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CROATIAN AROUND EUROPE *XXXIII*

May 4, 2012

 Germany

 

 

 

Mario Mandžukić (18) picked up an assist against Stuttgart

 Photo:  AFP PHOTO / THOMAS KIENZLE

 

 

Stuttgart rallied from a 2-goal deficit to defeat Mario Mandžukić and Wolfsburg 3-2 in front of 58,500 at Mercedes Benz Arena on Saturday. Wolfsburg opened up the scoring in the 28th minute after Mario broke free on the right side and found Patrick Helmes with a cross right in front of the goal. Marco Russ doubled the score for the Wolves just after the hour mark. Just when it looked as if the Wolves would finish the season on a winning note, Stuttgart scored three times in five minutes to secure their 15th Bundesliga win of the season. Mandžukić started and played the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg in the loss, coming closest to scoring in the 24th minute after failing to beat Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich on a one-on-one opportunity. The 25-year-old, former Dinamo Zagreb striker finished the season with 12 goals and 8 assists.

 

 


Mandžukić assist

 

Ivan Perišić (left) celebrates Borussia Dortmund's championship

 PHOTO: Dortmund

 

 

Borussia Dortmund celebrated their Bundesliga crown with a 4-0 romp on Freiburg on Saturday. Ivan Perišić came on for Shinji Kagawa just after the hour mark after the game was already decided. The Croatian international had a few touches on the ball but finished the match without a shot. Dortmund will have a chance for the double when they face Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal final on Saturday. Ivan Santini looked on from the Freiburg sideline. 

 

 

Mato Jajalo (19) may have played in a Koln shirt for the final time on Saturday

PHOTO: Köln

 

 

Mato Jajalo might be looking for a new club next year after Koln have been relegated to Bundesliga II next year after falling 4-1 to Bayern Munich on Saturday. The 23-year-old, former Slaven Belupo midfielder, played 46 minutes and failed to register a shot on goal in the loss. Mato is still looking for his first Croatian cap and finished the season with three goals and three assists with Koln. Ivica Olić and Danijel Pranjić both looked on from the bench. The Croatian internationals will be looking to feature in the DFB Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. 

 

 

Vedran Ćorluka (2nd from the right) celebrates one of four Bayer goals

PHOTO:Bundesliga

 

 

Bayer Leverkusen finished the Bundesliga season on a high note after registering an impressive 4-1 win over Nurnberg. Former Dinamo Zagreb defender, Vedran Ćorluka, started and played the full 90 minutes in the win. Vedran was not at fault for the Nurnberg goal. With the win, Bayer qualified for the Europa League next season. 

 

 

Mladen Petrić finished the season with a disappointing seven goals for HSV

 Photo: HSV

 

Mladen Petrić wore the HSV shirt for the last time after failing to find the back of the net in a 1-o season ending loss to Augsburg on Saturday. The 31-year-old, Croatian international, came on for Marcus Berg in the 71st minute and only managed to register one shot in the loss. HSV decided not to sign Mladen to a new deal and as a result, the former Dortmund man will be looking for a new club this summer. Ivo Iličević was not on the roster sheet for HSV. 

 

 

 

 

ENGLAND

 

 

Jelavić first Croatian to win 'Player of the Month' award in England

 Photo: Action Images

 

After being named the Barclay’s Premier League April ‘Player of the Month’, Nikica Jelavić has started to cool off. Jela is the first Croatian to ever win the award but has now gone scoreless in his last two matches. In Everton’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City at midweek, Jelavić only managed two shots (0 on goal) in 90 minutes of play and followed that up on Sunday with only one shot on goal from five chances. Everton drew again, this time to Championship-bound Wolverhampton in a scoreless affair. In the last game of the season, Everton will face a tough Newcastle defense.

 

If Jelavić ends the season in a three-game goal drought, should he still be a lock for Croatia’s starting XI at Euro 2012?

 


A frustrated Luka Modrić couldn't find his touch vs. Aston Villa

Photo: Reuters

 

With Arsenal dropping points to Norwich on Saturday in a 3-3 draw, that opened the door for Tottenham to control their own Champions League fate; now able to finish third with wins in their final two games of the season. Luka Modrić got the start and played the full 90 minutes against an out of form Aston Villa side on Sunday, trying to recreate his wunder-gol performance from Wednesday’s win vs. Bolton. The magic was not there as Modrić played an average game as Spurs drew Aston Villa 1-1. Danny Rose’s sending off in the 49th minute did not help Spurs chances. Tottenham can secure a berth into next year’s Champions League  tournament two ways: jump Arsenal in the league table to finish third or finish fourth and pray that Bayern Munich defeat Chelsea in the Champions League Final on May 19th.

 

Either way, the Luka Modrić transfer circus will begin as soon as Euro 2012 concludes. Should he stay if Tottenham makes Champions League?

 

 

Ivan Klasnić came on for Bolton in the 68′ and played a crisp pass down field which lead to a West Brom own goal in the 72′. With Bolton trying to fight off relegation, a win would have seen them become favorites to stay up. However, a James Morrison injury time equalizer only earned Bolton one point in the 2-2 draw. The Wanderers currently sit in 18th position and must win and get help during the final weekend to stay in the Premiership next season. 

 

 

 

 

UKRAINE

 

 

Srna (right) trying to get the Ukrainian Cup from manager Mircea Lucescu

Photo: UEFA

 

 

Darijo Srna and Shakhtar Donetsk needed extra time to defeat city rivals Metalurh Donetsk in the Ukrainian Cup Final on Sunday. Srna played the full 120 minutes and needed a 104′ goal from Kucher to seal the deal. Now that Shakhtar have confirmed at least one piece of hardware for the 2011-12 season, they will try for their second piece on Thursday. A win vs. Oleksandria during the last round of the Ukrainian Premier League will ensure Shakhtar the domestic title and a spot in the Champions League group stage next season.

 

 

SPAIN

 

 

 

 

Ivan Rakitić (above) started in Sevilla’s impressive 5-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano. He had one shot off target and earned an assist on a corner before being subbed off in the 66th minute. Sevilla would need a win, Mallorca and Levante losses, and an Osasuna loss/draw in the final round next week in order to secure the final Europa League spot. It seems as if the midweek scuffle during practice did not affect Rakitić’ game. 

 

 

 

 

Real Zaragoza secured a massive 2-1 win over Racing Santader on Saturday. Tomislav Dujmović (above) was subbed on in the 60th minute and played in front of the back four, putting a header effort just wide. A win against Getafe in their final game will prevent relegation and a draw could also do so if Rayo Vallecano lose. Tomo’s future is uncertain as he was sparsely used by Dinamo Moscow and there has been no word on whether Zaragoza wish to get him on a permanent transfer.

 

 

 

RUSSIA

 

 

Stipe Pletikosa ready for Euro 2012

 

Rostov beat Volga Nizhny 1-0 on Sunday. Stipe Pletikosa started and made two saves during the match. After getting first team football since January, Pletikosa has ensured his #1 spot at the Euro 2012. With the win, Rostov sit in fourth in the relegation group with one game to go.

 

 

 

France

 

 

 PHOTO: olweb.fr

 

Dejan Lovren might be watching the Champions League on TV next season

 


Olympique Lyon can just about kiss the Champions League goodbye after registering a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Brest on Sunday. Croatian international, Dejan Lovren, will sit out the rest of the season because of an achilles injury and is listed as questionable for Euro 2012 in June. Lyon is eight points behind third-place Lille with three matches left. Dejan is hoping that Lyon can still somehow squeeze into the Champions League next season: “I do not think about it much. I give myself fully to the club that wins this qualification for the Champions League. I will be very happy for the club if we do achieve this objective. If we fail, I will be sad. But nothing is over and it’s all open.”

 

 

 

Next Matches:

 

 

 

Thursday, 5/10

 

Olympique Lyon at Evian TG, Oleksandria at Shakhtar Donetsk, Tavriya at Dynamo Kyiv, Karpaty at Dnipro

 

Saturday, 5/12

 

Bayern München at Borussia Dortmund(DFB Pokal Final)

 

Sunday, 5/13

 

Fulham at Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United at Everton, Bolton Wanderers at Stoke City, Real Zaragoza at Getafe, Sevilla at Espanyol, Olympique Lyon at Ajaccio, Rostov at Tom’ Tomsk

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 149 comments





  1. Ziva Istina says:

    Claiming Jelavic as a Hajduk product is comical. It’s like claiming Sammir is croatian.

    Hajduk thought so much of Jelavic that they gave him away for nothing.

    Same thing with Perisic. Another typical Hajduk story where they screw up and make nothing from a one of their own players. Hajduk is good at doing two things: 1. finishing behind Dinamo by 20 points and 2. having no idea how to develop and properly manage talent. But, that is the Hajduk we all know and some of us love.



  2. Ziva Istina says:

    Jebiga, its true. Hajduk is a disaster of a club. Forget the results. The way the club is run, how they handle players and their transfer policy over the years has been a disaster. The club will always have the loyalty of its fans, but they have done noting in the last decade that warrants any proper support.

    Hell, the highlight for these clowns is paying Barca over a million euros to bring a watered-down team to Poljud. How nice of them.



  3. LOL I remember being in Croatia and people were getting so excited that they were playing Barca. Hell people on the site were going insane for the game. It was just a dull 0-0 snooze fest based on what people were saying. I didn’t watch that crap.

    Anyway in relevant news, Corluka played today and looks healthy. At least the MVP of the defensive is back. I need a Corluka jersey



  4. IvicA says:

    Man…Hajduk just needs to sell that club (at a nice discount) to the Andronico Luskic family, and let them do what they want with the club.

    Not only did the completely drop the ball with players like Prso, Perisic, Jelavic, Lakic, etc…they can’t even secure the Dalmatian talent anymore with players like Modric and Vrsaljko all going to Dinamo for their youth careers instead of Hajduk.

    It’s a good thing we have “Nas Hajduk”. lol.



  5. IvicA says:

    On another note,

    Who here is excited for the potential to have the legend Davor Suker as HNS president, and the ever-so-awesome Igor Stimac as national team coach?

    I feel sick.



  6. Ziva Istina says:

    @Ivica….agreed on most of the guys you mentioned, but I cant blame Hajduk for Prso. Everyone missed on him, plus there is no way the fans at Hajduk would have accepted serbo Prso 8-10 years ago before he made his mark at Monaco and Rangers.

    Right now Hajduk is good for one thing…..picking up discounted fake Hajduk gear at the piaca



  7. Ante Kvartuc says:

    My concern is that Hajduk hasn’t even hit rock bottom yet. Such a waste of great soccer history. It will be better in the future…it just sucks that there’s nothing there right now. At least there will be only 12 teams in the HNL next year. (Some improvement)

    And great news on Corluka. Last week’s substitution due to injury was just a knock as he played the full 90 today in Leverkusen’s last Bundesliga game. Now we just have to wait for Dudu, Kranjcar and Lovren injury reports to come on in the next month.

    Arsenal slipped today and if Spurs win out, they will secure a Champions League place no matter what the Chelsea Champions League result. Can’t wait for the Mosric circus to begin again. Looks like Abramovich will not be denied this summer for Modric.

    shall we start a CSR pool?



  8. JerseyCro says:

    to be fair to Hajduk, Jelavic wasn’t exactly lighting it up at Hajduk, he maybe needed more time (Hajduk wasn’t patient enough). Not every player is fully developed at 19-20 years old.

    But Ziva is right, Hajduk do a terrible job developing talent. The Hajduk board are having a hard-on because their juniors I think won the junior HNL, but thats only because most of the Dinamo juniors who mean anything are already on loan at Lokomotiva or Radnik in the 2.HNL



  9. Ugh another summer of Modric rumors, I’m so dreading it. I love to see Luka and his horrible English do a LeBron James “the decision” either over the internet or on TV. Then he picks Chelsea and all hell breaks loose.



  10. Ziva Istina says:

    @JerseyCro…..100% correct. Hajduk’s management has this huge hard on for the season their juniors and kadets had this year. Any Dinamo junior that is worth anything is already playing with the main squad (Kovacic, Halilovic) or are loaned out. If I was a parent of a promising youth player at Hajduk I would pull them out and move them to another club. And that is coming from, a dalmatinac and hardcore Hajduk fan.It just shows you how bad that club is in everything it does, with the exception of washing money.



  11. IvicA says:

    @ Mihovil

    Harry Redknapp of course. The guy loves Croats, and would force Modric to play for us the same way he does for Spurs. The only person that would object to Harry’s signing would be Niko Kranjcar (who would still be playing off the bench)
    ;)

    Nah, but on a serious note…if we’re assuming the 430,000Kn per year salary that comes with the Cro gig still stands, then we really don’t have much choice other than that old generation of coaches (Ciro, Cico, Spaco, Katalinic, Ivankovic) or a former France98 player (Asanovic, Stimac, Prosinecki, etc). There haven’t been any younger Croat coaches that have been impressing in recent history (but it’s not like our league is built for them to have an opportunity to succeed anyway).

    Since that is the case, it’s a complete hit-and-miss.
    Of the likely candidates above, I would lean toward Cico Kranjcar. Not because I think he’s a good coach, but he did at least manage an impressive showing in WC2006 qualifying (and brought back a beautiful style of play) along with doing some remarkable things with Crna Gora in these past qualifiers.

    He’s a drunkard, and he’ll probably insist on starting Niko Kranjcar…but I highly doubt anyone else would be any better. At least Cico would let the guys play an attacking style, and we won’t have those hesitant, try-to-play-it-safe games that blow up in our faces like what happened in Athens. Then again, I could see Cico’s style occasionally blowing up in his face as well, as we’d be playing a more open style. I dunno.

    Another part of me wants to see a something come out of left field, like Luka Bonacic. He’s made some excellent calls as he launched the careers of nobody players like Krizanac and Prso. He’s done a lot in the HNL with garbage teams, and I kind of wonder what he could’ve ever done with a good team. Then again, he did coach Jelavic on Hajduk, but that was likely due to someone above trying to impose their will on him (something he is known to hate, and a reason why he’s no longer in the HNL nor ever going to be a Cro coach candidate).

    Either way, I still feel that I, along with everyone else here, will have mixed emotions when they name a successor as every single candidate above has some serious weaknesses.



  12. Curt says:

    Hajduk WINS 3-0 . What a beautiful game .Bog,Hrvati,i Hajduk !!! Torcida 4 Life !!! Srce za Hajduka !!!



  13. Tito says:

    PART OF BILIC INTERVIEW

    Danas je popularna teza da igru reprezentacije treba prilagoditi Jelavićevim kvalitetama?

    - Ne čudi me kada to kaže laik, ali čudim se nekim ljudima koji su ozbiljno u nogometu i tvrde da se sada sve treba prilagoditi Jelaviću. U redu, laik će se pitati kako mu je uspjelo zabiti dva gola Manchester Unitedu, a Gruziji ne može niti jedan? Pa tako što se United brani s trojicom igrača u kaznenom prostoru, dok su se Gruzijci branili s jedanaest, gužva je bila nevjerojatna, nigdje prostora. Ne bih htio poniziti Everton, ali naš Srna sigurno bolje centrira od Hibberta, u reprezentaciji postoje preduvjeti da Jelavić igra jednako efikasno kao i u klubu. Jelavić je zbog sjajne forme zalog našeg optimizma, ali nikako nije usamljen u toj priči.

    Senatori ne igraju

    Kakva je krvna slika nacionalne momčadi mjesec dana prije početka Eura?

    - Imamo jasnu situaciju. Malen ali kvalitetan kadar u kojem nekolicina igra puno, čak i previše, zatim skupinu igrača koji imaju optimalnu kvotu od 35 ili 40 nastupa u sezoni, ali i one kandidate koji su igrali ispod minimuma, a nažalost potrefilo se da je riječ o “senatorima” koj su jednako važni i na terenu i za stolom. Mislim na Kranjčara, Šimunića, Olića, Pranjića i Dudua. Osim njih, nisu standardni niti Rakitić i Dujmović, Lovren se ozlijedio, a mogu slobodno reći da je Modrić istrošen napornom sezonom…

    Značajan broj igrača na klupskim marginama u prijevodu znači problem?

    - Neću lagati, fond utakmica zaista nam predstavlja veliki problem. Priče u stilu “bit će svježi” su demagoške. Da je zaista tako, onda nitko ne bi igrao i trenirao, svi bi se samo odmarali. Postoji bitna razlika između sedamdeset i sedam, broj nastupa odražava se na formu i samopouzdanje igrača. Na stožeru i meni je da izaberemo najbolje, a budite sigurni da pritom nećemo birati na temelju starih zasluga. Neće biti lako skinuti s popisa nekog za koga sam emotivno vezan, ali mi u Poljsku ne idemo na nagradno putovanje nego tamo želimo nešto napraviti



  14. Dukic says:

    glava me boli od kretena. i call for a boycott of croatiansports.com (sorry ante and denis) until ziva leaves the site.



  15. Tito says:

    @ Diaspora guys im nothing being an ass but when you go to croatian besides your cousins do you have friends in croatia?



  16. Dan says:

    @Allen
    Mark my words, if Man Utd dont get the title this season they will buy Modric over the summer. Especially if tottenham dont get that champions league spot.



  17. mali HRVAT says:

    @Allen:

    English is Modric’s 2nd language. What is your excuse for your poor grammar. He speaks English infinitely better than you speak Croatian.



  18. mali HRVAT says:

    @Tito:

    Nemam prijatelje. Ti si magarac.

    I am trying to practice my Croatian with native speakers. How am I doing?



  19. Ana Ana says:

    @ivicA

    i actually heard that blazevic really wants to take over the repka again and that hes been talking alot of shit particularly because of the wc qualifier vs serbia

    what do u guys think of blazevic as bilic’s successor, could he work his magic again?



  20. Colin (Right Place Right Time) O'Haravić says:

    lolol @Curt “Hajduk WINS 3-0 . What a beautiful game .Bog,Hrvati,i Hajduk !!! Torcida 4 Life !!! Srce za Hajduka !!!” You do know they didn’t actually play today. They “played” Varazdin, so it was a default win of 3-0. Love the enthusiasm though.



  21. Dukic says:

    @colin

    hahahahahaha youre an idiot. sorry. he is talking about the sv duje cup. kadeti. its hajduk dinamo udinese and siroki brijeg. btw hajduks juniors and kadeti are first place in croatia.

    if you follow hajduk like a religion you would know.



  22. My English is fine thank you, so please go back to doing what you do best and talk about nothing.

    Modric’s English is brutal. I’ve heard him talk several times and it sounds worse than my two year old cousin trying to speak. Please stop being bias because you know it’s true and everyone knows it’s true. That’s the only thing wrong with Modric these days haha. Otherwise we know he’s the real deal and a terrific midfielder.

    Dan- that wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Thanks for replying without an attitude unlike some people. Man Utd has had a heart on for Modric for years now. Once Man Utd has a heart for a player, they will get him regardless of tactics. I would hate to support Man Utd but I’ve always respected them so let it be. I just won’t be buying any Modric-Utd jersey if you get what I mean. I can’t sell out that bad.



  23. Jarac says:

    @allen

    You are a serious douche bag. It’s not his native tongue, he doesn’t need to know how to speak it you fool. I can guarantee you there’s no way in hell you croatian is better than english. I can guarantee you Modric can maintain a relationship with all his family, because he can speak his native language. I can also guarantee you that you can’t even keep in touch with you family in Cro(if u have any there) cause you can’t speak a damn lick of Croatian, that is a shame. You should look in the mirror before you post.



  24. Ziva Istina says:

    @Dukic……the sv. Duje cup is garbage. Don’t tell me you are one of these blind Hajduk homers buying into what their junior teams did this season. Nobody is a bigger hajdukovac than me, but I would be shocked if any of these juniors do anything at the senior level. The difference between Hajduk’s juniors and Dinamo’s juniors is this: the best Dinamo juniors are already playing first-team soccer either with Dinamo or with Lokomotic or some other club. The best Hajduk juniors are still playing at the junior level. Go back over the last few years, the Hajduk juniors have won some decent tourneys or placed well at top-tier tourneys in Europe, but none of that has translated to the senior level. What we currently see now from Hajduk is actually the best we will see from them in the next few years.

    Regarding Modric…..what a great surprise this morning to see Spurs tied. Great news that Arsenal stays in third. Hopefully, Spurs fail to make the CL next season and then Modric can go to the highest bidder and leave Spurs.



  25. IvicA says:

    @Ana

    Blazevic is talking smack because he knows it’s the only chance he has to be named a successor. He’s playing off the emotions people have of having to beat Serbia in the upcoming qualifiers.

    It looks like Serbia is taking the nationalist route by hiring Sinisa Mihajlovic, and he’s solely focusing on the Cro matches and restoring Serbian Pride. He’s already sent each player a notice that they must learn the Serbian national anthem word-for-word, or else they won’t play. He’s going to try and create some hype around the Serbia vs Cro matches, and call back players like Vidic and Stankovic. Mihajlovic knows that no matter what happens, if Serbia can get the better of Croatia in those two matches, he’ll look like a hero.

    Personally, I don’t care about Serbia anymore. Serbia is stuck in the past and their only hope is to take pride in hoping to beat Croatia in the odd game every decade. This is their everything. This is their only real rivalry in soccer, whereas Croatia has already created better rivalries with more notable teams like England, Germany, and Turkey from having played these teams in meaningful games and qualifying for tournaments.

    Ciro Blazevic has had success with Cro and BiH, but he’s also fallen flat on his face with Cro too (actually almost missing out on France98 during qualification and outright missing Euro2000).

    Croatia hiring Ciro would be taking the same route as Serbia’s hiring of Sinisa. Both would be hit-and-miss hirings which could either work out or fail miserably. The two teams’ focus would solely be on beating each other, and a team like Belgium would take advantage and potentially leapfrog both.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to beat the Cedos, but I’d rather qualify first in this group. Mihajlovic has an inconsistent track record by almost singlehandedly relegating Bologna and being chased out of town with Fiorentina. Although I do believe Serbia does need an injection of Pride, I still don’t have faith in Serbia being consistent enough to beat teams like Wales and Belgium on the road (even if they managed to get the better of us), so I’d rather Cro takes advantage of this. Both matches against the Serbs are going to be played with no fans anyway, so the allure won’t be like how it was back in 2000.



  26. HAET says:

    @IvicA, when you say “Serbia is stuck in the past”, I assume you are only referring to soccer and/or you mean they’re still dwelling on the war. Because it seems to me the Europeans (mostly Eastern) who are “stuck in the past” are the ones who have a future; while those “sophisticated” “modern thinking” Europeans are losing in just a few generations what their ancestors built over thousands of years – damning their children to minority status in their own countries. A war of annihilation plus two atom bombs could not do to Japan what multiculturalism is doing to Western Europe.



  27. Colin (Right Place Right Time) O'Haravić says:

    @ Dukic – lolol idiot??? I don’t follow hajduk… at all. Why would I ever follow them let alone their junior team? He was happy they won 3-0. I only assumed he was talking about the actual team and not a bunch kids. I SINCERELY apologize… I hope you guys enjoy second place, for 100th time in a row or something. #/d

    Also, I have no idea why we are arguing about the HNL lol

    dinamo also won 3-0 yesterday and they actually played.

    @Sime – Varazdin’s season was suspended because they can’t pay their debts/players/anything. They were also relegated to lowest division in Croatia.



  28. Colin (Right Place Right Time) O'Haravić says:

    @Curt – I know you were kidding, just like giving ya a hard time for your hajduk loving all the time lol





  29. Ziva Istina says:

    We’ll find out for sure tomorrow if Mihajlovic will be hired as the serb coach. It appears there are some contractual issues that have come up.

    I’d actually prefer for him to be hired and to bring back Stankovic and to a lesser extent Vidic.

    Since our repka will be on its last legs as well, we might as well hire Stimac just to create some pizdarija between the coaches when we play.



  30. Mihovil Mihovil says:

    @IvicA

    First post response.

    Cico knows his stuff and he did very well in the WC 2006 group. My issues with him were not of the X’ and 0′s ilk, rather his lack of insight. He did not have the vision to call on Eduardo for WC 2006 and not playing Modric until the last 16 minutes of the Australia game was tough to sit through as well. As soon as Cico was replaced with Bilic the players selected for our lineup changed for the better.

    Croatia Italy 2006 – Bilic’s first game

    http://tinyurl.com/6ls8wgn

    It is hard to dismiss the points made about leaning on Cico and him having the advantage over the other coaches mentioned as he “seems” to be the best option available and is successful wherever he goes. He does favor his son which could be an issue. It could also cause problems for Niko with other teammates as well. The favoritism card not as big of an issue as the latter.

    http://tinyurl.com/7hrsjy3

    Blazevic did well with Bosnia & Herzegovina and had them playing very exciting football. Mind you I would take both Ciro and Cico ahead of Ivankovic. I just don’t see us doing well with him leading the way. Now I could be wrong very wrong but I do not see it.

    All reports are saying that Bilic is gone after the Euros; a part of me would like him to stay for the WC 2014 qualifying as this is a very tough group and better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. It looks as though he is gone for certainty.

    “Either way, I still feel that I, along with everyone else here, will have mixed emotions when they name a successor as every single candidate above has some serious weaknesses.”

    That pretty much sums it up.

    Who would you rather have as a coach, Stimac or Ivankovic?

    @IvicA @Ana

    Terrific write up IvicA!

    Hiring Stimac would also fall into the nationalistic category in my opinion as well.

    As much as Mihajlović is unstable he will have that team ready. How ready we will find out soon enough as I think he will get the job. More than likely he will be able to bring Vidic, Stanković and Lazovic back into the equation. What they have in Stankovic, although he will be 34 come game time, is leadership and a quality CDM. But if he is long in the tooth come game time by all means let him play. Their defense will be solid.

    We match up favorably against them but we need someone to be able to dissect their team as it has all the potential to be dissected. Their midfield although not poor is not up to snuff with ours and their strikers leave a lot to the imagination @ this point.

    Winning this group is all that matters! That is the bottom line. Belgium is a very strong skilled youthful all around team and will be tough. If we can go to Belgium and win in our second qualifier that would be massive!

    “Both matches against the Serbs are going to be played with no fans anyway, so the allure won’t be like how it was back in 2000.”

    Apparently there will be no “away” fan representation shipped in @ either game but there will be home fan attendance @ Maksimir and RSS. Unless you meant something else or unless something has changed in that regard?

    On Friday March 22 2013 & Friday September 6 2013 all I can smell is victory.

    http://tinyurl.com/7zvfalx

    At the same time imagining how many drinks I will consume on those days.
    :-)

    Živjeli do pobjede!



  31. Curt says:

    Hajduk’s Jr’s Beat Dinamo 4-1 !!! Our future looks very bright !!! Bog, Hrvati, i Hajduk !!! Great WIN !!!



  32. Ziva Istina says:

    @Curt…..actually, no. Hajduk’s future does not look bright. The worse is not here yet. The short-term future does look great for Hajduk because the league ends in a week.

    @Mihovil….good stuff. I think Belgium will be them to beat in our qualifying group. Maybe I am giving them too much credit, but I love the youth of that team and at some point it will all come together for them. Maybe this cycle or the next one, but there is some excellent talent on that side. I love what I see from Eden Hazard at Lille this year and it looks like he will be going to one of the Manchester teams. Plus, there is Lukaku and he is only 18 or 19 right now.



  33. Sydney United.58 says:

    A few great write ups about Croatias next coaching options,some decent stuff there,Yes Bilic does certainly seem gone after Euro.He sees it as time to move on,I agree. He can develop more somewhere else.We have a tough group for the next WC,but I still think its time.It may have a impact either way and there will always be a tough campaign ahead.Its just as important to keep developing our training/coaching system as our players as we dont outsource our coaches with big buck offers.
    Miroslav Blazevic is a dead set legend who had his ups and downs,but in my mind is just too old these days.I only hope to be as good as him at such a age,but his peak is simply behind him and we need to move forward.Agreed ,getting too caught up with the Serbia matches would be dangerous,(but please just win these 2 matches anyhow).



  34. I didn’t watch Spurs because they always play when i have something better to do (blame a softball league). What a disappointing tie, man things are getting tight.

    As for Jarac’s rant, well congrats because he does. I don’t speak Croatian very well and I don’t have any interest. Once again I’m not here to debate my life values and choices. Some of you jackasses on this site seem to love to bring up someone’s personal lifestyle and the choices they make. This is a sports site where we debate about sports. If you want to bring up someone’s life, then you can’t debate and your nothing more than a clueless coward. I’ve said in the past that soccer isn’t my favorite sport, hell it’s probably like my 4th but I like the game and I critique on it based on what I see and watch. Modric’s English is brutal sorry if you don’t agree. Learn how to debate ass clown.



  35. pasnjak za krave says:

    didnt dado prso make his name with porto, when they shocked the world, by winning champions league and then going to glasgow rangers ? serb or not , dado prso, outside of the kovac brothers and olic , left his blood ,sweat, and tears for the croatian national team.



  36. Sydney United.58 says:

    Any recent news on Corlukas injury?not much around on his condition recently.Just read a pretty glowing article about Lovren apparently getting interest from Roma.



  37. Ziva Istina says:

    @Pasnjak……come on brother, get you info straight. Miladin Prso never played for Porto. He was with monaco before his move to Rangers.



  38. Jarac says:

    @Allen

    What exactly were you trying to argue/debate? If this website is about sports, then why are you bringing up luka’s english skills. Seems like your the clown, jackass. Look in the mirror before you type!



  39. IvicA says:

    @Ziva

    Out of Belgium, Serbia, and Wales…Yes, Belgium is definitely the team to beat. Hopefully Croatia’s new coach gets the memo and doesn’t turn this solely into a Cro vs Serbia campaign, especially when you have game-changers like Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale lurking around in this group.

    If Stimac gets hired, this is exactly what will happen and we’ll see a re-run of the Euro2000 qualifiers where Belgium will play the Ireland role and sneak a victory from both Serbia and Croatia due to lack of preparation by both teams. Hopefully, we learn from our mistake (when we lost in Ireland in the first Euro2000 game) and we are prepared for that early away game in Belgium…also we need to ensure we don’t tie Macedonia again this time (like in 2000) which cost us qualification. Man, this group is eerily similar to 2000, it’s scary.

    Anyway, enough about WC2014 qualifying. Euro2012 hasn’t even started yet.



  40. I talk about the players and I was messing around. Take a joke and no I don’t need to look in a mirror, great come back.

    Corluka played full 90 on Sunday which is great to hear. On a serious note, why the hell are we talking about WC 2014 qualifying. Way more priorities right now for national team than the WC. Euros are just about in a month damn it!



  41. AZ says:

    Jelavic is off form now…no goals for the month for may (past 2 games)..i guess players know how to mark him….this is the period where he needs to be consistent…otherwise, he will still be a flop at everton…



  42. Sydney United.58 says:

    @Ivica A-Some valid points about our group,but personally I cant take too seriously the real possibility of Stimac becoming coach at this point.



  43. Dukic says:

    e ljudi moji kadeti juniori seniori. pa brate mili svak zna da se za hajduk ne navija nek se za hajduk zivi. thats the difference between some of you guys on this site and me. i lived and played in cro. i practiced next to luka modric and plenty of pros right now for nk zadar then known as zadarkomerc. i went to italy and played and yea it was a big deal. zadar has a wonderful youth academy but i remember are coaches couldnt put food on the table because their salary was late buy 3 months. they still came to coach us everyday though because they loved it and has passion. many of you people dont understand that dedication of what football means to people. most of you guys play fifa here and think you understand everything.

    @ziva

    yes jelavic played a few years in the youth academy of hajduk so what he wasnt good enough. that happens to plenty of players. perisic left to sochaux because they offered his parents a job in france while he was playing. i remembered when he left and reading the article. and please dont tell me youre a huge hajdukovac cause youre not ok. learn the facts man.

    @ everybody

    please understand the passion we have in this sport before you say stupid stuff. BAD BLUE BOYS were cheering for the under 10 dinamo squad. which is awesome even though i hate hajduk. e brate mili to je nogomet. srce ti kuca samo za klub. until most of you understand that they will be no bickering on this site.



  44. Ziva Istina says:

    @Dukic…..actually I do know the facts…..You think Perisic was the first Hajduk kid to leave because his parents received money or a job. That is part of hajduk’s problem. They have no clue how to run a club and manage their young talent. Look at the Livaja situation – another failure on Hajduk’s part. If any junior shows any promise, Hajduk gives then the minimum pro contract. If you want to hold on to elite talent then you need to pay them above minimum wage.

    Moj srce kuca za hajduka…..but that means nothing when the club is run like the way it is.



  45. Mihovil Mihovil says:

    @mali HRVAT

    “Did anyone see the Jelavic goal that was erroneously ruled offsides?”

    Erroneous to the highest degree! Bad call!

    Everton fans waiving the Croatian flag at half time.

    http://tinyurl.com/7vpd74f

    (y)



  46. JerseyCro says:

    some transfer rumors:

    Lakic possibly to newly promoted Eintracht Frankfurt
    Lovren is attacting interest from Roma
    Pranjic says he too will leave Bayern in the summer
    Vida & Badelj are the favorites to leave Dinamo this summer



  47. OMG Jelavic hasn’t scored in two games and were all supposed to be worried. Give me a break, Jelavic has out played any Croatian striker since 2012 started and should start no matter what. Even if he doesn’t score against Newcastle, he’s been incredible in the EPL and deserves all the praise. He’s proven me wrong and I’m happy for him. No other Croatian striker brings as much to the table than Jelavic.



  48. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Allen

    I think Jelavic is our most in-form striker and he does deserve a spot in the starting XI come the Euros. But in terms of “no other striker brings as much to the table”, I don’t think Jelavic is our overall best striker. I’d still give the nod to Mandzukic. He’s a bit more versatile, technically he’s a bit better too, I feel. But hey, if Nikica keeps up this form, has a great Euro – he can definitely take the “Best Croatian forward” title. He’s has a blistering start in the EPL, I just hope he continues to be a force at Everton and whatever other clubs he moves to in the future.



  49. Mainzfeldski Mainzfeldski says:

    In my heart, Jelavic scored that incorrect offside goal. There is no worry about him; he’ll do fine, hopefully for the Euros too.

    It’s the other players, besides Perisic, Mandzukic, Pleti, and Corluka, that I am worried about, particularly the defense.

    Sweden sure ripped our defense like tissue, all by one player (Ibra). I know that that was a friendly, yet this shows an ominous forecast for the Euros. Hopefully I’m wrong.



  50. TheGoldenChild says:

    @Allen

    AZ was being sarcastic buddy. Relax guys. If you actually read his post, and think about it, then you should get it.



  51. Hrvat says:

    Ziva istina you dot know anything. Your making yourself sound stupid so do yourself a favor and shut up



  52. jm says:

    With Bundeslig coming to a close, I think we need to be pretty pleased with the steps Mandzukic and Perisic have taken. I was a little skeptical about how good Mandzukic could turn out, but 12 goals and 8 assists isn’t bad. I think the 8 assists is especially noteworthy since it shows he’s more versatile than just heading the ball in from 6 feet out. More promising though is Perisic who was really efficient in his limited time. Attached is a link that shows goals per minute in the Bundeslig for players with over 700 minutes. Perisic is number seven on the list with a goal every 137 minutes. Not bad considering the adjustments he had to make moving over and adapting to a new team. Hopefully he’ll be able to get more consistent playing time next year.

    http://www.imscouting.com/reports-generator3/?id=40&l=5335&p1=0&p2=700&p3=0&p4=20#rep



  53. Ziva Istina says:

    @Hrvat……..re-read your two sentances (read and it slowly) and then tell me who sounds stupid. Plus, what did I say that is inaccurate or off base. You may not like what I typed, but it doesn’t mean it’s not accurate or true. Again, separate the emotion and think with logic….it will help you in the long run.

    @jm……good read. I wonder what Bilic will do with Mandzukic. Will he go with two forwards up top and team him with Jelavic or will we see Mandzukic play wide right in a 4-2-3-1 formation with jelavic the lone forward. We have seen Bilic use this in the past with Mandzukic. The three midfielders would be Perisic-Modric-Mandzukic

    I



  54. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Mihovil

    Was just gonna post that! Bravo Niko! Even after his playing days, he’s still a fuckin legend :D



  55. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Curt

    Hate to break your (and Svircic’s) heart but the Lake Show aren’t going to beat OKC in 7 games unless Kobe just goes into straight beast mode and averages like 45 ppg thoughout the series vs. them. Hate to say it, but I think it’ll be Heat/Thunder in the finals. If so, I hope OKC destroys Miami and gives Lebron another year without a title.



  56. My bad AZ. Sorry too many trolls post here and I get all fired up anyway good points Aramada. I just think Manzo has no shot outside the box. He also dives too much but he does work hard and has a nice dribble. He still makes me shake my head more times than not when he plays but he’s got potential.

    That Billc video was absolutely hilarious. I can’t wait to see Croatia beat those jokers 2-0.



  57. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:

    @Armada,

    Yes, it would be an upset if the Lakers find a way to beat OKC in the next round. The way I see it, Miami/OKC/Spurs/Lakers are the only teams with a shot at the title. Chicago is banged up and I always felt that they were a superstar short of a title. Boozer and Deng dont cut it for me. Boston is too old.

    I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of tickets to the knicks-miami game yesterday at MSG. Sloppy game, but it was nice to see Lebron lose once again. Heat should cruise through the east with a test from Boston in the next round.

    I’m a little disappointed that my boy AllenOutraged wasn’t in attendance for this one. Some Heat fan :)

    I should be back in LA for Lakers-OKC.. You know I will be one of 18,997 for one of the three home games.



  58. TheGoldenChild says:

    @JM

    Mandzukic has definitely done well. What he doesn’t have, that Jelavic and Perisic do, is a good crew of guys around him…specifically a midfield.

    Mandzukic definitely still has some growing up to do. He’s not a forward that you can rely on specifically to carry your team, but he is versatile. Once he gains some weight (hopefully muscle), and gets his footwork down he’ll be a lot more exciting.

    I’ve heard a few people talk about pairing him and Jelavic up top to start things out. Personally, I think it’s a pretty bad idea. Yes, they are both magnificent in the air, but when you’re playing with two up top, they have to compliment each other. The two forwards also have to be mentally stable to deal with the frustration of the ball not getting to them all the time. This is why you need Olic in there.

    Olic is going to be a direct compliment to either player. His hard work and ability to break free from the defense with his pace is what an aerial winner needs. Think of it as an air & ground attack. Jelavic receives and Olic either takes off behind the midfield or sits behind Jelavic to receive the ball, distribute it to the wings, and bring and offensive push with both players streaking down the middle. Mandzukic will definitely be able to handle the burden as well, but we always want to look at experience and mental capacity to stay in the moment.

    @Armada

    Lakers in 7



  59. JerseyCro says:

    Pranjic might sign for a club in China ready to pay him a very high salary. He would make something like 4-5 million euros a season. He said he will think about it, but his first priority is to find a club in Europe



  60. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ JerseyCro

    I feel like all our guys who head to the Far East are never heard from again… Either they’re washed up and go out there out there for one last big pay day (most recently, Bosko Balaban). If Pranjic heads out to a team in China, South Korea, Malaysia, etc. he’ll never sniff the NT again. If I were him I’d go to a midtable Eredivisie (maybe head back to Heerenveen?), Bundesliga or Ligue 1 side and just get some consistent first team football under his belt.

    But if we want to put our ‘Ziva Istina goggles’ on; Danijel is 30, has played for one of the biggest clubs in the world and probably realizes that his time on NT is probably coming to an end sooner rather than later. At 30, does he really have time left in his career to ‘take a step back’, get some first team football at a mid-table side and then try to go back to an upper echlon type team?He probably realizes this and heads out to some Asian league for one last fat check — Wouldn’t really be surprised if he takes this route.



  61. Ziva Istina Ziva Istina says:

    Each player is a separate case. Obviously, it’s Pranjic’s call.

    If the dollar amounts are correct (and I am somewhat skeptical), there is no way he can make that type of money in Europe. So, he has to take that offer to secure the rest of his livelihood. I’m sure his taxes will be taken care of by the owner, so you are talking about almost tax-free money. If he goes to England half of his wages will go to taxes.



  62. TheGoldenChild says:

    Ziva, I’m disagreeing with you here bud.

    Dollar amounts have to be pretty astronomical to want to play in Asia. Not only is the league trash, but living conditions are not very ideal out there. I went out to China and Japan, and the amount of people in such a small area is scary. Plopping Pranjic into something like that would be nothing but a terrible culture shock. Visiting and playing is one thing, but living there is a whole other thing.

    He’s made enough money over his career to already have a stable life in Hrvatska, assuming that he’s smart. A couple extra million is always nice to have, but I don’t think it’s worth the cost of being completely miserable.



  63. Lerga says:

    Wendsday the euro squad candidates come out i hope he does not call some players that dont deserve to go. we barley went to euro 2012 with a shit group thi 2014 wcq group i dont know All i know iswe will not be going to wc 2014 unless big chances come in croatia football. ill enjoy our 3 game and out this summer!



  64. Ziva istina says:

    @goldenchild…..it’s more than just 1-2 million, we are talking about 3-5 million over the course of a few years. That is significant for someone like pranjic who until a few years ago was not earning even a million dollars.

    I agree with you on the living conditions, but a player like Pranjic would not be living in the same conditions as a regular tourist or an average person in china. He would have outstanding living arrangements. Again, his call, but he would not be miserable because of the living conditions. He might be miserable due to being away from home.



  65. Ziva istina says:

    @lerga…..big changes to Croatian football will take time. Any changes made now – good or bad – would have no impact on WC qualifying. Quite honestly, there are not enough players to pick from who warrant a spot. There will be a good number of players called up who do not deserve a spot, but will make it because we have limited depth.

    Think about it, the following are players who will make it or will be considered, but don’t deserve it: simunic, ilicevic, kranjcar, kalinic, the Brazilian born hrvat, Serb subasic, need gps Kelava, Badelj….all will be considered but none of them deserve a spot based on their play this year.



  66. TheGoldenChild says:

    Being deserving of a spot is all subjective. There is really no rule of measure of “he should be on the team”. With your view, you’re coming at things as if we are a highly successful team. I’m not saying that our players or team is bad, but you’re qualification for a position on the team is too high. I would also like that all of our players piss excellence, but let’s be real here.

    You give me the guys you think are worthy for the team, and we’ll do a little bit of a comparison. Now mind you, I don’t disagree on some of the players you mention. I do have a problem with a couple on the list. It’s a good debate to get started before the draw, and a thing I think we really haven’t got deep into.



  67. System Of A Down and Linkin Park are coming to NY this summer..must start to save serious money! Heat will take care of those jokesters on Wednesday. Good stuff though Denis, I’m a bit jealous.



  68. Ziva Istina says:

    @TheGoldenChild…..I don’t disagree with your point. Yes, it is subjective. I am just pointing to a list of players who will most likely make the team based on our lack of depth, reputation, past results and not on merit. We have people coming on here claiming Bilic doesn’t know what he is doing (some times fair criticism, while other times not) and all I want to point out is that we have a small core of players who we can rely on. But, I totally get your point

    @dukic……moj ranko, nisam smece od covika, nego zlato. niste zasluzili niti da vam pišem prvo slovo prezime velikim slovom
    Zato,što ste mali i po intelektu i značaju!!



  69. Ziva Istina says:

    @TheGoldenChild…..I don’t disagree with your point. Yes, it is subjective. I am just pointing to a list of players who will most likely make the team based on our lack of depth, reputation, past results and not on merit. We have people coming on here claiming Bilic doesn’t know what he is doing (some times fair criticism, while other times not) and all I want to point out is that we have a small core of players who we can rely on. But, I totally get your point

    @dukic……moj ranko, nisam smece od covika, nego zlato. niste zasluzili niti da vam pišem prvo slovo prezime velikim slovom



  70. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @”Pointdexter”

    You can add Stipe to that list of people who will be considered but don’t deserve it!
    I’ll take “GPS” Kelava over Stipe any day



  71. Ziva Istina says:

    Actually, Pletikosa has played OK in Russia. All kidding aside, how on earth can any sane person prefer “Need GPS Kelava” over Pletikosa. Even though you are directing your comments at someone else, I must assume you don’t watch soccer at all, so I will help educate you on the topic. You can thank me later.

    “Need GPS Kelava” gave up 22 goals in 6 Champions League games. The Champions League is where the elite play. I think that may be the most goals ever given up by a GK in the group stages of the champions league. But, if you think that qualifies a GK to be starting at the Euros, then good for you.



  72. Sydney United.58 says:

    @The Anonymous1-are you possibly a Dinamo fan??to want to be taking “lack of GPS”Kelava over Stipe any day?to use someone elses recent phrase,neither piss quality,but Stipe has not been one that lets the NT down when playing.Same thing was with Ladic,he didnt exactly fill you with confidence,but he was our number one who didnt let our team down as other jokers would.



  73. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @ “Pointdexter”

    No, Im dirercting my comment right at you, shit break!
    If Dinamo had Stipe in goal for them in the CL, The goals against would be greater than 22! You cant blame Kelava for the shitty team in front of him during the CL. Dinamo was no match in that group stage. Having said that, Im not a Stipe fan he simply SUCKS & he will be our weakest link in the Euros! And you dont need to educate me. If I wanted to be a smart ass dumb fuck I’ll ask for your help

    @Sydney Unites.58
    Dont even compare Ladic to Stipe. Thats an insult to Ladic!!!!! I just think Stipe is a shit goalie and feel if we put anyone else than him in net we just improved our goalie status, despite what ever Ziva aka “Pointdexter” thinks



  74. Ziva Istina says:

    Well, I guess you have never seen “Need GPS Kelava” play. I think Stipe is average – at best. But, he is much better than Kelava.

    Dragi, let me do you a favor. When you want to discuss soccer take off the homer glasses and view it objectively. You cant be this blind of a homer and think “Need GPS Kelava” can play for the repka right now. His positioning, inability to deflect rebounds and judgment on crosses needs help. This isn’t only my opinion, this is the opinion of any objective observer. Stipe is light years ahead of him and serb Subasic. The day GPS or serb Subasic are the #1 GKs for the repka is the day soccer truly dies in Hrvatska.

    Also, there is no need for vulgar language. Let me also help you out here. Separate the emotion and you will be able to think clearly one day. Trust me, you will thank me for this input down the road. Despite your flaws, you can and will improve.



  75. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:

    @anonymous,

    Lesson #1

    Wolfsburg = Wolves….

    Lesson #2

    “Griffin’s dunk on Gasol? Go Clippers!”

    scoreboard

    @Anonymous 1,

    as always, love the name.

    I was never a big fan of Kelava. I remember catching the Dinamo-Real opening Champs League game at Scorpio’s in NY with AllenOutraged. Allen was all into Kelava. I wasnt convinced as Real tried to beat Kelava with power, shots within arms reach. Lyon, Ajax and then Real watched the tape and realized that you cant beat Kelava with power. Kelava is like a hockey goalie, you will rarely see him give up a goal between his legs. However, Kelava has no clue on corner kicks, is too slow, and I never seen this guy fully extend himself on a save. If he was worth anything, Dinamo would have sold him long ago.

    I’m not huge on Stipe either. I preferred Runje when everyone was down on him.

    Our weakest link is a team leader. We dont have that Boban or Niko Kovac. Our defense might be in shambles, but our offense hasn’t done much either in qualifying. Its not as if we lost every game 3-2.

    Luckily, we have players that are in form (Mandzo, Perisic, Jelavic, Corluka, Modric). The only question now is how will these players perform under Slaven Bilic?



  76. Sydney United.58 says:

    @The Anonymous1-Well,you do appear to be a one eyed Dinamo supporter which is all great.Pretty much everything has been summed up in the few posts before this one.My comparison of Stipe and Ladic stands because people used to bag him also,but he played with heart and didnt let the team down,especially with his WC98 blinder.
    Just before 98 I always remember hearing a Australian sports commentator describe Croatia as one of the worlds greatest sporting countries pound for pound.We are not 200million Russians or 80 million Germans etc etc,we produce fantastic talent,but we can only run so deep before my baba has to be asked to kit up.Sadly Kelava is where the level really starts dropping.I would love to see him develop.Bilic knows,even Kelava knows this deep down,I am sure,come on man,accept it and support who is there.



  77. Curt says:

    Clippers,Dodgers,& Angels WIN !!! Clippers lead series 3-1 !!! Just another beautiful day in the L.A. Area !!! Bog,Hrvati,i Hajduk !!! Naprid Bili, i L.A. !!!



  78. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @”Pointdexter”

    You can disect Kelava’s inability right from his head to toes. Why is that you dont disect Stipe’s? I have nothing against Stipe I just think he SUCKS. You wanna compare positioning? Go back and look at the tapes and tell me Stipe dont need a little GPS of his own! I dont think Kelava is the answer to the NT prayers, I just believe anyone else is better than Stipe. Having Stipe in goal is like sticking an orange pilon on the goal line
    Since when did you become Dr.Phil?
    I’d tell you to eat my shit, but your not even worthy of that

    @Sydney United.58

    Im not a one eyed Dinamo supporter! Frankly I dont give a monkeys crap for them.
    You make a valid point with people bagging on Ladic as I am with Stipe. At the end of the day when its all said and done Ladic did prove a lot of his critics wrong. WC 98 I thought he was the best goaltender in that tourney! I just cant see Stipe proving me wrong! If Cro advances past our group and hopefully further and Stipe shines at he Euros? I”ll EAT POINDEXTERS SHIT!!! If Stipe shines at the Euros

    @Dennis

    Blake Griffin is over rated. He right now is nothing but a power dunker. He drives to the hoop too, I’ll give him that, thats because he has no J. Bad free throw shooter and no outside shot. He has all the potential in the world if he can add a jump shot in his repitour.



  79. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Hrvat

    Get off my nuts. I love the attention, but enough is enough. They need to breathe a bit.



  80. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:

    @The anonymous 1,

    I’m not sure that Blake is overrated. It all depends where you and others rate him. I think Blake has the potential to be a Tim Duncan type player in the future. Tim was a career 58% shooter from the line if my memory serves me right.

    I think he needs to work on his D. 0.7 blocks per game during the regular season is awful. Blake doesnt have a block in 4 playoff games against the Grizz. Also, 6 rebounds per game?

    I can see Blake averaging 24-10, with a couple of blocks per game. blake needs to develop a little jump hook and a short 10-15 foot jump shot.

    Besides all that, I’m not a Clippers fan. I have attended 25 or so Clipper games because “you can sit anywhere you want”. I’m hoping for a Clippers-Lakers rivalry.

    You can’t be a Everton and Liverpool fan. One or the other.



  81. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ “The Anonymous 1″

    Dude, your ranting and raving is just getting flat out annoying. I don’t think anyone is claiming that Stipe is the best keeper ever here. I think everyone can agree on the fact that the Stipe today is not the Stipe of Euro 2008. Is Kelava our keeper of the future? I hope so, at least until my boy Simon Sluga is old enough to take over the reigns. In terms of options at keeper, the decision comes down to the lesser of all evils. I think with most informed fans, even though they wished they had a better option than Stipe, most would pick Stipe over Kelava to start. Come WC 2014, I’m sure Kelava will be between the pipes and hopefully gets a little better too. But let’s face it; Kelava’s 15 minutes in the spotlight, to really make a case for him becoming starter for the NT, was Champions League and we all know how that went… You can spin it however you’d like, but 22 goals against in 6 games does not help your bid to become your country’s starting keeper at the Euro’s, nor does playing in the garbage HNL.



  82. Hrvat says:

    Armada I wasnt talking to you.
    Your worst then ziva istina. You both don’t know anything



  83. AllenOutraged says:

    If Blake stayed all four years in college, this would have been his rookie year. The guy is still young, cut him some slack. I’m sure he’ll really improve this summer on his game and will become a bigger force than he is now. I hate Clipper haters even though I’m aware the Clippers are limited with their bonehead center Jordan and all but finished Caron Butler. They still got the best point guard in the league in Chris Paul and a force in Blake Griffin. That’s enough to beat a team that can’t hit a three pointer and got the old Zach Randolph back that can’t do much right.



  84. Ante B Ante B says:

    Hrvat,

    Minus that Ziva Istina comment, I totally agree. Truer words never spoken. I swear I will never understand the hate Ziva gets here…



  85. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ Hrvat

    “Hrvat says: Ilicevic is amazing. Armada your making yourself look stupid”

    So wait, who are you referring to?
    Maybe you got me confused with Ante B.?





  86. TheGoldenChild says:

    Lerga has a good point.

    Also, someone thinking Ladic was the best keeper in 98 is also laughable.



  87. Lerga says:

    @ goldenchild the croatian national team only has 5 croatians on it its good to steal or play for a country your not born in.



  88. HAET says:

    @Lerga, other than Eduardo (if he even plays), the entire Croatian team is of Croatian blood; many other European countries don’t even have as much European (i.e. White) blood.



  89. HAET says:

    Where are the Everton highlights? I hear Jelavic scored a goal that was erroneously disallowed? The Premier League Review Show only showed a Jelavic assist that was disallowed b/c of offsides.



  90. Poglavnik says:

    @Denis
    Unless your talkin about dunkin over cars, no way in Hell does Blake Griffin come anywhere near Tim Duncan, ever, in anyway! Tim Duncan is a top 15 player of all-time. Griffin won’t ever come close to that.



  91. Ziva Istina Ziva Istina says:

    Ladic…….his display at WC98 grows with legendary status each year that passes by. His play in that tourney makes up for his average play all the other times. Hell, Ciro was thisclose to naming Mrmic as the #1 GK at the WC. Even Tonci “I’ll fucken wear pants” Gabric had a chance.

    The reason why Ladic never left Dinamo or the HNL is easy…..he was being paid huge money to stay with Dinamo. Stric Franjo awarded him nicely.

    Back to “Need GPS Kelava”…..there is nothing he has shown in the last 18 months that makes me think he can play at the international level. I’ve said Pletikosa is an average GK – at best. But, he has usually played very well for the repka. I can only name a few times where he screwed up. On the other hand, “Need GPS Kelava” was a walking disaster in almost every Champions League match this past season. I would love to be proven wrong about “Need GPS Kelava”, but I don’t think I will be.

    By the way, where are all the know-it-alls who were claiming Delac was going to be a great GK.



  92. mali HRVAT says:

    @Ziva:

    I more or less agree with your GK summary. Unfortunately, Pletikosa isn’t getting any younger and he will eventually have to be replaced.

    How many more years do you think he has in the tank? Can Kelava/Subasic improve with better coaching/competition or what you see is what you get?



  93. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @goldenchild
    If you dont think Ladic wasnt great in the 98WC for Cro then please tell me what else could have he done? I dont think he is the greatest of all time but give the man his due. If someone would ask me what I think of Ladic I would go back to the 98WC and the game where he saved a penalty against Partizan and and stopped the rebound right after. Just his performance in 98 on the grandest stage of them all would eliminate all his blunders. Could he be the best Cro goalie of all time?
    Pondexter is also correct with Franjo paying him real good money, Why leave?
    @Dennis
    Tim Duncan? really? Right now Griffin is all hype, he’s on all the sports highlight reels with his sick dunks thats it. Remember a guy by the name of Vince Carter same story with him. A dunking machine, if you asked me the greatest dunker of all time, never lived up to the hype.
    Blake has the potential to be great just like Vince did, up to him to actually be great



  94. Ireland is such a joke of a team. If you actually looked into how they play, you would understand. These guys were blown out of the water by Russia even if the score doesn’t show it. Ireland won’t get a single point from the group, mark my words. If they were put with a Bosnia or Montenegro, they would have been blown off the field.



  95. IvicA says:

    In other news…

    My fiancee who watches “Betthany Ever After” just told me she watched an episode yesterday where they needed to buy tiles and visited some fresh-off-the-boat Croatian New Yorker who owns a tile store and he had a bar in his store with free booze for customers.

    Now that’s Gud biznes.



  96. Poglavnik says:

    @IvicA
    It’s alright to admit to watching “Bethany Ever After.” No one here will judge you. :)



  97. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    I get roped into watching “Bethany Ever After” too. That’s when I go on my iPhone and watch nogomet highlights :D That Bethany bitch is crazy, her husband seems like a normal dude, wtf would he put up with all that bullshit from her?!



  98. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:

    @anonymous 1,

    As a Lakers fan, the Spurs have made me cry numerous times. However, I give credit where credit is due. Tim Duncan is somewhere #9 or #10 greatest NBA players of all time. Tim Duncan is 36, Blake is 23.

    I’m not saying that Blake will be Duncan one day, just saying that he has the potential if he develops the rest of his game. As of right now, I dont like the flopping and Blake is still like a kid. Duncan seems to be smarter and much more educated than Blake. Also, Duncan had Popovich his entire career. Blake is playing for Vinny Del whoooooo?

    Vince Carter was projected to be “great”, however, he didnt have a terrible career. As of right now, he is 31st on the all time leading scoring list. Next year, he will pass the “great” Clyde Drexler.

    @poglavnik,

    Again, not saying that blake will come close to Duncan. I’m just saying that Blake has the potential. Duncan is one of my favorite players of all time. As of right now, I dont see any Duncan-like qualities in Blake. However, Blake has a Duncan-like body and somewhat of a post game.

    @Mihovil,

    thanks for the links

    @Lerga,

    Thanks for the links. I remember those Ladic days. Ladic was a decent keeper at best. However, the dude was on fire at WC 98. No one talks about WC98 qualifying, where Ladic took a shit in multiple games. Funny how Croatia needed Denmark to beat or draw Greece in Athens on the final day for Croatia to qualify, then 6 months later we take 3rd place in the world cup.



  99. Mihovil Mihovil says:

    @Denis Svirčić

    Molim!

    Greece hits the post twice in the last couple of minutes against Denmark in the final qualifier of WC 98 between Greece and Denmark. If one of those happens to go in the net we do not make WC 98! Ladic was on fire in WC 98 and against Partizan!

    A very inconsistent goal keeper as he could shut you down all night long in one game and then have brain cramps personified in another.

    The second Yugo goal killed me. What Dejan Stanković is doing that wide open is just as big of a question/issue??????



  100. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @Dennis
    Im not knocking Vince, you are correct he did not have a terrible career, but he could of had a much better one. He only shined in Toronto and first few years for the nets.
    To be great you have to be hungry enough to elevate your game and make your game better from all aspects. Just look at MJ and Kobe 2 of the greatest. Those 2 wanted to be better than everyone else and worked their tails off to be great. You can have all the talent in the world, its how you apply your talent and skills.
    Shit, you should get an NBA Playoff page for the bball junkies. By the way, I would love to see Laker/Clippers go at it, just dont think either team will knock off OKC or Spurs. LALvsLAC, LAC in 7



  101. Heat on to the next round and the Clippers will go through tonight. Denis Svircic doesn’t approve as he watches his Lakers stumble along against the pesky Nuggets.



  102. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    Wasn’t even close with the Heat vs. Knicks. I’m surprised my Knicks even won a game. Long off season ahead for us.

    Go Pacers though. I hope Danny Granger dives for a ball and clips LBJ’s knees ‘by accident’.



  103. Ana says:

    ok boys this is too funny, bethenny ever after, ice loves coco…you boys watch more of these chick shows then i do…whats next keeping up with the kardashians? haha or maybe you kids just have more spare time then me
    im not judging dont worry, ive heard from quite a few guys they like to watch those real housewives shows, apparently the cat fights are just that good



  104. Ante B says:

    Drazen Ladic will live in infamy for me because of that penalty in the 37th minute against Partizan in ’97. Done. Deal.





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