If Claudio Ranieri was dubbed ‘The Tinkerman’ for his sensible and successful approach to squad rotation, who knows what moniker the British tabloid media would be concocting if they were aware of Karel Jarolim’s antics this season. The current Mlada Boleslav boss has used twenty-two different players in their seven Synot Liga games this season and has show he’s completely unable to name a consistent starting eleven.
Unlike Ranieri however, Jarolim seems to be clutching at straws as he witnesses one chaotic error-strewn game of football after another. One moment he’s watching his front four break opposing defences into submission and then the next he’s seeing his own backline crumble like a fine pastry. So far, fixtures involving Mlada Boleslav average 4.8 goals per game. Bolka, as they are known, have the league’s most potent attack (18) and the league’s second worst defence (16). As a result, they’re seventh at the moment and sharing the middle-ground with the likes of Slovacko, Zbrojovka Brno and Zlin which given Jarolim’s title-winning history and Mlada Boleslav’s financial outlay in recent years is frankly unacceptable.
By all accounts Jarolim can be a decisive figure, especially when results and performances aren’t going his way. Even his successful tenure at Slavia Prague was beset by off-field issues that were predominantly his own making. Even with a side that could contend for championships, Jarolim wasn’t happy in his latter days at Eden and threw everything and anybody he could at problems that didn’t quite exist.
As he was leading Slavia to their last title in 2009 the cracks were beginning to show. Despite possessing the league’s most potent attack, once Tomas Necid was sold to CSKA Moscow Jarolim grew increasingly frustrated and turned to Pavel Fort, Zdenek Senkerik and Goce Toleski to plug the gap. Objectively speaking they weren’t as good as a rampaging and free-scoring Tomas Necid, but they weren’t bad either. Statistically, they all proved to be solid choices who provided a fair return of goals, but Jarolim disagreed and tried out Tomas Pekhart, Ales Besta and Gianluca Litteri, all of who certifiably failed.
In his final season Slavia utilised forty-one different players in all competitions, a ridiculous amount for even the oligarch clubs of this world. He was criticised for continuously making baffling substitutions and oversaw purges and recruitment drives in equal measures. So it’s no wonder he was sacked in March 2010 after his winter transfer business failed to bring about an upturn in mediocre results.
And now the exact same thing is happening, except that Jarolim is chopping and changing defenders rather than attackers. The quartet of Ondrej Zahustel, Jiri Skalak, Ales Cermak and Lukas Magera might just be the best front four in the Czech Republic at the moment and they easily pick themselves, but the back four is one gigantic question mark that remains unanswered.
The German-born Jan Koch ended last season on a high and has been languishing in the youth league since; Antonin Krapka has been deemed good enough for the Czech Under-21s, but was discarded a month ago; Daniel Bartl has come and gone, and Vojtech Kubista, Jan Kysela and Lukas Vrastil have barely been seen – but Jarolim’s decided they aren’t the answers anyway. Only Lukas Hulka’s absence can be explained, and that’s because the talented centre-back is out injured.
So far only Jan Boril and Ondrej Kudela have been used in every league game by Jarolim. Everybody else has been used and abused as he looks for short-term fix after short-term fix. There’s no sink or swim at Mlada Boleslav; you either swim to an Olympic level immediately or you get hauled out of the pool.
Last year, despite a substantial plunge into the transfer market Jarolim barely delivered the minimum of a fourth placed finish. This time around that target seems unobtainable, partly thanks to a resurgent Slovan Liberec and partly because Jarolim’s too demanding and inconsistent for his own good.
Not that the neutrals care mind: If you tune in to watch Mlada Boleslav you’re guaranteed a glut of goals.
- After a mixed bag of results in the Europa League there was no Sunday hangover for Viktoria Plzen, Sparta Prague and Slovan Liberec who all recorded victories as they returned to domestic duties. Plzen had their typically tricky visit to Dolicek, but did enough to leave with a 1-0 win, whilst Sparta (4-0 v Sigma Olomouc) and Liberec (3-0 v Pribram) were far more convincing.
- Michal Krmencik scored a goal that was part Zlatan Ibrahimovic and part David Zoubek. If you like overhead scorpion kicks, you’ll love his effort against Vysocina Jihlava.
- Is David Limbersky’s international career on hold? You may remember that the Plzen full-back crashed his car whilst drunk not too long ago and responded by celebrating in an idiotic manner when he scored the weekend after. It seems that like all sensible people Czech FA boss Miroslav Pelta isn’t too happy with Limbersky’s actions and has hinted that they were incompatible with the ethos of the national side. So will he be dropped for the games against Turkey and Holland? Don’t best against it.
Banik Ostrava 1-2 Jablonec
(78′ Kukec – 10′ Crnkic, 69′ Mingazow)
Bohemians 1905 0-1 Viktoria Plzen
Mlada Boleslav 4-3 Teplice
(13′ Magera, 26′ Zahustel, 56′ Cermak, 85′ Scuk – 10′ Luftner, 81′ Taborsky, 87′ Fillo)
Slovan Liberec 3-0 Pribram
(25′ Pokorny, 47′ Dosoudil (og), 67′ Shala)
Sparta Prague 4-0 Sigma Olomouc
(13′ Husbauer, 25′ Lafata, 35′ & 75′ Dockal)
Vysocina Jihlava 2-2 Dukla Prague
(10′ & 81′ Mesanovic – 72′ Prikryl, 74′ Krmencik)
Zbrojovka Brno 2-0 Slovacko
(47′ & 80′ Reznicek)
Zlin 0-2 Slavia Prague
(47′ Kenia, 61′ Soucek)
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 23rd September 2015