Trouble in Goal: The Plight of Werder’s Jiri Pavlenka

Jiri Pavlenka was once again allowed to stand in the Werder goal – and cut an unfortunate figure. Everything boils down to a farewell in the summer, which actually doesn’t do justice to the long-time Bremen keeper.

Stuck in career trough: Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka. DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Ivan Hasek has clear principles: Without playing for the club, there is little chance of being nominated for the national team. The 60-year-old has been in office as Czech national coach since the beginning of the year – and has therefore also done without Jiri Pavlenka in his first international training course these days. The 31-year-old has lost his regular place at SV Werder Bremen since matchday 8. The number one that he wore on his national jersey in October has now passed to Jindrich Stanek from Slavia Prague, who also played 90 minutes in goal in Hasek’s opening 2-1 win in Norway on Friday.

The planned participation in the European Championship in Germany, where Pavlenka has been active since 2017, seems extremely unrealistic as things stand – because his situation at the club is unlikely to change by the end of the season. The new Werder number 1 Michael Zetterer has overtaken the long-time regular goalkeeper in several respects. His football skills in particular give the Bremen defensive players more security when playing together.

Pavlenka’s hair-raising actions

Especially since Pavlenka, when he played a 90-minute game again in the friendly against Hannover 96, had done some hair-raising actions – and was therefore unable to promote himself. In the 13th minute he missed a long ball that landed at Hanover’s Muhammed Damar and led to a promising chance. Then, in the 29th minute, the Bremen goalkeeper almost scored an own goal when he again failed to hit the ball properly with his foot – the ball then only just passed the post. And shortly afterwards he also had problems with a high ball reception, again there was a corner for 96.

Head coach Ole Werner also noticed that Pavlenka’s lack of match practice was noticeable: “He was inaccurate with his foot in one situation or another. But that’s also a question of a lack of rhythm. That’s a big issue, especially with goalkeepers.” Nevertheless, he also referred to a few rescues that had prevented Bremen from losing even worse than 1:3: “He held up very well in other situations.”

Werder is planning with Zetterer and Backhaus

Gradually, however, the time of the third longest-serving Werder professional on the Weser seems to be running out – because his contract is expiring and the plans for the coming season probably include the goalkeeper duo Zetterer and Mio Backhaus. The current German U-20 national goalkeeper is considered a great talent. At the age of 19, he is the regular goalkeeper at his current loan station FC Volendam from the Eredivisie – and recently confidently announced in the kicker interview: “Of course my goal is to be number 1 at some point become.” As soon as possible.

During the winter break, Pavlenka had at least inquired about substitution options for more match practice in order to protect his European Championship chances – but the Bremen team at least didn’t want to take any risks with a possible departure in the position. The Czech is not the type to cause unrest internally. Does he still have a perspective at the club? Those responsible do not yet want to anticipate its end. At the moment, however, everything boils down to a rather bitter farewell for the 221-time Werder professional from Bremen.

2024-03-25 16:30:00
#Pavlenka #goal #selfpromotion #kicker


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