Where will Croatia end the WC?

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April 13, 2012




Nikica Jelavić (7) opened up the scoring in Saturday's FA Cup semifinal

Photo: AP



Nikica Jelavić did was he was supposed to do Saturay- score. But Everton could not hold a 1-0 halftime lead against crosstown rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup semifinal from Wembley. After a week of rest, Jelavić looked to have his batteries recharged, and it showed. Early in the first half, Jela got off a crisp bicycle kick from the center of the box but shot it straight at Liverpool keeper Brad Jones. Moments later, Liverpool defenders Agger and Carragher couldn’t figure out what do to with the ball and the clearance bounced straight off Everton’s Tim Cahill to Jelavić, who slotted home for a 1-0 lead. Liverpool scored twice in the second half to win 2-1 and will now face Chelsea in the FA Cup Final.


Jelavić has been producing goals any way he can in the anemic Everton offense. He is receiving many balls in the air and much of the time has to play ‘chase’ in Ivica Olić fashion. Is Jelavić ready to start for Croatia at Euro 2012?


Jelavić goal vs. Liverpool in FA Cup semifinal




Modrić (center) looking on at the madness

Photo: Reuters 



Luka Modrić and Tottenham fell short of the FA Cup final on Sunday, losing 5-1 to Chelsea in controversial fashion. Modrić played the full 90 minutes for Spurs in the semifinal from Wembley but seemed invisible unless he was given the ball. Fans have jumped on Modrić in the past month for playing average football, but what kind of player is Luka Modrić in the first place? His shooting from outside the box is weak and always has been and the man rarely makes runs into opposing defenses. We all know he can pass the ball with pinpoint accuracy, but is that enough?


Or is it that Modrić has run out of gas this season? He has played nearly every minute for Tottenham in 2012 and still has to muscle out some performances to keep Spurs’ Champions League dreams alive. Manchester City striker and Bosnian international Edin Dzeko chimed in on Modrić’ future:


“Everyone is after him, but I would love it if he came to City,” Dzeko told The Sun. “He would be a great addition.”


“Besides that, he would have everything at City – Champions league, fighting for the title, great wages. I am cheering for him to choose City.”


What does the future hold for 26 year-old Croatian?


Niko Kranjčar is out with a knee injury which could impact his Euro 2012 availability.




The ball doesn’t come close to crossing the line @0:55 






Ivan Perišić (center) celebrates Borussia Dortmund's win over Bayern Munich

 PHOTO: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay



Borussia Dortmund are 90 minutes away from from celebrating back to back titles after registering wins over Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 this week. 80,720 packed Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday for the showdown with Bayern Munich and they were not left disappointed as a goal from Robert Lewandowski in the 77th minute was all that separated the sides. Dortmund hit the woodwork twice and Arjen Robben missed a controversial penalty kick in the 85th minute to kick off early championship celebrations in Dortmund. Remarkably, Dortmund received 450,000 ticket requests for the game. Croatian international Ivan Perišić came off the bench in the 74th minute for German international Ilkay Gündogan. The former Club Brugge midfielder came close to scoring on a mini breakaway, but his shot was easily saved by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer.


Dortmund got a scare from Schalke 04 on Saturday but managed to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win and are now just two points away from officially clinching the Bundesliga crown. Ivan came off the bench in the 81st minute and helped Dortmund hang on for the victory. 



Ivica Olić received a rare start for Bayern on Saturday

 Photo: REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen



After just about conceding the Bundesliga title to Dortmund, Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes decided to rest Mario Gomez and start Ivica Olić against Mainz on Sunday. Bayern looked uninterested and couldn’t break a stubborn Mainz defense in a 0-0 draw. Ivica played 61 minutes and failed to reach the back of the net on five half-chances at goal. Danijel Pranjić warmed the bench for Bayern in the draw. After the match, Jupp Heynckes congratulated Dortmund:  “You have got to say that they will be deserved champions. Today’s game confirmed that – they are practically there.”



Mario Mandžukić (18) taking a breather against Augsburg

 Photo: Wolfsburg



After securing a spot in the Bundesliga next season, Wolfsburg lost their third consecutive match after registering a 2-1 defeat against relegation battling Augsburg on Saturday. Super Mario Mandžukić started and played the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg in the loss. Mario finished the match with seven shots, but couldn’t find the back of the net after missing a golden one-on-one breakaway with the keeper and sending another shot off the post. Mario looks to be active but does he have the skill to finish regularly.



Mandžukić highlights



Ivo Iličević (center) celebrates HSV goal

 Photo: HSV



HSV squeaked out a 1-0 win over Hannover 96 on Saturday to give themselves some breathing room in a fight for relegation. Croatian international, Ivo Iličević, started and played 73 minutes in the win. Ivo failed to register a shot but played well defensively in a hard fought match. Mladen Petrić was left off the roster because of a flu. HSV find themselves five points clear of relegation with the win.


Mato Jajalo returned from a three-game red card suspension and came off the bench in the 77th minute for Koln in a 3-0 loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach. With the loss, Koln remain in the relegation zone and will have to win at least two of their final three matches to have any chance of staying in the league next season.


As reported earlier in the week, Srdjan Lakić is heading back to Wolfsburg at the end of the season after failing to impress at Hoffenheim.  Srdjan missed most of the season because of injury, making only four appearances for Hoffenheim on loan. Chances are that Lakić will look on from the bench for the final three Bundesliga games of the season. 


Ivan Santini came off the bench for Freiburg in the 87th minute in a nil-nil draw against Hoffenheim on Sunday. No word from Freiburg if they will make Ivan’s loan move permanent. Frieburg need just three points from their final three games to avoid relegation. Former Dinamo Zagreb defender, Vedran Ćorluka, returned to the Bayer Leverkusen lineup on Saturday but looked on from the bench as his team came from behind to tie Hertha Berlin 3-3. With the draw, Bayer hang onto a Europa League spot but will miss out on Champions League for next season. 









Dujmović rocket earns 1-0 Zaragoza win over Granada
Tomislav Dujmović got the start and played all 90 minutes for Real Zaragoza in a season-saving 1-0 win over Granada. Dujmović showed what he could do offensively as he sprinted up field in the sixth minute of play and one-timed the ball into the upper-right corner of net to score the game’s lone goal. With the win, Zaragoza pull themselves out of the La Liga cellar as they now sit only five points behind safety for next season with five matches remaining.
Ivan Rakitić and Sevilla face Getafe on Monday with Sevilla sitting six points behind fourth place and Spain’s final Champions League spot. 






Photo: Dnipro 



Ivan Strinić (above) got the start for Dnipro in a 5-1 win on Saturday and was not responsible for the lone Oleksandria goal off a free kick in the 23′. Dnipro equalized early in the second half when Konoplyanka converted a penalty in the 55′ after Oleksandria’s Gitchenko was sent off for a pull down in the box. Strinić broke the deadlock in the 73′ when he took a pass running down the left flank and fired away only to have the ball deflect and head into goal. Strinić was then sent off for his second yellow card of the day four minutes later. Dnipro scored three goals in injury time to win 5-1.


Nikola Kalinić did not feature for Dnipro in this match and compatriot Ivan Strinić now has more goals for Dnipro from the defender role than Kalinić does playing as a striker. Surely Slaven Bilić does not bring the out of form Kalinić to Euro 2012, right?




Strinić goal vs. Oleksandria




Strinić red card @ 9:30



Ognjen Vukojević played the full 90 minutes for Dynamo Kiev in a casual 3-0 win over Vorskla on Saturday. Darijo Srna and Shakhtar Donetsk face Zorya on Monday needing a win to keep pace with Dynamo Kyiv atop the Ukrainian table. Eduardo did not train on Friday and should be out with a hamstring injury. No return date has been announced.








Dejan Lovren picked up a bunch of yellow souvenirs this year at Lyon

 PHOTO: olweb.fr



A Evaeyerson Brandau goal in the 105th minute was all that separated Marseille and Lyon in the French League Cup final on Saturday night at Stade de France in Paris. Croatian international, Dejan Lovren, started and played 120 minutes but was dismissed just seconds before the final whistle, picking up a second yellow card for dissent. Dejan was not at fault for the lone goal and played well despite a couple of bad tackles. It remains unclear if Lovren deserved a second yellow card after a scirmish following a late tackle. The former Dinamo Zagreb defender did leave the pitch with a hot head. Lyon still have one chance left for silverware this season as they will face Quevilly in the final of the Coupe de France on April 28th. 



 1:26 Dejan Lovren yellow card





Next Matches:




Tuesday, 4/17


Real Madrid at Bayern München(Champions League)


Wednesday, 4/18


Olympique Lyon at Toulouse


Friday, 4/20


Wolfsburg at Mainz


Saturday, 4/21


Tottenham at QPR, Swansea City at Bolton, Borussia Mönchengladbach at Borussia Dortmund, Bayern München at Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen at Hoffenheim, Stuttgart at Köln, Levante at Sevilla, Real Zaragoza at Mallorca, Tavriya at Shakhtar Donetsk, Obolon’ at Dnipro


Sunday, 4/22


Everton at ManU, Freiburg at Hannover 96, Hamburger SV at Nürnberg, Lorient at Olympique Lyon, Dynamo Kyiv at Volyn, Rostov at Krylya Sovetov




~Ante Kvartuč and Denis Svirčić reporting from sunny Southern California, Zach Gilfix reporting from Minneapolis, MN




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 146 comments

  1. Ana Ana says:

    alright jelavic lets see some goals tomorrow! ive got a bet on that match w. a scouser…dont particularly wanna loose haha

  2. Joe Joe says:

    let’s see what jelavic and modric are made of……big game on big stage. hopefully, they perform well…….would love to see them square off in the fa cup final!

  3. Jelavic has played alright but he’s wasted some decent chances. He always seems to patient at times which bothers me. He needs to learn to think fast and make things happen. Craig Bellamy made the impact that I expected from him. He’s such a dangerous player off the bench and put in the perfect ball to Andy Carroll. Bellamy is another guy I’m a big fan of that is a bit controversial but he’s quality!

  4. IvicA says:


    Yes, but Jelavic creates a lot of chances too. He’s the type of forward that allows your team to kick a ball into a crowd, and somehow his presence allows him to turn a half chance into a goal.

    Everton never even had chances like these to begin with, and now it seems like they “create” 4 or 5 chances per game to score. Jelavic is that exfactor, and has the right to miss one or two of those per game.

    Bottom line: he averages a goal every 120 min in EPL play on the worst offensive team in the league. Any team would take that any day of the week.

  5. Čićarito says:

    Jelavic is the real deal. His strength and precision is what every manager wants in a striker. I see him moving to a “big” club in the EPL in the next 2 seasons, pending Everton’s performance.

  6. Nizic Nizic says:

    I think if Jela had a descent team behind him he would be leathel like a Chelsea, man U, even tottenham Everton is ok but mediocor at best which makes him look not half bad at a club like Everton could you imagine ….. -U-

  7. Jelavic is really turning out to be great and I’m excited for him. I’m just trying to judge him as a complete player and he has his flaws just like every player. I’m happy for him and hopefully he continues to be the best Croatian striker like I predicted headed into 2011.

  8. Nepoznat says:

    anyone else see this:

    Defender Younes Kaboul and midfielder Niko Kranjcar are both out of the game with knee injuries – the latter’s is so severe he is already doubtful for Croatia’s Euro 2012 campaign.

  9. mali HRVAT says:


    I agree 100%. He should send his agent a fruit basket and a Thank You card.


    Bellamy is a skilled goon.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Eduardo da Silva 4 star
    olic srna 3 star players


    SAMMIR 4



  11. JerseyCro says:

    Yes, Kranjcar is injured but according to the HNS medical staff, he should be alright by June. Perfect opportunity for Perisic to take that LM spot

  12. AZ says:

    Corluka on the bench for levekusen…lets hope he will start soon and not rot in the reserves again under hyypia now

  13. Nizic says:

    I think Jela has locked a starting spot for Euro 2012…..who? he plays with is still a mystery for me OR will Bilic try something new and play him alone…??? -U-

  14. Anonymous says:

    nikica good he kikk ball gol go in. He play for gols gols good on feet. What you say i say good fro croatia maybe you tink

  15. TheGoldenChild says:

    If Euros started in a few weeks, Nikica has it locked up. Still don’t want to jinx anything though, as there is still quite a bit of time to go.

    Sad to see Kranjcar grab an injury. He’s definitely going to fall into that bench role with this. With Perisic playing more, and Kranjcar sitting I wouldn’t have any problems swapping the two on the field if I was the coach. Bilic just needs to hammer the idea of some type of defense with Perisic, as he’s a bit lazy coming back.

    Simunic – I just posted a question Twitter regarding whether Simunic should start for the NT. More than 80% of people were against him starting. Let’s say Simunic gets injured next month and he can’t play, who would our starting back four consist of?


    Sammir is trash. Why would you ever give him anything above 3 stars? He’s good in the HNL, but that’s about it.

  16. Dukic says:

    jelavic reminds me of van nistelrooy. just poaching in front of that goal. makes good runs in that box. amazing to say but we have a forward who is succeeding in the epl which is amazing. i thought after balaban nobody would buy a croat forward anymore haha.

  17. vlad says:

    Theres no way in my opinion that niko should be getting any playing time this summer! The guy is not even on the bench half the time lately and know not even training, if he is not training until euro he shouldnt play only players that are fit should play. perisic illicevic should be higher in the pecking order to play that left side than niko.

    Ive been reading comments about perisic playing on the left side of the mid, which is fine, but keep in mind we play a 4-4-2 and the only player in all of europe that is croatian that is a standard wing player and that currently plays that every week is illicevic!!

  18. Jaso says:


  19. Nizic Nizic says:

    Going by some of your guys graph on who is a veliki Hrvat I guess Im in for being 6 feet 6 inch’s and 200 pounds ej huh no? haha -U-

  20. Jaso says:

    @ Nizic veliki hrvat je the person who can drink 10 liters of beer in one night and still able to stand on feet and chug a pitcher of beer in 15 seconds -Z-

  21. mali HRVAT says:


    At least Ziva’s favorite backup keepers will be there. 5 strikers and no Klasnic?

  22. Jaso says:

    @ Mali Hrvat DA, i cant believe bilic some times and watch ilicevic get snubbed and the mighty badelj( jajalo 100 better than him but jajalo is from slaven belupo porduct), kalinic and vrsaljko go to the euros.

  23. mali HRVAT says:

    IMHO the 5 strikers should be:

    1. Jelavic
    2. Mandzukic
    3. Olic
    4. Klasnic (as a sub)
    5. TBD

  24. mali HRVAT says:

    Does anyone think Modric can pull off the central midfield role of a 4-3-3 (at a high level)? Or is the problem our central defenders and the point is moot?

  25. Josko Balaban says:

    ”Defenseman Ivan Strinić scores, sent off in 5-1 Dnipro win over Oleksandria”

    Wtf is a defenseman? Never in my life have I heard ANYONE call a defender a defenseman. Im not sure if it’s an American NFL term or something. But were talking football (soccer) here, I think it should be removed. Just my opinion.

  26. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    Does it bother you that much? I’m currently watching the Rangers-Sens game. In hockey, it’s defenseman.

    Want me to change it?

    Where you writing from?

  27. Vedran from Milwaukee says:

    Jelavic has got to be the starter at Euro 2012 with Olic. They are the two current strikers most on form. Also, we must start the kid from Dortmund as he is a fox in the box recently, either setting up or scoring goals.

  28. JerseyCro says:

    Lovren almost got away with two yellow’s like Simunic in 2006 :D

    He was booked twice, stayed on the field for about a minute when the ref realized and sent him off. Harsh second yellow though, there was a small scuffle between Marseille/Lyon players, Lovren put his hands up which these days is pretty much a yellow even if you make minimal contact. Lovren then went off the field cursing 3-4 Marseille players haha

  29. Ziva istina says:

    Ilicevic being snubbed???

    i ask again, what has ilicevic done this year that warrants any time at the euros. He may well play at the euros, but he will play because of a lack of options on our end and not because he deserves it.

  30. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @vedran from milwaukee, couldnt agree more with olic and jelavic as starters as well as perisic.
    @ ante, the ranger sens game is a good one. should have more hockey talk on here

  31. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    @ The Anonymous 1,

    Playoff hockey is the best. I’m a huge Kings fan so I’m flying high right now, but I can seriously watch every game. Every player is hustling like crazy and after every whistle there’s some kind of contact/scuffle.

  32. Ziva istina says:

    Ante, I agree on the playoff hockey. Some great games today and the first few days of the playoffs.

  33. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    @ Ziva,

    I even find myself watching the shitty Coyotes right now. However, if we (the Kings) slip by the Canucks and the even shittier Sharks can get by the Blues, I would favor us (the Kings) vs the Yotes.

    NHL Hockey is truly like Euro 2004…anyone can win!

  34. Hockey is one of the most irrelevant sports ever. You couldn’t pay me to watch that crap.

    Lovern is a mad man. He should look into going into UFC with the way he likes to get nasty with people. Croatia’s back four is in absolute shreds. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Italy absolutely embarrass Croatia and the sad part is I wouldn’t be mad because it wouldn’t surprise me. I just be like oh well, that’s what happens when you don’t develop good center backs.

  35. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    @ Nepoznat,

    Very clever. I see what you tried to do their. There’s a difference between bunkering because you can’t score vs. can’t scoring period and having to rely on your goalie the rest of the way.

    Without Quick, Kings finish 12th in the West…hands down. But at least the Kings try to score, unlike the Greeks.

    @ tomo,

    They were getting ZERO business. I went up there a few times to pick up some stuff and they sponsored the Vilic shirts a few years back but no one went up there. I don’t know if they were Bosnian or serb or what not, don’t think they were Croatian, but that may have been a deciding factor why no one went up there. Just my 2 cents.

  36. AZ says:

    i think jelavic still needs time to find his feet in NT…he cannot seem to fit into NT system…only can fit in everton system…so i will not give jelavic automatic in lineup…i will put proven strikers (who have been playing well for NT), not those who have played well for clubs only…Players like jelavic needs time, maybe after euro2012 to show that he indeed can bring up the NT to another level…unless he can instant impact in coming euro2012…

    I will go with the proven NT strikers…even if some of them have no form in their clubs…eduardo olic klasnic mandzukic, and jelavic as the fifth striker…

  37. BlackZodiac says:

    @mali HRVAT

    “Does anyone think Modric can pull off the central midfield role of a 4-3-3 (at a high level)? Or is the problem our central defenders and the point is moot?”

    Modric can pretty much play any position excellent in the midfield besides the left and right flanks (he’s alright), he tends to strays into the central midfield position. To your question yes most definitely Modric can pull the strings in a 4-3-3 central midfield position.

    We played a 4-3-3 formation against the Greeks with a horrible result, though it could be tested again, something along the lines of

    GK: Pletikosa

    RB: Vida
    RCB: Schildenfeld
    LCB: Lovren
    LB: Corluka

    RCM: Srna
    CM: Modric
    LCM: Rakitic/Pranjic

    LF: Olic/Perisic
    CF: Jelavic
    RF: Mandzukic/Eduardo

    @Ziva istina

    “i ask again, what has ilicevic done this year that warrants any time at the euros.”

    Arguably the best in form out of all our left flank players currently.

  38. IvicA says:


    I think Jelavic has a starting gig for Cro locked up regardless.

    There are only 6 games left on the season, and he’s scored some big goals. What he’s done in the past month and a half has garnered him more attention than for anything both Olic and Mandzo have done all year. I think Bilic starts Jela for both these next two friendlies. I’m hoping we see some chemistry with him and our midfield.

    Re: your question of what our back four would look like if Simunic got injured?

    My preference is: Strinic – Vida – Corluka – Vrsaljko or Srna

    I love Srna, but I prefer him as RM. I’d like to try Vrsaljko as RB, and if he can hold his own, then I keep him there. If he’s shaky, then I’d slot Srna back in the RB role.

    I would love to play Lovren at CB, and move Corluka to RB (so Srna can play in the midfield) but Lovren is too error-prone to start for these Euros.

    As much of a nobody Strinic has been in terms of his name, he’s actually a very steady defender and plays well in that LB role (except for his foolish flopping at times).

    Vida has been decent, and a much better option than either Simunic or Seinfeld at CB.

    IMO, Simunic should not even be on this team, and Schildenfeld is a backup at best. Lovren is a talent, but needs discipline, so he doesn’t get to start this tournament until he learns from his constant mistakes.


    Yea, Jelavic has become quite the poacher, and I love every bit of it. His efficiency is retarded good.

    Croats definitely have a good reputation in the EPL now. People have forgotten Balaban, and have a slew of Croats tied to many successes of premiership teams (Modric for Spurs, Kranjcar for Pompey, Jelavic for Everton, etc).

    In terms of successful Croat forwards in the EPL…remember, Jelavic isn’t the only one. Our boy Klasnic is averaging over a goal every two games. Very, very good scoring rate for a sparingly used forward on a weak team.


    I agree with your choice of strikers for the Euros.

    I’m good with that 5th TBD striker being either Dudu or a young striker just for experience & development purposes (as they’ll likely not even play). Besides, we can always play Perisic as a second striker in case of freak injuries or cards.


    I disagree with your “Jelavic only fits in the Everton system” comment. He’s fit pretty well in every system he’s played in (with minimal support from his midfield on all three teams).

    Bilic just hasn’t given Nikica a full start yet, and most strikers need to play at least three FULL games before you can expect them to score you goals. If you want consistent goalscoring, you have to provide consistent playing time.

    Your choice to play “proven NT strikers” is not a good one as our “proven NT strikers” have not scored many goals for us (especially against key opponents). We’ve been struggling to pick a forward tandem for the past 2 years, to the point where Bilic rotated 8 different strikers in our starting lineup during Euro qualification.

    We need to go with our best talent, and play them at their natural positions (none of this Mandzukic in the midfield crap). Jelavic is easily our best talent up front. We should start him these two friendly games, and go from there.


    I disagree with you about Ilicevic being our best left flank player. So long as Perisic continues his form, he is our best left sided player. I wouldn’t even discount Pranjic as a solid backup either.

    Srna will gobble up all the minutes on the right side, so it won’t be the end of the world if Ilicevic isn’t called up. He can play the right side and would be a decent backup for Srna, but he’s not a starter on this team.

  39. AZ says:

    Simunic is a automatic starter at CB in my opinion…he seldom give poor performances..except for matches against england..He is the leader for the back four….our defenders are currently too young to take any lead…corluka is not a true leader in my opinion…just that he is one who will get his job done…

    By the way, anyone know if dario knezevic is still playing at livorno? It is sad seeing his form dropped dramatically…I initally thought he can replace robert kovac when the latter retires…

    Is it possible to 3-5-2 system instead? Since we have lack of defenders..but we do have pure wingbacks like srna and pranjic….and we can put corluka simunic vida in CB….

  40. Anonymous says:

    nikica on foot good and kikk and head speckcal drive inside drive mario good on sky head make gap ivica run run make tire plenty room dudu clean gols kikk. From me i pikk nikica have on forma. You say same? 1 stikker plenty fro euro if no ivica have sympatic.

  41. TheGoldenChild says:


    Totally agree, but I’m not talking about playing. I’m talking about a Dudu situ…. that’s as far as i’ll go. I’ve been knocking on wood this whole time.

    All around agree with the things you say, except I haven’t seen enough of Vrsaljko to really be a great judge of character there. Would I rather have a shaky Lovren or more experienced Simunic. If it’s my call, I go Lovren but we’re looking at Bilic who trusts in the old squad.

    I think it was you…or maybe someone else.. that mentioned that Bilic lets youngsters have short chances. If they don’t produce in the first game, it’s back to the old guard. It’s one of his major problems, and it brings our potential for success down in my opinion. I hope we see some new things in these next couple of friendlies, but I doubt it.

  42. mali HRVAT says:

    @Black Zodiac:

    I like your hypothetical 4-3-3, except I think our center backs would be too exposed (in 4-3-3 formation).

    Perisic Mandzukic Olic
    Rakitic Modric Srna
    Pranjic , Vida , Lovren , Corluka

    Jelavic hasn’t been playing that 4-3-3 role at his club(s) and we don’t play long ball. As much as I have been enjoying watching Jelavic at Everton, their “style” of play is pretty rough. The ball barely sees the ground in midfield when they attack. Fellani and Jelavic make them interesting to watch.

  43. BlackZodiac says:


    I would agree with you on Perisic being our best left flank player that is why I mentioned “Arguably the best in form”.

    On Pranjic I wouldn’t count him out, depending on the formation and style of play.

    @mali HRVAT

    “I like your hypothetical 4-3-3, except I think our center backs would be too exposed (in 4-3-3 formation).”

    That’s why I would rather play a 4-1-2-1-2, 4-2-3-1, or 4-4-2:


    GK: Pletikosa

    RB: Corluka
    RCB: Vida
    LCB: Schildenfeld
    LB: Pranjic

    RDM: Rakitic
    LDM: Modric

    RAM: Srna
    CAM: Perisic
    LAM: Eduardo (or Kranjcar if he returns)

    CF: Jelavic

  44. Stef Oakville says:

    Perisic Rakatic Modric Srna
    Corluka Simunic (or Lovern) Schildenfeld Vida

  45. Anonymous says:

    vedran- lovren- vida- Strinić
    srna- Rakatić-Modrić-Perisić


    Me like thes formatcia. It hawv defrenz and vhen go attek srna and perisić drive drive cross and sides attek. Modrić and Rakitić pass pass and defrenz vhen have to. Dudu play behinz strikker jelavić.
    We see vhen play frendly ten turn arund befor euro. Me tinks formatica hawv good chanse go fro ireland and italia.
    Anyone also hawv idiea?

  46. mali HRVAT says:

    Super Mario looked good in that highlight cliip. His shooting and dribbling seem to be improving.

  47. IvicA says:

    Re: the comment that Bilic lets newer players have short chances and if they don’t produce in the first game, it’s back to the old guard.

    Yea, I did say that. It’s the reason why we haven’t settled on a striker tandem these past two years.

    It’s also the reason why it had taken so long for him to move away from guys like Petric, Dudu, Simunic, etc…and try out some of our better players who are in actually in form.

    He has loyalty to the players that gave him his initial success, and hesitates to change things when the time has come to replace them.

    He’s actually been so loyal to these players, that (at times) he’s gone out of his way to play them (or others) out of position just so they get the start.

  48. H....Gent says:

    “nikica on foot good and kikk and head speckcal drive inside drive” “mario good on sky head”

    Couldnt have said it better myself.

  49. vlad says:

    @ ziva istina
    just curious what in your opinion is the standard to warrant playing time with the repka! you keep saying what has illicevic done, what does a player need to do to get called up play for real madrid! ALOT of players actually most have have done less and got called up for the national team!

  50. Ziva istina says:

    I base everything on performance and production when trying to determine if a new young player should be called up. The players who have done less at the club level get called up for what they have done in the recent past. They at least have a history or results that you can point to when selecting them. That is not the case with ilicevic. He has played in half their games and the results are mixed, at best…and that is being kind. Someone like Perisic has played about the same amount, but has produced. So, he gets the call.

    I’ve seen kranjcar, the Brazilian born hrvat, kalinic and a few others not get playing time at the club level, but have played well for the repka. So, they get the benefit of the doubt over unproven players with no results.

  51. JerseyCro says:

    Both Ilicevic and Perisic will get a call, I will be disappointed if Ilicevic doesn’t, the reason why we don’t create chances is we don’t have wingers running behin defenses, instead we put guys like Rakitic and Kranjcar out wide and wonder why we don’t create chance. Pick the best players from each position

    Modric was horrible today btw

  52. Ziva Istina says:

    Modric was great. Well, he was great if you were like me and rooting for Chelsea.

    My only worry about Modric has been the same every year: the fear that he wears down at the end of the season. It wasn’t a concern last year or the year before because we were not at the WC and there was no summer tourney last year. Now, we have the Euros coming up.

  53. Jaso says:

    Lukica Lukica Lukica ajme i am not a cro hater like most croatians are mrzimo sebe! But Ruku na Srce Modric je uzasan in the lat few games and he really pisses me off and when i read croatian news papers 100 million 200 million 1 billon for modric the hair on my neck stands up.
    Ilicevic does deserv a shot at the final 23 why not badelj vrsaljko kalinic pranjic deserve to be at the euro?

  54. Ziva Istina says:

    Doesn’t matter how bad Modric has been in the last few games. He will still be sold n the 30-plus million range and he will end up with a weekly salary that is doubled from what he makes now.

    Plus, did any of you see what took place in the HNL this weekend?????? Yeah, nobody else did either.

  55. Jaso says:

    @ allen dujmo is good thats one player that bilic found that i like in the future i dont know vukojevic is a big disapointment for me since he was early 20s i wa thinking he could be genaro gatuso but i feel dumb for thinking that. id like to see vida at dm but he will be a future cb a for center back these following players in a source i read will get call up in near future Renato Kelic, Mateo Pavlovic, Maloca( id dont like) Skvorc, Vedran celjak,Roberto Puncec

  56. Jaso says:

    @Ziva Hajduk lost to osijek, cigani nk croatia 1-1 with zadar! thats all the major story lines FIRE ALL OF HNS FOR BETTER TOMMOROW GET OUT HERCEGOVACKA MAFIJA GOVNA OUT OF CROATIA!

  57. Jaso says:

    To all the tipe Fans source vecernji list “Prvi golman hrvatske u zadnjoj utakmici Rostova premješten je na klupu za rezervne igrače.”

  58. mali HRVAT says:

    @Jersey Cro:

    How was Modric “horrible” today? He had numerous clever forward passes, one of which led to the goal. He played well defensively. I would imagine he played the role that Rednapp wanted him to. Did I miss something?

    Tough break on the 2nd goal. What an example of why goal line technology is a great idea. Chelsea had Tottenham’s number. Long ball and set piece goals.

  59. Ziva Istina says:

    If true (no clue) that Stipe is riding the bench in russia, this is not a big deal. Only a few weeks left in the season anyway.

    Plus, if it was announced tomorrow that Pletikosa was found dead and was in a Russian morgue he is still a better option being dead than playing serb Subasic or “need a GPS” Kelava.

  60. mali HRVAT says:

    I just watched Tigre vs. Boca Juniors. I didn’t know Dario Cviatnich is was of Croatian descent. Honestly, the game was more entertaining than the recent Madrid derby.

  61. barbic says:

    why do you guys favor eduardo what has he been doing is he spectacular? how many goals has he scored this season ? hes washed up now its over jelavic and golic should be our starters and cro should be running a 4-1-2-1-2 plete in goal
    rb corluka cb vukojevic cb lovren lb strinic
    cdm srna
    lm ilicevic rm perisic cam modric
    and our two strikers are jelavic and olic tell me that wouldnt fit the cro team ?

  62. Ziva Istina says:

    @Mali Hrvat……Petric did look decent that one game where he had to play GK.

    Yeah, Cvitanich is of croatian decent. The savez made some noise a few years saying they were going after him. Nothing came out of it and quite honestly I don’t think the guy is good enough for the national side.

  63. Colin O'Haravić says:

    @TGC – Kovacic, Vukusic, maybe Situm, Tomislav Saric from Inter, Maybe in a few years we will hear more about Arijan Ademi (lokomotiva) and Duje Cop (RNK)

  64. IvicA says:

    HNL top five U-23 youngsters:

    1. Kovacic
    2. Vrsaljko
    3. Vida
    4. Vukusic
    5. Badelj

    I’m really hoping Kovacic and Vrsaljko make some strides next season as they are our Modric and Srna for the future. Vukusic is our only young striker that is currently showing some production and potential with that pretty good goal rate of his. Hopefully he keeps it up and gets sold to a Bundesliga or Ligue1 team. All our other young strikers have played way too little to really assess them (ie. Spehar, Situm, Lendric, Rebic, etc). Hopefully at least one of them pans out as we need some strikers for the future.

  65. IvicA says:

    FYI. My ranking above is based on the players’ value to our national team. It’s not based on how well they are currently playing.

  66. Colin O'Haravić says:

    Ah, of course I would include all 5 of those players as well. I was looking at even younger players, U19 and U20 players and based mine mostly on their club performances. But I still have high hopes for Badelj, Vida, and Vrsaljko. I think it would be beneficial (maybe not financial) to spend 1 more year at dinamo before heading off to bigger clubs. Get some more playing time and champion league experience and they should do well abroad at other clubs.

  67. Jarac says:

    @mali hrvat,

    Dario Cviatnich was interested in playing for hrvatska, but fifa wouldn’t allow him to because it was from his great grandfather, or some shizz like that.

  68. Toronto Croatia Toronto Croatia says:

    I can’t believe how badly Tottenham always performs in big games. Tottenham is a good team but they just aren’t “the real deal”

    For those of you still taking shots at Eduardo…

    Olic, Jelavic, Eduardo will be our 3 most dangerous strikers in Euro.

    I would bet anyone that Eduardo would score more goals than Mandzukic for the National Team.

  69. mali HRVAT says:

    @Toronto Croatia:

    Tottenham got unlucky in the 1st half. Walker did make a big mistake that they were able to recover from. Gallas at this age is never going to be able to stop an in form Drogba. That 2nd goal was English officiating at its worst.

    If I am not mistaken, there was a similar BS faux goal by Chelsea against Spurs during last season. After that the floodgates opened as the Spurs seemed to be demoralized. Like always John Terry is an English goon cheat. Its too bad Ivan Klasnic wasn’t there to spit on him.

    I do agreee, that they are not “the real deal”. They shop on the cheap. Friedal, Gallas & Nelsen are all over the hill.

    Lennon can dribble and run but most of the time it leads to nothing. Modric was screaming for the ball at the right edge of the 16m box early in the 2nd half and Lennon chose to squander possession.

    For me Modric, Bale, Van Der Vaart, Assou Ekouto, Parker and Sandro make them fun to watch. Their central defenders and strikers don’t scream top 4 or Champion’s League.

  70. AZ says:

    I think HR really run out of ideas for spurs…He does not seem to have any plan B for his team in terms of tactics..
    Chelsea is much more organised tactically and passing…
    If you realise, spurs is depending too much on top individuals like bale and modric to carry the team forward..
    The defenders either pump long balls into penalty box aimlessly OR pass to Bale who will charge forward alone…such kick and rush method of playing is not going to be effective against technical teams like chelsea and man u

  71. Nizic Nizic says:

    No mistake was made in the tottenham game theat ball did cross the line there is one angle on espn soccer website that clearly show’s the ball over the line -U-

  72. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Ivica

    Call me bias a bit, but I would put Kreilach ahead of Badelj in your rankings. I think Kreilach will spend another year or so at Rijeka and then hopefully move to some average league (Czech, Austrian) or maybe a lower tier Serie A ntor Bundesliga team. Plus after Vukojevic and Dujmovic on the , who else could we plug into DM that is a natural DM?? Kreliach is a rock in the middle and could provide some offense when needed.

    I just think the ship has sailed on Badelj. He should of gotten out of Zagreb a while ago. I feel like he’s rotting there now more than anything else. If I were Milan, I’d take the first ticket out of there. He can have another “CL Experience” (maybe Dinamo can break there own goal differential record this year… shoot for something, right!?) but then play garbage sides like Varazdin, Lucko and Karlovac week in and week out? Sounds like great experience to me…

  73. H....Gent says:

    I agree, redknapp really has ran out of ideas, he is being totally outsmarted by his rival coaches way too much.

    He really should be doing more with the talent he has, smaller club coaches would kill to have some of tottenhams list. Redknapp doesnt utilise them correctly.

    That would make him the perfect fit for the england national team.

  74. IvicA says:

    @ ARMADA87

    You may be a bit biased putting Kreilach ahead of Badelj, but it’s not like Kreilach is a bad player. It’s also not like Badelj has some irreplaceable skillset. Depending their career path, I could easily see one surpass the other. It’s just that right now, Badelj already has more experience and exposure playing for Dinamo in the CL and for the repka.

    I agree with you about Badelj’s future. I personally do not see Badelj as ever being anything more than a substitute midfielder for our national team. He’s not good enough to warrant the price tag Mamic has given him. Badelj is good enough to start on a good team in France, Netherlands and Portugal, but not good enough to start on anything but a mid-table team in the Bundesliga or Serie A.

    When Palermo came calling, I thought that was an excellent fit for Badelj, but of course, Palermo is not going to pay €8M+ for Badelj. He’s at best, a €4M player.

    If Kreilach truly can play the Defensive Midfield role well, then he has a future on the repka as it is a position we really don’t have anyone notable for (both current and future). But since Kreilach does not play for Hajduk or Dinamo and didn’t sign his soul away to an affiliated agent…he won’t be noticed by anyone.

  75. Ante B says:

    Looks like Tomasov will be joining Dinamo Zagreb this week with Ante Vukusic also possibly heading up to join the Purgeri.

    Pas mater there’s nothing sacred anymore.

  76. Jaso says:

    The new dres came out today at a press take a lookhttp://www.24sata.hr/nogomet/kovacic-je-prvi-navukao-novi-dres-najbolji-mi-je-onaj-iz-98-262160

  77. Ziva Istina says:

    I would be completely shocked if Vukusic goes to Dinamo.

    Tomasov has been rumored for some time, so no shock with that.

    If the Tomasov deal goes through, than its a good move for Tomasov. He showed some flashed that he could be a really good player at hajduk, but not enough. Dinamo does a better job of developing players than Hajduk, so this would be a good move for him if he doesn’t mind all the negativity he will receive. I don’t think Tomasov will ever amount to a player capable of helping the repka, but he at least will have a chance with Dinamo.

    Any young kid should do everything in their power to leave hajduk.

  78. Ante B says:

    Vukusic was wanted by Cacic so I might’ve read a little too much between the lines on that one. Tomasov is a definite though. All Cacic said was that both players are Dinamo calibre. Mamic met with Tomasov today so that deal is done. Stay tuned for Vukusic. Although I have to admit it would be insane if both went to Zagreb.

  79. Colin O'Haravić says:

    Hey, What Mamic wants, Mamic gets. That’s a hell of a blow to Hajduk. Should we congratulate dinamo on their 8th title for next season, or is it too early?

    Of course it’s a good move for both players. that is one step closer to leaving the hnl.

  80. IvicA says:

    Cacic can’t talk about other teams’ players while they are still under contract, can he? Won’t he be fined for tampering?


  81. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Colin

    I don’t think it’s too early to give the Dinamo the title. Who’s gonna give them a serious run? Hajduk minus some of their ‘stars’? RNK Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Cibalia…LOL it’s pretty sad but a bit comical too.

    Plus, how can you really hate the true ‘chairman’ of our league!? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7AdE9a1kBA

    Dude needs his own late night talk show!

  82. Colin O'Haravić says:

    @Armada – Well of course Rijeka will try to give em some competition, but no way will it actually happen. And damn, speaking of comical, sometimes I cannot tell if Mamic is trying to be funny or if he’s for real sometimes hahaha. Sad thing is… It’s real.

    @Mali – I L O V E Ray Hudson GoL TV!! He’s hilarious! And that is the only time you will ever hear me say anything positive about a former FTL Striker player. “WHAT AN ORGASMIC GOAL! CAN’T CONTAIN MYSELF!”

  83. Nizic Nizic says:

    @ MaliHrvat
    Go to espn soccer home page scroll down to the standings hit fourth place tottenham a view that the net is on the left side clearly looks like the ball is over the line but sitting up on a plyers leg or body not directly on the putch -Y-

  84. mali HRVAT says:


    His catch phrases are OK. He deems any kind of contact to be a penalty. And Argentina man, etc. Who speaks like that? They are called Argentines.

    Recently, I was watching a game and a Brazilian player mishit the ball and he said that he hit the ball like an Irishman and not a Brazilian. WTF is that?


    I still don’t believe it went over, and either way the referee and linesman were not in position to make a fair assessment. Either way, it makes the case for goal line technology.

  85. Nizic Nizic says:

    You dont have to believe it Mali whatever apologies were made the score is still 5-1 and that goal made it 2-1 -U-

  86. Colin O'Haravić says:

    @ Mali – Haha, welll now I am seeing you point. Maybe I will reconsider my stance on him.

  87. mali HRVAT says:

    The Bayern-Real game was good. As much as I am loathe to admit it, Howard Webb handled it well.

    Ribery dove more than the whole Real Madrid team. He is great on the ball though.

    Gomez had a few nice chances, but looked like Frankenstein out there. He finally scored in the dying minutes of the 2nd half.

    When did shoulder barges become fouls. It seems like they are being called more frequently lately. I have even seen them called in the EPL. Has anyone else noticed this?

  88. glynis redford says:

    Thought-provoking discussion . I learned a lot from the specifics , Does someone know where my business could find a blank IRS 1023 version to work with ?

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