real winning mentality’

Roberto Martinez


Icelanders are the original Vikings. By their courage, spread them at the european CHAMPIONSHIP 2016 in the quarter-finals.

“Wait. I attach, however, important to 6-0 because I know that Iceland will respond. This is an experienced team with a real winning mentality. They will be ready. Defensively, they are one of the strongest countries in Europe. They are strong on the counterattack and choose stationary phases for a lot of people in the penalty area. The result has ensured that Iceland is now a wounded animal and will want to respond. That is dangerous for us. It would have been better that they not 6-0 had lost.”

Yes, but the Icelanders miss with Gudmonsson (Burnley), Finnbogason (Augsburg), Hallfredsson (Frossinone) and captain Gunnarsson (Cardiff) four basisspelers.

“Every team that basisspelers fog, must count on the fact that the newbies do well,” says Martinez. ‘After the match against Switzerland, immediately shooting, has no meaning. Switzerland was also just very good.’

Iceland plays at home

It is five years ago that Iceland on the island, a qualifier lost. Of June 2013 against Slovenia (2-4) to be exact. France came here after the world cup in 1998 as world champion 1-1-tied. Then threw Iceland is still not as high as the previous years did.

‘At home they have a lot of confidence. Make no mistake: Iceland really is still always good in what they did. At home even more. The distances between the defenders for years almost perfectly and there is, therefore, very difficult to get through. They understand each other very well and they have successes. Solid countries like Ukraine and Turkey lost here. Croatia, second in the CHAMPIONSHIP and lost here just a year ago (1-0 in the world cup finals in June 2017, eds.). And it was a deserved victory for Iceland, then.’

Watch out for Sigurdsson

There are three players in the selection that Sigurdsson called and there is one extremely dangerous: Gylfi Sigurdsson, in 2017 by Everton for 50 million euros taken away from Swansea.‘Gylfi is a very good player that I had long been of close follow. He did well at Reading, passed than at Tottenham, where he had to adjust and then he went to Swansea. There paid Everton € 50 million for him. Then you should not much more to add I think. He plays very well vertically, assists, plays well between the lines. Such players are hard to find. He puts erbovenuit in probably the hardest league in the world, the Premier League. Then you know how good he is.’

Um… can the Belgians actually win?

With all that praise for the Icelanders would almost start to think that the Red Devils tonight won’t stand a chance in the with 15,000 spectators sold-out Laugardalsvöllur Stadium in Reykjavik. Or isn’t it? The last time, Martinez: ‘We need to up the pace. As we did in the second half in Scotland. We must be defensive in organized play. Iceland can you in one second, the particular hurt. On the counter-attack and stationary phases. So We need to be concentrated. And sharp.’

It is also count. Eden is in excellent shape and mental condition. He was in the last 26 matches involved in 26 goals. He gave 13 assists and scored 13 times. Then you are important, he is a leader.’

Phew, Martinez sees the still sitting.

Carrasco or Thorgan is on the left

Coach Roberto Martinez wanted to yesterday, as usual, nothing about his team reveal. Much discussion is there in principle, however, is not. Youri Tielemans is on the midfield as a replacement for the injured Kevin De Bruyne in addition to Axel Witsel. The only position still in doubt, it is that of linkermiddenvelder. Nacer Chadli is the first choice for the national team, but he played this season, no contest. The new Monaco player also continued Friday in Scotland at the side. The past few days he trained, however, participates fully, but without speelminuten immediately to an international effort to begin, this seems unlikely. Yannick Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard are the most qualified for the position on the left. The brother of Eden played Friday against Scotland in the first half at that position. Carrasco, who at the world cup, his place lost, and against Scotland in the second half at that position played, is also a significant opportunity. (lvdw)



Kick-off: 20.45 h, live on tv

Referee: Sergei Karasev (rus)

Iceland: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, Magnusson, E. Bjarnason, B. Bjarnason, Halfredsson, Traustason, G. Sigurdsson, Bodvarsson

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen

Meunier, Whitewash, Tielemans, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard, Lukaku. Invaders:

Casteels, Sels, Aft, Boyata, Vermaelen, Dendoncker, Castagne, Dembélé, Verstraete, Vanaken, Chadli, T. Hazard, Trossard, Batshuayi


Nations League

Division A – Group 2


Switzerland – IJsland6-0


20.45 Iceland – Belgium


20.45 Belgium – Switzerland


20.45 Iceland – Switzerland


20.45 Belgium – Iceland


20.45 Switzerland – Belgium


1 Switzerland 1 1 0 0 6 0 3
2 Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Iceland 1 0 1 0 0 6 0

With a win, again, number 1 in world ranking

In addition to three points in the Nations League there tonight also some prestige to the match against Iceland. If the Red Devils their contest win, rise back to the first place on the Fifa-ranking. At this time, France is number one, but the same game last week against Germany, the world champion at the top position costs. The Devils have to win, when a draw or loss, they remain second in the world ranking. The third Brazil follows at a respectable distance. (lvdw)

Four Devils was nominated for Fifa wereldelftal

Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku are on the list of 55 nominees for the wereldelftal of Fifa and FifPro, the global spelersvakbond. The Fifa FifPro World 11 is determined by nearly 25,000 players from 65 countries. Every footballer choose a goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. Never took a Belgian to the team.

The wereldelftal will be announced during the ceremony of The Best Fifa Football Awards on Monday 24 september in London. Will also be prizes awarded for the best player, player, coach and goalkeeper, best goal scorer and the fair play of the year. For the best player were previously De Bruyne and Hazard nominated for the best coach Roberto Martinez, but who fell in the meantime. When the players goes between Cristiano Ronaldo, Mo Salah and Luka Modric. (fbu)

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