(During the next 30 days, starting May 10th, CroatianSports will be giving “season grades” to 30 of Croatia’s most important football players: Starting XI, bench, fringe, prospects. Grades will be given on preseason expectations vs. actual season performance; not stats.)
Day 7: Andrej Kramarić
Season Grade: C
National Team: B-
Brace against Canada in the World Cup
Comment addressed to Canadian coach John Herdman
Team next season:
- Stay at Hoffenheim (90%)
- Leave Hoffenheim (10%)
What to improve next season:
Until a replacement is found or develops, Kramarić seems to be Dalic’s solution to the right-wing problem for the foreseeable future, a role he’s been alright at so far. Kramarić needs to decide what kind of player he wants to be for the National Team. He’s got the talent, no doubt about that, but he has no identity within the team. Individual moments of brilliance like his typical nifty inside cuts where he strikes the ball into the low corner are great, but he needs to cement himself an identity. Perhaps that identity is of major outlet, where he can help connect the midfield and attack or even defence and attack, or he can possibly be some kind of inverted poacher that plays off the strikers back and increasing his scoring rate. Whatever it may be, the inconsistency and indecisiveness around what he offers the Croatian National Team is frustrating and needs to be changed if he is to be included in the regular starting XI.
What the future holds:
Kramarić has had his moments this season, notably recording a brace to sink the Canadians out of the World Cup, and goals against Saudi Arabia and Wales. His scoring rate has certainly improved in comparison to past years (for the National Team), but his club form has taken a huge dip, scoring just ten goals on the season. Kramarić needs a change of scenery, perhaps a move to a Bundesliga team not fighting the relegation battle, or he can test his fortunes in the Serie A/La Liga.
Kramaric has soo many tools in his bag, the guy is very skilled and has one of the best lažnjak’s (fake shot/pass/cross) in the game. He’s probably the kid that scored a hundred goals per season and its obvious he never fears or gets nervous around the net. with that said, I feel like Kramaric is probably one of those teammates that are not easy to play with…I’ll try to explain this.
In attack, forwards and midfield players are always interchanging, overlapping, quick passes, through balls…basically everything to outmaneuver the opposing defenders and catch them out of position. we see it multiple times, every game and its a normal part of the game.
over the years I’ve watched Kramaric play to his own tune on far tooooo many occasions. he has the ball, he sees the obvious passing option to a player in a better position to advance the play or score and then he decides to attempt going forward with the play by himself…or try the impossible. does it work? …sometimes it works in his favour but when it doesn’t, he completely fucks up himself and his entire team. in European football you’re taught to play the obvious pass and to move it quickly…its not an option, its as must and everyone on the field knows it so if you decide to NOT make that play…you better damn well score! if you don’t…it can throw all the chemistry and momentum off. if your team wins and you scored on a selfish play you might be forgiven BUT if you tie or lose and you decided to try to take matters into your own hands because of a selfish play…you’re screwing with the entire team and the points you lost for your team can create turmoil amongst teammates.
I completely love and even promote some selfishness from strikers, but not at the cost of self satisfaction and to try to get your goal instead of trying to get the team a win! imagine being in the middle of the box, Kramaric down down the right side of the net and all he has to do is pass to you….no interference at all…the path is 100% clear for him to pass it to you…and then he decides to shoot from an impossible angle and he hits the side of the net. this rule also applies for the many times he’s been outside the box and sees someone in a much better position than himself…he throw’s a lažnjak and goes for glory but misses. he just fucked up every player that just committed to the attack and now they’re all fighting to get back to defend….nobody enjoys those types of teammates.
He holds the ball too long.
He’s like the Allen Iverson of the Croatian National Team.
He’ll score for you, but you could have a good debate that he can cause as much harm as he does benefit.
NT grade B – ????
For Canada That’s just ridiculous
Letting him off soooo easy
His grade should be NT C-
Otherwise this grading system has no credibility..
Overall season grade D+
That is much more realistic
Wish Kramaric could figure it out unfortunately he didn’t… can’t wait til he’s not starting.
Brekalo playing ok in Italy?
Getting some conference league action
Hoping he can make a comeback to the repka.
He can have a role still I feel
Everybody’s on the Brajkovic train right now 🙂
……………… Decent players ………………..
so where is Kramaric?| below list]
Be Considered as Decent Players –
Bilic, Stanic, Corluka, Asanović, Biscan, Kranjcar,
Eduardo, Zvonimir Soldo, Pranjic, Dado Pršo, Petric
Average players – only 3 goalkeepers
Dražen Ladić, Subasic, Livaković, KRAMARIC … etc – 30% more
Not Impressive – the rest of the goalkeepers
Livaja, Petkovic, Ivica Ivusic, Ivo Grbic … etc – 50% more
Lubi your lists are like the safety instructions on a kite 🪁
Nobody reads them or gives a flying f*ck!
I used to be very critical of Kramaric when it came to the national team (it’s reasonable, he’s been inconsistent upfront) up until he played like the way he had against Canada on the right wing.
I was probably missing that the whole time, Dalic was trying to replicate him into a 6’3-6’4 striker that Croatia had within Mandzukic trying to contest within the air, use his strength against defenders and constant pressing but you can’t try do that to a player who doesn’t even have one of those attributes to his game. It’s like making a someone in a race use a push bike when everyone else has a supercar for the race.
In fact, now that I think about. If Kramaric could be on the right what Perisic is on the left then all we would need is a front man. That is how I would see Krama’s identity on the Croatian squad right now, I just can’t see him banging goals for us personally, atleast when the tougher opponents come along.
I dunno if I see Krama as a number 9 kind a guy.
I don’t really know with regards to Kramaric, Markus. I am on the fence with him, there have been times I didn’t really wanted him to be selected for the national squad and there have been times that I have found my self cheering him on and hoping to see him break out of his shell.
I think the bigger problem is his selfishness on the field. Many of us have mentioned this, maybe it is as you say an identity issue and he doesn’t know where he fits in with the rest of the squad. But again, this same issue seems to be happening for him with his club team as well because the past two seasons (including this one) haven’t been the greatest for him either.
I don’t know if it was the injury he sustained in the game against Russia or previous issues he may have had. I also don’t know if he feels pressured to be the one to score all of the time. But he can at times have the capacity to be crafty if he were to choose to pass the ball for an open opportunity. It just seems like he opts to do the opposite moreso with big consequences for the team as a whole.
Rakitic with a top game today
I wish he had stayed on as even as a 45 minute kind of guy
He’s a bit of a flake.
Going to cajke concerts with that 34 year old Serb Mladen Krstajić when he was a teenager at Schalke…
Getting snagged by that Spanish jersey chaser, moving there with her, and saying how his kids would always play for Spain…
Being all indecisive in his last days for the National Team, not sure whether to retire or not, then suddenly retires, then says that he’ll always dress if ever called up again…
I’m glad he chose us, but with the way he swings left and right so easily…he’s the type that probably would have just as easily played for Switzerland, Bosna, or even Spain if he could, lol.
Good thing his dad wasn’t having any of it and pushed him in the right direction.
The team needs to move on and flip a new page because then Croatia will never progress within the future if we keep holding on to these old players.
Yea, we paid for it too many times by holding onto guys too long.
I’m glad Lovren retired. Glad to see that Vida is nailed to the bench (though he went a bit too long too and cost us points against Slovakia in Osijek that could’ve ended our qualifying campaign).
Livaja and Kramaric are the risks.
Krama is turning 32 and Livaja was really never that good (and was a stop gap striker for us).
We now have a couple of up-and-comers (in Beljo and Musa), but Dalic may play the whole “seniority” thing and still play a guy like Livaja up top.
Dalic also needs to get Stanisic minutes at RB, pushing Juranovic at RW where Krama was. I thought Krama had a good tournament at RW, but two years is a long time and a lot can change until Euro2024. We need to start planning for 2024 and 2026, and not get bogged down in the present.
We are not at risk of missing out on Euro2024, so we can afford to try out players like Stanisic, Beljo, Musa and Juranovic at RW. These are the four we pretty much need to try and integrate until next year. No other real experiments are needed (except for maybe trying out different CB pairings between Gvardiol, Sutalo, and Erlic…but that’s not as big an issue).
Perisic and Modric are still good as starters for another tournament, but I am hoping we can start integrating replacements after Euro2024. I’d still want them on the team (just in case guys like Sucic or Vidovic are not ready) but we’ll see. 2026 is still so far out, and three years is huge in the football World.