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Highlights on Off The Ball


De Bruyne needs to change his attitude to be a leader for Belgium - John Giles

Kevin De Bruyne deserves a kick up the backside after his complaints with Belgium, says John Giles.

John Giles joined Nathan Murphy on The Football Show to discuss Belgium and Kevin De Bruyne.

Romelu Lukaku came off the bench at halftime to send Belgium through from the World Cup group stages.

Or at least, that was the plan. Lukaku had clear-cut chance after clear-cut chance against Croatia. He came close on occasion, hitting the post most notably, but he never scored. Belgium never found the breakthrough. That left Roberto Martinez's side in third place when the dust settled.

One of the more talented squads in the competition is on its way home.

The most talented player in that squad is Kevin De Bruyne, who has repeatedly voiced his displeasure with the Belgium squad. He has both criticized the quality of the squad and the age profile of the starting team. De Bruyne is a leader of the team, and leadership has clearly been an issue since Vincent Kompany retired.

At Manchester City, De Bruyne has everything he needs to find success. With Belgium, it's a different scenario. John Giles believes that De Bruyne was part of the problem rather than someone being anchored down by his teammates.

He explained on Thursday night after Belgium crashed out and Nathan Murphy asked if he understood De Bruyne's complaints.

"No, not at all. Not at all," Giles said.

"You play with the players you play with. Just because with Manchester City players you play a certain way, it doesn't mean you can't change and adapt to the players that you're playing with at that particular time. You can't do that [complain publicly].

"The perfect example was [Luka] Modric, who was playing in the same match.

"The players that Croatia have are not in the same class as the players that Belgium have. But look what he does with them. If he was playing in the Belgium side he'd make a good side of them, he's one of the great players."

Giles explained that De Bruyne can be more of a luxury player for Belgium. He doesn't control games the way Modric does, which makes him less valuable and less effective when he's removed from the structure of Manchester City.

For him to star for Belgium, he needed to change his mindset.

"This is total nonsense, no wonder they don't have a team spirit...he needs a good kick up the backside."

Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, will be delighted to get De Bruyne back early to pair with Erling Haaland who never even left for the tournament in the first place.

Jack Byrne is better than he realizes - Joseph NDo.


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Read more about

Belgium John Giles Kevin De Bruyne Romelu Lukaku