Masters of improvisation

Take Me To Post Comment Form

As Croatia won the coin toss before the penalty shootout against Russia in the World Cup quarter-final, Luka Modric, their captain, shouted across the pitch to his goalkeeper, Danijel Subasic: “Are we gonna go first?”

They did not. Adarius Glanton Authentic Jersey Despite evidence that the team taking the first penalty wins 60% of shootouts there was a certain logic in them choosing to go second; the Monaco goalkeeper is a penalty specialist, having let in only 58% of the spot-kicks he has faced in Ligue 1 and saved three out of five as Croatia knocked out Denmark in this World Cup.

Giving Subasic the chance to save a penalty first could conceivably have handed Croatia an edge. But that is not the point here. The point is that they got all that way, to a quarter-final of a World Cup, and to a second consecutive shootout without a plan.

These players got to the defining moment of their international careers without knowing what to do in that situation. Compared with England’s thorough preparation for their shootout against Colombia, Croatia’s seems a Henrik Borgstrom Authentic Jersey joke.

“Penalties are always a lottery; you never know what will happen,” the Croatia manager, Zlatko Dalic, said after the win against Denmark. “The day before, we shot two series of them, although it Giovanni Fiore Authentic Jersey wasn’t my intention to practise penalties because we always expect to solve everything within 90 minutes.”

In some countries the manager might be criticised or even mocked for that kind of approach but in Croatia few seemed to care. “We went through, everything is great,” Subasic said, summing up the general mood before adding the old “lottery” shtick himself. And of course he got away with it, because that is the culture – no one should question you as long as you are winning; http://www.broncosofficialfootball.com/Brian_Dawkins_Jersey_Broncos those who do are denounced for “ruining the atmosphere”.

But it was http://www.footballredskinsofficialstore.com/Daron_Payne_Jersey also symptomatic of a more general decision-making and preparation process in Croatian football. There is no long-term or medium-term plan, no blueprint, no established system. Croatians are masters of improvisation.

People often ask how it is possible for a nation of only four million to produce so many class footballers. A proper answer, apart from the esoteric clichés of natural predeterminism or genetic predisposition, has never been offered by anyone. Sure, there are some good youth coaches – obviously, given all the talent developed in recent years – but there is no general programme in place that systematically educates or distributes young players across the country. Very few new stadiums have been built or properly renovated in the past three decades and the same goes for training grounds. The facilities almost everywhere are basic, at best; a lot of pitches are awful, the clubs struggling to make ends meet.

For years Croatia’s youth national teams depended heavily on the output of one club’s programme. Lavishly funded by the city, the Dinamo Zagreb academy could afford http://www.losangeleskingsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Dave-Taylor-Jersey to have the best (and the most) coaches and broaden its catchment area throughout the country, and beyond. Thanks to Dinamo’s massive influence in the Croatian football federation, their youngsters have been almost automatically called up for Croatia – at one point two years ago, the under-17 team had 11 out of 11 players from Dinamo in their starting lineup – and only recently has their monopoly started to be broken up. Other clubs are slowly catching up, particularly Dinamo’s arch rivals, Hajduk Split, who are revamping their academy.

Dinamo have also had Lokomotiva – their feeder club to all intents and purposes – allowed to play in the top division against all competitive logic. Six players from the current World Cup squad have played at Lokomotiva at some point, gaining valuable first-team experience at top national club level after graduating from the academy.

Still, there is no system, no plan. Dinamo have for years manically fired and hired coaches, changing their approach to youth development almost every time; and Croatia did the same. Dinamo have sacked their head coach 17 times in the past 13 years – during which time they have won 12 league titles. The last three Croatia managers who lost their jobs – Igor Stimac, Niko Kovac and Ante Cacic – did so just before decisive matches in qualifying.

http://distrik.com/forums/view.topic.php?page=1&board=1&topic=31351
http://www.terrender.com/~phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16619
http://flylady.forumcrea.com/viewtopic.php?pid=22506#p22506
http://relationshift.org.au/community-forums/question/boxing-to-daniel-kinahan-is-what-football-was-to-pablo-escobar/
http://sirsha.de/index.php/kunena/9-tierarztliste/7310-worst-case-the-ravens-get-shut-out-at-wide-receiv#9163
http://hundetreff.hunde4um.com/t8823f2034-Value-of-versatile-running-backs.html#msg10681


Latest Activity: Jul 12, 2018 at 3:49 AM


Bookmark and Share
Forward This Blog
Print Blog
More Blogs by xiaolan
Send xiaolan a Message
Report Abuse


Blog has been viewed (24) times.


Log In to post comments.

Previous blog entries by xiaolan
 
France won the World Cup
July 19, 2018
As Patrice Evra stormed from the training pitch and his teammates hid behind the curtains of their team bus, winning the World Cup seemed a very long way away. Any semblance of togetherness had evaporated – not for the first time. France have long been blessed with talent but rarely ...
Read More »
 
Football and fat fees
July 18, 2018
After Russia’s wildly successful World Cup, the eyes of the sporting world have turned to the next host, Qatar – and a recent event in London gave an indication of the scrutiny that lies ahead for the controversial organisers, and of the Middle Eastern diplomatic battle that will shadow the ...
Read More »
 
Cristiano Ronaldo jersey
July 18, 2018
Even as Cristiano Ronaldo settled in for his first Juventus press conference it somehow did not quite feel real. There he was, flesh and blood, sharp suit and immaculate haircut, grinning and whipping out his phone for a photograph as his family settled http://www.officialauthenticknights.com/Adidas-Authentic-Tyler-Wong-Jersey into the front row. It was ...
Read More »
 
Croatia punched above their
July 17, 2018
Ivan Perisic has done more than most to ignite Croatia’s World Cup adventure, to carry them into uncharted territory and to allow this small nation with big hearts to dream of the ultimate triumph. The imposing winger gilded his legend with a lovely first-half goal that showcased not only his ...
Read More »
 
Chelsea intent on resisting
July 16, 2018
Chelsea plan to resist any attempt by Real Madrid to prise Eden Hazard away this summer despite the Belgium forward having suggested the time may be right for him to http://www.authenticbostonredsoxshop.com/Rusney-Castillo-Jersey move on after six successful years at Stamford Bridge. Hazard, fresh from captaining his country to a third-place finish ...
Read More »
 
[View More Blogs...]





 
Powered by
Morris Technology