Year Before Euro 2012: The Team Roster.
A year before the Euros is a good time to analyze the current state of the Polish national team. I’ve already written a lot about tactics in the last post, so now I’d like to concentrate on the squad roster. Some time ago Smuda said that by this time he would have a group of thirty candidates to play in the tournament. He didn’t entirely succeed in doing that, but nevertheless he’s slowly reducing the number of squad experiments. I think that now we can safely presume which players we’ll keep our fingers crossed for in a year’s time.
It’s sometimes hard to follow Smuda’s line of thought, but this is what I think about chances of particular players to represent Poland in Euro 2012:
Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal): after what he showed in the last season it’s hard to imagine that he won’t remain Arsenal’s starting keeper. As a result, he’ll also overcome Fabiański in the fight for Poland’s nr 1 blouse. Smuda trusts him and wasn’t disappointed by Szczęsny so far.
Łukasz Piszczek (Dortmund): the best Polish right back by a large margin, when healthy he always starts the games for Poland. Smuda wants to base the team on Dortmund players and Piszczek is one of the most important elements of his tactical plan.
Rafał Murawski (Lech Poznań): Smuda has been a fan of this player ever since he coached Lech. Muraś is the vice-captain of the team, but he may end up on the bench in 2012 if his form continues to drop.
Adam Matuszczyk (FC Koeln): Smuda introduced this player to the national team. Matuszczyk’s status in the team is becoming more and more important, he should be our leading central midfielder in 2012.
Jakub Błaszczykowski (Dortmund): captain and the leader of the team. He’s constantly growing mentally and should be prepared to handle the pressure next year.
Adrian Mierzejewski (Polonia Warsaw): Smuda spotted him a year ago and his high opinion of the player was confirmed last season. Mierzejewski became an MVP of the Ekstraklasa and now Trabzonspor wants to pay 4M for him.
Sławomir Peszko (FC Koeln): Smuda forgave him his misbehaviour because he counts on him very much. The transfer to Koeln only strengthened Peszko’s position.
Ludovic Obraniak (Lille): Smuda sees him as our starting playmaker and set pieces specialist.
Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund): the top scorer of Franz’s national team, was benched only once by him during his spell as a national team coach.
Łukasz Fabiański (Arsenal): I don’t believe that he’ll replace Szczęsny as Arsenal’s starting keeper, but he’s got enough quality and Smuda’s trust to be a backup in the national team as well.
Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (Lech Poznań): the fact that he can be a backup for every position in the defense acts as his advantage. Smuda knows him well from his times in Poznań.
Arkadiusz Głowacki (Trabzonspor): surprisingly, Smuda wants to make Głowa one of the defensive line leaders. He’ll be included in the Euros squad as long as he stays healthy.
Dariusz Dudka (Auxerre): Smuda resigned from him once, but decided to trust him once again after his good performances for Auxerre. Since then he’s an important first team player.
Kamil Grosicki (Sivasspor): Grosik may easily be the best dribbler in the national team. Has been receiving regular call ups this year. Will act as an impact sub in 2012.
Ireneusz Jeleń (Auxerre?): will be picked by Smuda as long as he’s healthy, but his injury problems seriously limit his chances to play in the starting lineup.
Przemysław Tytoń (Roda Kerkrade): Tytoń is Smuda’s discovery and the coach will want to have ‘his’ keeper in the team for the Euros. Doesn’t have a chance to compete with Szczęsny and Fabiański for the starting spot.
Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Białystok): should compete with Tytoń for the third keeper spot.
Tomasz Jodłowiec (Polonia Warsaw): isn’t convincing in the national team, but continues to keep his place in Smuda’s squad.
Maciej Sadlok (Polonia Warsaw): plays mainly as a left back for Poland, but may find himself outside of the team if he doesn’t improve his performances,
Kamil Glik (Palermo): promoted by Smuda, but hasn’t developed as much as expected. May be included in the team if he plays regularly in the Serie A.
Jakub Wawrzyniak (Legia Warsaw): quite good performances in the recent friendlies make him a serious candidate for the left back backup role.
Łukasz Mierzejewski (Cracovia): inexplicably, Smuda loves this player. But even he will have to understand that Mierzejewski isn’t quality enough for international level.
Jakub Rzeźniczak (Legia Warsaw): just behind Piszczek as far as Polish right backs are concerned, but Smuda may decide that the Dormund full back and Wojtkowiak are enough.
Paweł Brożek (Trabzonspor): cool finishing against Argentina improved his position in the team. Smuda may want to include a typical goalscorer in the squad.
Tomasz Kuszczak (ManUtd): may return to the national team if he finds himself a new club.
Piotr Brożek (Trabzonspor): a natural left back will have to be tested if he plays regularly in the Champions League for Trabzonspor.
Roger Guerreiro (AEK Athens): Smuda hasn’t resigned from him, but doesn’t seem convinced by the skillful Brazilian. Franz opted for Mateusz Klich when he handed in last call ups.
Patryk Małecki (Wisła Kraków): his chances would have been higher if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s conflicted with Smuda. Still, Franz hasn’t officially ruled out Małecki’s comeback.
Artur Sobiech (Polonia Warsaw): the most talented Polish young striker hasn’t played a lot under Smuda. Now he’s also got problems with Polonia’s owner Józef Wojciechowski (proposed pay cut) to deal with.
Euzebiusz Smolarek (Polonia Warsaw): only a large number of goals in the Ekstraklasa can bring back Ebi to the national team.
Dawid Nowak (GKS Bełchatów): a year ago he was close to the starting lineup. Since then Franz has realised that Nowak isn’t determined and healthy enough to compete on the international level.
Radosław Majewski (Nottingham Forest): Smuda never trusted him. The fact that he stopped playing regularly in England doesn’t help either.
Marcin Wasilewski (Anderlecht): Smuda contacted the player, but hasn’t guaranteed the first call up for him.
Ariel Borysiuk, Maciej Rybus, Michał Kucharczyk (Legia Warsaw), Jacek Kiełb (Lech Poznań), Cezary Wilk (Wisła Kraków), Mateusz Klich (Cracovia), Szymon Pawłowski (Zagłębie Lubin), Tomasz Kupisz (Jagiellonia Białystok), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Stade Reims): Smuda may want to include two or three younger players in the Euro squad. However, none of them will play an important roel in the team.
Artur Boruc (Fiorentina), Michał Żewłakow (Legia Warsaw), Maciej Iwański (Manisaspor): Smuda officially resigned from them.
Tomasz Bandrowski (Lech Poznań?): one of Smuda’s favourites, but constant injury problems will make it hard for him to even find a new club.
Błażej Augustyn (Catania): Smuda doesn’t seem interested at all in him.
Sebastian Boenish (Werder Bremen): if he’s healthy, he will definitely be included in the Euro lineup and will most probably play in the first eleven. His fitness after a season long pause is a big question mark.
Manuel Arboleda (Lech Poznań): Smuda fights for a citizenship for Maniek, but the Colombian isn’t welcomed by the players in the team. His form this year doesn’t enable him to be included in the team.
Damien Perquis (Socheaux): should debut in the national team this year, Smuda is personally involved in granting Perquis Polish citizenship. The question is whether he’ll have enough time to find common understanding with another players.
As you can see, there are more than thirty players that may be considered Euro candidates. Apart from the central and left defense, Franz has already created the core of the team. There won’t be many surprise call ups in the midfield and attack. The fight is for the 17th or 18th place in the squad, not the 10th or 11th. In my opinion, apart from Boruc, Smuda chooses the best Polish players available. As much as I’d like to see guys like Majewski or Piotr Brożek given an extended chance, I don’t think there are any players outside of Smuda’s squad good enough for the starting lineup. The controversy concerns the backup players, not the starters (why Klich, not Majewski or Roger, why Kucharczyk and not Sobiech or Smolarek etc.). Though Smuda didn’t omit unnecessary controversies, I consider his selection process rather successful. Much bigger problem, the one I described in detail last time, is the strategy.
No to Polanski but sames goes for Dudka and Murawski. Murawski is going downhill and Dudka was always a liability in the NT.
Matuszczyk had an injury but when he’s back in form he’ll probably return to our starting lineup. Krychowiak is inexperienced at the top level but he did play regularly in Ligue 2 and was picked best player on his team, that has to mean something. Next season he has a good chance to play in Ligue 1. He’s a very physically strong player. Matuszczyk could use someone like that beside him.
Posted from Canada
Remember Koscielny was playing in Ligue 2 himself just a couple seasons ago. He had no problem adjusting to Ligue 1 and now he’s at Arsenal, so the league isn’t that bad.
Posted from Canada
Krychowiak definitely needs some exposure and experience with the NT. Even if he’s not ready to start at the European Championships, I envision him as a vital player in the upcoming World Cup qualifications for 2014. We saw during the last WC qualifying term that Murawski can’t cut it; a Krychowiak and Matuszczyk partnership would be mouthwatering. Hell if Polanski enters the team we would have three young solid central middies to anchor down the midfield. Our wings are looking pretty good, the central players are lacking.
Mierzejewski was sold to Trabzonspor for a record fee of 5.3 million euros. Trabzonspor will play in the UEFA Champions League.
I would prefer he play in the Bundesliga but this still is a very good move.
My word! The money is unbelievable. Great piece of business for Wojchiechowski. He can now bring Guti to the team and fill the stands of stadion narodowy next season. With Trabzon and Borussia both in CL Poles are gonna have an exciting season!
@ POL4K I agree with bczer. I wouldn’t place much faith in Murawski or Dudka to save our midfield problems.
I’d like to see Krychowiak given more time out there.
@ JZ The Polish colonies grow! (BVB, Trabzonspor) it will be a very exciting CL season for us Polish fans.
Im not a fan of Polanski by any means but Murawski and Dudka aren’t cut out to playing on the national team. Id keep them as possible subs. However, Polanski may be a jerkoff and the scum of the earth but if he helps us become a better team I’d use him. If Krychowiak is able to break into the first team of Bordeaux then he should be starting for the national team I have seen him play when he was younger, not recently. But he seemed like he had great potential and from what i read now he might develop into good stable player. I am a fan of Matuszczyk, but not at the defensive midfield position he just doesnt have the physical presence.
That’s great! I wonder if the fee for Mierzejewski will not last long as the record for Ekstraklasa, if Chelsea go for Sandomierski.(?) above link (^Wejher) suggests higher amount for the Jaga goalie.
Posted from United States
What do you guys think about Mierzejwski? is he good enough for the national team?
Thats really great news for national team that Adrian M. signed with Trobzonsor. He will get Champions League experience and will play with 3 other Polish teammates. He beat the record of the highest transfer in the Ekstraklasa (5.3)million euros previously it was Lech Poznan Robert L. who was sold to Dortmund for 4.5 millin euros last season.
In other news Chelsea wants Jaga goalkeeper Sandomierzski for about 6 million euros.
Also Lech Poznan made there first transfer and bought Alexander Tonev from CSCA Sofia for 600,000 euros
Congratulations to Mierzejewski! This is a great move for him and should help him develop by playing in the champs league and a good league with a good team. And it helps benefit polonia who can now maybe buy some players. Hope adrian does well and Trabzonspor should be a team to keep an eye on next year.
As well im really happy for Mateusz Klich moving to a strong team like Wolfsburg. Its a great league and if Klich has a decent season he could be an important sub come euro.
dont think anyone has mentioned this but legia bought Danijel Ljuboja, he’s a well known player and played for the serbian national team in the 06 world cup, he played for teams like wolfsburg, hamburg, koln, bordeau paris st.germain etc.. good signing for legia.
About the article, I completely agree with u tomasz on how theres not really a problem with the players smuda call up its just how he uses them that raises eyebrows.Here would be my lineup if i was coach:
Obraniak– A. Mierzejewski–Blaszczykowski
What is the consensus here about Arboleda?
I hear his passport is in question due to most players wanting nothing to do with him. I vote no to Arboleda as well.
Yeah, we’ve got big prblems in defense but he’s actually not THAT great and would seem to just bring many more problems to the team than his introduction would ever solve.
Of course Smuda in typical fashion is creating friction and division against his team by supporting Arboleda “100%”
I believe the negativity towards him has absolutely nothing to do with his nationality and is based on his odd personality, disturbing behavior, age, and dwindling performance quality.
I don’t understand how his passport could be in question just because the players don’t want anything to do with him. Clearly, he will get his passport. There’s no reason to prevent him from becoming a citizen of Poland. Playing for the national team is a different story, but even there the players don’t pick the team. The coach does. I feel they haven’t even given him a chance. No one’s complaining about having Perquis join the team, and he’s technically a foreigner. Arboleda speaks more Polish than him. I’m just saying.
Posted from United States
It’s because he plays like a whiny typical South American, constantly complaining to refs and sticking fingers up people’s bums on the pitch. No one wants that on their team.
Then why don’t they say it that way? If they’re not brave enough to voice their opinions, then they shouldn’t say anything at all. It makes them look weak and fake. Especially when everyone knows what they’re thinking.
Posted from United States
Arboleda is getting worse and worse. They shouldn’t waste their time with him. In other news, I will be truly ashamed if Poland has Smuda as manager for the Euros. He is going to make this team get humiliated on the world stage.
Many players on the NT have played either against or with Arboleda in the EK and have based their opinions of him on those experiences. So there is factual evidence to judge on even though they weren’t ever technically on the pitch with him as a NT.
I don’t know all the details but evidently the process of applying for a passport goes through multiple stages until complete and there are some involved in that process who have the players concerns in mind..unlike smuda who should as well.
Just to clarify, I’m not saying he should play. I don’t care either way. If he can help, then great. If he can’t, then don’t add him to the team. I’m simply saying that when the players go to speak in the press, I feel they come off looking like children. They won’t tell the truth about Smuda. Now they won’t just tell it how it is with Arboleda. It seems there’s no professionalism on or off the pitch. That is all.
Posted from United States
I have to agree. I think this “none of the players like him” thing sounds awfully immature and sophomoric. Maybe it is reasonable to check with associates for a potential new citizen, but seems like a simple legal back ground check would be sufficient. Doesn’t seem right that other players could stall the process for Arboleda’s Polish citizenship. No matter what I think or anyone else… it should be the coaches decision which citizen player he selects.
Posted from United States
Arboleda would have been a great addition to the team a few years ago when he was in his prime. When he played well you didn’t mind the other occasional nonsense. However, since he has lost a step and his overall form has dropped, the nonsense acts are just emphasized. At this point he would not improve the back line any more than the experiments of the last few games.
Speedy citizenships for certain people is just moronic. He has lived in the country long enough to be able to go through the proper channels of obtaining citizenship. He failed to do so. It was only because he realized he could play in the Euros that he wanted to speed up the process.
Does anyone know why Filip Modelski is on trial at Korona? Can anyone make sense of this? Yeah Westham are in the Fizzy pop league, so what. That can only mean better chances of getting first team football. Why does this feel like a Fojut repeat? Our youngsters are getting some bad advice. Typical dumbassery.
I’m not standing by the passport process or saying who should make the decisions on players. What I am clearly saying is if smuda doesn’t take his players concerns into consideration and introduces a disruptive element into the team because he’s desperate for defenders..then he’s only going to #$%@ the team and himself in the end. Chose wisely.
Fojut wasn’t offered a contract extension. Same could apply to Modelski.
The relegation of West Ham United reduced Modelski’s chances to play first team – the club wants to get back to the first division as soon as possible and so young players would have fewer opportunities to play.
He’s only 18 and got a good education in the last 3 years in England and when he gets his minutes in the polish league he can go abroad for a second time – like Kamil Glik did for example.
So I don´t think it’s a bad idea to go back to Poland to promote yourself for a “next” chance – for example you can compare Tomasz Kupisz with Bartosz Bialkowski. Kupisz came back to Poland and now he´s in the national team and Bialkowski is sitting on the bench in the 2./3. league for (5 years?).
[Sorry for my bad english.]
Posted from Germany
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