With a few days rest before the quarter final game against Portugal, it’s an ideal time to see how the Czech Republic class of 2012 is faring.
*performances based on 3 games so far, using the XI from last game
The Champions League winner is a reliable as they come for dedication and preparation but he can be easily distracted by others – notably Tomas Sivok, when he dropped a clanger against Greece. Petr is keen to put disappointments behind him as he proved with a rock-steady performance to keep a clean sheet against the co-hosts. He is very popular with the class too. GRADE: C
Theo Gebre Selassie
Theo likes to the play the game with a smile on his face and has made giant strides in the last 12 months. His pace and awareness of those around him led to the Czechs second goal against Greece. The right-back is one of the first names on the team sheet despite his inexperience. Destined for great things. GRADE: A-
Tomas clearly doesn’t enjoy working with Roman Hubnik on projects as the pair had a miserable time against Russia. The centre back pairing made several schoolboy errors after being carved open countless times. However, Tomas has responded well to be moved next to Michal Kadlec, the pair have developed an understanding at the centre of defence that looks much more robust. Keep up the good work Tomas! GRADE C+
The top scorer in qualifying is a dedicated professional that can adapt to new situations when required. Michal can play at left back, but his partnership with Tomas Sivok at the heart of the defence has excelled. Michal made an unbelievable goal line clearance against Poland in the dying minutes; he is a credit to his team mates. GRADE: B-
David was keen to join his friends from Viktoria Plzen in the squad. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender has become first choice at left back since Kadlec switched to the centre. Always full of energy and keen to support Vaclav Pilar on the left flank. David showed excellent discipline against Poland after receiving an early caution. GRADE: B-
The quiet midfielder often finds it difficult to express himself to the media; however, Jaro prefers to do his talking on the pitch. The veteran midfielder played a sumptuous pass for Pilar to score against Russia and gives his side wonderful balance. A pleasure to have in class. GRADE: A
Tomas never lets disappointments affect his game, after dropping down the pecking order following injury, he was introduced at half time against Russia and his impact was immediate. Protecting the defence and instigating attacks, he was immense against Poland. A real hard worker and often overlooked when it comes to man of the match awards. GRADE: A
The 26 year-old Czech sits in Pavel Nedveds old seat in class and it’s easy to see why. It’s not just the flowing locks but his all action performances for the Czech Republic have been drawing comparisons. Petr has scored twice in two games from right midfield, a position he has rarely played, illustrating his versatility and intelligence. GRADE: A*
The Arsenal midfielder is the leader and rightful captain of the Czech Republic. But, unfortunately for Tomas he missed the Poland game with an achilles injury, the 31 year-old looks set to spend more time in nurse’s office than training pitch in the coming days. After inspirational performances during qualification it would be a cruel blow if he missed the Czechs biggest game for years against Portugal. A true leader. GRADE: B
Vaclav is in the only player in the squad who wouldn’t look out of place with a school tie and grey shorts. However, his performances in Poland and Ukraine have been far from schoolboy. The 23 year-old wing wizard scored two goals in his first two games and then gave the highly rated Lukasz Piszczek the runaround for 90 minutes. He is running Petr Jiracek close for top of the class. GRADE: A
Teacher’s pet, Milan, appears to be guaranteed his place regardless of his performances – much to the dismay of the strikers around him. Milan needs to work harder in training and cut out the unsavory extracurricular activities that have dominated the headlines in previous years – most notably the company he kept with the class of 2009 *cough*.
To be fair to Milan he did setup the winning goal against Poland. But the 30 year-old striker has let his standard slip from previous years. GRADE: C-