Roberto Martinez is the new Belgium manager.
That news shocked most of the footballing world, but nowhere was the surprise captured more perfectly than on the Manchester United bench on Wednesday night.
Romelu Lukaku, who was Martinez’s top striker at Everton, shook his head and covered his eyes during the Toffees’ pre-season game at Old Trafford.
He had just been told he was set to work with his former boss again. Unfortunately for him, but to the delight of Twitter, he was filmed:
Romelu Lukaku when he heard that Roberto Martinez has been appointed as Belgium manager…https://t.co/OHDoOEo9Vi
— Football Arena (@FootbaIIArena) August 4, 2016
If the former Chelsea man’s reaction hasn’t been used to sum up the nation’s general feeling about Martinez’s appointment, it should be.
Euro 2016 was a big disappointment under Marc Wilmots. Despite being the second-highest ranked team in the world they were dumped out in the quarter finals by Wales.
The squad had two very clear issues; their defence and a vulnerability at set pieces.
The back line shouldn’t have been so suspect considering the personnel available. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld were superb all season for Tottenham. Thomas Vermaelen and Jason Denayer are at different ends of their careers, but both are highly regarded.
Yet in the opening group game against Italy a relatively straight ball over the top was enough to get Emanuele Giaccherini beyond Alderweireld to score the opener. In stoppage time, they were devastatingly picked off on the counter.
Three clean sheets followed until the Welsh showed all of their weaknesses in one momentous match.
Ashley Williams nodded in a simple chance from a corner to equalise, Hal Robson-Kanu sent three Belgian players for a hot dog on his iconic second and Sam Vokes was unmarked to nod home the third.
At Everton, Martinez didn’t carve out a reputation as a defensive guru or a particularly strong set-piece organiser.
In fact, the Toffees conceded the fourth-most attempts from set plays during the campaign with 142 and shipped 55 goals in the Premier League – only the bottom five clubs shipped more.
Those stats make the former Swansea man’s appointment in Belgium an extremely curious one, and the 16/1 about them winning World Cup 2018 one to avoid.