Dzeko needs to control his temper

Dzeko needs to control his temper

If Bosnia are to make an impact in their first major tournament as an independent nation, their top scorer and driving force Edin Dzeko will need to control his temper and fire on all cylinders on the pitch rather than in the dressing room.

Having propelled the Balkan country in qualifying with 10 goals in as many games, Dzeko drew the wrath of Bosnia’s fans and coach Safet Susic during a 2-0 friendly defeat by Egypt in March, when he was jeered from the terraces and fell out with Susic.

The 28-year-old striker was denied a substitution request at halftime and then put on a tepid second-half display, prompting Susic to criticise him after the game in Innsbruck and made it clear that not even a hitman of Dzeko’s calibre was indispensable.

That outburst against him was rare as he is regarded as a superstar in his home nation who grew up with the trappings of success as his father was also a professional footballer.

 There is no doubt, however, that that blip will be forgotten and Dzeko will lead the line for Bosnia in the World Cup as their hopes of progressing to the last 16 largely rest on his lethal finishing and a devastatingly effective strike partnership with Vedad Ibisevic, who scored eight goals in qualifying.

If Dzeko can get going when the going gets tough in a group including Argentina, African champions Nigeria and Iran, his country may yet enjoy the kind of football success few pundits thought was possible after Bosnia emerged as an independent nation in the 1990s.