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Portugal Defeats Zero-Intensity Croatia 4-1

September 4, 2020

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I’m just going to leave this right here. No need for me to repeat myself. I hate these games. We put out a decent lineup but the players either are told not to play or decide they’re not going to play for whatever reason. At that point, better to put out the U21s or HNLers and let them play their hearts out.

 

 

 

 

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Croatia have never beat Portugal in five tries. Two Euros and three friendlies.

 

 

Let’s see if Saturday will change things. The game kicks off in Porto at 2:45PM (ET) and can be seen on national television in the States on ABC.

 

 

Croatia and Portugal will be without their stars. We already know that Luka Modrić and Ivan Rakitić will not play for the Vatreni this month due to rest. Šime Vrsaljko won’t see the pitch either. Ivan Perišić could very well be a 50/50 decision as he just played in Bayern Munich’s Champions League run a few weeks ago and doesn’t NEED to play this match. All that is certain is that Domagoj Vida will captain the team. It is now being reported that Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature for Portugal as he has not fully recovered from a toe infection, News24 reports.

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 174 comments





  1. BZ says:

    Ronaldo injury is worse than that. My source at the Portugal savez say it is a camel toe infection, often contracted when you see Rebic, Perisic, and Vlasic on the opposite side.

    Congrats Borna Coric. Great match! To all you young guys, when you yell at your Dad like Tsitsipas did, you lose end up looking like a mental midget. And we all know Croatians are not mental midgets.



  2. ARMADA87 says:

    I think we either tie or win. Even without Ronaldo, Barisic/Lovren/Vida/Vrsajlko will have their hands full and I want to see if they can channel 2018 and put the brakes on the Portuguese attack. Full confident that our midfield and attack can put 2-3 in the net for us, I want to see the backline have a solid game.



  3. Andrej L says:

    I watched one of the interviews with Vrsaljko and he said that since he hasn’t played in so long; his not really in good form. It’ll be interesting to see how he looks.



  4. Andrej L says:

    I just watched another interview with Dalic and he said that the boys aren’t in great condition so we won’t be able to do the normal pressing style defense that Dalic has instilled in the team. He said that we will sit back and look to counter. Hopefully, this is mind games because most guys have restarted their seasons already except for guys like Perisic, Kova, and Brozo and who doubts their conditioning.

    I just can’t wait for to see the Repka play again!
    Portugal 0 – Vlasic 2



  5. BZ says:

    The odds were +440 earlier this week. Gotta be sharper boys.

    armada andrej- I said it 2 weeks ago, and I’ll say it again & again. No way Vrsaljko plays. Knee, Covid.

    Thinking we won’t see Perisic or Brozo starting, so Brekalo will do some counter damage with Rebic and Vlasic drawing attention.

    Pasalic might get a run, his best attribute is getting to the right place at the right time. That is not to be underestimated. Hopefully we can get enough opportunities for him to get to those places.

    Dalic saying we will not press as much is not mind games. With Kramaric, Brekalo,& Kova in, that is just a no brainer for Dalic. I’d still press just to show Kramaric and Brekalo what is expected from them in the future.



  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure you’ve all heard the BLM crowd and the CRIMINAL antiWhite establishment media guilting white people by saying “have empathy”.

    MEANWHILE, BACK ON PLANET EARTH:

    Everybody assumes white moral superiority. The very idea that any other race would worry about OUR survival is assumed, by everybody, to be a joke. The very idea that we would ignore a threat to any other race’s existence is unthinkable.



  7. Bernardo Morais says:

    Croats are known for 3 things: inventing cravats, complain about the injustices of referees, and being racists. Hence the previous comment being here for so long.



  8. Poglavnik says:

    Watching the England game makes me think these players barely give a shit about this first Nations League game. We could be in for a snooze fest too.



  9. Horvat says:

    Would have liked to see Brozovic in the lineup, so Kovacic could be free to move forward.

    I’m still sceptical about Pasalic. Decent player, but way behind the rest of our midfielders.



  10. BZ says:

    This lineup is the dream of many on this site.

    Brekalo, Kovacic, Pasalic, and Kramaric! You guys are finally getting your wishes granted. I am happy for you guys.



  11. Poglavnik says:

    Take that hate elsewhere BZ.
    We all know how badly you want Brekalo to fail.
    Did he touch a nerve with his anti-rainbow stance?



  12. Anonymous says:

    @”Maks”, AGAIN, your reply is an admission you can’t refute me. So you’re saying a “racist” is someone who tells the truth. That worked well for all the sheeple who screamed “heretic” at anyone who pointed out the earth was round.



  13. BZ says:

    Even if we end up winning, we should be down 3-0. This is a wake up call for those who don’t believe in the wisdom of BZ.

    High Press
    Big Forwards

    You’ll know it when you see it.



  14. BZ says:

    Livakovic with the no look save, should be 4-0

    Kramaric ignores Rebic in box

    Bring on the horses!

    Best I’ve seen Brekalo play in 1.5 years.



  15. Poglavnik says:

    Im finding Brekalo annoying today. Dribbling into traffic , head in his feet, flailing arms and complaining every time he loses it.



  16. BZ says:

    Ok 2nd half miracle. Bring on Brozo Perisic Petkovic for Brekalo Pasalic Kramaric and things won’t be as embarassing on National TV.



  17. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    This is a complete waste of a game. I wouldn’t mind if they were playing at 80% but they’re playing at 20. At this point, I would rather have the HNLers go at it like the Z-squad did against Mexico at the Coliseum. Those guys played their hearts out in a nothing game. This is also a nothing game. But come on guys. That half was unwatchable.



  18. Mali Ante says:

    Midfield has been horrible. Can’t understand why you play Kova with Pasalic as neither is truly a DM. No support for the D has been disastrous. Hopefully they can change things in this second half…it should be 3-0.



  19. Ok so. Half time. If an amateur like me can see that this midfield is not working, I hope Dalic can see it. Kovacic and Pasalic are essentially a worse version of Modric and Rakitic playing as the more defensive midfielders. It just doesn’t work with either pair. You need to have a midfielder that spends most of the game defending and allows the other freedom to be the roaming playmaker. Brozovic should be starting instead of Pasalic. Pasalic is much better suited at attacking midfield. Kovacic is not a defensive mid in my opinion either. They are just giving Portual so much space to do whatever they want.

    Now for the defense…Lovren and Vida look alright at times. Vida more-so for me. But haven’t been very aggressive either. Barisic is probably playing his worst game for Croatia so far. Jedvaj is suspect as usual. I say this about pretty much every game. Our defense is so bad on set pieces. I’m just tired of having to pray every time there is a corner or free kick that our defenders will mark and win the ball. Every defense will concede set pieces every once in a while, but it’s just too easy against us. On the goal, literally everyone got out of Cancelo’s way. Which leads me to Livakovic…

    I think he is a good keeper and has the potential to be maybe our best ever. He has been very good from short range. However, I have to put emphasis on short range. Every time I see him play I think he is shaky on shots from outside the box just. Cancelo’s shot was a decent shot, but Livakovic just seems to be one step away from saving long range shots which makes shots look even better than they are. Subasic had this same problem sometimes. I think Livakovic just needs more experience at a higher level and he could get better at that.

    Finally, the attack hasn’t really been bad. When the front 4 of Kramaric, Rebic, Vlasic, and Brekalo get the ball we actually look dangerous. We just haven’t had many proper chances. Kramaric definitely should have passed to Rebic. Brekalo has been selfish at times, but at least he’s being aggressive.

    Let’s hope for a different attitude in the second half.



  20. BZ says:

    I always remember when Vida takes a laser to the face in a friendly, think it was Brazil.

    I will also always remember when Lovren ducked out of the way on that Portugal goal today.



  21. Anonymous says:

    Barisic and Jedvaj getting burned all over – you can tell there a step behind and prolly not ready yet for a world class team – kovacic invisible – I get it nations league is garbage and replaces friendlies but the chops ain’t taking it that way as if Ronaldo weren’t injured they’d have full squad like they’d use in euro And we got maybe just our CB’s as starting 11 – 2 for 11 from World Cup 2018 starters playing. I guess we see they’re taking it more seriously.

    In the words of Jamie o hara (Vince Vaughn) from Rudy – last practice of the season and this asshole thinks it’s the super bowl ) lmaooo – couldn’t help myself it was on the other day – weee the Rudy and small guy so let’s go Rudy ..ruddyyy….rudddddyyyyyy



  22. Pavo says:

    Honestly, all you guys praising all the young guns. Fuck that. Give me Modrić, Rakitić, Perišić. Any day. These guys are not ready. It shows.



  23. Anonymous says:

    @ pavo totally agree – brozo finally decent sub – now take off one winger or even Krama straight swap for perisic – he could play CF – at this point it couldn’t hurt us – we getting embarrassed – special shout out to Barisic and Jedvaj who are garbage and cause they garbage and need help – visa and lovren playing worse also – midfield still non existent front 4 look a lil better when they see the ball – maybe 3 times all game sustained pressure



  24. Croatian Canadian says:

    Jesus Christ what in the flying fuck was that? Our defence are absolute fucking shit. Lovren should never wear the HNS shirt, Jedvaj can’t keep up with the pace. At least Vida and Barisic are somewhat giving an effort. Is this the best we got? I understand it’s only nations league but holy shit this is depressing. Livakovic did nothing wrong. He was undoubtedly the best player on the field. The way we played. Should be 7-0 right now. I’m actually at lost for words. That was worse than the Spain match.



  25. Anonymous says:

    What a joke – Dalic shoulda subbed these newbies after half and started brozo and perisic – yes nations league is a joke but not as much a joke as friendlies so why did we start most to all newbies – 2 out of 11 starters WC 2018- ok mandZo, Suba, strinic, Vrsaljko understandable but getting embarrassed like this by these chops on national tv in North America when we have a chance to show who/what we are is pathetic – we look like dog shit



  26. Mile says:

    This is the worst performance in Croatia’s history, Sure they lost 6-0 to Spain, but they had some bad breaks in that game. And Portugal hit the post three times and had numerous other chances. This game is a complete joke. It looks the Spanish team from 2008-2012 playing Estonia. It’s embarrassing. The shots are 22-2. There is no way Croatia has ever been outshot 22-2 before. And now they have to play France. WTF..



  27. Croatian Canadian says:

    I can’t even imagine or don’t want to if Kalinic was in net. Everything was off today. Enough praise about these young guns that have little to no experience in the national level.



  28. Micky Spahic says:

    SRAMOTA. A performance like this. COVID or not. You’re MOST BASIC and FIRST objective as an athlete is to be 100% fit. These guys showed up like the Sunday morning Soccer Croatians in PV. Lmao



  29. Mali Ante says:

    Sramota. The lack of pride today was concerning. It goes to show that playing the younger players can cause these
    implosions. They lose focus and lack the experience and mental strength. Horrible performance by most. Rebic always hustles, Livakovic played well too. Our D is horrible. Vida has always been solid but Lovren is a pylon. He need to go. Brozo is key for us in protecting our D. And obviously we are different without Luka.



  30. Crotown says:

    Time to talk coaching again- unacceptable performance- can we hire the best coach regardless of race? Will Croatia allow a coach that can actually coach through our soccer history- this effort was deplorable- pressure is on now for change



  31. Z says:

    It goes to show how Modric is of such monumental importance to this squad. We in deep trouble when he finally hangs up the boots.



  32. Horvat says:

    This in my opinion is still the greatest Croatian team ever. Once everyone is healthy and fit, we will be among he best again.



  33. Anonymous says:

    @crotown – absolutely – suker you corrupt cheap fuck !!! Use the money you made from selling your France 98 semi tickets and all your other corrupt shit you’ve done as mamic puppet and hire Diego someone –
    He’s one of the only few international coaches who can take us to the promise land – excellent structure and atletico never gets beat down like how we do at times unfortunately – regardless no modric, rakitic , mandZo, perisic (u can tell his hussle and impact but too lil too late), brozo- we shouldn’t be losing these Estonia, San Marino, Andorra type scorelines !!!



  34. Razbijač says:

    Absolutely no effort, being beat to every ball…allowing the opposition acres of space…

    If Croatia play like this vs France, they will lose that encounter as well. Seems like they guys would rather be on the Makarska Riveria.

    Do you guys think Croatia will be relegated from the Nations League? I still think they’ll pull their act together and avoid that fate in the end…..



  35. Micky Spahic says:

    I can’t think of even 1 good performance by any in this group today. I would say Livakovic. But he was post lucky which ALWAYS helps you look better. But the 3rd and 4th goals ….even B level keepers should stop.
    As a YOUNG player, your chops should SALIVATE in a match like this…to impress and make a name for yourself. Just look at Portugal’s players. Grinding for every ball and playing all out. Our guys? Like they just had full plates of Croatian picnic food.
    The subs? Much too late and illogical. Start with your vets to set the rhythm of the match THEN bring in your young legged subs.
    All is not lost, though. Let’s see if our boys take SPECIAL NOTICE with France coming up. And play with PRIDE, PURPOSE and INTELLIGENCE!



  36. ElviSS says:

    Obviously they do not care about this tournament at all.
    Dalic even said so much. Just lost again next batch do we get
    Demoted



  37. A lot of hate for the youngsters. Strange if you ask me. Pasalic wasn’t good, but neither was Kovacic. It was just a dumb move to play them together that way. If Brozovic isn’t going to play the full game at least play Badelj who’s actually a DM. Game was different when Brozovic came on but it was already over at that point. Brekalo definitely still needs work, but he’s only 22. I’ve said since the debate between him and Rebic began, Rebic is our starter on the wing even if he’s not a wing. His pressing is too important.

    The worst players in my opinion though were Jedvaj, Barisic, and Lovren. Jedvaj was trying, just not good enough. Give Uremovic a game honestly. Barisic just seemed nervous every time he got the ball. He’s not amazing defensively, but he usually provides something in the attack. Didn’t do it well enough today. Lovren played a really bad game like he tends to sometimes.

    Also, I will say. After supporting Kramaric for so long over Petkovic as our starting striker. I want to Petkovic to start against France and see if something changes. Kramaric is still a better player, but Petkovic just MIGHT be the better fit. Kramaric was definitely the most dangerous attacker for us (if you can even say that). But as is his biggest criticism, he was too selfish. I did like that he was dropping back to receive the ball when it wasn’t getting to him to actually try to make something happen. I do think he was one of the ones actually trying, but we’ll have to see how Petkovic responds. He got the goal when he came on, but it was at the point where it was over and Portugal got lazy.

    Not knowing the situation. Whether Perisic and Brozovic or their clubs have asked to not play full matches. This is the lineup I would like to see against France.

    Petkovic, Perisic, Rebic, Vlasic, Kovacic, Brozovic, Barisic, Caleta-Car, Vida, Uremovic, Livakovic

    I really hope Dalic wakes up after this game. I get that no one cares about the Nations League, but come on. At least just give us some entertainment. If we get destroyed by France too and then also don’t win during the next international break I beg they just pick an entire team of fringe players because at least we will expect to lose and have a reason to watch. And those guys will show some effort as they want a regular spot on the roster.



  38. Not even mad we lost. I kind of expected to lose this game. But the lack of effort really annoyed me. I know we’ll be fine in the end, but I just think it’s disrespectful to show little-to-no effort when playing for your country. I can agree with Ante when he said I’d rather we threw a bunch of HNL guys in there who would have gone for it rather than what we saw today.



  39. Croatian Canadian says:

    Are we really surprised that these youngsters didn’t put an effort in a almost meaningless match during a global pandemic? Lets be real here. These guys have probably been having lot’s of sex with they’re 9 star rated wives, drinking and partying immensely and getting more free time. I wasn’t expecting an entertaining match to begin with during these unprecedented times. But that game made me wanna take a cheese grater to my balls and gauge my eyes out. Portugal looks strong, talented and fit. They’ll be a world class team when Ronaldo retires. Saving his last few years and health for Euro’s is key and keep him in the stands. There are no positive takeaways from this outcome. We sucked head to toe, beginning to end, it was like Portugal was playing a scrimmage against us. Only player that tried was Livakovic. I can’t believe I’m saying this but bring back Srna, Corluka, anybody else than those man bun whatever the fuck you call low energy statue smucks that were going deeper in the box and looking scared when Portugal attacked. No 1 V 1 battles were in our favors. Everything went wrong today. Oh well…. France is next lol and I pray to God for a better performance. Not looking for a win. These matches will give us an insight who’s ready and willing to play for competition and who isn’t. Try starting Grbic, Vrsaljko, Budimir, Badelj, Katic. Mix it up more. Fuck call Kreilach, Zuparic. MLS guys would kill to play for us. These self entitled youngsters looked trash today. Teams like Portugal, Denmark, Ukraine, Turkey etc are looking good. Not impressed by giants like Italy, Spain, Germany or England anymore. I feel euros will be won by a no name team.



  40. Micky Spahic says:

    JADNJI SMO MI.
    We, as fans, ESPECIALLY in a pandemic, take special solace in the hopes that during this time, sports will bring us a much needed reprieve of what’s going on in the world, but esp in this country. So we naturally assume that our athletes have that same added level of whatever you want to call it, pride, hope, want to give joy. But sadly, 95% of athletes, even now, will do what is in THEIR best interests, and don’t look beyond that or with any added thoughtfulness. That is my interpretation of watching even a game like this. They are here because they HAVE to be here…nothing more, and it showed. So is it on us to not expect any more or not be disappointed when they don’t, or them as athletes during a very difficult time, to give their supporters something to take their minds off the troubles of right now? I am curious what others think about this.



  41. Mali Ante says:

    Regardless whether you are a vet or new to the repka you always need to have pride when you put on the jersey. The lack of effort from the majority of players was the most concerning. Jedvaj looked lost and was beaten all game. Sime is a major upgrade in talent and heart. He was great for us in the WC.
    Just a tough game to watch all around. With Brozovic on we looked a little more like ourselves. We really don’t have replacements for Luka or Brozo.
    @ Nikola, agreed. Should have started the vets and incorporated the kids later.
    Kova just doesn’t show up for us. I’ve been waiting for him to show up but he was invisible. Brekalo seems to have regressed but I think he’ll end up being a decent player for us.
    Was hoping to see Pongracic play a bit as he’s been good for Wolfsburg. Too bad he was hurt and couldn’t play.



  42. BZ says:

    I blame Dalic for believing that Brekalo, Kovacic, Kramaric,& Pasalic could perform at a level close to what we expect.

    1)Kramaric is not our striker.
    -Can’t win a ball in midfield, if we don’t have the ball we rely on our defense…yikes
    -Can’t press, if we don’t win the ball back, we rely on our defense…yikes
    -Can’t see an open man

    2)Brekalo is not our winger
    -can’t press, defend
    -too small
    -just not nearly as good as Perisic and Rebic

    3)Pasalic- he benefits from Atalanta’s system, not our style midfielder. Would play better with Modric and Brozo, but still not our guy.
    eg Maurice Speights, Harrison Barnes etc etc at Golden State
    eg Any quarterback playing for Andy reid
    eg Any RB playing for Norv Turner etc etc

    4)Kovacic- see pasalic

    Lessons learned (or just fortified):

    1)Petko over Kramaric, he gels with Rebic Vlasic Perisic anf our midfield much better.

    2) Kova still way behind Rakitic Modric Brozo and Vlasic in the pecking order.

    3) Announcers are morons. Can’t even get the right player name half the time.

    4) Dalic needs to restore National pride, and never pull these bullshit shenanigans again. We high press or become average!
    Petko-Rebic-Perisic-Vlasic-Brozo HAVE to start vs France.



  43. Soul Champ says:

    Mediocre players need to be on notice:

    Jedvaj
    Pašalić
    Lovren

    Your spot is not guaranteed.

    Dalić has had a great run but is devoid of ideas.

    Portugal gave us lesson today.

    That A team minus and old Ronaldo.

    You bet your ass I want Mandžukić back along with Rakitic and Modrić.

    Barišić was exposed today.

    The SPL is no where near the top European leagues.

    Vlašić and Kovačić ??

    Showed me how important Brozovic is to us.



  44. Anonymous says:

    @Horvat, your name, and the various variations of it, literally means Croat. So why is the surname Horvat more prominent in Hungary and even Slovenia?



  45. Crotown says:

    Team culture should always be that we play our best – for hockey people – see Boston Bruins- HNS doesn’t have that culture now – we did when Croatia gained independence- deplorable now – get a coach who is the best



  46. Anonymous says:

    @”Maks”, you responded to a “Portuguese troll” who called Croatians “racist” by calling the Portuguese “racist”. What do you mean by “racist” exactly? How are the Portuguese “racist” exactly? Why do you continue using that antiWhite word?



  47. Anonymous says:

    @Iggy, I don’t believe you’re Croatian. If you are and this was war instead of sports, you’d be shot in the head by our side for your incessant defeatism.



  48. Dubrovcan says:

    Chill friends. i think we are all worrying too much. Dalic purposely told them not to try hard and get tired legs for tactical reasons. This was relatively visible most of the game. Dalic wants everyone fresh against France mainly for the ‘revenge’ headlines. Theres no way we can play two games 3 days apart with that level of intensity. It will be a whole different game on Tuesday.



  49. Anonymous says:

    I just love how Portugal can smash the Croats in different ways, in ’16 it was stopping Croatia from playing their counter attacking brand and today it was just putting on a football clinic against a team that many here said was full of “world class” players.

    Now to just sit back and laugh at some of these comments, especially the excuses.

    Go Portugal!



  50. Eric says:

    I’ve been following the Vatreni since the beginning, and this is the first game that i stopped watching before the end. Pathetic. If they gave 100% effort, and lost 6-0 , I would not be as upset. When you put on that “sveti dres” our nation deserves full effort.



  51. LAknat says:

    every time I say _ Brekalo won’t do anything!

    you guys praise him so much. He is not enough to be a driver for the ball, Hallilovic with a God dribbling skill should be there!

    LAknat always Right ‘; ( and everyone even Dalic never right down here, to see what I stated before the match//

    ALL of You live on hype .^.
    This is why you need to be blessed by a God ”
    We need revitalization…



  52. Anonymous says:

    @Dubrovcan, there’s a difference between making bullshit excuses and not being a defeatist. “Dalic told them not to try” ?



  53. Anonymous says:

    Keep the guys that had a lucky world cup run until they’re 45yrs old I reckon, they never did anything before the world cup but now they think they’re something else because they couldn’t beat Denmark and Russia in normal time, beat a young England, and the got shit beat out of them in the final by France.

    Croatia is just a good ordinary team and that’s all they’ll ever be, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Beating top teams because they don’t take you seriously is still good, a win is a win.



  54. NK Susak says:

    The number one thing that bothered me the most, and it’s something that is taught at the 5-6 year old levels in any team sport is, “ you always stop the ball first” whether it be basketball, football, field hockey or whatever the fuck that was today. The person carrying or in possession of said object needs to be deterred or infringed. Meaning put a damn body in front of it and make them make a play and your team scrambles afterwards. Nobody put any pressure on any Portugal player carrying the ball over midfield. It was sickening to watch. This exposed how useless of a player Kovacic was and is. Grow some balls. Drunken rant over and better show something better because the rest of Europe is taking our World Cup run as a joke.



  55. Anonymous says:

    It could be worse, “we” could have “won” 4-1 with a nonWhite team. Then “us” would be whoever has the proper papers.



  56. Suba says:

    O dear

    We have high highs.

    But boy do we have depressing lows too

    If Dalic told the boys not to play he should resign immediately and find a coach who will give it their all each time

    Same goes for the players you should play your heart out every time you wear that sacred jersey

    This old fashioned Croatian mentality needs to stop or if you are not prepared to play hard then don’t even turn up and waste everyone’s time

    Uefa should scrap this format

    It’s obviously a sham



  57. Anonymous says:

    @Pro white guy

    When I watch Croatia’s atheistic communist dictatorship allow your schismatic cetniks (“the breed”) to annually celebrate the killing of white Croats in Srb in 1941 I ask myself how can you be pro white but remain silent on what the atheistic communists and the schismatic “breed” get up to in Croatia?

    Do your kind have a problem with empathy?

    Bog i Hrvati

    =U=



  58. Anonymous says:

    Keep the guys that had a lucky world cup run until they’re 45yrs old I reckon, they never did anything before the world cup but now you guys think they’re something else because they couldn’t beat Denmark and Russia in normal time, beat a young England, and then got the shit beat out of them in the final by France.

    Croatia is just a good ordinary team and that’s all they’ll ever be, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Beating top teams because they don’t take you seriously is still good.



  59. Lovro says:

    This tournament is bullshit – it leads itself to games like this. Certain teams not taking it seriously can lead to frustration for fans.

    In fact, the 0-6 loss to Spain coming so soon after a second place finish in the WC left Croatian fans to little time to celebrate and allowed opposing fans to claim how they were correctly saying it was a fluke.

    Having said that, beside the fact that there was no heart or desire, having 3 midfielders like Kovacic, Vlasic and Pasalic who do not play ANY defense and an aging, slow defense is a deadly combination.

    Too many offensive minded attacking midfielders.

    Shows you how much Brozovic, Modric and Rakitic mean to the Croatian national side for the DEFENSIVE work they provide.

    Bigger issue – the lack of talent from the ages 25-29 will now become painfully apparent. Most important age group – due to the war 1991-1995 when our birthrate declined heavily.

    We overrate our players and have several with the same “I play for my club better than my national team” disease.

    Croatia is on its way from being a World Cup finalist to third best team from the former Yugoslavia – won’t take very long.



  60. Uncle Junior says:

    Zdinki Septic says:
    “Sure would like to see Slavonac’s take on this mess”

    What the fuck are you asking him for??? That quarter cetnik never had the makings of a varsity athlete!!



  61. Suba says:

    Next question to ask was that Portugal’s a minus Ronaldo or its b team

    If thats the case that it is their b team then there’s no excuse sorry

    Lot of praise for Livakovic flip flopping around like a guber does not make you a world class keeper

    Lovro

    Don’t overreact we are not on our way being third in the balkans

    K139

    Why don’t you suck slavonac small dick you gimp



  62. Horvat says:

    To answer Anonymous’s question, why is the name Horvat so prominent in Hungary and Slovenia;

    First of all, Horvat is by far the most common surname in Croatia.

    All those Horvat’s in other countries, have Croatian ancestors that lived there during the Austro-Hungarian empire.



  63. Horvat says:

    Yes, we had a bad game for whatever reason. Portugal has an awesome team right now.

    I will say it again, this is by far the greatest Croatian team ever. If the Euros took place this summer, we would have dominated the tournament. I think we are significantly stronger than we were in 2018.

    Not bad for 4 million people.



  64. Horvat says:

    Dalic said our boys were not going to press this game. Many of them are not in form. He told us to expect poor soccer these two games.

    However, it’s a mystery to me how mush energy Portugal had today. Wasn’t expecting that.



  65. Stric Junior says:

    well shit this site can detect duplicate posts but cant just simply post the comment? thats some real kukavica stylings right there fellas!



  66. Miloš Hvar says:

    I’m not sold on Livaković.. he had some real nice saves but also could have done better on those out of the box goals. His reaction at times was slow and he got lucky some of those hit the post. He had some shaky goal keeping for Dinamo against Romanian Cluj as well. Still too early for us to make a change and put Grbić in there but I think it’s creeping in the back of our heads because he’s put out a lot of tape already. I’m seeing a lot of “well at least Livaković played well” posts as if that’s a big takeaway we can have but reality is he had an average game with concerning moments (and some shining as well).



  67. Poglavnik says:

    @Lika Joey
    Was gonna say even with Modric and Rakitic they might have a better midfield. Nevermind without.



  68. Anonymous says:

    @Bernardo Morais

    “Croats are known for 3 things: inventing cravats, complain about the injustices of referees, and being racists. Hence the previous comment being here for so long.”

    The “racist guy” is not a Croat but a cetnik Serb, he’s been here many times in the past praising the cetniks and shitting on the white Croats that his people killed in Srb in 1941.

    He only ever talks about American problems because he knows nothing about Croatian affairs. Lol, he also talks of a “white genocide” but when I ask him how and when it will be forced on whites to copulate and procreate with non whites, he has no answer and just runs away.

    He would prefer a white nation because he fears that whites would choose to copulate and procreate with non-whites ahead of whites given the choice, so he endorses segregation to stop what he sees as heresy trying to break out in his “white countries.” He would prefer if whites didn’t have a choice in what color skin they want to copulate and procreate with and sees all who disagree with him as heretics and traitors.
    He also once accused me of talking about “a world that doesn’t exist anymore” like it was a bad thing, and then goes on to dream about “a world that doesn’t exist anymore” like it’s a good thing. He’s this sites Joe Biden lol!

    I’m Croatian and I have no problem with people having a variety of skin colors to choose from when deciding who they want to copulate and procreate with.



  69. BZ says:

    It isn’t about heart

    It was ALL about strategy and personnel.

    If we were going to play Brozo and Perisic, then it should have been from the start.

    If we weren’t going to press, then sit Rebic too. Why waste his talents playing futile, hodgepodge soccer.

    If you want tiny guys like Kramaric, Vlasic, Brekalo fighting for 50/50 balls, then we are destined to fail.

    Play to our strengths.
    Big, fast, talented, pressing front lines. They come around only so often, and I’d rather watch us roll with Perisic, Rebic,& Mandzukic til they are “45” than watch what happened to us today.

    I believe we can at least have glimpses of brilliance vs France with Petko, Rebic, Perisic, Vlasic, & Brozo…but cannot wait for Modric and Rakitic to return to restore honor and dignity.

    Some think I was rooting for Brekalo, Pasalic, Kovacic, & Kramaric to fail. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I sincerely wanted to look like the idiot for incessantly being the only one to say they do not fit with our winning formula. Unfortunately, I’m not an idiot today.



  70. Maminjo says:

    I only watched the first half, and caught the highlights for the second half. However, I did watch the first half very closely and I think I learned quite a few things from this game…

    First off, this loss is on Dalic.

    If it’s true that his strategy was to ‘not press’ and simply ‘play the counter’ instead…then he got the lineup and personnel all wrong.

    Based on what I saw on the field today, it was as if we were playing some sort of crazy 6-0-4 formation with zero midfield out there to support our forwards.

    If we’re playing the counter, then we need our midfielders to spearhead our counter attacks to our forwards using their creativity and technical ability…but we didn’t do this at all. Kovacic and Pasalic were not playing this role. They were just a couple of extra defenders this game, holding the ball whenever we regained possession (not making any forward passes)…and as a result, we literally had nobody sending anything forward. There was a massive disconnect between our midfield and our forwards.

    We also got nothing from our wingbacks in Jedvaj and Barisic. Jedvaj didn’t make a single run forward, and Barisic made a few poor attempts. Neither of them are that great at this anyway, and I didn’t expect much from them, but I was still surprised that there were little to no attempts made to attack up the flank.

    You cannot play the counter attack…but not actually counter any of their attacks. We didn’t send any balls down the middle, nothing up the flanks…not even a damn long ball attempt. I’m not sure what strategy Dalic was trying to implement here.

    I also disagree with the theory that Dalic told our players not to try. Most of them were trying. You could see it.
    Also, I disagree that our forwards were poor. I actually think Rebic, Brekalo, Vlasic and Kramaric were pretty decent (at least from what I saw in the first half). Whenever any of them had the ball, they looked dangerous. The issue was, that they all barely touched the ball…but when they did, each of them created a decent chance in the half.

    The WORST player on the pitch was easily Kovacic (and maybe Pasalic too).

    Jedvaj and Lovren were also terrible. They were both defending our right side, and were very slow and poor at man marking. Jedvaj was at fault for two goals. Lovren was partially at fault for the first, but was at fault for many of Portugal’s close calls. That entire right side was porous because of them.

    However, the reason why Kovacic gets the biggest loser award was that (for some reason) both Kovacic and Pasalic were simply acting as additional CBs standing in front of Lovren and Vida.

    NO FORWARD PASSING…NO CREATIVITY…NO TECHNICAL ABILITY DISPLAYED…NOTHING…FROM EITHER OF THEM.

    I watched both Kovacic and Pasalic closely, because I was curious as to what they could do…and I was appauled.

    Kovacic was literally just jogging on the spot, and whenever he received the ball, he just dished it off horizontally (or backward) to the nearest player.
    That’s all he did all half.

    There was one play in particular where he dished it off sideways to Barisic from close range, who then dished it right back. Then, Kovacic paused for a second and dished it back to Barisic. Barisic was all confused, and then Barisic just decided to run forward with it and ended up losing the ball.

    It’s like Kovacic just likes to play ‘hot potato’ with the ball. Why is Barisic expected to be the one to create something? This is supposed to be Kovacic’s skillset, not Barisic. Even Barisic was confused as to why Kovacic just keeps dishing the ball off to him, and not trying to create something by using his technical ability to link up with our forwards.

    What’s worse is that Kovacic doesn’t even run forward or move away from the Portuguese player defending him after making the pass. He dishes it off to Barisic, but remains in his standing position. So, Barisic is unable to send the pass back to Kovacic when Barisic is coming under pressure. So Barisic has to react and we are now reliant on what Barisic can create for our forwards, lol, WTF!?!?

    Kovacic needs a serious sit-down talk with Dalic (and Modric).
    For some reason, Kovacic seems to think that it’s not his role to create anything.
    He’s supposed to be our ‘regista’ this game, and he refused to make a single forward pass until the 30th MINUTE OF THE GAME!
    I actually watched Kovacic like a hawk, and he made no forward pass for the first half hour of the game. Pasalic made one (a very unsuccessful one, that went directly to a Portugese midfielder).
    Kovacic made a couple of weak, close range forward passes in the 30th minute of the game, and that was it for the half from him. Two useless forward passes. Pathetic.

    Pasalic didn’t do any better, but at least Pasalic was running and trying to get into some sort of position…but Kovacic wasn’t even doing that.
    Kovacic was simply sitting back, and acting as another CB. But the bad part was, that he was defending poorly. His attempts to intercept opposing passes into our box were too late, and he was giving too much space to opposing players. That first half goal was entirely his fault. He literally jogged at his man, when the Portguese player was winding up to shoot. Not even a lunge to try and block it.
    If we were going to play with six defenders, we may as well have just played Uremovic and Caleta-Car in Kovacic and Pasalic’s positions. There would have been no difference in outcome (except for better defending).

    I’m going to try and download the second half and watch it too.
    I’m glad I saw this first half, because it just reaffirms that we cannot have Jedvaj start and we need to experiment with our young CBs more (instead of relying on Lovren for the Euros).
    It also reaffirms that Kovacic and Pasalic cannot start. We at least need Brozovic back there (who actually knows how to spring forward a counter attack).

    Barisic tried, but he’s just a stop-gap solution until we find someone better (like Domagoj Bradaric). Vida is still solid, but we need to start experimenting with Pongracic, Uremovic and Caleta-Car in Lovren’s position. We have to go all-in with Vrsaljko at RB. He could have all the COVID in the world and two bum knees, and he’d still perform better than Jedvaj at RB.

    Also, I’d like to give Grbic a chance in goal.
    Livakovic seems like he has great reflexes, but he’s not necessary a great goalkeeper.
    He does a great job reacting to close range shots that are arm’s length away from him, but he’s still too slow to react from those long range shots. He might be another Subasic like that. Good on penalties and close range shots, but bad at everything else. We’ll see.



  71. Anonymous says:

    Remember when an American mocks you for “balkanization” remind them that a united white race will wipe the floor with the united states.



  72. Anonymous says:

    Mandzukic, Modric, Rakitic, Srna, Perisic etc. were failing for years before their glorious loss in a final and not winning the big one was achieved. You gotta give these young guys ten years of playing together to see what they can achieve. Remember Mandzukic was a loser for years and sucked ass in ’16. Modric was pathetic against Portugal in ’16.
    Rakitic was to blame for the Turkey loss in ’08.

    Point is that a lot of the players in the world cup losing finalist team did fuck all for years before they actually did something as great as losing a world cup final and not winning the big one.



  73. Stanko says:

    Maminjo good break down except for your exclusion of your boy Brekalo and how horrific he was as well?
    You pound the table how amazing he has been for us which you’ve over hyped, but you can’t ignore how bad he was yesterday.
    Your boy crush on him and Jedvaj needs to be re-assessed.



  74. Mali Ante says:

    @Maminjo
    I agree with most of your comments. But I disagree with this one being on Dalic. It was on everyone from Dalic to each player.
    Dalic’s counter tactic often works with the right players. The midfield was absolutely horrible. I can’t agree that Kovacic and Pasalic were extra defenders because they did less than nothing. Kovacic is NOT a DM. We were noticeably more composed as soon as Brozo was brought in. He is a very underrated player for us and covers for Lovren’s poor play but at the same allows our other mids to move forward the link up play.

    The players were not hungry. Lots of standing at round, 50/50 balls were never challenged. It was actually embarrassing.
    Our defending was horrible. Vida is always solid for us but I agree 100% with your assessment of our right side D.
    We miss Vrsaljko and Lovren is done. Jedvaj was awful. I know he’s typically a CB for Bayer but he looked really bad. They need to integrate Pongracic ASAP if we have any hope to play against fast and talented teams.

    I would like to see Uremovic/Bradaric play LB for us to see what they could do. All in all I’m not too concerned because we really didn’t have our A team.

    Lastly, Kova just does not have that killer instinct. It can’t be taught. I’m not sure how we play him in our lineup. Brozovic would give him more freedom to play but he just won’t. Mentally he is weak.



  75. Maminjo says:

    @Mali Ante

    Yea. Kovačić is just so timid. Him not being aggressive or ever wanting to make a forward pass… It simply makes him unplayable. This has been a recurring problem for years, and I just don’t think he has a role on this team until he tackles those issues.

    @Stanko

    I didn’t watch the second half, but I didn’t see anything terribly bad from Brekalo (or any of our forwards) in the first half.

    I actually thought they were all okay. They just couldn’t get the ball. Dalić needed to sub out both Kovačić and Pašalić. He should have done it in the first half hour, to make a statement to both of them.

    Re: Jedvaj… Yes, he was always going to be a stop-gap solution for us and be a depth player. He was never going to be a starter for us… But lately, he’s just been making a ridiculous amount of mistakes for us back there.

    We have too many young defenders coming up to even bother with Jedvaj starting (when Vrsaljko is out). I think I’ve seen enough of him.



  76. Maminjo says:

    Also, yes, I didn’t realize that Uremović plays RB as his secondary position.

    I don’t watch Rubin Kazan games, but if he has some experience with the RB position in the Russian League… Then we should try him there whenever Vrsaljko is out.

    It’s become too obvious a problem for us.



  77. Andrej L says:

    Pasalic reminds me a bit of Kranjcar; has talent but no speed of defensive attributes. I think his best position is behind the striker with little defensive duties but this isn’t going to fit our style.

    Krama moves away too much from the two CBs and someone else needs to go there if he drops. I think CF isn’t his best position. We had no target up top for much of the 1st half because he roamed so much.

    Brekalo needs to look for a pass quicker rather than looking to dribble by people all the time. Still a young player who’s gonna get time to develop at Wolfsburg.

    Portugal played vets like Joao Moutinho and Pepe while Dalic experimented with players we all wanted to see what they could do.

    Please no bullshit about not trying; your confusing that with playing poorly.

    Disappointed with Kova.
    Impressed by Livakovic.

    Excited to see what Dalic does on Tues. I think Brozo and Perisic are a must even for Nations League.



  78. Andrej L says:

    PS: the U21s smoked Greece 5-0 on Thurs.

    Sutalo played RB and Sosa played LB.

    They play again tomorrow against the undefeated Czechs.



  79. Ivan says:

    Watch us beat France on Tuesday lol … we are so unpredictable .. it’s always depends on how motivated the players are



  80. Lika Joey says:

    I’m starting to thinks some of you are delusional. We lost to a much better team who made us look horrible. Without Rakitic, Modric, Brozovic in midfield we are not a top team. It’s scary times ahead when Modric and Rakitic leave. Kovacic is a jack of all trades and a master of nothing. We simply got run over yesterday.



  81. The truth says:

    It’s clear this game really doesn’t matter

    We lost 6-0 to Spain when players weren’t into it and fit and then beat Spain

    It’s clear today was a combo of lack of fitness, care, and tactics

    Not a ton to read into it



  82. Maminjo says:

    Yea, Pašalić can’t play deep.

    Only Modrić, Rakitić and Brozović can.

    Kovačić has the skills to also play deep, but he’s unwilling to commit to the role. I’d give him another chance, but if I see the same toothless play from him, then I give up. He’s just a career bench player for us then (much like Jedvaj).

    I’d rather just see what Nikola Moro can do in the role.

    @Ivan

    We can beat France on Tuesday if we bench Kovačić, Lovren, Pašalić and Jedvaj.

    Problem is we don’t have replacements for both Kovačić AND Pašalić in the pivot. We have Brozović, but nobody else. We probably should have called up Moro to see what he could bring (since we chose not to call up Rakitić and Modrić).

    I think Dalić will have to start Kovačić with Brozović against France, and this will be the final shot for Kovačić.



  83. BZ says:

    Kova sucked as usual, but was better as soon as Brozo arrived. He will start vs France with Brozo, if healthy.

    Dalic knows Petko-Vlasic-Rebic-Perisic-Brozo is our core combo, with Modric and Rakitic out. It is clear as day.

    Silver lining: The embarassment gives Dalic the excuse to bench Kramaric and Brekalo, whom unknowledgable fans have been pressuring Dalic to start.

    Defense: Dalic can experiment with the D, if our attack is solid, it doesn’t matter who is back there. Eg. Mitrovic got us qualified to the WC. Cross our fingers.

    Vrsaljko: I would not count on Vrsaljko ever coming back on a reliable basis. His knee is chronic, He can play well in spurts but always a danger of being subbed out and leaving us in a lurch.



  84. Ed says:

    When it comes to friendly matches, we never play with any heart and it’s so frustrating to watch. Even without Modrić, Rakitić and Perišić, we have a great group of players! With our starting lineup today, on paper, we should have been able to at least hold our own and get a draw out of the game. Dalić looks completely disinterested on the sideline, and even though I’ll always be thankful for what he did in 2018, a 6-0 loss to Spain and a 4-1 (should have been 7-1) loss to Portugal is unacceptable.



  85. Bernardo Morais says:

    “With our starting lineup today, on paper, we should have been able to at least hold our own and get a draw out of the game.”

    Joker. Croatia’s back 5 is atrocious. Only quality is Rebic and Perisic (assuming Modric and Rakitic will be out soon anyway). Confidence is great, but this is borderline delusional, given the (lack of) quality of the squad. Portugal has its best squad ever, and its just a shame Ronnie is on the wrong side of 30s.



  86. Stari says:

    Everyone calm down. They threw the game….told all their family members to bet big on Portugal. It’s been happening for years. We always seem to have strangely out of character losses but always show up when we need to. The true test of our team will be at the Euros. Then we’ll see how good we are. Nations League is junk.



  87. Stipe says:

    @EVERYONE

    RELAX!! We have these high expectations. We are always better as the underdogs.

    The only thing I am annoyed about is how a lot of people on this website were praising Vlasic and Brekalo, they didn’t do much in an empty stadium. Vlasic wearing number 10. Empty stadium or no empty stadium, you gotta compete. Maybe our youngsters aren’t as good as they think they’ll be for the repka. I hope I’m wrong.



  88. Kosor77 says:

    To me UEFA Nations League is a waste I’m probably the only one that rather see friendlies versus this Nations League crap that’s still confusing as hell considering they have changed the format and probably will each Nations League Season. Sramota yes of course and couldn’t agree more with you Ante put in the HNL’ers or Z squad. Ahh Jebi ga sta ces? When does WC qualifiers start now that EURO has postponed to next summer?



  89. Mali Ante says:

    I get experimenting for friendlies but not when you are missing key pieces like Modric/Rakitic.
    Dalic should have known better than to start Pasalic and Brekalo. The Pasalic idea was disastrous. Brozo is definitely a key player for us. Pasalic is one dimensional and a useful sub but nothing more. I’m starting to think unless Brekalo gets a little stronger he may get worse as time goes on. These smaller/slight players get pushed off the ball so easily.



  90. Crotown says:

    Stipe – perfect message- how can a Croatian team be so gutless- 4 guys from Lika with shovels would love a few minutes with these “ youngsters” after an effort like Portugal- you put on the Grb and show that effort – sickening – most people on this message board have had family in war or even parents fight for their country- it wasn’t good , we can move on but that effort should never be seen again- were not Argentina , or Sweden-
    Were Croatia- play with some guts or change out all these dudes



  91. Maminjo says:

    @BZ

    Your comment…
    “Silver lining: The embarassment gives Dalic the excuse to bench Kramaric and Brekalo, whom unknowledgable fans have been pressuring Dalic to start.”

    LOL. Are you referring to me?

    You must be ecstatic about this loss, just so you can say ‘I told you so’.

    I didn’t bother watching the second half yet, but Krama and Brekalo (along with Rebic and Vlasic) were not the problem in the first half.

    Despite what you may think, the question of who starts between Krama and Bruno is definitely still open…but the great news for everyone is that Bruno has shown that his scoring streak was no fluke (by scoring yet again for the National Team against a quality opponent).

    Brekalo is the future, with Perisic and Rebic starting in these next two tournaments on the wings. Most would agree on this.

    But make no mistake…our forwards, wingers and CAM are some combination of Krama, Bruno, Perisic, Rebic, Brekalo and Vlasic (with Krama and Bruno currently battling for the starting striker spot and Brekalo being the first winger off the bench).
    There is really no need to experiment and introduce any new players in these positions. Our pool of players up top are pretty much set, and guys like Orsic or Budimir won’t be able to surpass any of them (nor should we try to change anything too much there).

    The experimentation in our MIDFIELD is what went wrong in this game, by seeing what Pasalic could do out of position, and relying on Kovacic to provide something that Modric/Rakitic/Brozovic have provided us these past several years.

    Pasalic tried, but he’s a fish out of water in that role.
    Kovacic was a massive disappointment.

    Also, our backline (outside of Vida) were exposed as mediocre without the likes of Modric and Brozovic covering for them.

    We need hope that Vrsaljko comes back healthy, and we need to try some other defenders (like Pongracic, Uremovic, Caleta-Car and Bradaric) back there.

    We also need at least one of Brozovic, Rakitic, and Modric in the pivot at all times.

    I’m pretty sure Dalic saw this and will be making some changes as soon as the France game.



  92. Andrej L says:

    @ Maminjo
    I’m pretty sure your boy Moro scored a karate kick goal on Thurs. Hopefully he does well at Kiev but i’d prefer to let him stick around with the U21s during Nations League. No need to bring up anyone U21 considering our depth for Nations League. Modric and Rakitic will probably be back for the next round of Nations League games. Some of the U21s players will probably be brought into the senior team in March as usual.



  93. Stipe says:

    @Crotown

    I get what your saying. I’m not upset they loss. That’s the sport. Win, loss, or draw. But Croatia didn’t show up. That is why I’m disgruntled.

    Portugal has a great side even with out Ronaldo. (I truly believe if Ronaldo didn’t get hurt in the 2016 Final, France would have won. Portugal played better with no Ronaldo in a final )

    With Ronaldo or no Ronaldo there is no reason for us to get bent over a table and get Fucked.

    I felt as if I was like watching a Real Madrid vs Dinamo game. Portugal was controlling the game, that cannot happen. Even before they scored the 2nd goal they out shot us 15-2. They hit the post twice in the first half. 4-1 final score line should have been 7 or 8-1. Idk if it’s because Croatia reached the WC Finals now other teams are gunning for us.

    But we as fans shouldn’t worry anything long term. It’s only a game. I just smoked a fat blunt im going on and on.

    Last thing: We are expecting to much since the World Cup .We have to lower are expectations. What happened in WC wasn’t a fluke. We have great players. It was AMAZING. But we gotta stop thinking that we will be a consistent powerhouse. Look at what happened after 1998. Missed the 2000 euros. 02 WC group elimination. Euro 04 group elimination. WC 06 group elimination. I don’t want to talk about 2008. Jebem ti Turci . WC 2010 we qualify and so on and so on.

    It’ll be ight. We tuff



  94. Maminjo says:

    @Andrej

    LOL. Moro is not my boy. Actually, I’m kind of disappointed he went for so cheap (10 million). Makes me think that he may not be as great a prospect as we had hoped. But I guess that’s what a blown ACL does to a young player.

    But he can play deep, so that’s good news. Based off what we saw from Kovacic and Pasalic, we’ll need some additional future talent that can play deep for us.

    Good to hear he scored (I just watched his goal, very nice volley). His offensive highlights as a youth were great, but since his injury, he largely plays deep and doesn’t really score. Hopefully he develops well in Russia.



  95. BZ says:

    @Maminjo- comment wasn’t directed at you. It has more to do with dopes on social media pressuring Dalic to change what works.

    I am devastated by the loss, and I wanted to believe. I almost put down $500 when the line was +440, but just couldn’t pull the trigger cause I in my gut I don’t believe in Kramaric, Brekalo and Kovacic. Agonized for 20 minutes but couldn’t pull the trigger.

    The game went exactly how I thought, and that was super depressing. It is not about, “I told you so”. I just want people to know that clamoring for the next best thing, when you already have a good thing going, has real consequences.

    You have been tough on Pasalic and Kova too, so I know you are not a homer. Respect.

    Here is the thing:
    Krama and Brekalo are great. They will fit some club coach’s game plan perfectly. But Croatia can’t remain elite playing their style of soccer.

    In this day and age, every kid can dribble like a champ. Every country is going to have Brekalos and Krama (portugal for one.) I play with these kids a few times a week. They are impressive, but they miss that extra level (size, strength, hustle/fight, off the ball movement)

    It is no mystery we couldn’t win possession off of goal kicks until Perisic and Petkovic came on.

    It is no mystery we couldn’t generate from midfield until Brozo came on.

    It isn’t rocket science, high press and a top line that can gain possession. It works.

    Brekalo might not be the future (unless an injury to Rebic or Perisic.) By the time they retire a better option will likely emerge, if not, we will likely no longer be elite.



  96. Bobby V says:

    We have a crisis on defense – all 4 need to be replaced.

    With that in mind, as Lovro pointed out, you have play defensive minded midfielders for now.

    Pasalic, Kovacic and Vlasic do not provide that defensive coverage.

    Having 7 players on the field who are poor defenders against a young talented team like Portugal was a perfect storm recipe for a disaster. The result could have easily been 10-1. Portugal hit the post 4-5 times.

    An in-form Badelj, Rakitic and Brozovic starting would have helped limit Portugal’s chances.



  97. Bobby V says:

    Keeping standings and having teams qualify for the World Cup and European championships for a a competition that most countries do not take 100 percent seriously is a joke.

    Watched Serbia-Turkey yesterday – both their B teams on the field for the most part.

    Right now this is a battle – FIFA is trying to force national teams to take this tournament seriously in an already overcrowded schedule.

    When some countries do and most don’t, it leads to frustration among fans.

    The whole concept is wrong. If the goal is to qualify from this competition, wouldn’t it make sense to lose on purpose for a couple of years, then send your best when you reach group C?

    The reward for winning your group is to advance to a higher one next session making it harder to qualify next time?

    All complicated by the fact that some teams send their B teams
    When you show up with your best?

    Dump this shit.



  98. Maminjo says:

    @Bobby V

    Yea, the bad thing about Nations League is the whole ‘best team in League B, C and D each get to play for an automatic spot in the Euros’.

    So, you’re right in that you could scam your way into an easy playoff spot by purposely dropping into the lower leagues.

    Serbia is an example. They finished third in qualifying and should not be in the Euros, but they got top spot in their League C group, so they get a second chance and only have to beat Norway and Scotland/Israel (which is easier than them beating Portugal and Ukraine in qualifying).
    Kosovo (who won their group in League D) only have to beat Macedonia, then the winner of Georgia/Belarus, lol.

    However, I guess the incentive for League A teams (like Croatia) would be that you would still get a second chance and would play against the other runner up teams in League A (or possibly League B) to get in.

    Iceland, for example, finished dead last in League A…and since there is a spot allocated for League A as well (and since all League A teams qualified for the Euros), Iceland gets to play some of the runner up teams in League B and C (Romania, then winner of Hungary/Bulgaria).

    But, yea, it’s bad for Iceland if another League A team didn’t qualify directly (i.e. Croatia). Then they would have to play them instead, which would have been worse.

    It’s also tough to drop into the lower leagues, then top your group, which would get you that easier qualification path…then you are promoted to the higher leagues anyway.
    Also, it affects your seeding if you are perpetually keeping yourself in the B and C leagues.

    Better to stay in League A, still get a second chance at qualification, but (more importantly) you keep your seeding.

    The seeding has been a bigger issue for me. Teams who take Nations League seriously (i.e. Switzerland) are the ones that will get the highest seeding over teams like France or Croatia, despite never doing anything in actual tournaments.



  99. NK Susak says:

    0-0 pretty even first half with the U21s against the Czechs. Impressed with Sosa and has a little feisty side to him which is a good thing. It’s pretty evident that Moro and Majer are a class above everyone else on the field between the 2 teams. Just need to finish in that final third. Czechs playing a choppy game. Important to keep heads and avoid getting useless cards. I know stakes are different, but nice to see actual effort instead of the garbage we saw Saturday.



  100. Maminjo says:

    RE: Tomorrow’s game versus France…

    We still have Badelj and Brozovic who can both play deep and take on the defensive responsibilities…but I think Badelj has dropped off a lot over the past couple of seasons.

    I think we see Kovacic starting again, but with Brozovic playing chaperone.

    Shame that Kova can’t do anything by himself.

    Jedvaj for sure gets benched. I can’t see Jedvaj starting after yesterday. Hopefully we see what Uremovic can do, but maybe Dalic does something else there.

    I think Lovren gets a long leash with Dalic and it will take a lot more mistakes before he gets benched.



  101. Maminjo says:

    Yea, Sosa was always decent.

    The only reason why Barisic is starting for the senior squad is because he’s playing first team football for Rangers (and both Strinic and Pivaric were injured/retired post 2018).

    Sosa struggled with injuries and with his starting role at Stuttgart. Also, the U21 coach probably pushes Dalic to keep him on the U21 squad, the same way with Bradaric.

    There’s no reason for Barisic to be considered above Bradaric, just based on resume alone. What that kid does for the U21s and for his club team is enough for him to start for the senior squad.



  102. Slavonac from Canada says:

    My two cents:

    We have been discussing players and their qualities over the course of the past several months. I’m usually not so enthusiastic about a players result on his club team unless I feel they are a “regular” contributor AND if they perform their duties in their position/role effectively! I have really sat back and listened to many of you here rant about Vlasic and Kramaric while not saying much about them. Kramarić is a goal scorer but offers nothing else so in games like the Portugal game, don’t expect him to do anything…he won’t press his and chase down balls with any effectiveness, he won’t create much or help defend much to win back the ball. Vlašić did nothing……he didn’t create much and he didn’t help break up a play to counterattack. If all the stars are aligned up well, he’ll get his long range shot and score a goal…there’s a lot more to a game than watching his hi light goals on YouTube.

    Dalić made a massive error playing Pasalic as a deep midfielder! Pašalić looked like a fish out of water and I put more blame on Dalic for that than I do Pasalic…either way, he was totally ineffective and played horrible!

    Character, MUDA…kako mi znamo reci!! Who had it? The intangibles in a game that are 100% necessary to lift a team’s momentum and display some pride on the field! The missing ingredient from Kramaric, Vlasic, Pasalic, Kovacic….this is what they lack and it’s why over the years when we compare players, we often consider skill and goals and forget the efforts it takes to create those opportunities to happen!

    If you’re gonna be an opportunist like Kramaric and Vlasic, you better damn make shit happen otherwise you gotta get gritty and play as if every game is your last…pokazi da imas mudu!

    We lost several balls, we did not high press, we lacked ideas through the midfield…the level of compete was super low and all this is troubling to me when I read how we have players ready to step in…they definitely lacked any intensity and that display was horrendous!

    Missing Modric & Rakitic shouldn’t mean we lower our compete level. It should mean our younger guys must show hunger and prove themselves on the field!

    Dalić is proving he’s barely better than the TV repairman. He better stop fantasizing and make shit happen or we are in for a terrible ride!



  103. Andrej L says:

    Re U21s
    Sosa and Moro definitely have an edge to them. Majer has a nice touch. Ivanusec really looks to dribble at people and can be dangerous in the final 3rd.

    Sutalo looked great and is probably our best RB unless Vrsaljko can regain his form/health.



  104. Crnkovic says:

    Barisic is a good player. The intensity was lacking, coach tried a different tactical approach. I’m sure they are all working hard to come up with solutions





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