Viktoria Plzen successful season.

229
-1

Published on

NCTJ sports journalism diploma student Mark Smith reviewed Viktoria Plzen successful season.

Published in: Sports
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
229
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Viktoria Plzen successful season.

  1. 1. www.ctjt.biz Forum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road ChichesterNCTJ Sports journalism diploma course article by Mark Smith PO19 7DN cleland@ctjt.bizThe western bohemian city of Plzen is well known for its world famous Pilsner-Urquell lager,but now the people of Plzen have a football team to be proud of. Viktoria Plzen clinched theirfirst ever league title this season, a fitting way to celebrate their centenary year. Most clubswould revamp the club badge, or sell commemorative mugs and stationery to celebrate their100th year as a football club. Not Viktoria Plzen, they gave their fans their first ever leaguetitle. It’s a meteoric rise from last season’s 5th place to champions of the Czech Republic inthe space of 12 months, even the staunchest Plzen fan most have been shocked at thisseason’s title success.Viktoria Plzen boss Pavel Vrba has put together a team of experienced players and instilled awonderful attacking mentality, he likes his side to play a 4-2-3-1 system with an emphasis onspeed and technical ability. Fans of the Slovakian team MSK Zillina will have fond memoriesof Pavel Vrba, as he won the Slovakian Super Liga with MSK Zillina in similar fashion in2006/07.Fresh from their Czech Cup success the previous year, Plzen started the first half of theseason in record-breaking form. Despite dropping points in the first game of the season,drawing with Sigma Olomouc, they then went on an astonishing 11 game winning streak –beating defending champions Sparta Prague 1-0 in the process.As the winter break approached, Viktoria Plzen had amassed a record point’s haul of 40 froma possible 45. Fans and pundits were beginning to run out of superlatives to lavish on Plzenas they held a nine point lead over Sparta Prague. It wasn’t just the results which stood out -it was the quick, incisive attacking football which made people sit up and take notice. www.ctjt.biz Forum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road Chichester
  2. 2. www.ctjt.biz Forum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling RoadPlzen boss Pavel Vrba quickly identified that building a team around the play making skills of Chichester PO19 7DNthe 36 year-old Pavel Horvath was the cleland@ctjt.biz Horvath’s intelligent build up play route to success.and deadly free kicks have been pivotal this season for Plzen, but it feels somewhatdisrespectful to single out one player for Plzen’s success. Whilst title rivals Sparta Praguerelied heavily on the goals from Bony Wilifred and Leonard Kewuke and Jablonec owed muchto the league’s top scorer David Lafata. But for Plzen, the collective reigned supreme asDaniel Kolar was the top scorer for Plzen, accounting for just 13 of the 70 goals scored byPlzen in the league, a statistic which tells its own story.The 36 year-old Plzen captain Pavel Horvath is well travelled to say the least, he has hadstints in Portugal, Germany and Japan but after he was deemed surplus to requirements atSparta Prague in 2008 he joined Viktoria Plzen. So this season’s title success over defendingchampions Sparta was particularly sweet for Horvath, who was very emotional after thegame with Banik Ostrava (which sealed the title), Horvath stated it was “his greatestachievement in football”.When the party is over in Plzen and the dust settles on what has been an unbelievableseason, Vrba and his team can look forward to a European campaign, starting with thesecond qualifying round for next season’s UEFA Champions League.Plzen will be looking to go one step further than rivals Sparta Prague did last year, as theCzech side failed to overcome Slovakian neighbours MSK Zilina in the final play-off for thelucrative group stages.NCTJ Sports journalism diploma course article by Mark Smith www.ctjt.biz Forum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road Chichester
  3. 3. www.ctjt.biz Forum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road Chichester PO19 7DN cleland@ctjt.bizThe whole of Plzen will be hoping that the draw gods are smiling down on them as they lookto plot their way through the qualifying rounds. Teams like Benfica, Rangers, Twente andDynamo Kiev are lurking and that’s before they can even dream of making the final play-offround.Given the standard of football in the Czech Republic, and the relative strength of the nationalleague it will be a massive task for Plzen, it looks more probable they will face a Europeanadventure in UEFA’s not so glamorous competition, the UEFA Europa League.It’s difficult to imagine how Vrba finds more improvement out of this experienced side, theaverage age of his starting XI is around 29 years old and the pressure of retaining theirleague title will also be a difficult challenge for Plzen. But one thing is for certain, if ViktoriaPlzen wants to make it to the promised land of the Champions League group stages, thenPavel Vrba will have to pull another rabbit out of the hat.NCTJ Sports journalism diploma course article by Mark Smith www.ctjt.biz Forum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road Chichester
  4. 4. www.ctjt.bizForum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road Chichester PO19 7DN cleland@ctjt.biz www.ctjt.bizForum House | Stirling Road | Chichester | PO19 7DN Stirling Road Chichester

×