Slovak football is looking for a new national team coach. He is supposed to lead the eastern neighbors out of the crisis into which the national team fell after the embarrassment in the League of Nations. But the former coach of Baník Ostrava or Příbram Karol Marko points out that the problem has much deeper roots.
Negotiations are dragging on. Already at the beginning of June, Štefan Tarkovič was fired when the Slovaks under his leadership lost to Kazakhstan in the League of Nations, and his successor is still unknown. Since then, a number of names have come to the fore, including Czech coach Ivan Hašek.
Now the Italian assistant of Napoli, Francesco Calzona, seems to be the strongest candidate. Experienced coach Karl Mark, for example, likes the foreign option.
“It’s a new way and it can be effective. The Italians have the label of defensive champions, but their football is systemically advanced. Calzona needs good conditions and the support of the union,” said Marko in an interview with Pravda daily.
According to him, Slovakia currently has nowhere to take quality representatives, and this is precisely where Calzon’s strength could be shown.
“The Italians can make a working team out of players of lower individual quality. They are willing to work hard. Discipline is important. Under coaches Vladimír Weis or Ján Kozák, clear rules were set. Hard, but fair,” he explained.
At the same time, he does not want to deny the merits of coach Tarković, who led the team to the European Championship.
“He did a good job, but we have to realize what kind of player base we have. Let’s forget about Switzerland or the Czechia, we are at the level of Malta or Kazakhstan,” said the former coach of Ostrava and Příbram.
According to him, the union must think about the education of young talents, from whom it is currently not raising sufficiently strong individuals.
“In some academies, we have players like broilers, one like the other and all scared. Calzona can help, but it’s only the beginning of a long-term process,” pointed out Marko.