Wednesday, 8 September 2010


After Slaven Bilic's Croatia failed to knock over another middle ranked obstacle in Greece in midweek, it would appear the majority of the current selection would need a helping hand.

With Drago Gabric, Nikola Pokrivac and Mario Mandzukic far from lighting it up at club and international level, it would appear Bilic could yet strengthen his side further.

In attack the Croatian media were critical of the decision to drop Mate Bilic, in spite of the striker netting 3 goals in his 4 games he played including a strike in a 1-0 victory over a Austria side who Mandzukic, Modric and Petric were struggling to put away.

Without Mate Bilic, Croatia went the same way they were going without his intevention against Austria. The Sporting Gijon forward clearly deserved to continue in the squad. Add to this Srdjan Lakic, who has been one of the best players at the beginning of the Bundesliga season scoring 3 times in just two games. Lakic has enjoyed three strong seasons on the trot now with first Heracles and then with Kaiserslautern which resulted in their reappearence in the top flight. Whilst Lakic was helping the sleeping giant and former German Champions gain promotion, he was ignored. However he deserves his chance should his form continue. Lakic and Bilic offer variation to Croatia's current forward line who in comparison on smaller technical forwards who are arguably more deep lying attacker. Since the retirement of Dado Prso and ill health of Tomislav Maric, Croatia has not been as successful with turning ariel crosses into goals. This is another advantage Lakic and Bilic can bring to the side.

Another player with a lot to offer Croatia, is their Under 21 player Ivan Perisic. Perisic has definitely come of age at Club Brugge and would seem to be a waste of a player down in the Under 21's when he could be helping the A side. Unlike Modric, Perisic finds goals from midfield a lot easier to come by and there is certainly vacancies in the squad ahead of Pokrivac and Gabric. Pokrivac has been poor in the national team since his disappointing display against England. Gabric, has been better, but Croatia seem to already have a lot of players in his style. Perisic is a completely different midfielder which Croatia need.

For now Lakic, Bilic and Perisic would certainly add something to Croatia's squad in place of Gabric, Pokrivac and Mandzukic. Ivan Klasnic was another player missing for the recent international fixtures. The 30 year old is still a excellant finisher, however he still has a little to prove with his fitness as missed the third Premiership match and lasted just 45 minutes when he finally giving his first outing.

Mato Jajalo would also have something to offer the Croatian National Team as Croatia are lacking in central midfielders. Jerko Leko could also do a job if anyone drops out injured. Jajalo however still needs to arrive in the Bundesliga. Koln have made a poor start to the season and Jajalo will need to do a little more. Ivo Ilicevic will also need to keep up his good work playing alongside Lakic at Kaiserslautern. His way into the squad may come a little harder as Croatia have similar players such as Modric, Pranjic, Rakitic and Kranjcar. However Ivo will certainly be able to step in if required.

Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida are two players who could strengthen Croatia in the backline in the future. Lovren arguably deserves a call ahead of Jurica Buljat. Luka Vucko, Tomislav Mikulic and Andre Mijatovic have also been doing well at club level in the last two seasons. The one contreversial selection available to Croatia, is Brazilian Sammir. The extremely gifted playmaker however arguably has met the requirements of national team selection which was good enough to gain access to Mario Mandzukic. Sammir has not only been scoring goals, but almost running the whole attacking segment of Dinamo Zagreb team.

The remaining player who has a good case for a shot in the national team is Nikola Kalinic. The Blackburn Rovers forward has the ability to sniff out a goal and competes hard with central defenders. Kalinic, must just keep doing what's doing for now and hope a vacancy opens for him. However Kalinic certainly has a case to start some friendlies to prove he can be of use.