15 lip 2010

What do I expect...

...from polish teams in Europe. Or maybe what should I expect? It's not easy with clearly stating expectations when last few years showed that playing in european cups is, well, far beyond them. Losing to exotic (can I call estonian team like that?) clubs, showing everything that is wrong in football, and what worries me most, players and coaches being simply neutral about those disasters. I know that Lech showed some glimpses of class but we should expect more from clubs from country as large as ours, right?

So then, polish clubs already started their european playing time, from qualifications of course. Ruch Chorzów has beaten twice Shakhtar Karaganda, and today draw with Valetta FC (from Malta) in first game of second elimination round of Europa League. While I write this, Wisla is finishing their first half of first game in the same competition as Ruch, they're playing with FC Šiauliai (from Lithuania). It's 0-0. On Tuesday, Lech Poznan won narrowly in Baku, thanks to Artur Wichniarek goal early in the second half. Jagiellonia Bialystok (Polish Cup winners) starts from next round of EL.

In this post I will try to describe You level of my expectations towards polish teams playing in Europe. Few lines about each club and that's all. And yes, I know that it all may depend on drawing but still, I know them and judging by their transfer window activity and friendly games won't be that hard, really.

Lech Poznan Before the season end I was strongly beliving that they'll be our first team in Champions League for many years. But they sold Lewandowski to Borussia, made late transfers and bringing Wichniarek seem a bit desperate. Lech will be solid at the back, but may have problems going forward. Still I expect them to manage at least last eliminary round of Champions League. Rest is up to UEFA draw.

Wisla Krakow Although I don't like what they are doing in Krakow with this club, Henryk Kasperczak made few changes that may be crucial. Not necessary in a good way. Wisla will be weak in defence, they lost their captain and best player - both were first choice centre backs. It may look better in attack, Żurawski signed lately and will be back-up for Brożek, maybe Kirm will show how good he is, and Gargula is finally in best shape. Good luck to them, they may get to group stage of EL.

Ruch Chorzow They started their european journey as first polish club and did well with winning two games. Now they draw with Maltan team but I expect them to beat them in second game in Poland. But with transfers they made already and lack of funds for other deals, I don't see them making it to the fourth round of eliminations. It will be simply too much for them, I'm afraid.

Jagiellonia Bialystok They start from next round, lost one of their best players (Bruno) and did not made any significant transfers for the team. But it may be good for Jagiellonia as their coach, Probierz, every summer made more than a few changes and now there's time for stability. That may be their best move, and with attacking potential they already have, group stage is not that far away. I give them fourth round and with good draw, group stage is their.

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