From hereon in for a few weeks, the Monday Profile will be casting its eye over performers and, given that some 28s and 29s are yet to be whittled down, likely performers in the coming Azanian bunfight. The English speaking squads of the US, New Zealand and Australia constitute the most likely places of refuge for Championship personnel, but others will be dotted about the veld and having faced up to the grim fact that Leeds United are unfortunately back among us, we turn our attentions to towering Slovak centre back Ä½ubomàr Michalàk.
He may not start, and he is on the point of leaving Leeds, but Martin Å krtel’s injury ravaged season
will give him hope of a place. and, despite uncertainty over the providers of next season’s pay packet, opposition including a creaky, aging Italy, a dogged but uninspired Paraguay and the likely whipping boys of New Zealand will give cause for confidence. Indeed, Michalàk’s grenadier guardsman persona might be just the trick against
the lumpen Kiwi trio of Wood, Killen and Fallon, not to mention the less than vintage Azzurri
front men, Rossi, Iaquinta and Gilardino, and a Roque Santa Cruz currently down on his luck.
Michalàk has been at Elland Road for a few seasons now and survived the trauma of relegation relatively well at first, partnering Paul Huntington in the Peacocks’ first Tier 3 campaign, having initially joined on loan from Bolton (a goal at Stamford Bridge having provided the highlight of his spell as a Trotter.) But, Simon Grayson lost patience in time and the ÄŒadca born player has generally been forced to make way for Patrick Kisnorbo and Richard Naylor in subsequent months. Still, involvement in more than credible whites performances against Man Yoo
and Spurs this season augurs well for a manager looking for big game temperaments. Big Lubo may be leaving Yorkshire but he has a chance of a South African get out clause.