I was just browsing my World Soccer and saw Jan Lastuvka’s name (Czech squad possibles list). So I surfed around and ended up at Wikipedia:
According to the Ukrainian League regulations there have to be four domestic players on the field. Because of this rule they didn’t want to take Laštůvka back. So he went on a loan to German side VfL Bochum until the end of the 2007-2008 season to replace his compatriot Jaroslav Drobný, who left the club for Hertha BSC Berlin.
Laštůvka started the season as first keeper. But after some mistakes his position was threatened by the reserve keepers. After an injury third keeper René Renno got his place. Ironically second goalkeeper Philipp Heerwagen had a minor injury at that time. Renno started quite well but also made some mistakes before the winter break. So coach Marcel Koller claimed that all three keepers started at zero in the preparations for the second season half. After the winter break Laštůvka was first keeper again and started with a very good match against Werder Bremen which was rewarded with a nomination in the ‘Team of the Day’ by Germany’s leading football magazine Der Kicker. However, he couldn’t stabilise his performance and even lost for a few matches his position in the goal again. However, at the end of the season Bochum was interested to sign him but due to the high transfer fee (4 million Euro) they decided to sign the Portuguese keeper Fernandes from PAOK F.C.. Laštůvka will return to Shakhtar Donetsk in the coming season.
He studied philosophy for a time at the University of Kiev.
Oh well. Hopefully his studies will have helped him deal with the whole ‘troubled goalkeeper’ thing.
The path to enlightenment will lead through Championship At Best. Did you know that Fulham forwards score twice as frequently as subs than as starters?
The Fulham Chronicle says that Croatia’s Simunic is definitely in talks, but won’t be signing for a couple of weeks. Good player, so good news, if it happens.
This is the new Barcelona home shirt. What do you think? I like it. Sure, it’s not stripey, but you see that and you think “Barcelona” (or Basel, but still). I might get one: when we were out there a couple of weeks back the old kit was full price, so I wasn’t about to go for that, but now…
Also, the Fulham Review is almost ready. I got my final proof back today, read it all, and am happy. I’ll get a load printed next week. Yay.
I have recently been harping on about Djibril Cisse of Marseille. Here is my thinking:
Brian forwarded me this link from the UEFA technical committee (on which Roy sits). They have observed that a third of goals in Euro 2008 have come on the counter attack. This is how the game’s going, and how Italy were able to frustrate Spain: by keeping a back four and at least two screening players back most of the game, there was no space for Spain to run in and through. Spain had well over a dozen shots, but most were off target because Spanish attackers generally had Italian defenders in their faces when shooting.
It also gives us a clue about Russia’s heavyish defeat to Spain in the groups: Russia, we now see, are a very attack minded team. They commit men to attack, play some wonderful passing football, but leave space behind them. Spain, small but very quick (both in running and moving the ball) gobbled this up and scored four. This simplifies things enormously but is broadly what seems to have happened, and may very well happen again in tomorrow night’s game.
Anyway, this is football. As the UEFA people say, teams are setting up with four defenders, and often two holding midfielders. I suspect that Roy’s thinking along these lines too, and we will presumably see some quite tight football on occasion, but football that can explode into life when allowed to. So Diomansy Kamara will be important, Danny Murphy would appear to be important in setting off such attacks, and Leon Andreasen should play more than he did in the run in. It still means we need pace up front.
Not just pace though, because Kamara can give that. We need a complete player, which is where Cisse comes in. He’s fast, strong, shoots early and often, can head the ball, chase long stuff, work with short stuff; in short he’s the archetypal counter-attacking centre-forward. He’s also the player Eddie Johnson needs to be. If we’re spending big money it needs to be on a big talent player. For me, that player is Cisse.