Club: Bohemians 1905
Michal Hubínek broke into the Bohemians 1905 first-team as a functional, box-to-box midfielder that primarily covered ground, broke up play and quickly distribute to his more flashy colleagues out on the wing. However, the now 22-year-old was capable of being much more than a functional, hustling bustling presence in green and white. When given the licence to break forwards he was capable of handling the creative responsibilities, as his single-handed demolition of Baník Ostrava showcased.
When drawing up the framework for this review, the only comment in the ‘positives’ column was Michal Hubínek’s ascension to the Czech Republic’s Under-21s where he had moved from substitute to starter, which was partly due to Tomáš Souček’s lack of playing time at Slavia. He also remained a permanent fixture in the Bohemians midfield but given the competition for places at Ďolíček, that isn’t exactly a compliment.
But it is always dangerous to jump to conclusions, especially in football where a player’s reputation can be made enhanced a thousand times over thanks to a seven-second video clip. Was the absence of a true standout moment or move to a bigger club the sign of somebody who had gone backwards? Of course not.
It has been a year of maturation for the Prague-born midfielder, who has adapted to a more defensive role since the former Viktoria Plzeň manager Miroslav Koubek took over coaching responsibilities at Ďolíček. Instead of being fielded in an atypical box-to-box role alongside Milan Jirásek during Roman Pivarník’s reign, Hubínek has dropped deeper under Koubek, replacing the veteran Josef Jindřišek as the defensive-midfield shield. With Dominik Mašek now the creator-in-chief, and Jirásek still operating in a fairly vertical manner, it has been up to Hubínek to mop up, protect the back four and keeps things as simple and as risk-free as possible.
As a result, regular watchers of Bohemians 1905 have seen a number of modest – yet assured – performances from their number 6. The midfielder has improved his distribution and his passing stats for this season are well above the numbers from 2015-16, though, as noted, this is due to Hubínek’s more limited role.
The Michal Hubínek that ended 2016 is very different to the one that began the year.
His role has changed and because of this, it is important that he continues to adapt to his new position and the responsibilities that come with protecting the back four.
What is worrying is that for the supposed defensive point of Bohemians’ midfield triangle, Hubínek’s tackling often leaves a lot to be desired. This is an area he will have to improve in, otherwise his place in Bohemians’ starting XI will be under threat.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 20th January 2017