Mar 15 2011

Corgon Liga still wide open

Published by at 4:17 pm under Domestic

Just a quick post as we find ourselves eagerly anticipating round 22 of the Corgon Liga.  This Tuesday afternoon sees a full round of league fixtures with kick off times showing little respect for hard working fans.

Zilina’s dip in form has coincided with Senica’s post winter break run of played 3, won 3, goals for 12, goals against 0.  This ominously impressive run has seen Senica overtake Zilina at the top of the table.  Today they travel to ViOn Zlate Moravce, who after two wins on the bounce should provide another stern test of Senica’s title credentials.  Each match that Senica win in emphatic style makes it increasingly difficult to ignore the team who took Inter Bratislava’s top flight spot as serious title contenders.  Czech striker Ondrej Smetana is in top form with 6 goals in his last 5 games sending him top of the scorer’s list in Slovakia.

You feel Senica need a win today to maintain top spot as Zilina have an excellent opportunity to get back on track at home against Kosice.  Nothing short of a win will do for Zilina today and if they fail to achieve this, yet more questions will be asked over the wisdom and justification of letting 3 of their key players go in the winter break.

Despite going a goal down, Trnava stormed back to a 4-1 home victory over Nitra at the weekend and they travel to face a poor Ruzomberok side.  3 points for Trnava and any points dropped by the top 2 will see things tighten up even more at the top, and that puts added pressure on Slovan Bratislava who take on DAC Dunajska Streda in definitely the match of the round.  Slovan failed to gain maximum points at Dubnica on Saturday despite a decent travelling contingent swelling the attendance to a [reported] figure of 4,500.  Still 8 points off the pace, they will definitely be tested again at home today against a DAC side who impressively held Zilina to a draw on Friday night.

A minute’s silence will be held ahead of the match in honour of Jan Popluhar, the former Slovan player who made 62 appearances for Czechoslovakia in the 50s and 60s.  One hopes that this mark of respect will set the tone for this flash point match and that we see a spectacle off the pitch and a lively but friendly atmosphere off it.  Unfortunately I am not in Bratislava for this one!

Nitra face Tatran Presov and free-falling Dukla Banska Bystrica host bottom of the table Dubnica in the other fixtures.  It will be very interesting to see how things stand this evening.

4 responses so far




4 Responses to “Corgon Liga still wide open”

  1.   James Baxteron 15 Mar 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Given the results and the shortage of goals elsewhere, can we say that Zilina are the form side again? And watch out for Arturs Zjuzins. You read it here first…

  2.   James Baxteron 16 Mar 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Just to flex a few argumentative muscles…. That sentence questioning the wisdom of Zilina allowing three players to leave over the winter is one I can only half agree with.

    Yes, they’ve missed the lads concerned more than I thought they would. Perhaps I over-rated the rest of the Zilina squad, under-estimated the rest of the league, or a combination of the two. Whatever, I didn’t reckon either with Zilina making such a slow start to the spring, or with Senica and Slovan flying out of the blocks like they have. And I suspect that, for example, Pecalka would have provided defensive presence in Presov and Jez and/or Oravec might have conjured a goal against Dubnica.

    Where I disagree is that I don’t see what the club could have done to keep these players. We know from MZ’s very informative comment that Jez has probably made a highly beneficial move in the financial sense and I have no doubt at all that that’s also true of Pecalka and Oravec. Zilina can’t compete with the offers the players were made and I’m actually rather glad they didn’t even try. Let it also be said that I don’t blame the players either. All were good pros who served the club well and all deserve the chance to develop the careers as they like.

    There are things I don’t like about Antosik but he does seem to balance a vision for the future with running the club on sane financial lines. The second-half performance yesterday was exciting for the fact that an academy kid (in Skvarka) and an obscure new signing (Zjuzins) were behind it. I look forward to seeing more of both over the coming weeks.

    Still, let’s not let Antosik off scot-free. The way Jez was let go, suddenly and behind Hapal’s back, it seemed, was weird. Surely, the owner, director of football and player can discuss the matter face-to-face, with Antosik reserving the right to the final say if necessary. Never seems to work quite like that in Slovakia, though, and not just in football either.

    Ultimately, I guess that if our clubs want to hold on to their very best players, the only way will be to be part of a Czechoslovak league with more financial power than in the current set-up(s). But that’s a topic we’re all getting tired of now.

  3.   Stary Jazvecon 17 Mar 2011 at 1:34 am

    Nech zije my main boy Stano Griga. Although obviously Senica have bought there way into the superliga, so if they did win, it wouldnt count as far as I am concerned.

  4.   James Baxteron 17 Mar 2011 at 9:21 am

    For similar reasons I hope Kosice go down.

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