Fizzled Out

Lost LeoAfter all the hype, glitz and talk of victory, Poland’s players served up one of their most lacklustre performances in recent years. In fact, probably one of their worst performances since Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker took over the helm becoming Poland’s first ever foreign manager.

Euro Début
Poland lost 0-2 to Germany who overwhelmed, outplayed and outmanoeuvred Poland on every front. Before hand, the Polish press, the players and Beenhakker himself had played up the possibilities and potential of Poland’s football team saying that Poland’s début in the European Championships will see Poland break their duck and finally manage to beat Germany.

Look No Stars
Unfortunately (for Poland), nothing could be farther from the truth. Poland’s key players – Ebi Smolarek, Maciej Żurawski and Jacek Krzynówek – showed none of the skills that have made them so reliable in recent years. The Polish team simply didn’t turn up and were nothing like the team that had beat Portugal 3-2 in the Euro Qualifiers. But in all truth, it was Germany, or to be more precise Lukas (Łukasz) Podolski, who really shined.

Polish-born Winner
Podolski scored two and ran the show for the Germans. Ironically, Łukasz was born in Gliwice, in Poland and is one of three Polish players in the team (also Mirosław Klose and Piotr Trochowski) and his muted celebrations were well received by Polish fans who realised that Łukasz, by his own admission, had quite a dilemma on his hands playing against the country of his birth. He was also the only German player to swap shirts with a Polish player and actually put on the Polish shirt. He was also the only (Polish) player to give an interview to the Polish press straight after the game – the Polish captain refused.

Dream TeamTeam Spirit?
Whether Poland manages to beat Austria and Croatia and progress to the next round is all in the hands of this crop of players and Leo Beenhakker but it seems that the team was already doomed before the kick off. Kuba Błaszczykowski, a key player, is thought to have had a tiff with Beenhakker regarding his fitness. The manager believed Błaszczykowski was a risk, Kuba disagreed and left the squad. Also, reserve keeper Tomasz Kuszczak returned home with an injury.

Tough Time
The feeling from within the Polish camp is that something is not right. If Poland are to finally do something, make a mark on European football (as their long-suffering fans hope), they will need to finally pull their finger out and show some mettle against hosts Austria and dark horses Croatia. Dream team? I think not. Well, at least Robert Kubica won the Grand Prix…


13 thoughts on “Fizzled Out

  1. I didn’t think the boys played _that_ badly. Very weak in defence, that first goal was a shocker, no doubt. But they practically camped out in the German half for long periods, and I thought there was no faulting them for commitment, until the second goal, at least. Nevertheless, having seen how Austria (home advantage, of course) and Croatia played, I have the unpleasant feeling Polska won’t even manage a point unless something changes. When are they playing next, is it Thursday?

    And I’m gonna support the Czechs in the next round. 😀

  2. I suppose I was looking for a miracle. As for Podolski, I really was stunned to see him give an interview in Polish after the game (while wearing a Polish shirt). You can see that the Gliwice-born goal machine loves Poland but through a idiotic administrative cock-up by the Polish FA he plays for Germany. His parents actually got in touch with the PZPN asking them to look at him. They had him on a plate! Sheesh…

  3. More and more people have got the impression that something wrong is going on iside the squad and that is the worst thing, destroying everything they have managed to achieve until now.

  4. I still think foreign coaches are a bad idea in sport; a trainer needs to able to communicate directly and efficiently with his players. Hoping that broken English and/or an overworked interpreter are going to do the job (do Beenhakker’s assistants work with English & Polish or Dutch & Polish? Interesting question) is sure to be a recipe for trouble. (Maybe you cd carry this discussion over onto Transubstantiation… 🙂 )

  5. Bidzia, unfortunately that’s what you get when you lose. ;-(
    Jim, good question. I think they speak to each other in English.
    What about Fabio Capello? His English is awful…

  6. hey. where did you get that pic of the Polska cheerleaders? I couldn’t find their homepage(cheerleaders). Their really good looking.

  7. Polska !,Polonya !,Poland ! To my kibice,,,kiedys wygramy…i beda bale do rana az zabraknie nam szampana albo wodki jesli bedziem pic z krotkich,,Go-Go-Go Poland !

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