After Poland’s dreadful 3:2 defeat to Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, the clouds are gathering around Poland’s Dutch manager Leo Beenhakker and the future looks dim for the former Feyenoord coach.
It was always going to be a gamble for the Polish Football Association (PZPN) and the appointment of Beenhakker looked to be a wise choice when Poland qualified for the European Championships for the first time ever. But the cracks appeared when Poland went through the whole tournament without registering a single win together with a host of poor performances. Now the gamble looks to have completely back-fired.
In group 3 of the World Cup Qualifying group Poland are fifth, one spot above minnows San Marino who prop up the group. Poland’s performances have been significantly under-par in recent games and looking at their games from the start of the qualifiers, it is easy to see the trend: Poland are playing worse, and getting worse, with every game. In such a tight group, chances of qualification for the World Cup in South Africa look slim.
What the majority of Polish football fans are annoyed about is the style of football being played. The national team are lacklustre and slow. They look confused and tired. Performances lack passion and energy. There is no heart and more importantly, there seems to be no talent. The remarkable 3:2 victory over Portugal which Beenhakker masterminded in the qualification for the European Championships is like a distant dream fading with every game.
Thankfully, the PZPN has several options. The simplest two are to stay patient and keep with Beenhakker. The other is to sack the Dutchman and begin anew, give the players a fresh start. Of course, the PZPN can also decide to re-structure and set up a system by which the national coach is but one element in the whole footballing machine, not the be all and end all. What Poland does not need now is a revolution, however, Polish football does need a change.