I understand what you mean when you say "I do think we play more adventerous with him in the te\m than Mandzo". I know he has qualities...but we probably see the game differently. I don't think Kalinic brings enough to the entire game to be effective enough, unless he is being provided service. sometimes players have to offer more than just "on the ball" qualities...and thats where I feel he is VERY useless!
It doesn't matter anymore. I never liked his body language, I felt he brings people down with his lack of fight and always being late to the through ball...but I believe I'm not alone in this and I'm relatively sure his career is winding down.
As per our team, I feel if we can stay disciplined defensively and if we can free up Perisic and Rebic on a few occasions, we will do well! I'm a HUGE fan of Perisic and I strongly believe he is super-human when he feels good and is in form, the man is a beast...but we haven't seen that from him in a year. Hopefully he's inspired!
I totally agree
But Rebic showed also how he is a real beast during our match against Nigeria and how he is present on every single action with a huge determination. I really love his discipline, attitude, fighting spirit etc...
Kovac has changed his mind and thanks to him for that change.
Here in Europe, the french & belgian TV has said that Croatia is a really strong team in each lines and after this first match, those players can be present in quarter, semi or final.
At their eyes, we're a really strong team. Very disciplined, technical, fast, creative, pushed by a wonderful captain and a good coach with good tactics.
The french commentators has said how he really believe that Croatia can make it 20 years after our wonderful World Cup in France. And after our first match, I believe in it too !
There is many many things to say about our first match (mixed between positives and negatives things) but all in all, I'm the most happier and as I said, I really believe in our chances.
I don't have the free time to make some analysis because I have a lot of work front of me (sh.t) but I really want to say, how I was wrong about the partnership between Lovren and Vida, they were simply excellent and how Strinic was very solid. Slow and rough by times but very solid and helped us to keep our clean sheet. (these words about Strinic are dedicated to SLF)
And finally, I'm happy to see that some points that I've noticed before the tournament in Dalic tactics with for example, the fact that Rakitic played between the central defender was present in this first match and helped our play with his pace on the ball by some important dribbling but also long balls for our wingers but also has given some problems to the nigerians because this was really difficult to make a good pressing on our players by this kind moves on the pitch. Glad to see that with time, I'm able to predict some things like that and understand much deeper a tactic made by a coach, with positions, moves, calls, lines etc...
Nigeria had some problems to defend and contain our players and Dalic did a great job. Our positions on the pitch were excellent and our ability to change and adapt our system were perfectly done too.
We were able to play compact defensively with a 4-4-2 and our strikers chasing the ball all the time, with our wingers ready to make the run on the wing for counter attack.
And when we had the ball, we changed our system. And there, Nigeria had some huge problems to play against us. Modric was alone in the middle, in a totally free role and they're simply unable to disturb our play, unable to make a good pressing.
Plus, our players changed the tempo by their runs between the lines, on the wings, and our midfielder, with Rakitic and Modric played by times some long balls and other on the ground with sort passes. We showed how we were able to play in some styles and also how we're good and unpredictable.
And Dalic IS the main reason of this result.
So, the main thing to work now is our ability to shoot on target because we had only one shoot on target in the whole match and that is really poor. The only shoot was the Kovacic one and we must to work on it because we're able to create some good chances and play a good football, but we need to be more decisive front of goal.
Again, congrats at our NT. I'm just really proud !
And you know what ! But this team act like a smart and experienced team. When I watched them, I saw them like an Italy NT can be in a tournament.
Italy players don't care about to win a match with an own goal and a PK. They want to win, that's all.
And for the first time since the WC 98, I saw our team really smart and experienced on the pitch. Each players are working together, and the older help the younger to be ready. Our chance is to have some players who has played some UCL final, Cup final etc etc...
In the past, we were the team who was really enjoying to watch, able to play one of the most beautiful football but unable to win something, and always loosing against the future winner of the tournament. Here we're the team able to play slowly and win a match, a crucial match. And at my eyes, this sounds like a sign.
Maybe these players have understood something great and are now maybe able to play a mixed football, with part of genius in their ability with the ball but also with their brains.
AJMO HRVATSKA !