Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has revealed that the team are learning from the failure of England’s ‘Golden Generation’ to succeed on the International stage.
England’s squad in the first decade of the 21st century had high expectations placed on their shoulders, with the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard all featuring for the Three Lions.
The team never amounted to any international success, and Martinez wants to avoid a similar fate for his Belgian stars.
“You do try to find out what stopped England going on to achieve something,” the former Everton boss told reporters.
“Over a lot of years, you speak to people, who played against that team or were in the dressing room, and you’re trying to find reasons. It’s very difficult when something hasn’t really clicked – it’s very interesting. There are many dressing rooms, many teams because it doesn’t just happen at international level, it happens at club level. And there is never one reason why things don’t click into place. It’s almost a combination of things that, for one reason, go the wrong way and it almost becomes a negative momentum. What you learn is that you need to find the level of commitment of everyone to become a team.
“I’m not bothered by the label one way or the other, but to be the Golden Generation, you need to win gold. You need to win the Olympic gold or the World Cup, you need to win something. We need to make it a Golden Generation. You get to the international level and the margin for error is very, very little because straightaway you are in the knockout phase. Even if you lose a game in the group phase, you are going to be against it to try to qualify. That means you have to have a real strong mentality to make it competitive. The tactical and technical aspects of the game are important, but it is almost more important to be right psychologically for the occasion.”
Belgium will face England, Panama and Tunisia in the group stages of t