GORAN VLAOVIĆ is a well-known striker and historic scorer of the Croatian national team. He is Index’s expert commentator for Euro 2020. Vlaović will comment on the national team’s game after the Croatian team game, and Zlatko Dalić will give his opinion in Index’s studio after the Croatian team’s game. With Armenia and Belgium.
If I were Zlatko Dalic, five days before the start of the euro, I would definitely be worried. Losing to the FIFA No. 1 team in the preliminaries is not a disaster, but when the draw with weak Armenia is added, it is obviously worrying. Dissatisfaction with certain segments of the game did not hide the Croatian coach.
On the eve of the games against Armenia and Belgium, Dalic did not fail to emphasize that the results are important to him, even though it was a friendly match. However, Croatia’s performance is not good enough to achieve the expected results. When there is no result in a game, people can look at the artistic impression and believe that the result will come based on a good game. This is what usually happens. But when a series of competitions or cycles have no results, the artistic impression is no longer so important. Bad results can’t create a positive atmosphere in the team, Dalic understands this very well.
First, the menu must create an idea for our game-what we want and how Croatia wants to play. It must be seen on the field what the best characteristics of the Croatian national team are and why we have to force them. It is obvious why Dalic is trying to put Croatia in a 4-3-3 formation, regardless of how our opponents are positioned. So far, we have been using the 4-2-3-1 formation, but Croatia used to have a second point guard or offensive player, which is often the biggest threat to the opponent. The changes in the system indicate that things are very problematic, because Croatia did not create any serious opportunities in the game, except for attempts in the last few minutes of the game. No matter what system we play, we can make such attempts earlier, which makes me very worried.
Considering the quality of our midfielders, I worry that we do not have any efficiency in the offense. We happened to be led by the last midfielder, Marcelo Brozovic, who was in the best form, but he did not expect to play this role. Croatia’s offense is harmless, too far from the goal, passing the ball at 30 meters from the opponent’s goal and making a lot of mistakes. At the same time, in our penalty area, we have given our opponents many opportunities to punish us. Croatia has top players and must switch the game to the opponent’s half. Which system and which players will we use to achieve this goal-this is the job of the Croatian coach, but we must get closer to the opponent’s goal. If our game boils down to Brozovic playing wide players or goalkeepers, it will be difficult for us to create opportunities and score goals. I will return to this idea-the point is that Croatia must know what it wants in the game. Did the game switch to the wing, we doubled the players who have the ability to break through the opponent, and then one or two players within 16 meters or two players within 16 meters to enter the finals, and then who will realize these opportunities? Or do you play with the center forward, let the midfielder join in and pass the ball from the inside to score? I don’t understand this. Croatia seems to be undefined to me at the moment.
This idea is the key to creating style. The coach has several players and he must decide whether to play for them. We have good players in all positions. The key is for the coach to find the players that are most suitable for the expected result and related to the specific opponent, rather than the players who are not playing at the same time are obviously disappointed, because in this case Croatia will not benefit from them .
As for the defensive part, we are inadequate because we have problems with Dejan Lovren. He is not ready yet. I don’t know when he will fully recover from the injury. We only have one substitute goalkeeper and Guardiola, and I must emphasize that his performance here is very good, even though he has spent the entire season as a left-back. I prefer to let him take that position, even though he also played the role of a stopper with such confidence and relaxation, which is really great. It’s really nice to see such a young player change his mood and mental state without any problems on the court. This is a great promise to the future. But at this moment, if Lovren is not ready, if he plays hard, or if we encounter red cards or other injuries, Croatia can easily get into trouble. However, I hope that with Lovren’s return, this problem will be resolved.
It’s important to note that we can’t analyze the defense through a single segment-the entire team is involved in every stage of the game, which performs best when a long pass enters our penalty area, so much so that Ivan Perry Although Xiqi played in midfield, he reacted as a left back and kicked the ball with his head. This shows that everyone is participating in defense. Šime Vrsaljko’s performance in the second half was much better than in the first half, especially when entering a half-time distance of 30-40 meters from the goal, a dangerous center forward shot from there. So, after all, Croatia created the best chance, when Vrsaliko scored a five-pointer and Petkovic was still a few centimeters away.
I want to talk about the topic that the national team often talks about, which is what position the national team players play in their clubs. When I hear players say after a national team game that they did not play in their position, it is usually an excuse for a bad game. Because if they play well, they will say everything is fine after the game, regardless of whether they play very naturally. This is the best proof that it is an alibi. It is not good for the players to say through their statements and communication with reporters that these are not their positions, because most of them in the club often do not play the roles they are used to. Perisic has played in the guard position for most of the season because Inter Milan has three players defending. Although his natural position is a winger, his performance is very good.
The player must adapt to the coach’s ideas, but before that, the coach must still adapt to the player and find the best system that suits his existing conditions. This will always be exposed when there is no result and the game is bad.
I believe that the match against England will be one of the best matches for Croatia in the group stage. What is certain is that a team that wants to win, is confident and even arrogant will be more suitable for us than a team that realizes its disadvantages, closes space, does not allow Croatia to develop the game, but pushes us forward. very nervous. I am not afraid of the result of the game against England, we may lose this game, but I am afraid of what our game will look like.
I will reiterate what I think is crucial, and that is that Croatia must use the quality of its players. I talked about this before the 2014 World Cup, when our left wing had an extraordinary Perisic, and we still have him today. What I mean by this is that we need to see and look for him more and give him a chance 1 Pair 1 and get the ball from each position as quickly as possible and break his goalkeeper. He was unstoppable in Brazil and in the end he became the best player in our tournament. Croatia still has such players today, these are the qualities we must use.
If we play against a closed team, then in our offense, there are better solutions for players with small spaces, short passes, openings and sprints. Therefore, such as Vlasic and Kramarić. Players. The coach is there to create an adaptable team, and we must react in a team and individual way. We need an idea in the game, we need to know how we want to attack and how to create opportunities for goals.
I must point out that I understand Kramaric’s tension. He scored 20 goals last season and is currently our best scorer. He must find his place in the team. I will give you an example, because I used to be a player who wanted to score a goal in a game. I play next to Davor Šuker. This knowledge always makes my situation easier. I know he will sneak him into the net from scratch. That’s why I broke into the open 700 times, just to score goals, this is not the reason. Such a player should be nurtured, and I think his state is a huge gain for us.
It should be understood that Croatia is currently in the transitional stage. We are no longer in the situation before Russia. At that time we had very prepared players and a stable team. Russia’s results in this regard are no coincidence. I want to say that the result of the French team in 2016 was a coincidence, because we were in the best condition in the team at that time and all important aspects played an important role in their club. Although we did not achieve sufficient quality results, we must honestly say that we cannot blame the players in that game too much. There we learned some important things, these things are the indicators of the next game and the big game, we saw the best results in the results of Russia. Players in good form must be inside, they just need to play. It’s true that Kramaric sometimes breaks in by force, but that’s why he scored.