Happy New Year!
In 158 days time, Euro 2016 will officially kick-off in Saint Denis when France face Romania in the tournament’s opening game. Then, a few days later, the Czech Republic begin their campaign with a tricky tie against Spain. But, who will be checking into the Chateau Belmont in Tours?
At the start of every month, I’ll publish a ‘depth chart’ of the Czech squad. Whilst predominantly a reflection of my own opinion, I will take into account the tendencies of Pavel Vrba and the rest of his coaching team in terms of favourites within the camp and his typical 4-2-3-1 formation. Also, I have made the decision to only select each player only once, though, this may change closer to the tournament.
|GK||Petr Cech||Tomas Vaclik||Tomas Koubek||David Bicik||Ales Hruska|
|RB||Pavel Kaderabek||Theo Gebre Selassie||Frantisek Rajtoral||Radim Reznik||Lukas Marecek|
|CB1||Tomas Sivok||Vaclav Prochazka||Tomas Kalas||Roman Hubnik||Ondrej Mazuch|
|CB2||Marek Suchy||Michal Kadlec||Mario Holek||Jan Baranek||Lukas Hejda|
|LB||David Limbersky||Daniel Pudil||Filip Novak||Lukas Bartosak||Adam Hlousek|
|CM1||Vladimir Darida||Jaroslav Plasil||Kamil Vacek||Martin Frydek||Tomas Horava|
|CM2||David Pavelka||Lukas Vacha||Ondrej Vanek||Petr Jiracek||Jakub Rada|
|RW||Jiri Skalak||Josef Sural||Ondrej Zahustel||Milan Petrzela||?|
|AM||Borek Dockal||Tomas Rosicky||Martin Pospisil||Daniel Kolar||Lukas Magera|
|LW||Ladislav Krejci||Jan Kopic||Jan Kovarik||Martin Zeman||Vaclav Pilar|
|ST||Tomas Necid||David Lafata||Milan Skoda||Matej Vydra||Vaclav Kadlec|
There are three potential problems areas: Centre-back, defensive midfield and attacking midfield. The issue around the ‘number ten’ role is linked to the perennial question surround Tomas Rosicky’s fitness, though you have to imagine that if the Arsenal man is capable of making it to France he’ll be the one expected to be the side’s central creative force. If not, Borek Dockal or Jaroslav Plasil can fulfil that role – though Plasil may be used deeper and Dockal operates best as a winger-come-creator, rather than an out-and-out playmaker.
Next up is the lack of options in the deeper midfield positions. Vladimir Darida and David Pavelka are currently nailed on to start I would imagine, with Darida being the lungs of the side and Pavelka the brawn. Prior to Pavelka’s emergence, Lukas Vacha occupied the defensive midfield role, but with some rather high profile errors and a less than perfect injury record, his stock has waned somewhat. Aside from Darida (and Plasil), there aren’t too many high-quality options either, which is a worry.
The biggest problem, however, is at centre-back. Tomas Sivok and Marek Suchy will likely be the preferred partnership, but Suchy will be absent for the Spain tie due to his dismissal in the final qualifier against the Netherlands. Michal Kadlec is probably first in line to step up, but after the Fenerbahce man things get a little vague. Prochazka, while possessing all the qualities needed, has been on the wane recently and his place must be under threat from Jan Baranek, Mario Holek and, potentially, Roman Hubnik.
CZEFootball’s Czech Squad (as of 02.01.2016)
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Tomas Koubek, Tomas Vaclik.
Defenders: Theo Gebre Selassie, Pavel Kaderabek, Michal Kadlec, David Limbersky, Vaclav Prochazka, Daniel Pudil, Tomas Sivok, Marek Suchy.
Midfielders: Vladimir Darida, Borek Dockal, Ladislav Krejci, David Pavelka, Jaroslav Plasil, Tomas Rosicky, Jiri Skalak, Josef Sural
Strikers: David Lafata, Tomas Necid, Milan Skoda, Matej Vydra
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 3rd January 2016