Friday, June 23, 2017

Slovakia can have regrets

By Shai Mamou,

Slovakia can have regrets. Beaten by a solid but terribly individualistic team of the Netherlands ((2-1), the partners of Marek Hamsik probably paid the efforts made against Italy. Several players I had found quite interesting in the previous game seemed exhausted to me. Starting with Juraj Kucka, the defensive midfielder; his strength and impact destroyed the Squadra Azzura’s midfield. Today, I found him awfuly slow and unable to struggle with De Jong and Van Bommel, the two Dutch regulators.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

The defence, especially Skrtel and Durica, failed to contain Robben on the first goal. This guy is incredible, but he always does that kind of shot! How could they let him quietly switch to his left foot and shoot? Stoch, the little left wing, forgot his team mates too often. Vittek, the unexpected co-top scorer of this World (4 goals), probably had too much pressure on his shoulders. I mean, I have seen this guy two years ago in a few French championship games and he was not as good as he has been since the beginning of the competition. Lille even sent him improving in the Turkish League at Ankaragücü… This afternoon, he lost a lot of aerial battles and missed a big chance against Stekelenburg whereas the score was still 1-0. Hamsik who was supposed to be the technical leader of this team, disappointed me. I watched a few games of Napoli this year in Serie A, and the Slovakian midfield really was the conductor of the team. Too much pressure again, maybe. Since their first game in group F against Algeria, there is one player that I really liked. Vladimir Weiss, son of… Vladimir Weiss, the national coach. Here again, he was above the rest of his team. Fast, skilled and collective, Weiss did not steal his place for the World Cup, despite some people telling he was there because of his father. I bet this young man (20 years old), will definitely not stay on Manchester City’s bench his all career. I even think he is better than Hamsik…  If Slovakia had not left so much energy against Italy, I think they could have won against the Netherlands. Bert van Marwijk can’t count on his superstars’ miracles at every game. Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt (well, he gave an assist to Sneijder for the second goal), they all want to score by themselves! Brazil will be another story…

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