After a highly disappointing qualification campaign for Euro 2016, Serbia are scheduled to play a series of friendlies before World Cup qualifiers begin next fall. The first of these was on Saturday and it was yet another bad defeat, with Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic and Co losing 4-1 to the Czech Republic.
Club form mirroring national team form, you might say cynically, but most reports credit the Chelsea duo with a decent shift in the friendly. Apparently that wasn't true for the rest of their teammates.
"I always try to lead by example but some people don't want to see that."
"The attitude of some players is unacceptable, not just on the pitch but off it too, and it was obvious from the moment we got together on Monday. I told our coach [Radovan Curcic] there is no point in me carrying on with the national team if things don't change. I'd really like to know whether some of my teammates apply the same poor working ethic at their clubs as they do in the national team most of the time."
-Nemanja Matić; source: ESPN
We here at WAGNH are mostly of the opinion that international football is useless and silly and bad, so if Matic wants to quit wasting his time with the national team, we'd welcome it. Two weeks spent at Cobham to train, recover, and get ready for the winter grind is a far better use of two weeks than jetting around Europe playing frivolous friendlies in whatever random location they may off to this time around.
While Matic's form this season hasn't exactly been stellar, I don't think anyone's ever doubted his effort or his determination to do his best. He took Mourinho's public criticisms in stride, and has even seemed to be turning a corner recently on the pitch. His mind is clearly in the right place, and hopefully our results will improve soon as well.