Astonishingly, given that Belgium haven’t been regulars at international football tournaments for a while, it’s possible to construct a rather decent first XI of Belgian players in the Premier League. We gave this team to my brother to use in his office Fantasy Football; he has called his team “Beer & Waffles” and in his email he referred to me as one of the most footballingly expert people he knows. Hurrah!
This is that team, reimagined in delicious confectionary form, as befits a collection of Belgians.
Goalkeeper (GobSTOPPER): Simon Mignolet
Recently leaving the Black Cats to join Merseyside’s second best team, Simon Mignolet has played a few years’ of first team football in the Premier League, and now replaces Pepe Reina, a man unfavoured by Brendan Rogers. Mean Brendan Rogers. No, you like him, you said that his face looks like it has been carved out of a sad potato. Hopefully Mignolet will settle in and be a happy chicory, or as the US refer to that vegetable, BELGIAN endive.
Defender (the Green Triangle from Quality Street): Vincent Kompany
Loath as we are to admit it, the Captain of Every-Man-For-Himself City is a player of undoubted quality. Also his head is sort of shaped like a triangle.
Defenders (Toffee and Coffee): Vertonghen and Vermaelen
Two defenders with extremely similar names – an easy case of mistaken identity. Like when you are expecting a lovely sweet toffee and end up with a horrible bitter coffee by mistake. Or when you’re anticipating an aromatic coffee and find yourself mired in disgusting toffee.
Midfield (Chocolate topped with a big decorative nut): Marouane Fellaini
A player for whom David Moyes has developed quite a taste, Fellaini is a conspicuous presence on the pitch due to his epic Belgianfro.
Midfield: (Lemon) Moussa Dembele
Dembele wears a white strip at Spurs and is one of the less expensive players in our XI.
Midfield: Eden Hazard (may contain nuts)
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard sent a few opposing players into anaphylactic shock last season. Or were they just diving?
Midfield/Bench: Kevin Mirallas, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacar Chadli…those chocolates that someone has to eat before you can get to the second layer
These guys, whilst definitely in the squad, would probably start on the bench. The bench! What depth in this imaginary team!
Forward (Fudge): Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku has just come back from loan at West Brom, so as someone linked to the West Country, which is famous for dairy, he can be delicious creamy fudge. Wait – West Brom isn’t in the West Country. But it’s WEST Brom. That doesn’t mean the West Country! What about “West” Hampstead? West Hampstead don’t have a football team.
Forward (Vanilla): Christian Benteke
Easy. Benteke plays for Aston Vanilla. Close enough.
What do you think?