Another day another questionable decision and/or illogical unprofessional statement by Safet Susic. Earlier today, one of Bosnia’s top young talents, the 20 year old Sochaux midfielder Sanjin Prcic announced his “retirement” from the Bosnian national team. He is clearly bitter, and I don’t blame him. What brought this decision on is the behavior of national coach Safet Susic, whom I have already criticized at length, and also the U-21 coach Vlado Jagodic.
Prcic already had a bad taste in his mouth after a few incidents with Jagodic while playing for the U-21 team where he felt he was ignored or treated in a humiliating manner, but the final nail in the coffin came when Susic publicly told Bosnian media that Prcic has no hope of playing at the World Cup. He did this over four months before the tournament and destroyed any reason for this young player to hope, work hard, and compete for a spot.
“Realistically, there is no point hoping anymore. I don’t think I deserve to be the only one out of a dozen potential national players to be publicly written off four months before the World Cup. Maybe it’s not realistic for me to go to Brazil, like some others who entered the team through the back door”. – Sanjin Prcic
Prcic is spot on. There have been several questionable call ups and neglecting of quality players. Susic quickly replied with his typical mix of arrogant nonsense and lies.
“That’s his problem. I call up players who I consider the best. I don’t know why he expected for me to call him up right away, because he only plays for Sochaux from time to time. Besides, I never wrote him off, he is a member of our u-21 team and his time would have come”.
Susic is lying. Here is his earlier statement about Prcic not even being in contention for the World Cup:
“Prcic plays for a weak club which will probably be relegated from Ligue 1, and he still isn’t a starter. I’m not counting on him for Brazil for sure, because I already have Pjanic and Misimovic in his position. Maybe in the next qualifications, but until then he can play for the youth team.”
Why say this publicly? Why essentially tell a talented loyal player that he has no chance no matter what he does? Susic did not so brutally write off any other player, not even 37 year old Rahimic. His claims about Prcic being in a “weak club” and not playing regularly are absurd. Up until recently, he was still calling up Ibricic, a player who doesn’t even play regularly for lowly Erciyesspor which is currently at the very bottom of the Turkish league. Prcic plays for a better club, in one of the top European leagues, and he has played 1517 minutes this season compared to Ibricic’s 1064 minutes. Avdija Vrsajevic has 1659 minutes in all competitions for Croatian club Hajduk Split, and Anel Hadzic has 1826 minutes for Austrian Sturm Graz.
These are all worse leagues and similar amounts of game time, and players who quite honestly don’t have half the potential that Prcic does. Vrsajevic was somewhat necessary so that decision is understandable, but the others aren’t. Prcic would be a better substitute than Ibricic or Hadzic and his career would receive a huge boost from playing in Brazil, which is important for the future of our national team. If there is room for them, there should be room for Prcic, especially because Misimovic is 31 years old and at the end of his career.
Jagodic and Susic often like to point out how well they collaborate with each other. We saw an example of this “collaboration” when Jagodic had a falling out with talented youngster Muhamed Besic and this resulted in Besic’s complete removal from the senior team, despite his impressive performances. Now Besic doesn’t play for the U-21 or the senior team. He is simply ignored by everyone.
Jagodic and Susic have somehow managed to alienate both of our biggest young talents. To make matters worse, the news of Prcic’s “retirement” comes only one day after another highly rated young player, Swedish born Muamer Tankovic of Fulham FC, decided to play for Sweden over Bosnia. Swedish national coach Erik Hamren visited Tankovic in Fulham and called him up for Sweden’s next friendly. Susic, as far as we know, did absolutely nothing. Edin Dzeko had to do his job for him. Two of our biggest talents lost in two days, mainly because of a lack of professionalism and real effort on our part.
I hope Prcic will eventually change his mind and come back, perhaps when the national team is in better hands. His bitterness and disappointment are completely understandable, but time heals most wounds. The vast majority of Bosnian fans would love to see him in the senior team.
Susic may be the first manager to take Bosnia-Herzegovina to the World Cup but if he continues sabotaging our future like this, he will stay the only one.