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Stay Or Go? Which Players Might Make A Move This Summer?

September 10, 2020

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It’s that time of year again. Rumors about players moving to new clubs have been swirling for months already and tons of transfers have already occurred around the world. For example, Ivan Rakitić moved back to Sevilla, Nikola Moro moved to Dinamo Moscow, and Ivan Perišić’s loan with Bayern has ended and he has returned to Inter (at least for now). So, with this extended transfer window being officially open for about a month now, let’s take a look at a few rumored transfers for some of our players and see if they might be a good fit.

 

 

Joško Gvardiol to Leeds United

 

 

Why Leeds United should invest in Josko Gvardiol for the future

 

 

Let’s start with one of the more known transfer rumors and one that is looking increasingly likely to happen. 18 year-old Joško Gvardiol has only been in Dinamo’s first team for a little less than a year now, having made only 13 appearances for the senior side. However, his potential is undeniable. He is the definition of the modern center-back. He is good with the ball at his feet, has a nice range of passing, and his defensive awareness is spectacular for someone as young as he is. The rumor is that Leeds United has offered Dinamo somewhere in the range of 20 million euros. How he would fit into Leeds United is a bit tricky. Even though Leeds have only just been promoted back to the Premier League for the first time, they are still a very big club in England and have been spending a good bit on money in the transfer window bringing in the likes of Rodrigo from Valencia and center-back Robin Koch from Freiburg for close to 50 million euros. Gvardiol would likely either be a backup center-back behind Koch and team captain, Liam Cooper. There’s also a chance of being the starting play left-back until possibly taking over a starting center-back spot. Would this move be good for Gvardiol? While this transfer could be somewhat worrying as some of our young guys leaving at a young age have not panned out, I’m inclined to believe in Joško. He is our biggest defensive talent, in my opinion, and has already shown his quality in the games that he has played. Staying at Dinamo for another year and starting most matches and possibly playing the Champions League would be good for him, but I don’t think Leeds would be a bad move. Marcelo Bielsa is a very good manager and if a newly-promoted club is spending 20 million euros on an 18-year-old they must have a plan for him.

 

 

Nikola Vlašić to Napoli

 

 

Nikola Vlasic - Player profile 19/20 | Transfermarkt

 

 

Nikola Vlašić has been linked with a lot of clubs this summer with links to West Brom, Zenit, and Inter Milan all appearing over the last month or so. All transfer rumors involving Vlašić seem to have quieted down. But the rumor with the most coverage was a move to Napoli. Recently, Napoli has been looking to somewhat revamp their squad with the sale of Allan to Vlašić’s former club Everton and the possibly sale of Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester City. Vlašić has already had an interesting career at the young age of twenty-two. After not really getting a chance to showcase his talents at Everton, he has burst onto the scene in Russia with CSKA Moscow, becoming one of the best players in the league. He has started off the season hot with 3 goals and two assists in four matches, which has surely turned some heads of clubs around Europe. Would Vlašić fit in at Napoli? Hard to say. Vlašić is a very good player and his directness creates opportunities for himself and his teammates. Napoli does not really have anyone like him and it looks like they might need an attacking midfielder so this could be a good fit. One thing is for sure, Vlašić will not be in Russia for much longer. I could see him staying for one more season at most barring any major hiccups.

 

 

Bruno Petković to RB Leipzig

 

 

TKO ĆE BITI POSLJEDNJA PREPREKA DINAMU DO LIGE PRVAKA? Plavima prijeti i  Crvena zvezda | 7dnevno

 

 

I think now is the time for Bruno Petković to leave Dinamo Zagreb and test himself in a bigger league. I personally think that Dinamo could have somewhat of a clear out after the Champions League qualifying campaign and with Petković, Mislav Oršić, and Dominik Livaković all ready to move on. After some time in Italy’s Serie B and an unmemorable stint in Serie A, Petković returned to Croatia with Dinamo and revived his floundering career. Playing an important role in Dinamo’s Europa League and Champions League campaigns in the last two seasons and earning himself a spot on the national team. He is now, in some people’s minds, the best candidate to be the starting striker for the national team. Would a move to RB Leipzig be a good idea though? I say yes. Leipzig recently sold their star striker Timo Werner to Chelsea and have reportedly looked at Petković as an option. Leipzig is a team that thrives on buying younger players cheap and selling them for a profit. While Petković is almost 26-years-old and most people do not consider that a ‘young’ player. He is still a somewhat unestablished player and has room for improvement. Also, his play style does not revolve around speed and agility so he could play at a high level into his 30’s. I just think the Bundesliga is a great league for tall, skillful strikers. And with Leipzig needing a striker, but not wanting to break the bank, why not give Petković a shot?

 

 

So that’s just a few of the transfer rumors that I have seen making the rounds involving Croatian players. If you have seen any others that I might not have, I would love to hear about them in the comments.

 

 

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Nikola Vukmanić
Posted By: Nikola Vukmanić 95 comments





  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m hoping that Gvardiol has a Caglar Soyuncu type career, where his technical skill and speed in the back four is appreciated (despite being a youngster).

    The problem I have with EPL is that teams are so overloaded with cash that they don’t even care if they spent 20 million on a player, they will still bench him.

    Leicester paid 14.5 million Euro for Benkovic, but haven’t really even given him a chance. Same as Everton did with Vlasic a couple years ago.

    Compare that to Marseilles spending 19 million for Caleta-Car…who struggled in his first year with them, and they still started him. They paid too much for him to bench him, and the stuck it out with him and went through the growing pains, and now he’s having a good year.

    My worry with Gvardiol is that he won’t start (simply because he’s ‘young’ and ‘hasn’t paid his dues’ or whatever) and when he finally does get a sudden start…if he doesn’t score a goal or have the game of his life, he’s benched for the year (like what happened to Krama, Vlasic, Benkovic, etc).



  2. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Gvardiol to Leeds at this age is interesting, in my opinion. Soo many variables that play into whether he get’s some playing time and helps him grow as a player. I don’t see this as a bad opportunity for him. Learning to sharpen your defensive skills in a fast paced league is a good thing for Gvardiol to Leeds….I’d say he’d probably learn to be a better defender in Seria A but that probably wouldn’t be the case because they do not really give much chance to inexperienced defenders…DeLigt is a special case and he’s 21! The best case scenario for him might be to sign at Leeds and get loaned back to Dinamo?!

    Vlasic to Napoli…This one is tough. Napoli currently have Gattuso as their manager but knowing him and that club, that could end quickly if the club doesn’t have success. Gattuso would probably like Vlasic because Vlasic is a physical guy that digs in and works for the team (similar work rate to what he was like as a player except Vlasic is more talented). The challenge I see with Vlasic going to Napoli is if things don’t get off to a good start…then the pressure on him and the club could create chaos for Vlasic…I’m really not sure I’d want to see him in an unstable environment. Napoli have been the brides-maid for too many years and I know they are desperate for results. I do think Vlasic is becoming a very regular performer, I re-watched the game vs France again last night and I thought he was very good for most parts of the game. If we based this decision on Vlasic’s performances and his effetiveness…I’d bet on him to succeed…I’m slowly becoming a fan of his!

    Petkovic to Leipzig…once again, I’ll say “in my opinion”, I think the success or fall of Petkovic is all up to him! Petkovic has many tools and he is a VERY good player with soo much potential BUT I feel he lacks in areas of Hard-work, discipline and overall team play. Give him the ball and he can create some magic but have him chase down or retreat to a defensive assignment, he’s fucked! There’s a reason he’s back at Dinamo! He didn’t just recently learn how to hold up the ball and play with elegance and tons of skill…that’s the reason he did end up in Italy, because he’s extremely talented but then, he ended up in Seria B…because he obviously wasn’t doing something right! My final comment is that this is all up to him!



  3. Miloš Hvar says:

    Ready to see what Livaković can do in a bigger league. After this CL qualifying campaign for Dinamo they should sell him. Not that I have an issue with our starting NT goalie being in the HNL but he is 25 and has been the starting gk at Dinamo for what 4-5 years now? I want him to be in a tough league where he is tested regularly, not comfortable cruising for the best team in Croatia. Move into a top 5 league, be in form for club and country the rest of 2020 and 2021 leading to Euro and the doubters will be gone.



  4. Maminjo says:

    I don’t think Livaković is anything special.

    Seems good in some areas, bad in others. Need to see some more matches.

    Would have liked to see some other keepers during this transition away from Subašić and Kalinić, instead of just handing the starting role to Livaković.



  5. Maminjo says:

    Good to see Croatian media pumping up our young defenders for the National Team.

    No reason for idiotic Melnjak and Škorić callups, when you have guys like Pongračić, Bradarić, Benković, Sosa, Katić, Gvardiol… Still waiting for callups. Throw in Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Uremović and Ćaleta-Car… and you have your pick of a dozen players who actually play on solid teams.

    I did not know that Bradarić had a quality free kick, and has a 93% pass accuracy in the French League.

    Honestly, Dalić is asleep at the wheel if these some of these guys do not get a callup next month.



  6. Andrej L says:

    I don’t see Perisic fitting in at Inter; they don’t really play with wide attackers unless he wants to compete as a wing back. Hopefully, he finds a new club because we clearly still need him badly for the national team.

    Vlasic would have to compete with the established Ruiz and Zielinski at Napoli. They do play a lot of games, but I don’t want to see him go somewhere to warm the bench.

    Petkovic would have to compete with another big CF in Yussuf Poulsen but he should fit there style better than Poulsen due to his superior footwork and passing abilities. Would be an interesting battling between guys who are the same age and height.

    I’m curious to see what’s going to happen with Pjaca. There’s a lot of injuries at Juve and it could allow for Pjaca to get his chance to show what he can do.



  7. BZ says:

    Stay or go? Kramaric needs to fucking go from the National Team.

    He basically said, we definitely would have lost both games EVEN with Modric. (He can’t know this.)

    He also basically said, we are not as good as France and never have been. (What a fucking loser mentality. he is obviously pissed he was not starting at WC 18. If not for a dive/own goal, and flukey/bullshit Perisic handball. We were by far the better team in that first half, but had to take chances and ran out of gas in 2nd half of the WC 18 final.)

    Dalic ripping Petkovic for being only 20%, coming into the NT games. Pathetic attempt to shift blame for some shitty coaching.

    Petkovic scores in his 20-30 minutes played vs Portugal, and looked better than Kramaric did in any stretch of his 150 minutes. If Dalic was right, Petkovic is better than Kramaric at 20%, and Dalic still too dumb to see it.



  8. Miki says:

    Dalic is living off 2018. Imagine kovac stimac cacic losing like this uffff. I dont understand dalic you leave budimir and top hnl scorer on bench for these games come on man. Petkovic at 20 posto better option at moment. And right back our only opition after vrslajko are bartolex karacic(choose australija for 2018 dont know why) juranovic. Mato miloš . When we finally have left backs right back is a problem.

    Its not just nations leagye since the final we conceded 30 goals and look terrible vs big boys only execption a 3 2 win vs spain in nov 2018.

    Gotta do better at least that terrbile cro team of 2000 to 2006 had good defense.

    If under 21s fail to go to euro next year guys to.look at for new blood sosa sutalo gvardiol ivanusec majer moro Vizinger Musa



  9. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’ve been trying to hold off of being negative about Dalic but yes, I also think he’s had a case of brain blockage. Sure, he did an excellent job of managing throughout the entire World Cup, while dealing with the Kalinic incident but I feel he has some serious challenges identifying strengths and weaknesses of certain players.

    For the record BZ and Miki…I mentioned my thought about Petkovic above and I think I’m on the right track. The guy is incredibly talented but he really lacks in work rate. Many people might say “so what, he’s better than so and so”…but the principles of the game do not afford most players a free pass on being lazy or undisciplined…thats why I feel he has issues and its quite sad because he’s a very talented guy!



  10. Andrej L says:

    I think Dalic is very calculated and an excellent coach. Never says anything too stupid and has the respect of his players (ie Kalinic situation). Like most coaches, he experiments during Nations League; the competition was made to make friendlies a little bit more competitive by playing teams your level.

    Petkovic is good but hasn’t proven to be a starting striker at the highest level like Krama. Let’s see if he can prove that this year at Leipzig?

    Brozo would be and excellent replacement for Kante who looked a shell of himself last game. Would be nice to see if him and Kova could develop a better relationship.



  11. Andrej L says:

    PS: I’m also for Petkovic over Krama but I’m not going to pretend that I’v seen them practice together nor did I watch too many Dinamo games this year compared to Hoffenheim.



  12. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’ve never really been a Kramaric fan although I know he can score goals. He just seems to be a very selfish minded person and player…and I understand its ok to be that way, but not always!



  13. Maminjo says:

    I think Krama actually runs hard and tries to pressure opponents (despite the notion that he doesn’t do this)… But I guess he’s just not good at it.

    I dunno.

    Krama is just so lethal in the box, but he always finds himself with the ball outside the box, and tries to just take it himself.

    It’s almost as if him trekking back to assist our midfield is a detriment… And he should really just cherry pick instead.

    I don’t mind him being selfish in the opponent’s box (there is nobody else I would want with the ball in front of the opponent’s goal). But he always seems to receive the ball too far away from the goal (after running back to assist our midfield) and then he just tries to run it all the way himself.

    Bruno seems like he plays more like a cherry picker, and it works out better for him.



  14. Miki says:

    To play 4 2 3 1 you need a guy like petkovic to feed the wingers rebic kramaric are not cfs thats why it doesnt work.

    Imo gotta get a back 4 and midfield without luka and raketa is not defensivley sound gotta build like i said need more games in big leagues and have national team trianing chemisty cant just put 11 guys and say play ajmo. Doesnt work like that. Lovren vida come tournamnet time will be better and add modric for maybe one more go 2022 but euro 2024 time guys need to gel livakovic grbic kotarski posavec sluga pandur semper nevistic are good keepers

    The d by 2022 Sutalo pograncic uremovic gvardiol caleta car jedvaj katic peric benkovic.
    Lb sosa barisic bradaric colina
    Rv vrsaljko and i have no idea maybe a under 21 shines luka hujber tin hrvoj maybe karacic

    Mid moro krovinovic bistrovic sunjic palaverse toma basic kovacic brozovic ivanusec nejsmasic majer lepenjica vlasic pasalic

    Wings striker marin pjaca rebic brekalo cuze lovric dolcek kulenovic colak kramaric petkovic vizinger



  15. Maminjo says:

    So, it’s unanimous then?

    We can all agree to move forward with the CroatianSports lineup below?

    ;)

    ………………………….. Grbić
    … Vrsaljko, Pongračić, Ćaleta-Car, Bradarić
    …………………… Modrić, Brozović
    …………………………. Vlašić
    ……………………. Rebić, Perišić
    ………………………. Petković



  16. Andrej L says:

    @maminjo
    Agree with the mids and fowards.
    I haven’t seen Grbic play too often but am worried he will be a bench warm at Athletico. Livakovic was good but I think he’s weak on crosses which is understandable due to his height.

    Pongracic is excellent, I’ve watched him a lot after COVID. Although, I’m not confident that his defensive abilities are better than Lovren’s at this time.

    Let’s all hope/pray that Vrsaljko can regain form/fitness and more importantly playing time. He needs to be loaned or transferred because he’s competing with Trippier and Arias at Athletico.



  17. BZ says:

    Petkovic better at the press than Kramaric

    Petkovic better with man at his back

    Kramaric better at the 10, but Vlasic and Rakitic have got that locked down.

    Petkovic would never disrespect Luka like Kramaric did the other day. We would have definitely lost even with Luka ….MY ASS.

    Kramaric was right about one thing, Croatia is not better than France or Portugal…when he (Kramaric) is starting. No time for losers with defeatist mentalities.

    Bring on the Petko, and continue the Croatia resurgence we saw in the drubbings of Hungary and Slovakia.



  18. Andrej L says:

    I agree with a lot of what you said. Does anyone have a link to Krama saying that the result would be the same even with Modric? I’m curious if it was just taken out of context. He’s definitely selfish as common with strikers but that’s pretty disrespectful towards the king of Croatian football. Rebic could easily slot in as a CF too so he’s not automatically a call if this behaviour is true.



  19. Andrej L says:

    Good short interview with Dalic. He said Petkovic didn’t come prepared to play; I’m not sure if that means mentally or physically. He admits that he was wrong to say that they weren’t ready to play before the Portugal game. But again Nations League are essentially competitive friendlies which is weird to say but accurate. During this first round, I think about 10 players scored their first goals for their senior team and we witnessed 3 of them. At competitive level; Dalic qualified for the WC, went to the WC final, and qualified for the Euros. Those are important games and he accomplished his goals.

    https://www.rtl.hr/vijesti-hr/video/sport/407188/dalic-za-rtl-vjerojatno-sam-pogrijesio-u-pripremi-pogotovo-za-portugal/



  20. Andrej L says:

    @Slavonac
    That’s some weak talk from a guy who’s being called out for not scoring. Maybe he should stay home for the next round and see if we’re better without his weak mentality just like Kalinic.



  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    yes I agree Andrej….I’m pretty sure any one of us here that have played the sport always felt we could win each game we played, even if the odds were against us! Croatia has the talent, it was a lack of discipline and concentration that hurt us….we were really good for the first 40 minutes and then a lapse which hurt us.

    If I were any team playing Croatia, I think its never a guarantee they will win, no matter who it is. Kramaric’s comments are surprising to me.



  22. Maminjo says:

    An out of form Petković scored in 20 minutes of playing time against top competition.

    The only question mark around him starting was whether or not he can replicate his scoring against elite teams. The few mini he played (kind of) confirmed that.

    I’m a fan of Krama’s skillet, but he definitely lost ground today in the battle between the two strikers. Bruno should now get the start these next two games to see what he can do.



  23. Andrej L says:

    Small sample size but Petkovic has played 9 times scoring 6 for the national team, while Krama played 48 scoring 13. Let’s hope whatever is going on with Bruno in the background get’s fixed, too much talent to go to waste at almost 26 yo.



  24. Suba says:

    Eventually I would like to think that Sandro Kulenovic would eventually take over from both of these players

    Bruno is obviously a stop gap solution and Krama is always going to be a fringe based on his attitude and being A hog



  25. Soul Champ says:

    UNL is the best thing that has ever happened to Croatian football.

    It gives us continuous feedback.

    France first 40 mins showed our quality again.

    That arm by your side, in a natural position, is the worst penalty call in world football.

    Dalic is a good coach that has had an extraordinary run with a great veteran core. He is not an excellent coach and not world class.

    Šuker has been flying under the radar of our historic World Cup run. UNL has by passed his ineptitude and given us quality opponents. Even if we dropped to a lower UNL level we would still be playing better sides than @ Estonia and ripping up Pjaca knee and derailing his explosiveness.

    Kramaric is not world class.

    Goal keeper is weak.

    Brekalo is the goods.

    Brozovic is world class.

    Vlašić is the goods.

    Mediocrity was exposed all over the pitch.

    I’ll take all this feedback during UNL, as opposed to hope we do well this June and fall flat on our face.

    Now you have Sweden and France in October.

    Make adjustments.

    Try new talent in all the mediocre areas.

    Check in with the club form over these next few weeks.

    Only call the players who are able to run and compete.

    Play a strong side for Sweden and even stronger one against France.

    Like an A side and an A+.

    We have enough talent to figure that out.



  26. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    I don’t think individual players make nearly as much of a difference in international football as we often imagine. Portugal was missing Ronaldo, and none of the players on the pitch at this point are really so great individually. However, Portugal plays with great chemistry all over the pitch, so they made an uncoordinated Croatia team packed with individually amazing players look like a bunch of amateurs. That’s what makes Brozovic, Modric, Rakitic, Vida, and Perisic so effective: they know how to mesh no matter whom they are playing with. Dalic should prioritize that over individual skills.



  27. Anonymous says:

    Biggest concern and worry for euros is our players mental state. They have the skill and quality to beat anyone any day but do they believe that. I hope so and I hope they seen the France game as another bullshit game where the score and outcome didn’t reflect the quality they produced. Sure we had our frailties but compared to the chop game played a whole let better. Sure they had defensive blunders but as we all know it’s nations league and pretty much a trial period replacing friendlies as we were without many key players. No excuses at all, Portugal game one of the worst I seen but the France game they showed potential and like the WC final the scoreline didn’t reflect who was the more dominant team. We played well – unfortunately, as almost always, the ball didn’t bounce our way so to speak. I hope our players realize they can beat anyone any day and those last 2 France games are a bit of a joke with the refs. This will always make me question soccers legitmacy/fairness as just the overall best sport in the world? Not many other top sports in the world have Mickey Mouse reffing and biasy like soccer. Being a Croatian Canadian and playing multiple sports growing up-refs in soccer is a joke and as we know VAR now pick and choose depending on the team involved (hence us 18 final and many many other situations – Fred flop Brazil 14 – that fuckin euro qualifier that was one of the best games ever against the chirpers 07 – we won 3-2 – courtesy Petric left foot lol but the PK for England was a joke – also euro 2016 Spain PK when Subasic robbed Ramos la da da we can go on and on of forks we’ve been fucked…can almost guarantee although I definitely wish not – were gonna get some PK’s against us in euros – unfortunately unlike hockey it’s almost a definite goal (ok suba you were our PK hero) unlikely to miss as opposed to penalty shot in hockey. I know it’s comparing apples and oranges in terms of sport on the difference of kinetics between hockey and soccer penalty shots but no doubt easier to score in soccer as we all know and those PK’s always haunt us not to mention set pieces have been killing us past few years !!! I won’t even go into lengths of set pieces we’ve fucked up ! Including the last 2 nations league games. I almost knew it off the France corner and at end of game against chops ! That shouldn’t be in our heads and a worry. Dalic better work on those set pieces. Funny same score against France as we know WC18 final – bogus PK and own goal also lol fuck sakes



  28. Maminjo says:

    I’m not worried about our team’s mental state during a Euro or World Cup tournament.

    They almost always step up at tournament level.

    They are usually asleep a the wheel when it comes to qualifiers, which drives everybody insane and they have missed tournaments (or come very close) because of it.

    However, what bothers me the MOST is that this laid back attitude affects our Euro and World Cup seeding.

    I hate hearing that “you have to beat the best to be the best” commentary every time we’re in a tournament and we are expected to beat multiple elite teams just to get past the first and second round.
    None of the seeded teams have to do this. Teams like Switzerland and Belgium have pretty much received automatic byes to get into the quarterfinals, whereas we are expected to take down at least one contender and a couple of quarterfinalists to get there.

    Many teams who have actually won tournaments VERY often had easy paths, as a result of their seeding.
    I hate that we take qualifiers (and now Nations League) lightly and will end up in another Group of Death or some crazy knockout round path.

    The last World Cup, we were in the Group of Death and had we not finished first…we would have had France in the Round of 16 (after having played Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland, lol, with other teams at our level getting Iran, Morocco, and Panama). The Euros before that, we had Spain then had Portugal in the Round of 16. In these upcoming Euros, we have to cross paths with the France/Germany/Portugal group as early as the Round of 16.

    You can’t control everything, but being seeded often results in getting a more favorable path (which has been huge for many teams).

    Look at Germany and Brazil’s laughable walk in the park to the World Cup 2002 finals, lol…or Italy’s easy ‘bye’ into the WC2006 semifinals…or Belgium going three tournaments (from 2014, 2016 and 2018) without actually having to win against a decent opponent until they beat Brazil in 2018 (losing to any decent team like Italy or Wales along the way).

    Hopefully, we recover next month and remain in League A.
    The last thing I want to see is us (yet again) have our World Cup ranking drop into the late teens, and we go unseeded at the next World Cup draw (with joke teams like Switzerland ranked 7th or something, lol).



  29. Marko says:

    @ maminjo – spot on, couldn’t agree with you more as I’ve seen almost every game since Independence- very well stated as you usually transcribe. Switzerland is a joke – couldn’t score if there life depended on it (terrible long throw chirper style that caught us off guard WC) but I’ll take back the joke comment as they went something like 33-34 games (close to some shit like that unbeaten) until last year I believe. I wouldn’t trade them for us any day of the week tho as I’m sure we’d all agree. Scandavians can be difficult to break down tho as we know…ask Italy via Sweden lol Our offence/firepower and technical skill on the ball is what coins us the “Brazilians of Europe” – more hussle definitely needed tho – laid back atititude was appalling against the chops but better against the frogs which was shown. Tourneys u mentioned very valid and didn’t see the writing on the wall so to speak of there easiness (although I watched most partially inebriated lol). You give me faith maminjo lol it’s always there – just a lil skewed at times – as I said earlier” Rudy comment” – Chops playing like it’s the fuckin super bowl lol we rested and tried out new styles/players/varied formation. Not to take anything away from chops but we coulda handled them better. 1st game in almost 300 day’s what can u do – won’t hold it against em- your only as good as your last and there last performance at least had a higher press and quality movement / passing – D and Set pieces need to be looked at and omg Kramarić! How we miss mandZo ! I don’t care if he can finish – he can’t hold up play, his selfishness, lack of killer instinct olic style (he had 2 great opportunities against the frogs he blew) is hurting us.



  30. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Well Maminjo, I think those performances can cause a dip in mental attitude…did you see Rebic vs France? He looked awful and totally fell apart…was actually embarrassing.

    It starts with the coach, how he sets the lineup and strategy. He needs to do a better job of making the team have success and not slapping together weird experiments.

    The good thing is that we have time not to recoup and hopefully they come back together with a better plan and more concentration for the next set of games.



  31. Marko says:

    a touché (although I hate using frog lingo lol) @ Slavonac

    I despise France, not jealous in the least bit – takes a country and another continent to beat a nation of 4 million (population of Toronto lOL)



  32. Marko says:

    Forums can be quite great when u have so many good views, facts, opinions by most of you Forum vet’s lol.

    Can’t stand grease-man and his smug look I wanna Stipe Miocic Kobra Kai that douchebag!



  33. Marko says:

    France has heavily populated country and another continent to choose from and I’m sorry but it’s just not right. That camavinga (not correct on spelling of his name) surprise surprise from Angola- only recently got his papers (commentator said not even a year ago).

    I wish Sub-Saharans had the pride to play for their own countries and make a stand like Drogba!



  34. Marko says:

    I ain’t racist against the Sub-Saharan all stars, I got color tv lol ! Truly tho I’m not, it’s just not equal and fair (they wanna talk about equality, start by representing your own nation!)



  35. Marko says:

    And like the like the senator says from (Steven seagal classic) hard to kill – and you can take that to the bank !!! Lmao



  36. Maminjo says:

    @Slavonac

    Rebić is allowed to have one bad game once in a while.

    Doesn’t mean that he’s mentally rattled.

    We’ll see how they play next month.

    If Dalić continues to test obviously poor experiments, then I will get worried.



  37. Marko says:

    Correction from earlier comment ** I meant our Round of 16 opponents – the danes with unbeaten record spanning 30+ games up until last year apparently. As we know PKs don’t officially count (our big win stopping a potential park the bus Greek 04 team) In World Cup. Officially undefeated in euro 08 then by those standards. Travelled from Australia to Austria and man was that one of the most depressing moments as a hrvatski. Never forget the fight that ensued outside Ernst happel stadion tho- Cros took there belts off and rushed the Turks like braveheart lol – nothing like soccer hooliganism to bring out the patriot in oneself haha



  38. Marko says:

    Anyone have updates on strinic and/or his health?…Besides the give away/blunder that led to pork chop counter goal at euro 16 he’s been solid for us in major tourneys since 2012 – assisted mandZo in similar cross/goal against Italy… similar swinging cross as Vrsaljko/perisic in England game. He frustrated Messi big time and played great in other games – D worries me, more the LB and RB position if we don’t have Vrsaljko or Strinic – barisic and Melnjak aren’t as quality although Melnjak played better then I thought he would lol- Uremović looked alright at times



  39. Maminjo says:

    LB and RB positions are solid.

    We have plenty of choices, and you could probably say our LB position is the deepest its been in 20 years.

    Unfortunately, we have not even tried anything outside of Barišić and Melnjak on the left side, and Bartolec and Jedvaj on the right side.

    You could make a strong case for three of these guys not ever being called up, let alone actually start full games for us.



  40. Marko says:

    Ćaleta car looked alright last game…obviously lovren/Vida good CB pair…perfect health how would some of u guys line up our back 4 (when it matters most) same as 18 final ?



  41. Maminjo says:

    Marko

    We already have an official CroatianSports back four…

    Vrsaljko, Pongračić, Ćaleta-Car, Bradarić

    It’s based entirely on merit. Players who play on good clubs, perform well for club and country, and are on an upward trajectory in their careers.

    Pretty much a no brainer.

    Players like Lovren and Vida can be added to the mix, but they are on downward trajectories and have not been performing well for us lately.

    Maybe add Uremović and Šutalo as they are also on the upward, and play for solid clubs. If you want to add some additional youth who perform well for the juniors, you can add Benković and Sosa.

    Lots and lots of options, but those four listed up top are our best.

    Melnjak is on a near relegated Turkish team, Škorić is an old player on a HNL team, and Jedvaj consistently performs poorly for us… These players shouldn’t be called up anymore.



  42. Anonymous says:

    The day I realized Modric was not just a good or even very good player, but truly a great player was easily one of the best days in Croatian footballing history, outside of the national team itself: the 2017 Champions League Final when Mandzukic scored an all time goal when you take into account the stage it occurred on and Modric won his, at the time, 3rd CL trophy. Ronaldo may have gotten ‘man of the match’ but Modric was the best player on the field, he bossed that game, especially in the 2nd half.



  43. Anonymous says:

    I’ll never forget the day in Catholic grammar school when I was a little kid the teacher told us God forgives you if you kill someone in self defense or in war. The self defense part I understood but because the teacher didn’t explain, the war part didn’t sit right with me – I didn’t understand at the time the concept of national self-defense.

    So if God forgives me for killing Iraqis even though they are no threat to me nor my people, what does that say about people who want to annihilate my race by assimilation, especially if they are traitors?



  44. Anonymous says:

    Some of you live in Australia, the BLM crowd there were carrying signs saying “Australia is a Crime Scene” and “Australia is Aboriginal land and always will be”.

    First of all, if you believe your land is stolen, your first obligation is not to point fingers, but to GET THE HELL OUT!

    What would you to say to a Croatian who said “Croatia is a crime scene” and “Croatia is Avar land, and always will be”? You wouldn’t knock his fucking teeth out?



  45. Anonymous says:

    What if a Croatian said “Croatia belongs to the Avars” (or whoever else occupied that land before Croatians conquered it and held it for the Croatian gene pool for 1,400 years) as an excuse to give that land to the rest of the world? ALL antiWhites are two faced.



  46. Anonymous says:

    In every WW2 documentary the narrator says “Hitler wanted to unite ‘German speaking’ people”. They didn’t just “speak German” they ARE GERMAN.

    I got no problem with Bosnian Muslims, I’d be a hypocrite if I wanted Croatia to rule over them just because that used to be a part of Croatia. However, there’s a large swath of land that borders Croatia where pretty much only Croatians live and who’d much rather be a part of Croatia instead of Bosnia.

    Not allowing them to vote to secede from Bosnia is the same thing as forcing integration on White people by the same CRIMINAL antiWhite establishment. So if Bosnian-Croats secede from Bosnia with the help of Croatia, will NATO bomb Croatia and kill Croatian women and children?



  47. Marko says:

    GeeZ Medo…chillax man lemme know what I am coming up for air on Lol ? The obvious fact that there time is nearly done mostly +30yr old back line from 2 years ago. I realize this wont be a future solution but temporarily and by that I mean only next major tourney – euros. I realize whoever ins form will play and that can change rapidly. I was rather asking what people thought back 4 should be in there opinion starting at euros. So let’s hear yours Medo. I definitely not the most informed as most staunch Croats on this site are but I know my fair amount and just wanted opinions on short term (next euros) back 4 as to who we should play.

    I realize move on to the youth so perhaps that’s what u mean Medo lol maybe I should ask the Turk who tried suckering me in Vienna and then got dummied for being an arrogant douche. He still feels my wrath stinging lol. I might of missed a handful of games in 25 years at most Medo so sorry if that doesn’t suffice to your expertise/knowledge lol

    @maminjo -I haven’t seen pongracic play – has be been capped ? Lovren/vida got there moments but they’ve worked well together..So was just opening up convo thoughts on euro back line as I realize there on the NIN downward spiral of their careers and wondering who would be safest reliable back line for us next summer..vrsaljko healthy is guarantee – I like Ćaleta car I’m good form progressing and Bradarić, again don’t know much about pongracic.

    Pivaric – decent sub also/had some flashes against England WC- agree about Jedvaj especially at fullback. I was just inquiring about strinic as I know he’s had his health issues but major tourneys hes been good and not aware of his current status -I know he’s aging also- just looking at short term perhaps – one day at a time – just don’t wanna get rocked at the back. Thanks
    Za Dom spremni !



  48. Medo says:

    Marko I meant no slight…you misinterpreted my come up for air comment.
    My back 4 includes a combination of anyone who can keep a clean sheet for once?
    I yearn for the days of Bilic stimac jarni and Simic when we rarely gave up more than one.
    Not sold on Livaković he’s good on high shots but terrible on hard low ones and needs to be far more aggressive on corners and free kicks coming off his line…he needs to watch Oliver Kahn hi lites.
    Anyone who has played, hated going up for head balls on corners with a maniac in net not knowing if he was going to knock your teeth out or break your jaw?
    I like caleta car,Pongracic,or Big Ben if he gets PT eventually..with a healthy Sime and a consistent Barisic.Love vida but him and lovren need to be transitioned out slowly.
    The best defense is an offense that has Majority ball possession.. we have been on our heels far too much lately,but that will change with Luka back and our young guns becoming more familiar with each other and forming cohesion the next few years.



  49. Andrej L says:

    Bradaric played 90 min today with an assist, 2 key passes, 2 interceptions, 3 tackles, 109 touches, 86% passes completed, 2/2 dribbles completed. Wow!

    Let’s hope Biscan doesn’t hog him with the U21s because he might already be on another level compared to Barisic except for free kicks but we don’t him for that. BTW Lille won 1-0

    Bradaric just dropped the mic



  50. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Pjaca scored for Juventus today against a 3rd division team. His second goal in two weeks….hmmmm…are we seeing him slowly coming back?!



  51. Medo says:

    Bilic not starting out well with WBA ,most pundits have them finishing at the bottom of the prem let’s hope he proves Them wrong but I’m afraid they might be on to something.



  52. Maminjo says:

    WBA didn’t buy anyone, and they’re still negotiating the Krovinovic loan (which is why he was not on the roster today).

    WBA will likely be relegated, but Bilic will look good if he keeps them afloat.



  53. Razbijač says:

    WBA better open up the transfer kitty real fast….or ELSE!

    Bilic can prevent WBA from sinking into relegation hell by doing the following:

    Step 1: Sign Krovinovic on a permanent deal ASAP!.

    Step 2: Get Ivan Persic on a one year loan deal with an option to buy. Have him wreck havoc on the left wing.

    Step 3: Buy Petkovic on a permanent deal. He’ll cost 10-15 million. But no matter, he’s got plenty of upside and they’ll be able to sell him for double in a coupla years. He’ll be the focal point of the attack.

    Step 4: Get Marko Pjaca on a one year loan deal with an option to buy–he’ll be the right winger.

    Step 5: Sign Mattia De Sciglio on a permanent deal, he’s worth about 8-9 million. He can help shore up the back line. Veteran Diego Godin woulda also been a nice addition but he’s headed for Cagliari.

    WBA are flush with cash from being promoted, if they spend it right and play their cards right…they should live to see another season.



  54. Razbijač says:

    Kramaric is a great player! It’s just Dalic seems to utilize him wrong. He is not a CF.

    Dalic must play Petkovic in the CF.

    Kramaric is ideally a Second Striker or Left Winger. These are the positions he plays at club level. He’s best drifting in from the left. Dalic got it all wrong playing him at CF against Portugal.



  55. Razbijač says:

    Pasalic is another good player. Again Dalic got it wrong by playing him as a DM against Portugal. Pasalic’s natural position is an AM



  56. Soul Champ says:

    Dalic has to make adjustments this October.

    He has 3 games which is like a season in international play.

    Ivo Grbic needs a look against Switzerland.

    I need my goal keepers dominant.

    Livakovic is too small and he is not a dominant athlete.

    Also be nice to an alpha at goal for once.

    When the D is running around like muha bez glava.

    We need a keeper to regulate.

    We have too much talent to not get it together this Fall.

    You can’t wait till 2021 to figure out who you are?



  57. Mr. Black says:

    According to Whoscored :

    Domagoj Bradaric best man on the pitch in Lile against Metz (1-0 victory for Lille). He played the entire game as LB and gave the assist for the 1-0 in the 88th minute.



  58. Maminjo says:

    The good news is that Dalić DID call up Pongračić (before he got mono), and I believe he had Bradarić on standby in our last friendly.

    So, he’s at least recognized them as National Team players.

    Hopefully he recognizes them as potential starting eleven players and gives them a lot of time in these Nations League games to show up what they can do.



  59. Miki says:

    I will say Dalic needs to start coaching if he doesnt care about nations lesgue the atleast put players in natural positions and lets play spme fucking defense we are the worst nations lewgue tewm in 2 s3wsons so far 6 0 4 1 4 2 come on man.

    Goalkeeper situstion livakovic is good goalkeep still young and we have keepers that not that big of problem. Our def3nse needs r3shape and need to start playing real dms if th cbs are shaky. Search for right back to replace sime.

    Grbic was great for lokomotiva last season he wont be number one if he rides bench which he will behind oblak.

    Next lineup id love to see Livakovic Vrsaljko Pongracic Lovren Bradaric Brozovic Rakitic Vlasic Brekalo Petkovic Perisic.

    Need more b croatia fri3ndlys give hnl a chance

    Posavec/ Nevistic – Karacic Gvardiol Kolinger Colina Nejasmic Candija Ivanusec Mayer Orsic/Lovric Colak(No Petkovic because hes already on A team)



  60. Maminjo says:

    Inserting Petković, Vlašić, Bradarić, Ćaleta-Car and Pongračić into the starting eleven gives us just to right amount of youth mixed with our top veterans (Modrić, Perišić, Brozović, Rebić and Vrsaljko)… And three of our vets still being under 30.

    Would be great to work with this lineup, have it develop chemistry and have them ready for the next few tournaments.



  61. Razbijač says:

    I agree Maminjo we gotta insert Petković, Vlašić, Bradarić, Ćaleta-Car and Pongračić into the starting eleven…

    Lovren and Vida are on the wrong side of 30 and their best year days are behind them. Ćaleta-Car and Pongracic are the future, and we must begin the transition to them during the UNL.

    CC and Pongracic should be the starters for the Euros and WC. Croatia at it’s level as a footballing nation must have a Liga Petice backline: Bradaric-CC-Pongracic-Vrsajko. Not some guys that are in 2nd tier leagues!

    Beside Caleta-Car was solid today. Played the full 90 in Marseille’s 0-1 victory over PSG. CC is facing guys like Neymar, who are Lovren and Vida up against in Russia and Turkey, Stoko and Magarac???



  62. Suba says:

    Other than Suker has anyone been more lethal and clinical in front of goal than My man Vlasic

    I can really see him pass sukers goal tally of 45 goals at the end of his career with the national team

    I think he could even switch to a striker position too if he wants to

    He is so versatile such a real athlete



  63. Maminjo says:

    @Razbijač

    Yea. I haven’t been a huge fan of Ćaleta-Car due to him skipping the U21 tournament and his performances for the NT in qualifying were initially not great…but he’s been starting for Marseilles for quite some time now, and he looked pretty good lately for us.

    Growing pains are worth it for guys who are 23 and playing on Champions League caliber teams.

    Also, why wait for these guys to get even older?

    In a couple of years, Pongracic will be 25 and Caleta-Car will be 26. These guys are actually not that young, and will be in their primes at the next World Cup.

    We keep doing stupid shit like this, where we waste the prime of our up-and-coming players (i.e. Subasic) to cater to our veterans (i.e. Pletikosa) and then you get a circus performance like Plete did at WC2014. Pranjic over Vrsaljko was another example in that same World Cup too. I remember Otto Baric at Euro2004 being a mess too, having prime Klasnic & Srna on the bench with guys like Tomo Sokota and the corpse of Dario Simic starting instead.

    If Vida and Lovren are the CB partnership for the upcoming Euros and WC…I guarantee we will all be tearing our hair out. There will be several stupid goals conceded (similar to Lovren’s awesome ‘duck and cover’ defending on that first Portugal goal, lol).
    Also, by extending the Lovren/Vida partnership, we will also only get one single World Cup tournament with Pongracic and Caleta-Car as a result (when they are 29 and 30).

    Personally, I don’t think Dalic has the balls to bench Lovren.
    Lovren will freak out and Dalic will buckle.
    Hopefully I’m wrong, but I can’t see Lovren sitting on the bench (he wouldn’t even do it when Corluka started ahead of him at Euro2016).

    I watched Lille’s highlights today, and Bradaric is a very active LB. We haven’t had an LB like that in a while, and Lille was a Champions League team last year (and missed out by a single point this year).

    There is no justification for a player like Melnjak or even Barisic to ever play ahead of Bradaric (even though I think Barisic isn’t terrible).

    I’m hoping that there is less resistance here because Barisic and Melnjak have not started for us long (and neither were at the World Cup).

    Bradaric is miles ahead of both players, and it’s pretty much a no brainer to give him the next start. I expect to see a Bradaric/Vrsaljko LB/RB combo, which should help our team IMMENSELY.

    At the same time, I think it might ‘mask’ the CB issue we have with kiks Lovren (which isn’t a good thing). I am desperate to see what Pongracic can do. I hope he makes a huge impression on Dalic, as it’s the only way we can move forward with our most talented starting eleven for these next couple of tournaments.



  64. Suba says:

    Maminjo I am with you on the Bradaric switch and loyalty on gets you do far in the modern sporting world

    Barisic is competent but thats about it



  65. Maminjo says:

    @Suba

    Yea, if you had to pick a lineup of four defenders and were told to pick a bunch of 30 year olds from Bestikas, Zenit, Rangers and Çaykur Rizespor…

    or

    you get to choose younger guys in their early 20s from Marseilles, Lille, Wolfburg and Atletico Madrid…

    Who do you choose?



  66. Suba says:

    The latter which somewhat explains that Dalic would not be successful in achieving a successful transition of Croatia’s squad

    Is he waiting on a massive failure at the euros to cut existing players and if so he runs the risk of losing Modric and Rakitic to retirement then

    He made vida captain for instance cmon and with that goal from Lovren now Dejan is not going anyway either now

    If we don’t watch it there we will have another euro 2004 on our hands

    It’s a delicate position he’s is in but hey he has to show some strength here especially with our back 4



  67. Maminjo says:

    You could argue that Dalic wants to set expectations lower too :)

    If we top our Nations League group, we would get seeded at the next World Cup and expectations would be sky high for both the upcoming Euros and that World Cup.

    By tanking the Nations League, we probably drop to a late Pot 2 or early Pot 3 team, and end up in a difficult World Cup group (again) resulting in lowered expectations that we can always just chalk up to ‘well we are in a transition’ and ‘it was a tough group’.

    Fact: We are not in a transition.

    Modric and Perisic are the only older vets that impact our team enough to make our play drop significantly enough to force an actual transition, and neither player has dropped off in form (and probably won’t over the next year and a half).



  68. Suba says:

    Well that’s the issue ain’t it

    Us always settling for second best and then hope for the best

    Spot on Maminjo we need to change our mindset and it needs to happen from HNS top up and down to Dalic and his selections

    Because let’s face no other izbornik has been spoilt with riches like he has

    A nice headache to have I suppose but still needs to be handled expertly

    Lovren or vida has to go

    Lovren first I am afraid



  69. Miloš Hvar says:

    Hearing Gvardiol chose to stay with Dinamo and be a regular for a season or 2. Smart kid. Not that I think the Leeds move wouldve been bad for him compared to other teams he couldve gone to and ruin his career but this is the right move. Be a regular starter for Dinamo, get Europe experience then make a move at like 21



  70. Dannyj says:

    What’s going on with Benkovic?
    I know he isn’t getting playing time but isn’t he supposed to have height strength and athleticism?

    Yes let’s not ride Lovren to the ground
    Could it possibly be that vida could stay and have someone else team up with him? I think he has more life left in him

    Would love to see Bradaric rolled out there ASAP



  71. Marko says:

    @medo thanks brate – as I agree- bleeding goals lately can’t stand – especially horrible ones which were kinda a joke. Only real decent goal being non deflected Suba snail moving in the final were set pieces, PK bullshit goal was against us from open play in WC against Russia – cheresyov nice shot by the ruskie.

    Understood that this is trial period nations league / pretty much glorified friendlies. I just want (as we all do) the most in form back 4 available for next summer euros and that’s our biggest concern. Apart from set plays, PK’s we played well at the back for the most part(England we got some lucky breaks 1st half).

    Mid has been solid and improving for past 10 years or so…If corlukas speed held up and moved like rebic/perisic with his brain for astute tactical awareness on D he’d still be goin lol – rare to have at his age yes – but advancements in health/technology has prolonged the longevity of athletes though these days. Lots of D examples- Chiellini and Cannavaro who was the D of 06 Italy WC run – like the Modric fine tuned engine of today and he was 33 I believe when he won Ballon d’or after the final. Corluka now 34- too bad his speed is gone. All athletes as we know lose a step or 2 as age progresses. Some buck the trend- Dont have his abilities- decent at soccer but at 38 yrs old I just ran 11.03 in 100m the other day not to brag lol – I used to run 12 .1 around 8 yrs ago and fastest was 10.97 when I weighed like 90lbs I’m grade 8 lol.

    Might be tooting my own horn a lil too much hehe although we cros are genetic specimens whether it be skillful in sport, intelligent – proficient. All athletes progress or regress depending on various factors involving their kinetics/ genetics/injuries and so forth.

    @Razbijač- kramaric was ghost both games – definitely not utilized properly – he’s finisher yes but the few chances he had or selfishly took he screwed the pooch. As I said and we all know mandZo greatly missing -his hold up play – tracking back (actually helping out mid and D) and constant press which is imperative for us is missing huge ! Feel sorry for him that crnac pogba (off side) shoves him in the back for own goal which was allowed cause grease man fake flop on free kick when brozo didn’t even touch him. What can u do – story of our life – getting fuxked!

    So true on pasalic – how doesn’t Dalic know this.? Why not just play lovren at CF now cause he scored a nice goal against France last game lol – not sold on petkovic but I like his hold up play and style a lil better then the way Kramaric has gel’d with us lately although yes Krama is better finisher.

    @maminjo- again age means something as you can’t fight Father Time but also mean nothing to some genetic specimens like Ronaldo and multiple other athletes who play well into late 30’s cause there genetics give them that. We all know cro’s are late bloomers – I consider myself a cheap example of them lol. Whoevers in form I say- I don’t care who you play for as long as it’s obviously decent /fairly large European team(not my teta’s hrvatski dragvoljac druga ligavteam perhaps lol) but we need to figure out my constitent back 4 for this summer-experience and youth meshes will- won’t help if we ha e players with hardly any to no caps.

    @ Suba – like your input there and I’m sure you agree age means nothing as long as theyre agile/speedy / tactically aware and in form I don’t care who’s there as long as they cover and have the ability to adjust…naturally I want the youth integrated long term for sure although I don’t wanna bleed goals next summer. Hope are vets are healthy and Lovren was kinda shitty last few nations league games tho was a rock against England game WC18. Yes, that was 2 years ago tho and long time in soccer life as form can change quickly – he’s been on the downslide since. I’m happy with letting him go. Maybe Lovren just had point to prove with his club soccer being England at the time and getting his clothing line off the ground lol but he’s not reliable. Vida still has something to prove I believe. Time and form in future games club/country will tell I suppose.

    Our heart (as well as technical ability) has always been one of our biggest strengths what has driven us and separated us from the other bigger nations when we upset them. Unfortunately mental midget syndrome and bad luck have been factors also.





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