Pilsen striker Erik Jirka defeated Slavia with two goals on Sunday evening, so the battle of the elite in the football league is surprisingly messy. Even Slavia is no longer undefeated and has currently fallen behind Sparta to second place.
Who would have expected that he would cause it?
Rychlík from the right wing, who spent the last season mostly on the Pilsen bench.
And now watch out: Slavia still wanted to catch him in the summer!
The clubs did not agree on a price.
“He’s a really good player in some ways. Unfortunately, he has now shown us why we wanted him,” coach Jindřich Trpišovský regretted when commenting on Sunday’s 1:2 defeat.
Jirka is a hard worker with a cannon punch. In fact, he is constantly on the move, he defends quite well, but he prefers to run forward. But in the chances he got into thanks to his speed, he didn’t exactly behave like a killer.
The weekend league hit was an exception. Did you see how Pilsen’s number 33 went on a rampage?
First, in the 64th minute, he started following a pass from the young stopper Dweh and lightly tapped the ball over the goalkeeper Mandous with his right toe, thus equalizing the score at 1:1. He scored the victory a quarter of an hour later. This time with a left-hander in a solo raid, which Vydra prepared for him with a vertical pass. “I was thinking of a hat-trick, but a win is enough,” he grinned.
If you don’t know, he is twenty-six years old and has had some very interesting adventures. For example, CZ Belgrade, where he transferred from his native Trnava at the age of twenty-one. Or hosting in Poland’s Górnik Zabrze. Or the second Spanish league behind Mirandés and Oviedo. By Pilsen standards, it was quite a significant purchase last summer, as the figure for the Slovak racketeer climbed to twenty million.
At first, coach Michal Bílek wondered how he would use the assistant: “Because he fits perfectly into our way of playing.” In other words: the ideal player for breaks. But in the end it was just disappointment. A total of 827 minutes in twenty-eight league matches, or an average of half an hour per match. Jirka spent most of his time glued to the changing table or warming up at the line.
Only the seasoned Miroslav Koubek had to come, who uses the determined wing at much more regular intervals. Jirko’s autumn minutes are already close to the number he had in the sum of the entire last season. “I give him more space because I see his strengths in training. Until now, he was a bit secretive in Pilsen,” Koubek admits.
You’re right, coach!
Pilsen footballers are rejoicing over a goal against Slavia.
After Sunday, Jirko’s star shone. Thanks to him, Plzeň won against Slavia for the first time since the spring of 2014. The athlete with a short haircut and a stubbed left thumb could then gratefully remember his grandfather, who took him to training sessions as a student and gave him advice. After his death, he had the Virgin Mary tattooed on his forearm to keep the memory under his skin: “Every time I go to the field, I pray to my grandfather and ask him to help me.”
Perfect passes from teammates and cool-headed finishing helped on Sunday.
“Erik’s thorny path accurately describes how demanding and unpredictable football is. No amount of talent is enough if you don’t have a coach who believes in you and a team you can rely on. You must never lose faith and you must earn trust first,” said agent Lučan, pointing to the motto that his management company follows: “When you take small steps, be proud of yourself, because no matter how small they are, they make progress .”
Erik Jirka took the longest step in Pilsen so far in August, when he dared to take a penalty in the 24th minute of regulation in a tricky qualification for the Conference League. Do you remember those nerves on the field of Kosovar Drita? Two goals against Slavia is, however, an even more impressive achievement.