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Turned the game on because i had some free time. (ESPN+ is pretty good). I saw there were barely any fans. I came here to ask why but it looks like Dule answered that for me above.

I mean I think it runs much deeper than Krstajić but when you had Tole & now Kokeza it really does dampen people’s enthusiasm.

Serbia has never had that international fan base where everyone gets behind the team. There have been times where people have and there was always a base of 20,30k that would go watch regardless of opponents but even qualifying for the World Cup didn’t seem to get people on board.

Of course it doesn’t help when fans in Serbia often view the NT through red and white/black and white glasses but the FSS just doesn’t cover itself in glory with how it behaves. They went through a period on Twitter of just blocking every single person who dares criticise them. The type of people that are there are mostly dinosaurs or who have no clue as to how to run football or even a business.

Combine that with crap weather in a crap stadium and you end up with very few fans in the stadium.
 

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Doesn’t help that Kokeza is basically Vucic’s guy either.
 

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One guy who could be a feasible cheap option and undoubtedly an upgrade on Krstajić would be Marko Nikolić.

Fairly good jobs domestically and now with Videoton in Hungary. Far from world class but far from being a complete novice either.
 

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I’ve already said this but as great as Mitrovic’s goalscoring record is for country, his characteristics will prevent us from improving. He’s fine against weaker sides but when more is expected of a forward against bigger sides he won’t be up to much. If we want to press high or play a quicker attacking game he’s unlikely to be able to do that as effectively.
I mostly agree with that post just this. He already scored against Austria, Wales, Switzerland, even Croatia back then, so you think this isn't bigger enough for us? Luka Jović should play but not without Mitrović. Jović got Haller also at Frankfurt along side him, he is similiar type of player like Mitrović is. Krstajić should try that formation with two upfront but he wasn't brave enough to do that and we saw what extra striker could do to our game in second half vs Lithuania.
 

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I mostly agree with that post just this. He already scored against Austria, Wales, Switzerland, even Croatia back then, so you think this isn't bigger enough for us? Luka Jović should play but not without Mitrović. Jović got Haller also at Frankfurt along side him, he is similiar type of player like Mitrović is. Krstajić should try that formation with two upfront but he wasn't brave enough to do that and we saw what extra striker could do to our game in second half vs Lithuania.
Those countries apart from Croatia have generally been middle rung sides for the and games where we would have expected to have a decent share of possession.

The main issue is not necessarily the goals, he’s proven he can score but the way that our play becomes one dimensional and predictable at times. Against Switzerland we just kept on looking for him with long balls and crosses. The problem is that he’s a player who either has to have crosses into the box or the ball played into his feet with players running off him.

Statistically crossing is a low percentage way of creating chances. Which is only exacerbated with us when you have a horrible crosser as your main outlet on the right. We don’t have traditional wingers and spend most of the time playing with inverted wingers instead of players who drift inside.

In games against better sides where we’d be expected to have less of the ball we could do with a forward who can run off the shoulder of defenders, can drift wide to create space for midfielders and who is better both with mobility and technically. Jovic in my mind is this player. It doesn’t take away from Mitro he does what he knows very well but I sometimes question how compatible he is with the midfielders we have at our disposal.

And again he is fine if we’re playing against teams that will cede possession or poorer sides where we can dominate both possessionly and territorially but we may not have that luxury come March as our draw could put us up against two favourites and the way we’ll have to play is differently. Slow build up play and crossing will be bread and butter defending for most sides...
 

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I missed yesterday's game but I'm happy to see they pulled through impressively in the second half. A few things I'd like to see moving forward:

1. I think now is absolutely the time to find an alternative RB. I think Nastasic has to be brought back and then we can move Milenkovic to RB. It's the least bad option I see there.

2. I think we have to look at playing a system with two forwards much more often, particularly in games when we're up against a bunker. It worked great yesterday and I have a feeling it would have got us the result in Romania as well.

3. I hope Zivkovic gets a move in January. You can see what type of an impact he can have with his crossing and the forwards we have.


Mitrovic-Jovic
Tadic-Matic-Maksimovic-Zivkovic
Kolarov-Nastasic-Veljkovic-Milenkovic
Dmitrovic​

Subs: SMS, Ljajic, Kostic, Prijovic, Gacinovic, Lukic

I can't remember the last time we had this much depth in the team (except defensively). Really difficult to accommodate everyone. At least if we get any injuries, we should easily be able to absorb them without having a significant drop off in the level of play.
 

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As for Krstajic, I have mixed feelings. I'd much rather have him then someone like Muslin. I think he's done some good things that he doesn't get enough credit for - identifying key young players and giving them a prominent role on the team, lack of controversial callups (other than the omission of Nastasic - I don't really care about Milivojevic), a significant improvement in our ability to possess the ball and create chances. There's a couple of obvious issues he has too - lack of tactical flexibility, inability to settle on a consistent team, questions over his temperament and disposition.

Of course you have guys like Milojevic, Jokanovic, and Paunovic but would any of them take the job? As others pointed out, both Jokanovic and Paunovic had some serious issues in their last job - Fulham's defending, for example, was horrific. If we're going to replace the coach, it has to be for a established, clearly better option, not another unknown.
 

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I mostly agree with that post just this. He already scored against Austria, Wales, Switzerland, even Croatia back then, so you think this isn't bigger enough for us? Luka Jović should play but not without Mitrović. Jović got Haller also at Frankfurt along side him, he is similiar type of player like Mitrović is. Krstajić should try that formation with two upfront but he wasn't brave enough to do that and we saw what extra striker could do to our game in second half vs Lithuania.
They can easily play together. It'd also open up spaces for Jović because Mitrović is a proper reference point and often needs to be marked by more than one defender because of his aerial presence. If you compare Eintracht this season to last season you'll see how they've lost defensive solidity but gained in firepower. It's the difference when playing with one or two strikers. The question is how you make up for that one striker tactically when you don't have the ball and how it affects your overall defensive game from a collective point of view. Either use one of the strikers as a fifth midfielder centrally, make him drop in a 4-4-1-1 or use a central midfielder extra (instead of a winger) so you can push out the more mobile striker (Jović) on the wing in situations where we defend (haven't got the ball).

But we shouldn't forget Prijović. That's a very physical forward pairing. He really deserves cred for his impact yesterday even if Serbia played a poor side. He's been very underused so far. Props for not complaining one bit and constantly fighting for playing time. That's something I respect a lot, especially since he's had episodes previously in his career where he's lost his cool because of situations like this.

The problem with playing Mitrović against good teams is that we'll rely on counter attacks to score goals and he's not suited to play that way. Simply lacks the pace to do it. I think he might have a tough time now that Ranieri took over at Fulham as well, that's if Ranieri decides he wants more pace upfront.

Btw, wouldn't it be fun to watch all three together upfront when we really need a goal. I remember some games where Kovač used three strikers and pumped long balls into the penalty in the most agricultural of ways. That'd be a really desperate measure though..:D
 
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Sweden's NT almost always plays with 2 strikers and is extremely well organized. They play easy, with no concentration lapses. Their opponents have big problems creating any goal chances against them.

Marko's 4-4-2 in a diamond formation with Sergej instead of Zivkovic (until he starts playing at his club) could be a way forward. Tadic would play in a free role behind the strikers, Matic in front of the centre backs with Sergej och Maksimovic as box-to-box midfielders. Gacinovic would also be a great option for Sergej and Maksimovic.

Ljajic can do great moves sometimes but he is way too inconsistent and nonchalant in the overall game. That's why I wouldn't give him a bigger role than a sub.

Kostic's new club-role as a wingback is very interesting. I think it suits him much better than the previous role as forward, but that requires a new formation which may be more in question when Kolarov retires.

I also think Kolarov should be our first penalty taker. He has his downsides as a player but he seems very confindent in himself and has a great left fot, which is all it takes to be a good penalty shooter.
 

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1. I think now is absolutely the time to find an alternative RB. I think Nastasic has to be brought back and then we can move Milenkovic to RB. It's the least bad option I see there.
True and I also think Ivanovic deserves to be back in the team. He or Nastasic should play with Veljkovic at CB and Milenkovic at RB. In that case we would have a back four that plays on the same positions in their clubs as in the NT. Hopefully Gajic has a new club until March and plays regulary at club level. Nikola Maksimovic covers RB at Napoli in some games, and could be a decent second option at that position for Serbia too.
 

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That's got to be a tough ask with him being a coach in China. Just from a time and jet lag perspective. Don't know anything about the Chinese league schedule and how it meshes with a national team schedule
 

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I don’t think he’d do both jobs.
 

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Gacinovic had a bust up with Krstajic at half time vs Lithuania.
 

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Gacinovic had a bust up with Krstajic at half time vs Lithuania.
Sounds like he was upset about being substituted at half. Not sure where he gets the nerve to react like that - missed the match but by all accounts, he was the worst player in the first half. And it's not like he's played particularly well in any of the recent NT matches either. I definitely wouldn't have given him as many opportunities as Krstajic did. I don't care if he's not getting much playing time at Benfica but Zivkovic has always been the much better player.
 

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It’s a wider issue though isn’t it? Krstajić holds absolutely no authority with anyone. Not even the younger players in the squad.

The players know he’s not running the show or won’t last long and they feel they can react how they want.
 

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These are internal things that should never leave the dressing room so someone has an interest for it to happen. There should be room for disappointment, anger and discussions. I'm even fine with throwing stuff like Gaćinović appearently threw his boots (let's face it, this industry hardly holds education highly) but never towards the person you're disappointed with or by calling your coach things openly. Dressing rooms in football are unfortunately not like other work places, especially when you have so many people from the outside constantly telling these players they're something they're not and the younger and higher up they are, the bigger the clashes. Sometimes it's a generational thing, other times it's just a matter of personal disappointment being projected towards other people. Players think they're the best at all times and they need that to perform every 3-4 day.

It's not the first incident for Gaćinović either btw. There was another one just prior or after the first game at the U20 World Cup (I can't remember the exact time it happened) which Paunović solved but where the etiquette was some sort of "stomach problem" where he was actually punished. Then there's the acusation of his agency making him stirr all sorts of things to make them control things better inside the NT - which we obviously can't confirm. Wouldn't surprise me if the interested party are using this to paint a picture of: "Look! Another case!"

Looks like Kolarov told Gaćinović: "Ko si ti? Koji si trofej osvojio u karijeri da te neko ne bi smeo da zameni?"

Krstajić did the only right thing. Serbia needed presence in the penalty area and scored four goals in the end.

I wonder if Mihajlović's "contracts" had a clause where the players couldn't spill information to the media?

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It’s a wider issue though isn’t it? Krstajić holds absolutely no authority with anyone. Not even the younger players in the squad.

The players know he’s not running the show or won’t last long and they feel they can react how they want.
This is how it looks like from the outside but it's more complicated than that. These things happen in every competitive football enviroment but only a small, small amount actually reach the media because of the external work of the organization and sports leaders in charge. It can even reach the media but they won't report on it because they'll have their privilege of getting information drawn in. I know for a fact that this happens a lot in big clubs in Europe for an example. It only starts reaching the media when there's an interest from someone: be it a director, coach, player or agent. FSS are terrible in protecting the sporting interests of the NT.

The players also have a responsability and not everything can be attributed solely to the coach. It's leaking too much from the players perspective as well. The old school authority is very rare these day. It's more about either working with each other or understanding each other in the end, not about projecting your anger for not playing well or being used in a certain way. There are more elements to this than what Žurnal describes.

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Discussion Starter #539
Mijat needs to know his place, but obviously this was leaked with a reason like Zoki said. It's shameful what they're doing to the NT, no way of moving forward with this ****ing loser mentality..:sigh:

Krstajic has to go though like Dule says, the whole Milivojevic thing backfired so bad it just proved to the squad he's nothing more than a puppet. Shame, cause like Savo, I used to respect the guy.
 
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