Sunday, June 15, 2008

Česká Republika and Euro 2008: Notes on a Collapse

OK... the post-game quotes from the Czechs' collapse are in.

Predictably, goalkeeper Petr Čech is taking a great deal of responsibility on himself -- but not without a healthy dose of self-pity:

That game really sums up my season, especially after losing out on three trophies for Chelsea [FC] in the final games. We came so close but blew it in the end.

Captain Tomáš Ujfaluši also had some thoughts:

It's awful but we must deal with it and accept that Turkey beat us.

And retiring coach Karel Brückner weighs in:

The key is not to surrender to the pressure – and we did. It will take me a long, long time to get over this disappointment.

Talking with a friend an hour or so after the game (Quote: "I waited a decent interval before I called you."), we agreed on the deserved nature of the result. We also agreed that the Czechs really felt the loss of Marek Matějovský -- the Czech midfielder whom the Turks had a hard time dealing with during his 39 minutes before being stretchered off.

The question now is how does Czech soccer regroup? They'll get back Arsenal midfielder Tomáš Rosický, but what's left in the tank on defense and in the striker corps? And who will coach?

Photo of Czech soccer jerseys in a store at Můstek by Flickr user sambeckwith used under Creative Commons license.

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