I admit, the opening playoff matches of the European Cups did not make me happy. The losses of Slovan Bratislava on the lawn of Olympiakos (0: 3) and Žilina in Jablonec (1: 5) cannot be considered pleasant.
I also played for Sloviakos for Slovan. True, twelve years ago in the old Tehelna field. It was the first match of the 3rd preliminary round of the Champions League. I have an unpleasant memory attached to it. Although I experienced a match against great players like Nikopolidis, Raul Bravo, Žewlakow or Mitroglou, it was my mistake that led to a goal at 0: 2. This is how it ended and retaliation in Greece was already difficult.
I didn’t play cards for it, but I really enjoyed the hellish atmosphere in the stands. Now it was in the opposite guard. Slovan first came outside and I could imagine what awaited the boys. For eventual success, our champion had to not only defend well, but also be dangerous in front. Neither one succeeded. Three goals scored and zero in the shot box on goal testify. Slovan doesn’t have a good chance of advancing after losing 0: 3.
I did not get the feeling that this generation of players is enormously better than ours, although in recent years I have read many times that the current Slav has one of the strongest teams in recent years. However, the players did not exceed their shadow and rather they are gaining more and more weight with the words of coach Vladimír Weiss Sr., who is constantly inclining to the need to strengthen the staff.
Maybe someone feels that they are complaining too much, but practice shows that not all players who came to Slovan in the past deserve the conditions guaranteed by the club. The white team is waiting for the European autumn, league and cup. The staff must not only expand, but also improve. Especially when it comes to the transfer of Sagittarius.
I was also sorry about how the people of Žilina turned out. I was really looking forward to their match. After the excellent performances of MŠK with Tobol Kostanaj and Apollon Limassol, I was in anticipation. The young boys have probably not yet fully finished European football. It is not easy to give continuous good performances, which they are convinced of. Jablonec is not one of the narrowest leaders in the Czech Republic, but it significantly exceeded Žilina, mainly due to its experience. MŠK players wanted to play football, even at 0: 4 they attacked, but in some places it looked naive.
Especially in defensive activity, which was clearly weak. Jablonec could also succeed with a higher difference. Be careful, I don’t want it to sound like “hey.” I just want to emphasize that this team still needs time. Many fans have been flying in the clouds a bit. The boys have made great progress, but they are still not finished players. I have no doubt that they will improve and that Žilina will not back down from its path.
And so it should be. The retaliation will be difficult, but let the boys try to drive Jablonec properly. Regardless of the end result, it can give them a lot. They have everything in front of them. It is necessary to appreciate the progress through three opponents. If the people of Žilina accept victories and losses with humility, they will be better again in a year. Let them continue to work as before.
Jablonec was definitely also helped by coach Petr Rada. The public perceives him as an eccentric person, but this is only one of his traits. I had the honor to play under him during my engagement in Slavia Prague. He professes the credo: “What on the heart, on the tongue.”
He is a quality coach for whom direct communication is the basis. I really appreciate him for that and we are still in contact. When he said that Žilina was not Celtic, it was not arrogance on his part. He simply trusted his players. You have to know him to fully understand it.
Slovan and Žilina achieved similar results on Thursday, but I still don’t think they are at a similar level yet. Their mutual matches last season showed that MŠK can torment the favorite, but Pavel Staň’s team will probably pay extra for this time in the season. It makes sense, you can speed up development, but some phases cannot be overtaken. I expect Slovan to win the title again.