“This is the last chance for the Ukrainian national team to polish off mistakes that will not be forgiven on (June 10, 2024) — dynamo.kiev.ua

Yuriy Kalytvintsev, former midfielder of the Ukrainian national team, talks about the Ukrainian national team.

Yuri Kalitvintsev

– Yuriy Mykolayovych, what do you think of Ukraine’s level of play before the start of Euro 2024 through the prism of previous matches against Germans and Poles?

– Ukraine has already played two quite interesting friendly matches against good teams and the coaching staff has received a lot of important information. The team showed that it knows how to defend well, although in the first match against Germany there were some problems in the transition phases (from defense to attack).

But in the second game, against Poland, the blue and white team already showed that they can also attack, but there were very serious problems at the back. That is to say, I repeat, now Rebrov and his assistants have a lot of information to digest before the start of Euro 2024.

– Before the match against Moldova and the long-awaited Euro 2024. What are your expectations from the match in Chisinau? Are we finally expecting a victory?

– It’s a control game, nothing more. No matter how the match ends in Chisinau, too much attention should not be paid to the final result. Of course, from a psychological point of view, we need our team to win, but that shouldn’t be the main goal. The most important thing is to avoid injuries. That’s what I mean.

– Can we expect any changes in the lineup to confuse our group rivals?

– Now it makes no sense for Rebrov to hide anything. Today all our rivals in the Euro Cup have complete information about Ukraine, I am one hundred percent sure. Everyone who follows our national team knows its strengths and weaknesses and the potential of its main players. If Serhiy Stanislavovych still wants to “obscure” something in his team’s game, he can only do so by changing tactics, not alignment.

– Compared to the matches against Germany and Poland, will the changes be big?

– Against Moldova, our key players should have enough playing time and practice. As for me, this is very important. Of course, Dovbyk, Tsygankov or Sudakov had enough (training) during the season, but. We have already seen the rotation of the Ukrainian squad. It is enough to compare the starting eleven of the matches against Germany and Poland.

– In both cases, Lunin did not have a single second of playing time. Maybe it’s time to give Andriy a chance to play?

– It is likely that I will start this match from the beginning. I do not exclude this option. However, you and I don’t know what Lunin’s current physical condition is. He missed the season finale due to illness.(Andriy had the flu. note).

– At the end of the club’s season, several players not only fell ill, but were also injured. Vitaliy Mykolenko, Ruslan Malynovskyi, Roman Yaremchuk.

– Yes. That’s what I’m talking about, that all our best players must be given enough time to be in top shape for the start of Euro 2024.

In general, I am sure that Rebrov has already decided what the main squad for the Euro will be. Between 90 and 95 percent. The main thing is that everyone is healthy and, God forbid, no one gets injured in training or against Moldova.

– I agree with you that Serhiy Stanislavovych has already written down the names of those who will play against Romania in the European Championship. However, personally, I do not fully understand the scheme that Ukraine will follow in the Euro Cup and in the last friendly match. 5-4-1 or 4-5-1?

– Rebrov already played with five defenders (against Germany, 0-0). And what did we see? Can Ukraine play in an organized manner and seek results? Yes you can. Yes, the Germans had some opportunities at the end of the game, but they were consequences of fatigue, our boys got a little tired.

What happened in Warsaw against Poland? Serhiy Stanislavovych tried the offensive game model, although with a striker. Once again, Ukraine showed decent attacking play, but disappointed at some point with their performance in the finals.

I cannot predict what scheme will be used in Chisinau. Maybe there will be five defenders again, which is unlikely, but I don’t rule out this option, or maybe Rebrov will try to play with three defenders. The only thing I am sure of is that in the match against Moldova we will not play the scheme of the first match of Euro 2024 against Romania. Moldovans and Romanians have different strengths.

In the match against Moldova, Serhii Rebrov’s team is the favorite and has to dominate. This is the last opportunity, the last game in which some mistakes that were made in previous games and that will not be forgiven in the Euro Cup can be polished.

– Ukraine’s main problem is defense. This is not only my opinion, but also that of many former national team players. For example, the other day I had the opportunity to talk to Vasyl Kobin and he told me that in the match in standard positions against Poland (1-3), for example, we had a complete seam. Will the appearance of Ilya Zabarnyi in the lineup improve the reliability of our defensive strongholds?

– Zabarnyi had a very decent season in the Premier League with Bournemouth. He literally he missed a couple of games. He had a very decent physical and psychological load. You see, Zabarnyi is such a player that he can get out of bed and play right away. I think he will be a reinforced concrete player at the core of our team for Euro 2024. There are fewer questions about him. And, of course, this will add strength and reliability to our defense.

If we talk about the defense as a whole, then not everything is so simple. With Poland we saw a quartet formed by Mykolenko, Bondar, Taloverov and Tymchyk. Do you remember at least one game in which these four played together? No. We gave the kids practice. Therefore, in some ways it is not very correct to evaluate the quality of the Ukrainian defense in one match.

– Let’s talk about the offense. Not only in the matches against Poland and Germany, but also in most of the qualifying matches, our team always played with only one striker. Meanwhile, when Dovbyk and Yaremchuk were on the field together, he looked powerful. It was this duo that achieved a playoff game that they almost lost against Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-1). Shouldn’t we give Artem and Roman time to have fun together at least in Chisinau, if not at the Euro?

– We are not on the team. Ukraine with Dovbyk and Yaremchuk really looks very aggressive from the beginning, I agree. However, it’s up to Rebrov to decide how best to use them, together or separately, giving each roughly equal time.

We only have three forwards in the Euro 2024 bid: Dovbyk, Yaremchuk and Vanat. It seems like a small number, but there is an option. Again, it is very important that everyone is healthy. No matter who plays against Moldova, we should not draw global conclusions.

– A prediction by Yuriy Kalitvintsev.

– I am sure that Ukraine will win, but with what result… I will not say here. .

Viktor Glukhenkyi