After displaying some extremely naive tactics against Russia, with the Czechs being way too bold without the ball, I was worried Michal Bilek would do the same against a similarly counterattacking Greece side.
The press the Czechs used was the main reason they lost to Russia- it gave them way too much space in the counter-attack, with the slow back line reluctant to push forward.
I think Bilek realized this, but, by the time he did, Russia had a two-goal lead, and the press had to continue.
Another factor was his choice of holding midfielders. The Plasil and Jiracek pairing had worked best in the qualifiers, so they were the logical choice, but lacked the defensive solidity Hubschman provides.
Bilek, once again, was quick to notice the mistake, and brought Hubschman on for the second half, in which the Czechs were much improved.
Thankfully, he has started Hubschman against Greece, pushing Jiracek up to the wing.
On defense, he moved Michal Kadlec to center-back, and put the more attacking Limbersky at left-back, his expected original lineup, and another good move.
In any case, it is hard to imagine the defense having a worse night than they did against Russia.
Up top, Bilek still appears scared to start anyone but big-name, low-performance, Milan Baros.
We’ll see how bold the Czechs will be when they don’t have the ball against an uninspiring, shorthanded Greek side. A loss means the Czechs become the first team eliminated.
Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky
Jiracek, Rosicky, Pilar