Feb 13 2012

Spring Season Corgoň Liga Build-Up

Published by at 1:15 pm under Uncategorized

With just 11 days to go before the planned resumption of this season’s Corgoň Liga, there must be doubt as to whether the first round of games will actually go ahead. True, the Union of League Clubs (ULK) made a ‘decision’ last Friday not to announce an early postponement of all fixtures due to take place the weekend after next. But, with Slovakia still affected by extremely cold weather (night-time temperatures of -20C have been common in northern areas recently), it is difficult to imagine playing conditions being anywhere near suitable.

The ULK are due to meet again on February 20th, when they will either decide after all to postpone the first round of games or leave the final decisions to individual clubs and match-officials. Union president Dušan Tittel says he is keen to avoid last minute call-offs, but also points out that, since the weather is less severe in some parts of the country than others, it may well be possible for at least some games to go ahead.

Representatives of MFK Ružomberok, Dukla Banská Bystrica and Vion Zlaté Moravce, all due to stage home matches in the first round, have already stated that they would prefer postponements. Pitch conditions are one obvious reason – ‘Ruža’ director Milan Baraník says that his club’s surface has a 15cm covering of snow on it – but so too is the well-being of players and spectators. Peter Krejčí, the Czech national team doctor, believes that football should not be played at temperatures of below -12C because of adverse affects on the body. While temperatures next weekend will probably not be quite as low as that, some clubs say they have not been able to train properly because of the weather and that, if games do go ahead as scheduled, players might be at greater risk of injury as a result.

At least players get to run around in the cold, an option not afforded to those who pay to watch them. Those of us who follow the German Bundesliga will have noted that recent Friday night fixtures Nuremburg v Dortmund and Wolfsburg v Freiburg were both played in temperatures of around -11C. A remarkable 45,000 turned out for the Nuremburg game and 23,000 for the Wolfsburg match but it’s difficult to envisage even four-figure attendances at Corgoň Liga games if it’s still much below zero. That’s to say nothing of the discomfort involved in sitting or standing for long periods in such conditions.

It’s a shame that almost all discussion ahead of the opening ‘spring’ round is about the weather, because the games themselves look interesting. The top four sides are all away ; leaders Žilina face a difficult test at Zlaté Moravce, second-placed Slovan are Ladislav Jurkemík’s first scheduled opponents as Nitra coach, Trnava are at Bystrica and Senica at Ružomberok. The bottom two, Dunajská Streda and Prešov are due to meet in southern Slovakia, and it‘s 10th v 9th in the east, where Košice play Trenčín.

Looking back 12 months, last season’s games at this stage gave a fairly sound indication of how the rest of the campaign would go. Žilina’s lead at the top was cut after defeat at Prešov, where conditions were more suitable for ice-skating than football. They never really recovered and ended up finishing third. Slovan, the eventual champions, started their spring charge with an emphatic win at Trnava, while Dubnica, who would finish bottom, missed chance after chance in a 0-0 home draw with Košice.

Next week‘s games have a similarly significant look about them, so let’s at least hope they take place in the conditions they deserve.

James Baxter

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Spring Season Corgoň Liga Build-Up”

  1.   George Mon 13 Feb 2012 at 10:43 pm

    James , Can you remind Dan that it is Valentines Day tomorrow if he wants to send me a card , flowers , roses or the odd Kinder selection …you know now we are all to give a hugs and have a few quiet words etc . You know jaw – jaw rather than war – war !

    BTW . Would you have shaken that little two faced Man U shit, Evra`s hand ?? This was the guy who wanted to start a French (black) players strike at the last world cup, because he could not get his way !

  2.   George Mon 15 Feb 2012 at 11:45 am

    Sorry James, just only me again . Perhaps Dan has Writers Block ?

  3.   Jameson 15 Feb 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Much more of this and I’ll start thinking of you as the neighbour who keeps calling round to check that we’re all OK…

    So while you’re here, got a bit of news for you. We were wondering where Jan Kozak mlady had got to ; well, after more than 6 months without a club he’s off to try his luck in Uzbekistan with FC Bunodkor. Will the Corgon Liga ever again see those Hoddle-esque passes, I wonder?

    Now the important stuff’s out of the way, that handshake. Surely Evra’s world cup antics and general prattishness is irrelevant. The fact is that Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing him. He and his club could have appealed but they didn’t. Instead, they chose to smear Evra and make themselves look even more ridiculous (those T-shirts, for God’s sake). I do think these pre-match handshakes are a pointless charade and that, in this case, it would definitely have been insincere. On the other hand, and given the silly ritual is still with us, better a split-second of insincerity for the sake of ‘moving on’ than letting the whole stupid row escalate into something far worse. But that’s just me, and I’m a peaceful soul….

  4.   StaryJazvecon 15 Feb 2012 at 3:41 pm

    “I do think these pre-match handshakes are a pointless charade”

    How about they all come out with wads of used fifties, wave them at each other at close proximity and see if they can provoke a red card pre-kickoff, instead.

    Here’s a piece for you, sums up what I’ve been thinking for a while re: Superliga


  5.   StaryJazvecon 15 Feb 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Big Dzon Delarge to ZA rumours on prosport…

  6.   George Mon 15 Feb 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Oh James how nice . Sadly there are a few flag waving pinheads, that think badly of me and my muses of football life
    and any irony is utterly lost on them .

    So Mr K is off to Uzbek`stan. He is another case of a Slovak player that had some starting talent ….only could not be bothered to work at improving his overall game …and became Mr Lazy .I saw him score quite a impressive goal against Rangers in the Champions League ….now Rangers , there is another story and I note Fat Eck is very quiet these days .

    As for Evra ….mmmm not quite sure I can look at Suarez `and was found guilty of racially abusing him`, in quite the same light as you do . When I played, words spoken on the pitch between players in banter and windup was just part of the game. They stayed on the pitch and did not follow into the dressing room, bar or into the Press, by some whining, overpaid little Frenchman, with a huge chip on his shoulder …who just got all sticks and stones sensitive and hurt , the poor love .

    As for SIR Alex and his Suarez comments, well what a two faced bunt he is …is this not the club that supported a Kung foo kicking a supporter , Cantona ? Had Rio , No, I won`t shake his hand either , banned for several months for deliberately missing a drugs test .Had Wayne and his hotel, fag smokin whore and sister in law shagging, Mr Giggs not bring the Man U club into disrepute ?

    Kinda double standards , no ?

  7.   Jameson 16 Feb 2012 at 8:28 am

    ‘Here’s a piece for you, sums up what I’ve been thinking for a while re: Superliga :’

    Yes, makes eminent commercial sense to me. I don’t have a head for business but I can’t see how 8 or 9 of the clubs in the Corgon Liga can possibly be sustainable as fully full-time outfits -I’m not including Zilina and Slovan in that, but they wouldn’t be able to run as they do either w/out one generous sugar-daddy each. Yet I’ve heard from one who claims to know that Kmotrik has agreed with Weiss that Slovan need at least 5 players who can command 35,000 Euros and more per month. Correct me if I’m wrong, but surely there’d be no other possible source for that sort of dosh than one guy’s pocket(?) This is a club with 2,000 regular fans paying on ave 5 Euros each every other week, virtually zero potential for making commercial revenue, sponsorship presumably heading down in the financial climate, a crappy TV deal etc etc.

    Obviously, there’ll be the argument that these clubs would wave goodbye to all hope of competing on bigger stages if the model the writer suggests was adopted, but it would give more clubs a chance of being viable.

    Kozak can only be looked on as a wasted talent. Some odd career moves haven’t helped, eg a loan spell at WBA when they were fighting relegation, or signing for Slovan when the fans hated him. But he was in the World Cup squad and I still don’t think the national team have a player who can pass the ball, or deliver set-pieces as well. Always quite fun to listen to as well, if not quite as entertaining as his old man, who tended to spontaneously combust at least once or twice a season.

    Agree on Fergie (and you missed the most relevant episode of all – Schmeical and Ian Wright) but not on the actual Suarez-Evra thing. It was racial abuse, not banter and wind-up.

  8.   George Mon 16 Feb 2012 at 1:25 pm

    God , how much does `my left foot` Sebo get a moth then ? Must be a fair slice or that bird of his would have to find another ugly Slovak to shag .

    The problem is James we all have been forced to become PC . There are now negro in blue suits telling us just how bad we whities really are ….and we all fall for this total race card crap .

    For the record , I have no time for racial abuse in terms of the crowd making monkey noises, or a banana`s being thrown on the football pitch ..or even death threats by way of a fanzine huge banner ! ….Oh and yes off we all go to Russia for a World Cup , as the pelithera of players racist complaints about Russina crowds are stored in FIFA offices, just to gather dust.We are to be W/C monitored by a bigoted Ruskie Police and welcomed by a corrupt Political system, little better than the nazi gestapo !

    Odd how FIFA reward racists and bigots …..and then promote a `Kick it out` slogan .

    Not sure poor old sensitive me Evra manages to play each week, given the amount of crowd abuse that Man U players get when competing against another sides ….and Evra`s left ear is right on the touchline . QED. Suarez-Evra thing was banter between players and old Suarez got under Evra`s skin, when it was Evra who was trying it on….and the wimp ran to complain .

  9.   StaryJazvecon 16 Feb 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Looks like JKJ has signed for Bunyodkor, formerly Rivaldo’s Bunyodkor, and there’s an interesting story there, completely missed by Sport, naturally:


    He says he wasn’t paid in full at Timisoara, how likely is he to see out a year in Uzbekistan and get paid. Reminds me of Gazza going to China.

  10.   George Mon 17 Feb 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Gazza, now there was a lost talent . I met him once during his Spurs days , the guy is bonkers, like a kid that never grew up .

    Just to add one final point to the Suarez incident The point is given all the TV coverage and marketing etc , that top level football is not the street, with coats as goalposts and have a game, it is more like an expensive theatre production and a show, where to win is important to provoke the enemy, start to dive to win a foul and exaggerating everything and shouting and appeal to the Ref ….

    Just look at SAF , he does this Theatre all the time and once Mighty Mouse Kevin K almost exploded on camera .

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