One of Belgium's national broadcasters made a poll asking who we think is the player of the campaign. Currently over 30% voted for Radja Nainggolan

One of Belgium's national broadcasters made a poll asking who we think is the player of the campaign. Currently over 30% voted for Radja Nainggolan
One of Belgium's national broadcasters made a poll asking who we think is the player of the campa...

This is the Martinez way, first step is massive alienation of all the fans.

I think the point is that a third of Belgium believe he's the most important player and he's not even called up.

Nainggolan is an incredible player at Roma, but with the players that we have and with the system that we play I can understand why there is no place for Radja.

Let me elaborate:

we play with only 3 defenders on the left we play with Carasco, who is a player who mainly thinks offensive wise and often forgets his defensive tasks, on the right wing we have Meunier who is more defensive oriented so that 'side' is covered. upfront we play with lukaku with mertens & hazard behind him, and de bruyne a bit more back, no matter how much work KDB covers, those 4 remain very offensive players that leaves room for 1 defensive midfielder, and here lays the problem with radja: at Roma he plays more offensive ... as in he isn't a true defensive midfielder nor a true offensive midfielder, ... an incredible player, but in this system with these players he is more a liability than a contribution on the single defensive midfield position. You want that guy to mainly stay in position, like Witsel or Dembele (or Fellaini). And it's not like Radja has only played exceptional for our NT. the last problem: if he comes to the NT he wants to play, if he is benched he isn't the easiest to work with, and if you are going to spend 8 weeks together for the WC then you can miss out on any troublemakers, especially when there are reasonable and versatile replacements (tielemans / dendoncker). If he was the best player in the team I guess you accept that risk.

TLDR: Radja is an incredible player, and I kinda like his 'rebel' side. But if you are not gonna play him because of the system and the quality of the other players, I can understand why you would prefer to leave him at home rather than take the risk for having to deal with drama.

Lol. Honestly, if Radja didn't smoke, he'd likely have too much stamina and it would be massively unfair.

Manager is a big cunt for not calling him up because he smokes.

I like how you open up your reasoning about the subject, have a plus, but I disagree. A player like Nainggolan should definitely have at least a bench spot on your team, no doubt about it. I just don't understand Martinez at all.

EDIT: It seems Belgium had four goalkeepers registered for those last games, surely there should have been a spot to spare?

I wasn't a Wilmots supporter, I was for his replacement for a solid 3 years before he was kicked out. I've never hated someone like I hate Martinez right now, what a complete moron.

So, 70% didn’t vote for him?


Belgian here. For me de Bruyne, Hazard, Courtois, Kompany (when fit) and Mertens are better players than Lukaku. Saying he's by far our best player is laughable.

A player like Nainggolan should definitely have at least a bench spot on your team, no doubt about it.

For his qualities as a player I completely agree. But unfortunately Radja has stated that he wants to play if he comes to the NT, and has caused some trouble/incidents in the past ... if you are 2 months together with 23 top players, that is an aspect that becomes quite important.

and 380 voted for Timmy Simons!

The problem with Radja is that he play for an Italian team. If he is with an EPL people will praise him more. The second issue is as mentioned he is a natural leader. The fact that he held the captain tag after Totti and De Rossi is a BigFuckingDeal. So not every manager will know how to handle him.

There are one more thing about how brilliant he is. Radja one of the few players who are a complete meddle fielder.

He can add to the attack, assists and score, or be a play maker from the back. He can also be a defender as his tackle are insanely accurate. He can press in any part of the field.

The guy is a passionate about the sport and deserve to be called a warrior. The fact that every team wanted him especially Conte speaks volumes.

The point I am trying to say is that if a someone says he doesn't fit a formation, he is stupid useless coach. It reminds me with coaches saying Totti is old and then when Zeman came and incorporated him in the formation he was fantastic.

Never trust a coach with limited vision when you can clearly see that someone like Radja can easily play as a third defender or as an absolute attacker.

We're doing our utmost to convince Fartinez to call him up for the WC but it seems like all is lost.

Just FYI there is literally no confirmation it is because he smokes, it is a fan theory. Martinez said:

"This is not a disciplinary measure, I made my choice based on what I saw in our previous matches, he had a disappointing period in focus. I felt that I had to choose other players now. I want to make as strong a group as possible for this twin. I've been in touch with Radja because I want my players to hear such news from me."

So it was because of a 'disappointing period in focus', whatever that is. It is vague but probably because he thought he was a bad influence on the dressing room or isn't listening to him as manager or similar.

We know the main argument for his inclusion, and /u/vasco_ just brought up a counter-argument for why he wasn't called up. Could you respond to that point, rather than rehashing the same initial argument?

I don't understand why he's hated as much as he is. Yes, it's stupid that Nainggolan isn't called up, but is that really worth all the hate? Don't hate the man because our football association chose him ahead of others, not exactly his fault. The only game we've lost under Martinez was against Spain, less than a month after he was chosen as coach with barely any time to prepare. Our domestic coaches aren't exactly great either, how many of them have been able to keep their jobs for longer than two years?

Hitler stuck to his plan too

That's quite the comparison ...

Well he has said that it's a tactical choice in pretty much every interview (i.e. he wants a different type of player for that position), obviously he is not gonna say in public that Radja causes drama if he doesn't play.

The thing that bothers me a bit in this whole Radja / NT discussion is that people now act as if he played godlike for the NT, but if you go back under Martinez, then he played some shitty games on the defensive midfield position.

Why play him as a DM then?

You can't leave out 3 defenders, left or right wing and the goalkeeper. That leaves 5 players, of which 1 needs to play at the defensive midfield position. So that leaves 4 players: lukaku, hazard, de bruyne, mertens ... who of those 4 do you want to leave out for radja?

The reality is that if he plays more offensive he has to compete with hazard or de bruyne ...

Is there a reason behind him not being called up? Manager doesn't like him or what?

De Bruyne or Hazard man.

it's just plain crazy to justify that he's left out.

I said I understand Martinez his logic, that is a different thing than justifying his logic. It's not necessarily the system I like the most, but I much prefer a coach that once he makes a choice stays true to the logic behind his choice rather than having no plan at all - regardless from the fact if I agree with that choice or not.

Nah, very few think he's actually the most important player. It's just Belgian fans being upset Radja isn't in the selection and letting their voice be heard at any opportunity.

Honestly the most important players in our squad are Vertonghen and Alderweireld, because they're irreplaceable(especially with Kompany perma-injured). We've played good games without Hazard and we've played games without De Bruyne, but we simply don't have anyone even half as good to replace either Vertonghen or Alderweireld.

Following your logic, Radja is by far our best player. And can you read? The poll is about the player of the qualifying campagne, not the best player of the team. Keep in mind that's also a Flemish website, Lukaku is Flemish.

Oh, it could be an issue for sure. I don't understand players who demand playing time if they get called up, it should be a matter of pride. I haven't heard any reasoning from Martinez though, so it's a bit confusing.

Legend :)

What more do you expect when you hire a manager whose greatest accomplishment of his career is not getting relegated?

I've not heard so at Roma, but different managers and different teams want and require different cultures. If Martinez feels Naingolan would disrupt what it is he wants to do then it is pretty legitimate to leave out a good player for the good of the team.

Those kinds of decisions are exactly what some of the top managers make, not that they are the same caliber but Ferguson is a notable example of someone who would get rid of star players if they believed they were detrimental to the team culture even if the fans hated it. Martinez is clearly not Ferguson but it still holds that in football the team > the individual.

Edit: Btw I'm not trying to defend his decision to not call Naingolan up, I really have no idea if it was a good one or a bad one. I'm just trying to provide proper context around it because there is a lot more to these decisions than fans such as we are aware of, so it isn't necessarily bad even though it seems bad on the face of it.

Sad. This should be a golden generation for Belgium and they are missing out on great player because of something as stupid as that.