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The Italians played a very good game today and I'm betting they'll quite easily beat Spain. They look good in every position. They attack in numbers and are very active, both offensively and defensively.

Best Italian team I've seen in several years!
Excellent work rate!!
 
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They did it the hard way but my Denmark semifinals prediction was correct, because of this format if they finished 2nd in their group the path was open and I didn’t rate Netherlands who were eliminated earlier than I expected. Unfortunately I think this Baku game will take a lot out them due to travel and heat where England pretty much played in London all tournament :rolleyes: Meanwhile the Swiss could probably travel to the moon with their venues (Baku-Rome-Baku-Bucharest-St. Petersburg)
 

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I want to get to the point where Croatia doesn't celebrate like they won if they finish second or third. It is definitely possible, but certain things need to change.
I don't so much mind the celebrating top 3 finishes. Just can't stand how they spin everything else. Same group of people changed three coaches mid-campaign since 2013 but we're supposed to believe they know what they're doing lol.
 

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Thank goodness it won’t be a Spain-England final because that would give the HNS more excuses like 2016 where they shrug their shoulders and say hey we were eliminated by the winners
That Spanish performance showed just how formidable they are in possession. Italy was a team that attacked everyone in this tournament but against their own will, they were pressed back by Spain for much of the game. Italy lucky to get through IMO.

Watching Spain through that lens, our front line was horribly deficient. Croatian based media and commentators have significantly overvalued Petkovic but our game against Spain showed just how wrong they were. Dalic has to give Budimir a greater look in.
 

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Spain’s goalkeeper looks very shaky on the ball, almost Kelava level bad, not saying we could have pressed them entire 90 minutes but there is a mistake in him (as we saw) but weren’t brave enough until the game was almost lost
 

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Not sure if anyone's seen this. Some interesting comments from Petković's manager Ivan Cvjetković. He's clearly going into bat for his player, which is understandable, but still don't expect someone to be so openly critical and personal.

Also touched on the prospect of Mierez being naturalised (from what I gather there are whispers this might happen).

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Getting out of the group is sort of a mini-goal. For me it's more about the bad impression we left, how we wandered about from the start of the tournament. There was never a clear idea, especially about how to play attacking football. We weren't getting four or five players into finishing areas and we didn't play well. If Petković plays at centre forward we should've played accordingly, instead we were sterile. We lacked depth in our play, penetration, the final pass where we'd have two or three players looking to finish. It's not about me liking or disliking Dalić, it's just principle, names aren't important. You could see it whether you like him or not, if you know (the game) or not.

Very simple. It's about trusting a player or not. Morata, for example, was getting death threats but he had the maximum level of trust from his coach. On the other hand, Petković got the maximum level of mistrust from Dalić. And the way we play Petković shouldn't have even played, whoever was there it would've been the same. It would've been the same with Budimir. We ended up playing chaotic football (against Spain), it was about rescuing what could be rescued and we ended up getting those two goals. Budimir ended up being good, and especially Oršić who up to that point wasn't seen. It's impossible that Oršić doesn't start that game. Petković was totally useless. I told a former national team coach and Dalić supporter - "if you were the coach we'd be 30% better because you'd know how to utilise Petković. Dalić doesn't know how and you still defend him." If someone doesn't know how to create a system to get the most out of him - with Kramarić, Vlašić, Oršić, even young Ivanušeć who showed his strengths, and then this rambling. If you come and tell Petković, who is something we've never had, you tell him one thing today and then the next you start Rebić. Then come the Czechs, you tell him [Petković] one thing but then again start Rebić. That means you've lost yourself as a coach. Spain was in another dimension compared to us, only in football something like that can happen to us. Simply, too many compromises were made, too much was swept under the rug, we always have to find a hero or someone to blame, someone has to be a Rebić. It wasn't Rebić's fault for the goal, it was someone else, the guy who didn't get in front of his man. Or that we can have someone drinking water, it's nonsense.

Rebić isn't a fellow because he deleted his post but you're a fellow? Well, you told one of the players he was at 20% but you still called him, and then you called him to apologise when you saw how it all looked. Why did you even call him if you're a fellow? So, Rebić isn't a fellow because he deleted something but you're a fellow? I just brought up one example of where you're unprincipled but you, as the leader of the group, have to earn their respect.

Dalić himself says he was too soft, says he was this way and that, but you simply don't have it in you. And that can't change at his age. His personality, his work method, his CV, all were very average before he took over the national team. I fear that already after September, unless there are drastic changes, we're not going to go to Qatar. I mean, I will be there but I want Croatia there also. We have the potential, but do we have the coach to get us there? I'm very sceptical.

No, no. I like Mierez a lot as a footballer, but I'd really like us to have five Croatian attackers like him, then just take our pick. The point is we don't play football close enough to our opponents' goal, we don't play high enough, we lack aggression, we don't get in behind. Bruno didn't have a chance at goal, Gvardiol had two. Therefore, he's not bad but someone is making him look worse than he is. I'm not against Dalić per se, I'm just against any coach whose team doesn't play to its full capacity. I'm not even interested in who the coach is because Croatia has the potency. If you don't know how to use that...come on, just let us play modern football. Just have a look at how many times and with how many players teams get into the final third. Croatia does it the least but we're not bad. We just end up looking that way. If someone doesn't know how to utilise Petković's potential, it's not Petković's fault but the one who doesn't know how to use him. I'm not sure Dalić is capable of getting us to play better. But we know he's staying.
 

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Not sure if anyone's seen this. Some interesting comments from Petković's manager Ivan Cvjetković. He's clearly going into bat for his player, which is understandable, but still don't expect someone to be so openly critical and personal.

Also touched on the prospect of Mierez being naturalised (from what I gather there are whispers this might happen).

-------

Getting out of the group is sort of a mini-goal. For me it's more about the bad impression we left, how we wandered about from the start of the tournament. There was never a clear idea, especially about how to play attacking football. We weren't getting four or five players into finishing areas and we didn't play well. If Petković plays at centre forward we should've played accordingly, instead we were sterile. We lacked depth in our play, penetration, the final pass where we'd have two or three players looking to finish. It's not about me liking or disliking Dalić, it's just principle, names aren't important. You could see it whether you like him or not, if you know (the game) or not.

Very simple. It's about trusting a player or not. Morata, for example, was getting death threats but he had the maximum level of trust from his coach. On the other hand, Petković got the maximum level of mistrust from Dalić. And the way we play Petković shouldn't have even played, whoever was there it would've been the same. It would've been the same with Budimir. We ended up playing chaotic football (against Spain), it was about rescuing what could be rescued and we ended up getting those two goals. Budimir ended up being good, and especially Oršić who up to that point wasn't seen. It's impossible that Oršić doesn't start that game. Petković was totally useless. I told a former national team coach and Dalić supporter - "if you were the coach we'd be 30% better because you'd know how to utilise Petković. Dalić doesn't know how and you still defend him." If someone doesn't know how to create a system to get the most out of him - with Kramarić, Vlašić, Oršić, even young Ivanušeć who showed his strengths, and then this rambling. If you come and tell Petković, who is something we've never had, you tell him one thing today and then the next you start Rebić. Then come the Czechs, you tell him [Petković] one thing but then again start Rebić. That means you've lost yourself as a coach. Spain was in another dimension compared to us, only in football something like that can happen to us. Simply, too many compromises were made, too much was swept under the rug, we always have to find a hero or someone to blame, someone has to be a Rebić. It wasn't Rebić's fault for the goal, it was someone else, the guy who didn't get in front of his man. Or that we can have someone drinking water, it's nonsense.

Rebić isn't a fellow because he deleted his post but you're a fellow? Well, you told one of the players he was at 20% but you still called him, and then you called him to apologise when you saw how it all looked. Why did you even call him if you're a fellow? So, Rebić isn't a fellow because he deleted something but you're a fellow? I just brought up one example of where you're unprincipled but you, as the leader of the group, have to earn their respect.

Dalić himself says he was too soft, says he was this way and that, but you simply don't have it in you. And that can't change at his age. His personality, his work method, his CV, all were very average before he took over the national team. I fear that already after September, unless there are drastic changes, we're not going to go to Qatar. I mean, I will be there but I want Croatia there also. We have the potential, but do we have the coach to get us there? I'm very sceptical.

No, no. I like Mierez a lot as a footballer, but I'd really like us to have five Croatian attackers like him, then just take our pick. The point is we don't play football close enough to our opponents' goal, we don't play high enough, we lack aggression, we don't get in behind. Bruno didn't have a chance at goal, Gvardiol had two. Therefore, he's not bad but someone is making him look worse than he is. I'm not against Dalić per se, I'm just against any coach whose team doesn't play to its full capacity. I'm not even interested in who the coach is because Croatia has the potency. If you don't know how to use that...come on, just let us play modern football. Just have a look at how many times and with how many players teams get into the final third. Croatia does it the least but we're not bad. We just end up looking that way. If someone doesn't know how to utilise Petković's potential, it's not Petković's fault but the one who doesn't know how to use him. I'm not sure Dalić is capable of getting us to play better. But we know he's staying.
Not too much I disagree with there however Petkovic really disappointed me with his lazy ass. Okay most of the team was shit especially in the first 75mins but Petkovic jogging around next to Busquests who himself is a slow poke was just disgraceful to me. This was your big opportunity to prove yourself and you just walk around doing **** all?

In saying that Dalic still needs to go
 

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There's a reason why Petkovic plays in the HNL at this stage of his career.

Notwithstanding, criticism of Dalic's failure to create a functioning forward line is warranted.
 

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Also touched on the prospect of Mierez being naturalised (from what I gather there are whispers this might happen).
Interesting. I wonder if we are pushing that narrative or if that is something he wants?
 

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He has to play in Croatia for five years, which is unlikely. Croatian media always conveniently overlooks this for clickbait articles, they did the same with Sammir who was never eligible during Bilic’s tenure yet he was harassed about it
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
He has to play in Croatia for five years, which is unlikely. Croatian media always conveniently overlooks this for clickbait articles, they did the same with Sammir who was never eligible during Bilic’s tenure yet he was harassed about it
yes but this kid has already played for Argentina youth teams and didn't have Cro passport at that time and thus is ineligible ala Borna Sosa
 
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