There is Something Special About Zlatko Dalic

in zlatko •  10 months ago

Ever since Slaven Bilic left it seemed like Croatia was plagued with mediocre coaches. All newly appointed managers since Slaven had glimmers of hope and I gave all of them the benefit of the doubt but they all turned out not be fit to run a diverse group of players such as the Croatian national team had. Stimac was only remember for his good performances against Serbia but a few bad results before the world cup and he was replaced by a younger and more ambitious new coach Niko Kovac whose highlight was scraping by in the playoffs vs Iceland but his inexperience was showing after a few lack luster matches and he was soon terminated after a 2-0 loss against Norway. It seemed like the managers lacked something, perhaps lacked leadership and the ability to motivate, it seemed that after a few matches the players would lose respect for the manager and simply stop trying, no one was building chemistry, and pride seemed non existent. After Kovac, Ante Cacic got a shot, I was excited about this one, Cacic was coaching Rijeka around this time and they were doing pretty good, Kramaric was scoring a crazy amount of goals for Rijeka and it all seemed like it was Cacic's genius behind all of this and I for once was happy to see him be appointed head coach. Happiness turned sour real quick, under the management of Ante Cacic Croatia seemed like a very bipolar team, we could not find any consistency and it seemed like a lottery scratcher every time we played a match. Really, I only enjoyed one performance with Cacic in charge and that is when Croatia came to the US at the LA Colleseum to play a friendly vs Mexico, Vegas was showing Croatia +700 on paper but his "C" squad was exceptional and beat Mexico 2-1. The good feelings were short lived though, it seemed that Cacic didn't learn anything from the good performance and would again completely change up the squad and play his players out of position. Getting rid of Cacic was a sigh of relief but having no faith in Suker ever since he turned into a dick I was nervous to see who would be appointed next. When I heard the name Zlatko Dalic I was very skeptical, I though it was going to be another Mamic shill but as I dug deeper and researched this man I found that he is actually a pretty decent human being and surprisingly a good manager as well. He is a legend in Saudi Arabia, the fans love him, they praise him and his former players all say the same thing about him, that he is one of the best manager they have ever had. When he speaks about soccer he really seems to know what he is talking about, his tactics are simple yet effective. When he was asked what his secret was in Croatia's playoffs vs Greece he responded with this answer, " I played my players in the positions they play for their clubs." I almost had an aneurysm because I haven't heard common sense come out of a Croatian managers mouth in a long long time. Another thing he said in an interview on 24sata was that the first thing he did when he was appointed manager was just "talking" to the players, he spoke to each player individually and brought back up their confidence, the man realized that the major problem with the squad was not skill, fitness or laziness but mentality and morale. Offcourse, he is still be to be tested....but again as I did with the other managers I will give him the benefit of the doubt and support him, we haven't really seen much of Dalic but one thing is certain in my mind, there is definitely something special about Zlatko Dalic I can sense it and I hope he proves it in a few short months when the world cup starts and Croatia does the impeccable and wins it. Yes, maybe I'm a little delusional. But as a Croatian I am allowed to dream...as I do every tournament trying to relive those days of 1998. ;)

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