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1-2 FT against Die Mannschaft. Very tough loss. The draw would have been a fair reflection of this match. Germany was not better by any stretch and needed 88th minute header from a free kick to win this one. There was a clear foul on the free kick with Can holding off Jankto who tumbled on the ground but unfortunately the ref didn't whistle for it. I must say that Jarolim's tactics worked as the 5-men back line didn't allow Germany much. However his selection of Novak as CB backfired immediately when he lost track of Werner who scored in the 4th minute. Germany got really sloppy after that and only had one good opportunity when Stindl shot right at Vaclik when in good position. Czech NT had a number of decent opportunities but lacked cutting edge in the final third. Kopic once again showed that he's not fit for international level when he took too long to get a shot off when a pass to open Krmencik was a far better option. Overall, Darida (with a stunning goal), Bořil, Souček and Jankto looked good. Gebre was solid defensively on the right. Kalas was alright and didn't make mistakes. Suchy better than in previous matches but his needless foul on Muller led to a free kick and 2nd goal. Krmenčík was active and useful outlet. The two weakest players were as expected Novak and Kopic.

The match against Northern Ireland is a must win to maintain slim hopes of playoffs. Jarolim didn't call any other strikers which is strange as they need goals in Belfast and Kliment hasn't shown anything to warrant any hope of him scoring there. Yes, Schick is not 100% and Skoda is ill but even V Cerny or Matej Vydra would be useful in this situation. . It's a do or die match against NI and it will show the true character of this squad.

I must add the organization from FAČR has been awful throughout this NT campaign. There many empty seats for Germany match with some fans not being able to enter the stadium due to long lines at the security checks. Starting with N Ireland at Letna when more than half the stadium was empty and there were more N Irish fans the marketing effort has been a total disaster and the fan support sorely lacking for NT which can only have a damaging effect on the morale of players/staff.
 

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Jarolim surprised everyone with basically putting out the lineup as the on against Germans (the only exception is Krejci instead of Kopic):
Vaclík - Gebre Selassie, Kalas, Suchý, Novák, Bořil - Krejčí, Souček, Darida, Jankto - Krmenčík.
5 defensemen again with Novak who was poor included again. No place for Dockal and Kaderabek who normally would be starting. Also the team must be tired from Germany match so would have made sense to bring in fresh players...
 

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0-2 at HT. Jarolim should just resign. His defensive lineup with 5 defenders failed miserably to create a single chance against N Ireland. While his inclusion of Filip Novak in defense backfired again as Novak needlessly gave away a corner and then fouled NI player on the edge of the box from which NIreland scored with a free kick. Gutless manager, gutless team. Time to shake things up at the top. Jarolim was a wrong choice for NT from the start and proved to be a wrong choice throughout this miserable campaign. Embarrassing, plain embarrasing
 

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Czech football appears to be enveloped by perpetual black clouds with little hope of bright sunshine showing up. FAČR announced that no decision on the future of Karel Jarolim will be made until the qualifiers are over in October. That despite NT having the most miserable qualification campaign since 2010 WC when they promptly fired Rada after Slovakia loss at home. Jarolim has many defenders but the rationale for keeping him as NT manager is extremely weak in my view.
1) CZ is expected to finish 2nd in a group with N Ireland, Norway and Azerbaijian. The argument that talent level is not the same as it is in other top footballing countries and “it’s the players and not the coach that matter” doesn’t apply here. There is bigger talent pool than in the countries mentioned. And smaller nation with less talent available (Iceland, Montenegro, Wales, etc) have done far better recently. A good coach can put together a very decent squad with the current pool of Czech talent available (U21, U19s serve as examples)
2) Jarolim came in too late to the team and didn’t have enough time to prepare the squad for qualifiers. Maybe it was the case in September last year when he played N Ireland at home but by now he’s been in this seat for more than a year so that excuse doesn’t apply either
3) No progress has been made with NT actually. One just needs to watch the last N Ireland match to realize the current state of football in CZ. Using 5 men backline with a DM in a game where you must win is nonsense. At least Jarolim should have taken off Novak for a striker/midfield as soon as the team conceded the first goal and not wait until 65th min. In a game they needed to win CZ to get a shot on target. 70% possession was wasted on back passes and useless crosses to penalty area where Krmencik was surrounded by 2 N Irish CBs and lost one aerial battle after another. The team lacked creativity, ingenuity and frankly intelligence to stop using the same fruitless tactics that guaranteed failure
4) Similar to Vrba, Jarolim did nothing to improve set pieces. We outnumber our opponents in the number of corners/free-kicks earned yet we have a negative balance in no goals scored and a few conceded (2 against NIreland). Many of set pieces played were terrible executed and resulted in dangerous counters by the opposition
5) Keeping a failed manager like Jarolim will do nothing to excite the fans who have forgotten and become ambivalent about the NT. Fan support is essential for the long term success of NT and it is sorely lacking now. Bringing in a competent manager who can start winning again will go long way toward that goal.
 
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