Squad Watch: Week 11. We Are The Champions.
The national team earns poor results and has no style, but at least Polish players abroad achieve a very respectable amount of success. After a week ago Jakub Błaszczykowski, Łukasz Piszczek and Robert Lewandowski celebrated the Bundesliga championship, this weekend Ludo Obraniak’s goal was the first step for Lille to claim the French Ligue 1 title. In Turkey, Arek Głowacki and the Brożek twins were a whisker away from winning the local championship (they lost to Trabzonspor only on goal difference). What does it all mean? We’ll have an exciting Champions League next season, even if Wisła Kraków doesn’t qualify.
Artur Boruc (Fiorentina): not in the squad against Brescia
Tomasz Kuszczak (ManUtd): not in the squad against Blackpool
Sebastian Małkowski (Lechia Gdańsk): on the bench against Lech
Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Bialystok): 90 minutes against Korona, note 7
Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal London): 90 minutes against Fulham
Przemyslaw Tytoń (Roda Kerkrade): no in the squad against ADO, injury
Łukasz Załuska (Celtic Glasgow): on the bench against Motherwell in the cup final
Blażej Augustyn (Catania): on the bench against Inter
Piotr Brożek (Trabzonspor): 90 minutes against Karabukspor
Piotr Celeban (Śląsk Wrocław): 90 minutes against Górnik, note 6
Dariusz Dudka (AJ Auxerre): 90 minutes against Brest
Kamil Glik (Bari): not in the squad against Bologna, red card ban
Arkadiusz Głowacki (Trabzonspor): not in the squad against Karabukspor
Tomasz Jodłowiec (Polonia Warsaw): 90 minutes against Ruch, note 6
Marcin Kikut (Lech Poznań): not in the squad against Lechia, injury
Łukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund): no match
Jakub Rzeźniczak (Legia Warsaw): 90 minutes against Wisła, note 6
Maciej Sadlok (Polonia Warsaw): 90 minutes against Ruch, note 5
Marcin Wasilewski (Anderlecht): no match
Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (Lech Poznań): 90 minutes against Lechia, note 5
Hubert Wołąkiewicz (Lech Poznań): 90 minutes against Lechia, note 6
Michał Żewłakow (free transfer): cancelled his contract with Ankaragucu
Tomasz Bandrowski (Lech Poznan): not in the squad against Lechia, injury
Jakub Błaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund): no match
Ariel Borysiuk (Legia Warsaw): not in the squad against Wisła
Mateusz Cetnarski (GKS Belchatow): 90 minutes against Zagłębie, note 4
Tomasz Cywka (Derby County): no match
Janusz Gol (Legia Warsaw): 90 minutes against Wisła, note 6
Roger Guerreiro (AEK Athens): 87 minutes against Olympiakos Volos
Maciej Iwański (Manisaspor): not in the squad against Istanbul BB, injury
Jacek Kiełb (Lech Poznań): 11 minutes against Lechia
Tomasz Kupisz (Jagiellonia Bialystok): 90 minutes and two goals against Korona, note 8
Grzegorz Krychowiak (Stade Reims): 32 minutes against Evian
Radosław Majewski (Nottingham Forest): no match
Patryk Małecki (Wisla Krakow): 90 minutes against Legia, note 6
Adam Matuszczyk (FC Koeln): no match
Adrian Mierzejewski (Polonia Warsaw): 90 minutes and two assists against Ruch, note 7
Rafał Murawski (Lech Poznań): 90 minutes against Lechia, note 5
Ludovic Obraniak (Lille): 74 minutes and a goal against PSG
Sławomir Peszko (FC Koeln): no match
Maciej Rybus (Legia Warsaw): 68 minutes against Wisła, note 5
Bartosz Salamon (Foggia): no match
Cezary Wilk (Wisła Kraków): not in the squad against Legia
Paweł Brożek (Trabzonspor): 56 minutes against Karabukspor
Kamil Grosicki (Sivasspor): 90 minutes against Fenerbahce
Michał Janota (Go Ahead Eagles): no match
Ireneusz Jeleń (AJ Auxerre): not in the squad against Brest, injury
Michał Kucharczyk (Legia Warsaw): 86 minutes against Wisła, note 5
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund): no match
Andrzej Niedzielan (Korona Kielce): 90 minutes against Jagiellonia, note 2
Dawid Nowak (GKS Belchatow): 78 minutes against Zagłębie, note 6
Szymon Pawłowski (Zagłębie Lubin): 90 minutes against Bełchatów, note 6
Dawid Plizga (Zagłębie Lubin): 76 minutes and a goal against Bełchatów, note 7
Marcin Robak (Konyaspor): 90 minutes against Galatasaray
Ebi Smolarek (Polonia Warsaw): 90 minutes and a goal against Ruch, note 6
Artur Sobiech (Polonia Warsaw): not in the squad against Ruch, injury
Summary: I’ve already written a lot about Dortmund’s performances this season. This was one of the most joyful teams to watch in Europe and the Polish element made their games even more exciting. What’s best, our trio didn’t serve the Tomasz Kuszczak role in Dortmund, but were one of the most important elements in Borussia’s championship campaign. I’ve seen many Dortmund games this season and I hope I can judge our players’ input rightly:
Łukasz Piszczek (33 games, 2662 minutes, 0 goals, 7 assists, 3,09 average rating in Kicker): the biggest success story in Polish football this season. Came to Dortmund as a rotation player of the relegated Hertha Berlin and was supposed to fill the same spot in his new club, if not play even less time. What we didn’t know was the fact that Piszczek’s transfer was carried out due to Jurgen Klopp’s personal request. There is no better proof of manager’s trust in player’s skills. In the beginning of the season Łukasz was playing every second game, but an injury to Patrick Owomoyela meant that he naturally became Borussia’s starting right back. And he flourished incredibly when he got the starting spot. I think I wrote it before, but I’ve never seen such a good, offensive minded Polish right back. Whether it was Gotze or Kuba, Piszczek cooperated with them flawlessly, made himself available for forward passes and one two plays and usually finished his moves with a driven cross. Seven assists is an incredible result for a full back. In the national team Piszczek had no problems to win himself a place in the starting lineup and became our most reliable defender. There is no doubt that he’ll stay in Dortmund next season and earn CL experience. The only drawback of the season was the corruption scandal Piszczek was involved at Zagłębie Lubin, but he already announced that he has no plans of resigning from the national team.
Jakub Błaszczykowski (29 games, 1528 minutes, 3 goals, 4 assists, 3,56 average rating in Kicker): was the biggest Polish star at Borussia in the beginning of the season, but in the end he was used as a squad rotation player due to Mario Gotze’s emergence as the brightest prospect in German football. Kuba didn’t make a huge step forward, didn’t improve his game as much as Piszczek or his other teammates and wasn’t the leader of the team he was in the previous seasons. Nevertheless, his cooperation with Piszczek had to bring a smile to Polish fans’ faces. There’s hope that next season Kuba will get even more playing time, not only because of the CL involvement. There is little chance of replacing Gotze on the right wing, but Nuri Sahin’s transfer to Madrid may mean that the young German will be used more often in the middle of the field, just like in Dortmund’s last game of the season. This would mean a place for Kuba on the right wing. Finally, it was a good season for Błaszczykowski in terms of injury problems. Hopefully, his body got used to the aggresive style of the Bundesliga.
Robert Lewandowski (33 games, 1586 minutes, 8 goals, 3 assists, 3,58 average rating in Kicker): the former biggest star of the Ekstraklasa had a good first season on the German pitches. Maybe Lewy wasn’t spectacular and didn’t make the jaws drop, but he confirmed that Dormund made a good decision to acquire him from Lech Poznań. In the first half of the season he played the role of the joker and managed to score a handful of goals after coming on from the bench. In 2011, after Shinji Kagawa’s injury, Lewy became a starter for Dortmund, though he had to be satisfied with a link up player role, as he played in the spot between Lucas Barrios and the midfield. His goal tally isn’t impressive, but he clerly improved his first touch, long shot and keeping the ball under pressure. The only irritating disadvantage that Lewy can’t eliminate is his lack of effectiveness in front of goal. He could, and should, score more than eight goals in the league. Next season, provided Barrios and Kagawa stay, he should be the first offensive player to come off the bench and start at least half of the games for Dortmund. Definitely our biggest attacking prospect.
It was a crazy fortnight in the career of Ludovic Obraniak. After a disapponting season marked by poor form and beng warming, Ludo scored two most important Lille goals this season. At least he’ll be remembered for something this season; when you look at Ludo’s numbers they are far from impressive (26 games, but only 5 in the starting lineup, 2 goals and 2 assists). Obraniak lost the rivalry with Gervinho, Moussa Sow and Eden Hazard, one of the biggest young talents in Europe. He accepted his role in the team without controversy, but will have to move in order to play more next season (there is no sign that Lille will sell their stars, especially with CL in perspective). It was visible in the recent national team games that, in the long run, bench warming has a very negative form on Ludo. I hope he’ll have no problems finding a mid table club in France or Germany that would make him prepared 100% for the Euros.
Finally, the Polish trio at Trabzonspor were extremely close to winning the Turkish championship in their first season in Turkey. Arkadiusz Głowacki couldn’t establish himself as much as he’d like to in Trabzon due to injury problems. Still, when he was 100% healthy he usually had a stable place in the starting lineup. Trabzonspor’s good results meant that Głowacki returned to the national team. The Brożek twins took much time to assimilate in Turkey; Piotr was faster as he played every second game on the left back position (he also had some injury problems). If he continues to play regularly next season Smuda will have no other choice but to call him up. Paweł won himself a place in the lineup during the last stages of the season. He only scored two goals, but showed enough promise to stay in Trabzon for the next season. He’ll probably be used in squad rotation system.
- Koeln publicly announced Sławomir Peszko’s financial demands (he wanted to earn 50% more after only half a year at the club). This means that Peszko won’t probably stay at Koeln. His manager, Andrzej Grajewski, says that they have lots of other offers, but he may only be bluffing to earn a better negotiating position. In my opinion, to move clubs so frequently is an idiotic move from Peszko.
- Lech Poznań won’t play in Europe next season, which means that the ranking points they scored this year will account for nothing next term. Kolejorz will sell at least one of their star players (most likely Semir Stilic) and probably won’t invest a lot of money in incoming transfers. This will stop the club’s development for a year.
- Slovakia’s national team coach Vladimir Weiss may manage Legia Warsaw next season. He’s a very successful manager and a good choice, if it wasn’t for the fact that he wants to manage Slovakia at the same time. That’s a huge risk for Legia.
- Wisła is interested in strengthening their defensive line with Marcin Wasilewski. Sounds like they want to improve the Polish element in the team. Wasyl is clearly good enough to aid Wisła in their CL campaign. Knowing Smuda’s reluctance to travel, this move may also be his only chance to return to the national team.
- Jerzy Dudek played his last game for Real and received a farewell worthy of a champion.
Tomasz Kupisz scores twice for Jagiellonia
Ebi Smolarek’s goal for Polonia and two assists from Adrian Mierzejewski
Polanski will play for Poland for sure…..if he wants to. No matter what he said before about being German, he was still born in Poland.
This Polanski kid is pissing me off, if you want to play for Poland and have changed your mind then be legit about it….but dont say stupid shit like “well if I dont play for Poland and do not receive a call up I will cheer for Germany when they play Poland” this is pure agitating.
If you feel Polish, then there would be no reason for you to cheer for Germany. Besides, if you feel so strongly you should of came out a lot earlier.
Im in favor for giving players a shot, but when you have a guy being disrespectful like this then I don’t want him on our team…
I still think about Koscielny and how pissed off I was when I heard he snubbed Smuda’s offer for an interview…now that Smuda’s acts have come to the forefront with his bad character ..it makes me think Smuda talked some stupidness to him and thats why Koscielny backed out.
France boss did not call up Laurent so there is still a chance..imagine him and Perques in the middle that would definitely solve our CD problems!!!
Posted from Canada
Polanski doesn’t seem to have much in the way of intelligence or media savvy. Why not simply hold his tongue. With those comments, he proved he doesn’t belong on our national team.
from what I’ve seen Polanski is a decent player, a very solid box to box midfielder. We could really use him. He’s strong and pretty quick on his feet, also tough.
It’s a shame he couldn’t just been integrated into the team a few years ago when the interest first came up. Every time I see his name these days I would just think “oh, that asshole could have played for us,” I really did think his situation was sorted and decided. If he does make it onto the team I will cheer for him and I think he could aid us, just imagine a midfield with him and Matuszczyk in the middle. I’ll just sit back and watch what happens, this is out of my hands.
I hope Saganowski signs up for LKS Lodz in the EK next season… I love the guy I hope he’ll be full of goals haha.
Also good to see Krychowiak getting the replacement call-up for the injured players for the two upcoming friendlies.
‘ happy for Cracovia, but disappointed Jaga fell out of top 3. Figured it would be too tough for Jaga to move back up this final week.
Posted from United States
@paradowski – why are you upset about JAGA – they still earn a spot in Europa. Legia earns automatic spot from Polish Cup win.
So, the final round resolved the question marks.
Wisla plays in CL…
New comers Slask Wroclaw, Jaga and Legia all Europa League. Great time to show off new stadiums and hopefully get some more spotlight in Poland…Too bad about Lech they fell really short and will lose all their coefficient points.
Im very happy about the pure polish team from Wroclaw and cant wait to watch them against top competition from Europe…
Posted from Canada
bigcmos – well that’s great news, thanks! I thought it was just the top 3 of the table regardless of the Polish Cup winner (with that idea, I was hoping Jaga would pass Legia in table). I’m also glad for Wroclaw. Hope Lech will continue to build for the future.
Congratulations to top scorer Tomasz Frankowski!
Posted from United States
Polanski is really pissing me off. Theres no doubt that he would be a good addition to the NT, he plays in a good league with a good team and is young and plays regularly. But he’s treating Poland as if its just some extra football on the side, his intentions for playing for Poland are not that he would be honoured to play his country of birth or he wants to rediscover his culture, its just to get exposed in euro. He all of the sudden has a change of heart? Thats what i call bullshit, playing for a national team should be an honour and a privilage not to benefit yourself and treating Poland as a second resort cuz u cant make Germanys national team. like i said, good player and would be beneficial but theres no heart or desire driving him to play for Poland, wich really irritates me.
Good finish to the league and congrats to slask and jaga for getting a european spot, hope theyll represent us well and i think they will. Does anyone know if Slask will play in their new stadium for next season, and if Jagellonia is going to move to there new stadium next year as well?
i would like to know more about this Polanski. can someone do a write up? also is there a more reliable source where he expresses interest in playing for us?
Posted from Canada
mike – original Polanski article in Polish
One more in English
Timmy, the stadium in Wroclaw is nearing completion, with the Klitchko vs Adamek fight scheduled for September, so for sure Slask will start using the stadium next season.
As for Jaga, construction there is going quite slow, and their new stadium is actually the same one where they play now, currently they are building it in phases, meaning that this season the fans sat on a couple original stands, while 2 new stands were under construction, not sure if the 2 new stands will be finished by season start, but the entire stadium won’t be fully built for at least another 1.5 years, as they will have to demolish the 2 old stands once the new ones open first, long process, but no rush with this stadium as its not a Euro venue.
Love the Legia stadium though, its beautiful!
Posted from Canada
And for those who like to follow preparations for Euro, in Poland and Ukraine, check out this site below, lots of nice updated photos posted on a regular basis, I keep up to date on this like once or twice a week, its impressive to see!
Posted from Canada
Hello, does anyone know where I can buy these Polish soccer shorts:
in the United States? I can’t seem to find a place that sells them.
Posted from United States
tomasz, are u going to write a review about the game tomorrow?
Tomasz, whats your opinion of Eric Lichaj. Hes a polish player thats getting gametime for the american team. Worth trying to snap him up?
Lichaj is nothing special. If you watched the USA-Spain friendly in the afternoon you could see that. I’m not sure if he’s even naturally left-footed, but regardless he is not a prodigy by any means and there is definitely no point in trying to recruit him for our squad. To me that would actually do more harm than good, it would be scandalous, and in any case Lichaj has made his intentions crystal clear, which I am completely ok with.
Posted from United States
So…….Poland beats Argentina 2-1? I know it’s a friendly, but still good to see.
We really need Perquis and Boenisch in the defence. Against Argentina ther were still mistakes in the defence.
There will be mistakes even with Perquis and Boenisch. Just not as many. ;p
It was a good result, but let’s not go overboard: this was not the team Argentina is bringing to tournaments, with the exception of Zableta. However, they were talented youngsters. We did well with pressing and it forced some poor passes by them, but there were stretches of the match where we were very lackluster and lucky to have not conceded. Still, it could easily have been 4-1 had Lewandowski and Brozek converted one-on-one chances.
We didn’t have our strongest team out there either.
Posted from Canada
This was a good confidence builder no matter the opposing squad. In a few years people will forget that they played Argentina’s B squad so it will look even better then. I’m sure Smuda will be the first to say that when he was manager his guys beat Argentina.
I really hope that they don’t make any unnecessary changes to the line up to face France. I would start Brozek instead of Grosicki and have two up front. I would leave the defense as it was last game. I would like to see them get comfortable with each other and build on that to eliminate some of the silly mistakes that I guess can be blamed on their lack of game time together as a unit. I would also like to see Klich subbed for Murawski if Murawski doesn’t have it early on.
Obraniak has to start, period! Krchykowiak needs to be given a shot, ive seen him play he has a lot of potential and is tough as hell and can shoot
Hi guys, I’ve just returned from my two week holidays. I managed to watch the replay of the game against Argentina and will write my thoughts in the France game preview.
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