Profile picture
Sid Lowe @sidlowe
, 27 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Here's the @guardian_sport interview with @ivanrakitic, who speaks really well about Croatia's mind-set at World Cup, about their difficulties since, about the semifinal with England and the final with France ...
One of the diffciulties when you have someone who's engaging and speaks so eloquently is, of course, getting it all in ... Here are some of the cuttings, in case they're interesting ...
First, though, I should include the link! Sorry about that:…
He was interesting on the mechanism of England's three-centre backs and how Croatia analysed that and how they thought they could fix it at half time:
The feeling was that we could come back into it but that Eng were very well organized. We knew we had to take a step forward.
...we knew we had to press better, higher up in their half. We had been comfortable enough playing out from back but had to take the game to their half. And we knew we had to apply the pressure not for just 2/3 mins but a sustained period so that they started getting nervous.
Playing with the three centre-backs is not that different to when a team plays with two centre-backs, 4-4-2, and the holding midfielder [pivote] drops in between them, but ... the most important thing for us was not to let them play out comfortably, to not initiate play...
...We knew that Stones was their most important player playing out. We had analysed him a lot. We also knew that Henderson was the player who most often dropped to receive and that their two other midfielders interiores [Lingard and Dele Alli] were more like attackers ...
Whenever there's a line of 3 central defenders, the one in the middle ‘fixes’ the others. He is the one that comes out and looks to draw the centre-forward in so he can then release another central defender. We knew that Stones, after various years with Pep, knew how ...
There principal plan was for Stones to be the first to bring the ball out and give it to Henderson and to then move forward from there. And we had to make them uncomfortable in that ...
At Barça there are movements that are rehearsed, trained and I could see that England also hadplays v well-rehearsed, v well prepared. Our manager had spoken a lot about those details. We saw in last game vs Engl they've changed system a bit but the idea is clear, ingrained.
ON CROATIA'S style and difficulties imposing it:
Luka and I are used to being in teams that always go after the game, that press high. For Spain or England, it is a little bit easier because many of the players play together in their club sides. Or the ideas are very similar...
...because all the players play in the same league. We have players from all over: one is in Italy, one is in Spain, another is in Germany, all over the place, and sometimes it is not easy to bring all that together and we did not have two or three months to prepare ...
... so for us it is important to do things the easy way but very well. We sometimes needed time to get into the game and I think there were teams that were surprised by how we played and we had to take advantage of that...
...We also know that we don’t have one single player who makes a difference. We don’t have a player who scores 20, 30, 50 goals a season so we have to work as a unit and in that sense, we sometimes needed more time...
An extra bit, not least as people seem to be making more of "It's Coming Home" than there is ... "the idea that you need extra motivation in that moment, I don’t think ... I didn’t see a special motivation nor did I feel offended."
Were England not *that* good really?
It’s not that the tournament opened up for England. Why was there not another team there [in the semi], then? It was one of the strongest most competitive World Cups. I have huge respect for England. No one gifst you anything.
My respect for them [England] is enourmous and it is not a coincidence that they have since been capable of beating Spain in Spain. Did Spain say: ok we let you win good luck? No. They beat Spain and that work did not come from two weeks before, it goes back to the World Cup.
If you want to find something negative, then you will. Even if you are France and you are sat there with the trophy you can find the negative. And, likewise, if you want to find something positive then you are going to find it.
Lots of talk about Modric as BdO candidate, why not Rakitic?
Well, muchas gracias but I’m not the one who has to do the propaganda for myself. If people put me forward then I thank them of course...
I think I have had two spectacular years and I am very happy and an individual prize would fill me with pride but I am very relaxed about it. It’s the football that counts. I live for football.
I love my work -- I don’t like calling it work -- and I love what I do. I would rather have the collective [than individual awards]
Luka is my great friend; I see him as a big brother. We've been together for eleven years.
On beating Messi:
It was not about beating Messi it was about beating Argentina. You can try to eliminate Leo any way you want but he will always come up with something different. But it was very important for us that he could not get into the game.
We had to make sure the ball didn't reach him, hat he received as far from goal as possible, with our entire team in front of him if possible. We had to make sure we closed lines of pass to him and that he was always under pressure. We attacked them, forced them into their half.
And that's enough I think.
Sorry for the bombardment.
(I admit I'm a little disappointed that people seem to have grabbed hold of one, fairly unimportant part of a long, nuanced conversation with some who is rational, calm, honest and analytical).
A reminder of this here thread on Ivan Rakitic interview (and its cuttings) 👇
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Sid Lowe
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!