The Pilsen leadership placed great hope in him. Adrián Guľa was actually given the task to create an upgraded Victoria Plzeň 2.0 after the mega-successful version of Viktoria Plzeň 1.0, associated especially with the name of Pavel Vrba. intended for the new decade.
He got what he said, before that a rather conservative club began to change many things at his request, investing in modern technology and its connection with sports training. And the first half of the year looked extremely promising. But as soon as it was about to start, the red beacon flashed and the ear-siren sounded.
The dream of another Champions League remained a dream in Alkmaar. And after an average performance in the league entry against Opava, a loser in Liberec came in the second act, when the score of 4: 1 in favor of the home Slav was still merciful for the guests.
It’s a pity that from some almost-goals today the great Liberec has not yet caught up.
The saying “Seven bullets as under Ještěd” could be accepted
– Ludek Madl (@LudekMadl) August 30, 2020
In his native Slovakia, they are nicknamed Adrián Guľ after the well-known literary figure Gulliver. And beneath Ještěd, it looked as if his schooner had appeared in the realm of the Brobdingn giants. Looks like Captain Gulliver had gone mad at an inopportune moment with a still-pointing compass. And it’s not just in his acute interest to fix it in three weeks at the latest. That’s when he tries to repair in the preliminary rounds of the European League.
When they do well, everyone gives smiles, pats their shoulders and draws a pink future. Of course, real characters only reveal moments of failure. And now you are undoubtedly experiencing it in Victoria Pilsen. As usual, as if done at the most inopportune time, when deciding on the economic parameters at least this season. And not that not.
Everyone knows that the club has unrivaledly the best decade of its history, when it rose from the dust of the average to the Top 3 of Czech club football. He played the Champions League group three times, he also did well in the European League, he collected billions in UEFA bonuses and player transfers. He invested them in infrastructure, has a connection to the regional academy, all honor.
But even though the director of the club, Adolf Šádek, says that the club’s economy is stabilized and the European cups are just a sports and social bonus for Victoria, it is hard to believe it in full.
When the pillow is drained from the Champions League, it will be hard
In the 2017/18 season, Pilsen earned about 800 million crowns in the Champions League. According to several insiders addressed by the List of News reporter, this income could have created a pillow for the club for two, at most three more seasons. In case the club doesn’t even make money in the European League, as happened to him last year. So he would need it quite intensely that it wouldn’t happen to him again this year.
The Victorians certainly enjoy the sponsorship of Doosan Škoda Power, but billions of Daniel Křetínský as Sparta or the People’s Republic of China, and therefore the Chinese state-owned company CITIC as Slavia, have not been followed by the Pilsen club. After all, as the reactions of the Great Eastern Empire to the journey of the head of the Czech Senate Miloš Vystrčil to Taiwan suggest, no one is sure about anything today…
But back to Pilsen. With the current setup, it needs at least 450 million crowns for annual operation. Which is about half of what Sparta and about a third of what Slavia.
So Pilsen is going in a more economical mode, but it is still necessary to get this money somehow. And, as is well known, they do not fall from the sky. Recall the November analysis List of News on this topic:
It is obvious that after Miroslav Kříž’s initial bold investment, made at least for a significant part of the debt, Victoria Plzeň in its current form “made” European Cups and income from them. Something was built in Pilsen during that time. But if this gold-bearing river were to dry up in its riverbed directed to Pilsen, the club would have to be privatized to less operationally expensive conditions.
Several players to sell, others to reduce salaries, not to keep two strong elevens. This is, of course, a scenario that would at least fundamentally call into question another stay in the Czech Top 3 and would distance Victoria even further from the European Cups. Surely no one in Pilsen would want things to go in that direction. But let’s face it, if the club should explode in qualifiers after last year’s failure this year, or even next year, then all this will probably have to start happening.
This is one of the reasons why, of course, the club is nervous, which cannot be passed on to the player and the coach. Even if the bosses of the club, Adolf Šádek and Tomáš Paclík, tried to look more calm on the outside. Which, after all, they don’t succeed at times.
Adolf Šádek impressed by giving a speech to the team in Alkmaar before the pre-match training. And behind the scenes there is a lot of talk about the performance that Tomáš Paclík had to perform recently as a member of the delegation of the League Football Association at the Straka Academy, ie at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, where quarantines and limiting the number of spectators in professional sports were addressed.
According to what the participants of the meeting said about the visit outside the record, Paclík at least did not act as a team player at the meeting with Andrej Babiš. In terms of real content, he could not understand that the system should be applied from a half-filled auditorium, which in Sparta or Slavia means a possible visit of around 10,000 spectators, while in a smaller Pilsen stadium only about half, which Paclík perceived as discrimination. And he still needed to emphasize that he is the owner of the club, while many others present only employees and managers present.
The possible mental imbalance of Tomáš Paclík would undoubtedly be cured by a sporting success, which would mean advancement at least to the group of the European League, where tens of millions of crowns can be earned. However, it will be necessary to eliminate two opponents. The Victorians will learn the name of the first of them, or the pair from which the opponent will emerge, on Tuesday.
The team rejuvenated, he had to. But now he lacks personality
It is certain that if they were to perform something similar to Sunday’s performance in Liberec in these fights for many, the chances of success would be slim. Slovan saw the desperate guests as lego, in the 14th minute he led 3: 0!
Where did the creative combination football go, which Viktoria can say dazzled in the spring? Both before and after the league break? Adrián Guľa would need to find an answer to this question quickly. With some players, he will now be able to look for her in Štruncovy sady, but others have scattered to represent him.
Already the spring matches with Slavia and the cup semifinals with Sparta showed that Guľ’s team may lack mental resilience. I will now ask the softer and more sensitive readers for forgiveness, but the word fits: He also lacks “balls”. The instinct of the winners and the related self-confidence disappeared. And now it is as if this knowledge is deepening.
The performance in the incoming league match with Opava was not much in the first half, the second against ten Slezanians cannot be taken as a benchmark. And the performance in Alkmaar has already been discussed by my colleague Jaromír Bosák for the News List – more here.
Let’s remember the basic problems from the Netherlands: Inability to force the opponent’s own style, the goalkeeper’s penalty error in the last minute of the basic playing time, inability to react to unfavorable developments due to the limited number of variants on the substitute. And maybe even Havel’s big, but unchanged chance.
The match was followed by the coach’s litany, which allegedly damaged Victoria by a turned car and an allegedly un whistled foul by the referee. There Ball fell a lot out of the role…
And on Sunday in Liberec it was even worse with Pilsen: Entering the match totally without concentration, crazy mistakes of defense, in which captain Jakub Brabec excelled, except for a remarkable penalty – after a controversial VAR intervention – practically inability to get back into the match. Jan Kopic worked his way up to the first dangerous football action and ending sometime in the 79th minute.
Mosquer’s blow to the head of a Pilsen player at the border of the penalty area was debatable from the point of view of the penalty assessment. Judge Franek originally let her be. But on the advice of VAR, ie his colleague Rejžek, he reviewed the matter and ordered a penalty. As journalist Karel Häring pointed out, VAR should draw the judges’ attention to their clear and obvious mistakes. Which probably wasn’t this opportunity…
This was not a “clear and obvious error”. Poorly.
– Karel Häring (@ KHaring75) August 30, 2020
Pilsen couldn’t do anything else and lost 1: 4. Shame on the clouds and a great warning. Guľ must be admitted that in the post-match evaluation this time he did not look for flies anywhere else than was appropriate, ie within his team.
He is different than he used to be. He desperately needed to be rejuvenated. Some years of support have left, others work in the club’s management or in Guľ’s implementation team, so the winning DNA should not be interrupted. But he is missing on the field. Of the “old guard”, only David Limberský remains in place. And by the way, he spent a match on the bench in Liberec.
Then no one has to command, you can’t see what he would take on and wake up the others. Sure, it would be expected, for example, from Kopice or Captain Brabec, but this is probably difficult to command, when the performance is clearly the worst on the field.
Karma is free …
Its dark karma, which it has been building for years, is also beginning to turn against Pilsen. At least in that she perceived the world around her in the projection of one great conspiracy and hostility against the club, which was reflected in her arrogant and sometimes unfriendly relationship with the media. Victoria was unable to guess that her arrogance would be transmitted to the public through the media.
Only when her originally fabricated model of hostility to the club became a reality. Gone are the days when Vrbov’s first master Victoria and Pilař et al. applauded for an amazing offensive football. Wherever Pilsen arrives today, there are (not only fans) sharpened against it. What Pilsen has sown, it reaps.
And it wasn’t just the public that upset her. In the Liberec jersey on Sunday, in addition to the phenomenally playing Mosquera or the excellent Pešek, he was also impressed by the extremely intense performance of midfielder Jakub Hromada, who, to put it mildly, was not taken into the party years ago in Pilsen. So he returned it to them yesterday at 3-0 with interest.
Pavel Vrba also dragged the negative aura of the old grunt with him and Victoria in the autumn. Many indicated that his relationship with the club and the players had been exhausted. And so in the winter he went to Razgrad, Bulgaria, while Viktoria embarked on the path of building the mentioned version 2.0 with Adrián Guľa.
Even his positive aura and transition began to brighten up a lot, it seemed that Viktoria, together with him, would also move towards rebuilding the club’s image on a brighter path.
But now she was stepping into the moment when the bread began to break. And when, in the case of qualifying cup failures in Pilsen, practically everyone who was not named Pavel Vrba, coaching heads, fell in Pilsen.
The Czech coefficient urgently needs as many teams as possible to work on it. Both Sparta and Slavia have a group, other contributions are ideally desired from all other adepts.
Even those who do not like Viktoria Plzeň for some reason should support her in the next preliminary rounds. And if Adrián Guľa manages them, which he would have managed to do for the first time in his career, his position will logically be strengthened and the building of Victoria 2.0 will be able to continue.
Otherwise, it will be interesting to see if Messrs. Paclík and Šádek behave as hysterically as ever. Especially if, after being excluded from the qualification of the Champions League, the Bulgarian Razgrad was similarly unsuccessful in the preliminary rounds of the European League.
Then there would be a risk that there would be no version 2.0 and Viktoria would try to revive 1.0 with Pavel Vrba. But with the departure of practically the entire skeleton of one or two generations of the team, with the exception of David Limberský, it simply cannot come to life in this old version.