May 19 2011

Slovakia squad for Andorra

Published by at 3:50 pm under International and tagged: ,

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss has announced the following selection for the upcoming Euro 2012 Group B qualifying match against Andorra on 4th June:

GOALKEEPERS: Marián Kello (Heart Of Midlothian), Dušan Perniš (Dundee United)

DEFENDERS: Erik Čikoš (Wisla Krakov), Martin Škrtel (FC Liverpool), Ján Ďurica(Lokomotiv Moskva), Tomáš Hubočan (Zenit St Petersburg), Kornel Saláta (FK Rostov),Marek Čech (West Bromwich Albion)

MIDFIELDERS: Juraj Kucka (Genoa), Róbert Jež (Górnik Zabrze), Miroslav Karhan(1. FSV Mainz), Kamil Kopúnek (AS Bari), Marek Hamšík (Napoli), Igor Žofčák (Slovan Bratislava)

STRIKERS: Stanislav Šesták (MKE Ankaragücü), Róbert Vittek (MKE Ankaragücü), Filip Šebo (Slovan Bratislava), Adam Nemec (1. FC Kaiserslautern), Filip Hološko (Büyüksehirspor), Erik Jendrišek (SC Freiburg)

As is becoming quite normal these days, there are a couple of new additions to the latest squad, firstly Erik Čikoš from newly crowned Polish Champions Wisla Krakov, a player who started out at Inter Bratislava followed by a short spell at MFK Petrzalka and then a move to Poland.  It’s also good to see Slovan Bratislava captain Igor Žofčák back in contention after a superb spring season leading Slovan to the brink of the title.

Weiss continues to experiment with the squad, previously well established defenders Radoslav Zabavník (1. FSV Mainz) and Peter Pekarík (VfL Wolfsburg) having been relegated to the reserves list this time around.

It is interesting to see the veteran Miroslav Karhan back and notable absentees include the coach’s son Vladimir Weiss Jr and Miroslav Stoch although I’m not fully aware of their current fitness status. It is also good to see Róbert Jež there, a player who has only made 4 appearances for the National Team in 4 years despite being one of the most consistent domestic performers over that time period.  It would be interesting to hear from a Polish-insider exactly how impressive Jež and Čikoš have been this Spring, but it does seem as though Weiss listens closely to the SFZ scout over the border.

While an international re-call does a lot to vindicate Jež’s move to Poland, it seems as though a season warming the Everton bench has done first choice World Cup goalkeeper Jan Mucha no favours at all; he does not even feature on the reserves list as Weiss has gone local naming Matúš Putnocký as the goalkeeping reserve.  Personally I’m not so sure Putnocký is international class yet, but let’s not get too excited, it is only the reserve list after all.

The three FK Senica players (Lukšík, Kóňa and Piroska) who were selected in the last squad, and by all accounts performed quite respectably, also find themselves back on the reserves list in a slightly strange move by the coach.

I’m noticing that throughout this qualifying campaign, Weiss continues to keep the opponents, the players and the fans guessing as to the exact squad and playing style.  Each selection has produced a few surprises and I can see how that helps the motivation amongst Slovak footballers, whether they be based at home or abroad.  It is slightly bizarre though that he introduces new players to the scene only to drop them again, seemingly regardless of how they perform.

Ticket prices for this match have also been announced this week; €25 / €15 / €7 are the three price categories, and I must admit I find these prices quite high for a match against largely unknown opponents.  The real fans amongst us fully appreciate the importance of this match, but prices like that are not likely to sway hesitant locals to attend. I fear a dismal attendance, but let’s hope the players concentrate on the task at hand which is maintaining top place in the group with 3 points and preferably a few goals too.

9 responses so far




9 Responses to “Slovakia squad for Andorra”

  1.   Kirsten Schlewitzon 19 May 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Stoch picked up an ankle twinge in last weekend’s match but I heard it wasn’t serious. He’s been playing for Fener, finally, and playing well, so to keep him out seems an interesting decision on Weiss’s part.

  2.   britskibelasion 19 May 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Stoch will be back of course. It’s no secret that playing in front of 4,000 people at Pasienky is not his favourite pastime so maybe it is better if he sits this one out, the team (especially the strikers) also have to learn to not always rely on the same gifted players for inspiration.

    I have no problem with letting guys like Jež or Žofčák have a chance in a competitive match like this, once again, the Hamšík debate is sure to start up at some point. I’m leaving my thoughts until after the match ..

  3.   James Baxteron 19 May 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Interesting selection. I completely agree with the point about picking players and then dropping them again. It does indeed seem odd. Luksik, Kona and Piroska all did well in the last pair of international games and the first two rose above a poor game in Zilina the other week. Piroska seems to have lost his way a bit but he strikes me as one of those players who could use a bit of managerial faith.

    Still, great to see Jez in the side. Zilina miss him terribly, watching them now you realise more and more how much he gave them. They miss Oravec too but without Jez there’s no direction or creativity. Weiss was quoted as saying recently that his form for Zabrze has been the best he’s ever produced so he must be doing well there. What do the Polish boys say? And, just out of interest, do you reckon there’s any one player Slovan would miss as much as Za miss Jez? Guess Sebo is the obvious answer.

    Kirsten, these would-be innocent comments about Stoch fool no’one. I well recall how you got me into trouble with those guys from the Arsenal blog a couple of months ago. Will forgive you if we get to read a match report of the Andorra game as good as the one you wrote after Luxembourg. Fair??

  4.   britskibelasion 19 May 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Obviously Sebo, but interestingly enough I reckon they could also cope without him, I’ve never seen Slovan as a one-man-team. Especially as far as creativity in midfield is concerned, Slovan’s players seem to rotate their form. One week it is Zofcak who impresses, then he goes off the boil and it’s Guede’s turn. Then Milinkovic turns on the style as the others are quiet and then suddenly it’s Kiss, Bozic or Grendel. Interesting, but I do hope, for Europe at least, that most of the above mentioned players stay and are able to consistently produce their best. Which would also be fantastic for the National team. I suppose if I had to name the one player who I wouldn’t want Slovan to be without in a really tough game, it would be Guede.

    I was also interested by the U21 selection:

    BRANKÁRI: Michal Šulla (MFK Vrbové), Patrik Le Giang (MŠK Žilina), Matej Rakovan (Tatran Liptovský Mikuláš)

    OBRANCOVIA: Róbert Pilár (FK Senica), Matúš Čonka (MFK Košice), Tomáš Košút (1. FC Slovácko), Lukáš Štetina (Metalist Charkov), Lukáš Pauschek, Kristián Kolčák (obaja Slovan Bratislava), Martin Poleť (FK Bodva Moldava)

    STREDOPOLIARI: Kamil Karaš (MFK Košice), Jakub Považanec (Dukla Banská Bystrica), Róbert Valenta (Zbrojovka Brno), Róbert Mak (1. FC Norimberg), Ján Greguš (Baník Ostrava), Milan Lalkovič (FC Chelsea), Filip Kiss (Slovan Bratislava), Juraj Vavrík (MFK Dubnica)

    ÚTOČNÍCI: Fabián Slančík (Dukla Banská Bystrica), Ákos Szarka (Slovan Bratislava), Arnold Šimonek (FC Vysočina Jihlava), Matúš Mikuš (FC Nitra)

    The opportunity to see Lalkovic, Kiss, Mak etc all playing on a summer evening in Zlate Moravce .. very tempting indeed! No outfield players from Zilina I notice, is that something to be concerned about?

    By the way, just seen Kubik score a decent goal for ADO in their playoff against Roda. Pity he’s leaving to the depths of Siberia next season!

  5.   britskibelasion 19 May 2011 at 11:51 pm

    A few tweets from the Polish crew:

    @Ryan_Hubbard

    not surprised by the inclusion of Jez. He has definitely stood out since his arrival in Poland

    @Polishscout

    Cikos has been tremendous lately, rising in strength from the moment he came to Wisła.

    And Jeż’s performance against Polonia Bytom and Wisla Krakow deserved him a call up.

    @Angamoss [Gornik fan]

    can’t tell anything good about Cikos. But I’m not surprised that Jeż has been nominated. I love him ;-)

  6.   James Baxteron 20 May 2011 at 12:30 am

    They confirm what Weiss says, then. Good to see he’s appreciated there.

    Polet is a Za player, currently on loan at Moldava. A bit sorry Skvarka’s not in the squad but, like a lot of Za players, he’s flickered occasionally without producing consistently. That Kolcak of Slovan looks good, and Vavrik of Dubnica is a tidy player, if we forget his finishing (see Dubnica v Za article!).

    Interesting analysis of the Slovan squad, they wouldn’t be going so well if they were relying on one player. Naturally, I have to draw attention to the fact that, when all else fails, up pops Diego Dobrotka to slap the ball into the net, and Mr Valasek to ‘miss’ the incident and signal a goal.

    It was Sebo who really impressed me at the ZM game we saw. He missed a couple but he was always chasing, harrying, lurking dangerously and there was an inevitability to his goal. You don’t see strikers like that very often in this league. Reminds me of Steve Bull against Albion all those years ago. As with Sebo, used to see him in my nightmares.

  7.   Kirsten Schlewitzon 25 May 2011 at 11:24 am

    Sorry, I forgot to come back! And apologies James…really really sorry about the RvP mess. They like you over there now.

    I’d love to write another match report if given the chance! I’d do one for Andorra.

  8.   James Baxteron 25 May 2011 at 12:20 pm

    No worries, Kirsten, it was fun and they had a very fair point. I’d enjoy that match report, though.

    Reading back up, one moment in the Slovan-Dubnica game that, sadly, will be very quickly forgotten was Dubnica’s equaliser – a lovely outside-of-the-foot finish by none other than Mr Vavrik. Good luck to him and his mates in this afternoon’s survival battle.

  9.   britskibelasion 25 May 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Kirsten, you’re welcome to write for Britski Belasi any day of the week :-)

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