Jan 20 2013

David Depetris for Slovakia

Published by at 2:16 pm under Uncategorized

It looks very much as if David Depetris will soon be adding himself to the list of centre-forward options available to Slovakia national team coaches Stanislav Griga and Michal Hipp. The former Trenčín player – his contract ran out in December 2012 – is currently at home in Argentina (the country of his birth), but one of his first ports of call when he returns to Europe will be Bratislava, to see if his application for Slovak citizenship has gone through. ‘This is very important for me,’ Depetris told Šport, ‘I’ll be so happy when I’ve got the chance to fight for a place in the Slovak team.’

You sense too that Griga and Hipp will be happy.Slovakia’s goalscoring problems are well-documented, and are already undermining the team’s attempts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. In Depetris, they would have at their disposal a man who has just broken the Corgoň Liga’s autumn scoring record (with 16 goals in Trenčín’s 19 league fixtures up to December), averaged over a goal a game (31 in30) as the club were promoted from the II Liga in 2010/2011, and has an overall, all competitions record in Slovakia of 94 strikes in 144 appearances.

Depetris knows where the goal is, no question about that. But we should be very careful about hailing him as ‘the answer toSlovakia’s problems’. About this time last year, I was thinkingPlzeň’s Marek Bakoš would be the man to provide the goals. He had, after all, been a reliable marksman for his club, in both the Czech league and Europe. But, despite a succession of hard-working performances, Bakoš is still without an international goal. And, unlike Bakoš, Depetris has not been tested at European level yet ; his experience since he arrived on the continent in 2007 amounts to five-and-a-half seasons in Slovakia with Trenčín, three of which were in the II Liga.

Also, while Griga and Hipp will definitely be giving Depetris’ claims very serious consideration, they may have one or two question-marks about his all-round game, and how the style of football he got used to at Trenčín compares to the way Slovakia play. Since their appointment, the joint-coaches seem to have preferred a striker who is good with his back to goal and is either mobile (Bakoš) or big and physical (Martin Jakubko). Especially against stronger teams, you can see why such a player is desirable, not only to provide an attacking threat, but to help take the pressure off the defence. Depetris has good touch and occasionally drops deep to pick up the ball, but he is at his best in and around the penalty-area. The way Trenčín have usually been set up – in a 4-3-3 formation, with two wide attackers, two creative central midfielders and lots of ‘pressing’ in the opposition half – has contributed to him getting so many scoring opportunities. There is no doubt, of course, that he is good at taking them, whether with his head (he is excellent at heading for goal) or with either foot. It is just that, at international level, the chances wouldn’t come along so often.

But of more immediate importance than any of this is Depetris’ immediate future in club football. Certainly, his efforts for Trenčin over the years mean that he owes them nothing, a fact recognised by the fans, who gave him a prolonged standing ovation as he left the field minutes before the end of December’s game against Senica, his final home appearance. He had earned the chance to move on and develop his career. But, nearly two months later, he remains without a new club. There have been discussions with Slovan Bratislava and (reportedly) with Romanian club FC Cluj. Now, according to a rumour published in Šport, Slavia Praha are interested. Reading between the lines, it appears that money is an issue and that Depetris may be pricing himself just a little too high. Of course, it is right that he should try to secure the best deal he can. Still aged just 24, and with that remarkable record, he must surely be a very attractive proposition. But he shouldn’t leave it too long. Now is about the time to start meeting and training with new team-mates, preparing for the footballing spring. Assuming the citizenship application goes through, as it should do, that is whatSlovakianeed him to be doing as well.

 James Baxter

 

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One Response to “David Depetris for Slovakia”

  1.   Jameson 23 Jan 2013 at 8:27 am

    Just signed for Turkish 2nd division club Caykur Rizespor. They wear blue and green stripes, not a combination I can recall seeing before. More importantly, are they a step up in class from Trencin? I’m dubious….

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