How was the match against Portugal different for the Czech team compared to the duel against Spain?
Admittedly, Portugal has a team of top club players. No wonder the Guardiola are scouting them. It’s a pleasure to watch this team. Compared to the Spaniards, the Portuguese were more straightforward, they went for the victory from the first minute and the quality was confirmed by the whole match. Our team did not follow up on the performances from home matches. Jarda (Shy) must have wanted to bounce back from things that had worked for him before, but the Portuguese calmed down with two goals in the first half. I think they played very nice football. Our boys could get into the match if they turned any of the chances in the second half, in which their performance went up a bit after the substitutions. But we did not score a contact goal and the opponent brought the match to a victorious end.
It has been proven that in such matches you have to change the chances that you have.
Opponents will punish you internationally for mistakes in the defense. And if they offer you such opportunities and you don’t take advantage of them, you can’t win. It is not possible to excuse it completely because Jurečka or Vlkanova are just starting in the national team, even though it is true. Those situations simply called for a goal. On the positive side, the boys are gaining experience on the international stage, they have been able to experience what it’s like to play against top players.
Aleš Matějů and Milan Havel had problems with them on the left side in the first half, didn’t they?
Again, we need to see who stood against them. They were played against them by two Manchester City fighters (Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva), who can handle one-on-one situations and are of great quality. In particular, Joao Cancelo saw the line throughout the match and showed our players what is needed for the top level.
The topic of the last few days is Adam Hložek, who transferred from Sparta to Leverkusen. Aren’t you tired? Or isn’t it too much for him?
I think Adam can play better. It was mainly visible on the defensive, the opponents checked him and showed him what he had to work on. He is a young boy who has everything in front of him. He needs to play such matches, because ordinary league matches in the Czech Republic were not enough for him. Now that he has taken another step, he has gone to Germany, where the competition will be far greater for him than in Sparta. He will have to prove his quality not only in matches, but also every day in training.
The Czechs defended Cristiano Ronald, who also performed a sharp intervention on Václav Jemelka. In your opinion, should Ronaldo be expelled? And didn’t you get irritated that he didn’t score a goal?
I like that Ronaldo has emotions compared to Messi, for example. He is a top player who has maintained a high standard for years. He shows brilliant football things, he can help the team when he fails, but this (a foul on Jemelka) does not belong to him. I don’t think Messi would go into such an intervention. Everyone was probably surprised by what Ronaldo showed, although I would personally say that it wasn’t so bad. Of course, when you slide on wet grass, it looks bad and it’s dangerous. I don’t like Ronald.
Jakub Brabec again led the Czech defense. Has he confirmed that he has grown into a leader?
When he was still working in Pilsen, he was criticized for his performances. I think he benefited from going to Greece. He made his mark there, which is not easy. He played regularly in Aris, transferring his form and well-being to the national team. I think he also benefits from switching to a three-stop system. The coach made him the leader of defense, he performed this role very well, he proves it in every match. I think the current way of playing suits him.
How do you like the three-stopper formation at all?
I like it. It’s a good thing Jarda tried it. Many coaches are afraid to move from a four-defender system to a three-defender system. It’s good for players to try more layouts. In Sweden, too, the boys played it very well and follow up on in the League of Nations matches. Many fans probably didn’t believe that we would be able to play these matches without so many excused players. I’m glad that there are a number of players in the staff that I led in my twenty-one: Zima, Sadílek, Hložek, Lingr, Krejčí, Král. There are also boys from the Czech league in the team, who show that you can also find interesting players in it and that our competition is not as bad as it is sometimes written.