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Discussion Starter #1
Between 96/97 and 03/04, outside of Babic and Olic, there are no signifcant players developed in Hrvatska who have contributed meaningfully to the National team.

Olic is the only significant player during these years who has contributed meaningfully then and now. As for Babic, he ruined his progress with that move to real Betis. But that still leaves a huge gap between Simic/Tudor and Srna/Kranjcar. Really what happened during that time?Those 7-8 years on the Hrvatski football scene.

I didn't follow the NT religiously after 98 to about 2005 due to school,work and other commitments but what happened to that generation? Why did it falter, and who or what organization is to be blamed?

P.S. - I am not including or interested in the Diaspora contributions here, just inside HNL and its contribuitons to the NT.
 

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I would like to discuss this as it is interesting but when you say developed in 96/97 what do you mean by that. players playing for Dinamo in the 96/97 season or young players who were 18 or 19 at that time.

In 96/97 there was Silvio Marić who we all had high hopes for but who liked the booze a bit too much ;)
 

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Actually in 1999-2001 the youth teams did extremely well, problem was that those guy didn't develop properly for some reason, guys like Deranja, Mikic, Sablic etc.. didn't develop into the players the could have become

In 2001 our U17's were European semi-finalists and played in the World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, but from that generation only Kranjcar developed and Cale is a decent player today

In 1999 our U19 team qualified for the FIFA Youth World Cup in Africa. From that team, only a couple of players had a decent NT future (Pletikosa, Budan, Sablic, Seric) but there were also guys like Vukovic, Polovanec, Balatinac, Bjelanovic who did not offer much even in HNL terms (well Sasa Bjelanovic had some good seasons in Serie A, but never NT calibre)

In 2000 the U21's made the U21 European Championship, but fell in the groups, don't exactly remember who was on that squad, remember guys like Pletikosa, Biscan, but can't remember the rest.

So actually in this time period the youth teams did well result wise, in fact better than ever, but the players didn't develop. This was also the same time period the HNL began to falter, teams didn't qualify for the CL anymore and no more good runs in Europe
 

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Between 96/97 and 03/04, outside of Babic and Olic, there are no signifcant players developed in Hrvatska who have contributed meaningfully to the National team.

Olic is the only significant player during these years who has contributed meaningfully then and now. As for Babic, he ruined his progress with that move to real Betis. But that still leaves a huge gap between Simic/Tudor and Srna/Kranjcar. Really what happened during that time?Those 7-8 years on the Hrvatski football scene.

I didn't follow the NT religiously after 98 to about 2005 due to school,work and other commitments but what happened to that generation? Why did it falter, and who or what organization is to be blamed?

P.S. - I am not including or interested in the Diaspora contributions here, just inside HNL and its contribuitons to the NT.
Bro, you're a very good poster...but, I hope that you realize that 96/97 we were roughly one year removed from being in a defensive war for our freedom from the oppressors and 1/3 of the country was basically destroyed. We're just starting to rebuild at the time and I would think sports development took a back seat for a few years.
 

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Bro, you're a very good poster...but, I hope that you realize that 96/97 we were roughly one year removed from being in a defensive war for our freedom from the oppressors and 1/3 of the country was basically destroyed. We're just starting to rebuild at the time and I would think sports development took a back seat for a few years.
For that, you get a Bingo! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Bro, you're a very good poster...but, I hope that you realize that 96/97 we were roughly one year removed from being in a defensive war for our freedom from the oppressors and 1/3 of the country was basically destroyed. We're just starting to rebuild at the time and I would think sports development took a back seat for a few years.
Thats a good point :embarass:

Blast, I should of clarified by saying successive generations after Suker, Prosinecki, Boabn etc... starting after 1997, players who would of been 21-24 at that time(outside of Tudor and Simic) right up to when Srna first makes his debut for the national team in 2003.

HS answered some of my questions but I look back at the 2002 WC team and 2004 EU team and see basically nobody left from those teams today outside of a couple of Diaspora players, Olic and Srna.
 

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It was rough because of it being just after the war but if you remember there was a lot expected out of guys like Sokota, Tudor and Balaban and none of them realized their potential, well Tudor is debateable because he was a great player up until his injuries.
 

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It's hard to say with any degree of certainty how much the war negatively impacted our football. I'm sure the neutral observer would say it didn't affect us too much considering our results but we probably know better.

Rupa said:
Blast, I should of clarified by saying successive generations after Suker, Prosinecki, Boabn etc... starting after 1997, players who would of been 21-24 at that time(outside of Tudor and Simic) right up to when Srna first makes his debut for the national team in 2003.

HS answered some of my questions but I look back at the 2002 WC team and 2004 EU team and see basically nobody left from those teams today outside of a couple of Diaspora players, Olic and Srna.
What age were the "missing" generations at the beginning of the war?

I've always believed we suffered because a few generations of young footballers had their most important development years (12-15 years of age) interrupted by the war.

There are a few problems with my theory:

a) some people dispute which years are most important in terms of development.

b) there are notable exceptions to my rule (eg. Tudor).

c) we achieved some of our best results in youth football with the "missing" generations.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
It's hard to say with any degree of certainty how much the war negatively impacted our football. I'm sure the neutral observer would say it didn't affect us too much considering our results but we probably know better.



What age were the "missing" generations at the beginning of the war?

I've always believed we suffered because a few generations of young footballers had their most important development years (12-15 years of age) interrupted by the war.

There are a few problems with my theory:

a) some people dispute which years are most important in terms of development.

b) there are notable exceptions to my rule (eg. Tudor).

c) we achieved some of our best results in youth football with the "missing" generations.
I really think this is a combination of things that happened after WC1998 that lead to us missing Euro 2000 and not qualifying out of the first round before Euro 2008.

Suho I would agree with your development, maybe even a year or 2 younger because u develope the joy of playing the game, say like 9 -15/16(I recall my hockey days and how much i liked playing back when i was 8 and 9 years of age). the war impacted youth development, especially on the high skills side of ball control, positioning/reading of the game and distribution. Because of the nature of war and its sociological/psychological impact.

Thus defensive players were aplenty at that time(and we see that especially in the 2002,2004 squad), because football was a way to let off steam. Highly charged youngsters/young men(due to the war) would let it out on the pitch. This kind of player was more abundant in those post war years.That was more evident at Dinamo, Hajduk and Rijeka during the war and following it. Thus we saw more defensive players like Tudor, Simic and later with players like Zivkovic Tomas, and Saric coming into the NT.

We didn't really return to our roots until the intro of Niko Kranjcar/Darijo srna in 2004. There skill set was like a return to normalcy to the NT, one chapter of our History(both hrvatski povijest i nogometni povijest) now fully behind us.

But...... to go back to players who were on the 98 squad and still of contribution age when 2002 came around,I'm thinking of : Krpan,Simic A.Seric,S. Maric, Z.Mamic, Vlaovic, Stanic, Vasily and Tudor(he gets a pass because he was injured for 2002). These 8 players had almost no impact on WC 2002 or the weren't included in the team to begin with. That was maybe the part I was getting at here. We had no transitional team to take into those 2002 and 2004 championships. Teams are made up of parts and in our case generations, and if certain parts of a generation are missing, failure ensues.

It was a start from scratch really for both Jozic and Baric. As mentioned previously in another forum both managers were short handed on the creative/passing aspects of these teams.
 

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Rupa said:
Suho I would agree with your development, maybe even a year or 2 younger because u develope the joy of playing the game, say like 9 -15/16(I recall my hockey days and how much i liked playing back when i was 8 and 9 years of age). the war impacted youth development, especially on the high skills side of ball control, positioning/reading of the game and distribution. Because of the nature of war and its sociological/psychological impact.
The reason I think it's somewhere between 12-15 years is because these are the years you start to develop a tactical sense for the game. At 9-10 kids are still pretty much just chasing the ball and it's hard to implement any tactics/systems. Obviously there are exceptions here and you may have a 15 year-old who couldn't tell you what a 4-4-2 is but plays the game at a high level (and vice-versa).

The second bolded part can relate to volume of training. How many of our players from said era grew up in areas of Croatia directly affected by the war? How many of them took pauses from the game for 1-2 years because their local club was shut down for the duration of the war? I don't know all the answers but it would be a good study.

This is a very hard topic to broach. A lot of people will just say that because of our small population we simply had to have a dip in quality sooner rather than later. What's interesting about that is we managed to still qualify for tournaments after the bulk of the golden generation retired. How did we achieve this? The diaspora played its part but we're still dealing with a small player pool (at least in comparison to other nations who suffered sustained periods of failure (ie. Romania, Sweden, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Hungary etc).

Rupa said:
Thus defensive players were aplenty at that time(and we see that especially in the 2002,2004 squad), because football was a way to let off steam. Highly charged youngsters/young men(due to the war) would let it out on the pitch. This kind of player was more abundant in those post war years.That was more evident at Dinamo, Hajduk and Rijeka during the war and following it. Thus we saw more defensive players like Tudor, Simic and later with players like Zivkovic Tomas, and Saric coming into the NT.
IMO it's always easier to produce a defensive player. It's much harder (generally speaking) to produce a Kranjčar than a Bišćan or Tudor because so much of Kranjčar's (and Rakitić or any other similar player) game is based on instinct and feel.

Sure, players are born with instinct but mostly it is developed through training (repetition, intensity, volume.) It's easier to teach a defender where to stand, to jump for high balls, to tackle etc than to "teach" a creative player when to step on the ball, when to take a man on, how to hit a 40m pass, how to "find" a teammate with a flick, when to make a run etc.

This is not even getting into the technique side of things (obviously defenders are generally much weaker tecnically).

Rupa said:
We didn't really return to our roots until the intro of Niko Kranjcar/Darijo srna in 2004. There skill set was like a return to normalcy to the NT, one chapter of our History(both hrvatski povijest i nogometni povijest) now fully behind us.
That's because guys like Krunchie were simply not around. We could have forced the same style that was our trademark but would it have got us to Euro 2004, for example? Were we a better team with Ivan Leko in the number 10 jersey or Niko Kovač? Would you rather a world class fighter like Kovač in the middle or a below-par creative player like Rosso?

Rupa said:
But...... to go back to players who were on the 98 squad and still of contribution age when 2002 came around,I'm thinking of : Krpan,Simic A.Seric,S. Maric, Z.Mamic, Vlaovic, Stanic, Vasily and Tudor(he gets a pass because he was injured for 2002). These 8 players had almost no impact on WC 2002 or the weren't included in the team to begin with. That was maybe the part I was getting at here. We had no transitional team to take into those 2002 and 2004 championships. Teams are made up of parts and in our case generations, and if certain parts of a generation are missing, failure ensues.
How much was done by coaches or the HNS to ensure there was some kind of smooth transition? Ćiro can talk all he wants but he did not do anything with a plan in mind, it was always ad hoc.

That's why it so frustrating these days when we have everything in front of us but no balls to make the right decisions for today and the future.
 

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If only we had more dalmatinci running football..
 

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^BWAHAHA!!!!:thumbsup::howler::howler:
 

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Hey Orkan, I can't for the life of me remember if it was indeed Ero who said he felt "uncomfortable" in Split for the Brazil game when pre-game the crowd sang "Dalmo songs"...was it the other guy (Blast)...?
 

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I never said I felt uncomfortable, but a Croatian song would have been nice..in 100+ minutes the Splicani couldn't decide on one I suppose, so they sang Dalmacija ad nauseum instead..
 
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