When Leo Beenhakker was sacked by Polish FA president, Grzegorz Lato (he told media first, then the Dutch manager), caretaker manager Stefan Majewski took for two games while the board of federation searched for full time replacement. They were looking only at managers from Poland saying, that international solution failed. So the decision was made - Franciszek Smuda.
You may want to know who he is first - he 62-year-old won polish championship three times (twice with Widzew Łódź, once with Wisła Kraków), and recently was a manager of Lech Poznań (three seasons) and Zagłębie Lubin. With Lech he impressed in UEFA Cup, won Polish Cup but more important got the Reputation. The Reputation is about attacking football, scoring more than letting in, effective, free flowing style of play, not always up to current standard of tactics. He famously said that he uses laptop (referring to technology in management) to put his tea on something. Also likes to say that he don't need doctors and experts in physical preparation, because he trusts more in his hunch.
He is national team manager for almost ten months now and says that his selection for Euro 2012 will not be over till May next year. He was counting on young players, adapting them to his (attacking) tactics, depending on their hunger and will to represent country on the biggest tournament ever organized in Poland. Quite a responsibility, don't You think?
So to speak, we don't have players capable of making his tactics work in international football. His Christmas Tree formation is torn apart by any average side. And maybe it's not about our attacking abilities, believe me, we have players capable of making good move, creating chances and converting them (not lately but still I think so) - the problem is in defence. We are so poor at the back, no class, no experience, no future (?)... It is one hell of a chaos in the back four, and against really good rivals, we are exposed in every move they create.
It's not that I don't understand Smuda's mentality, I just think he is too naive to bring any kind of success home in the summer of 2012. He wants to play with the best, match them, learn from them, show his players how good they must be, how big the gap is. Instead of playing with teams at similar level in the early stages of his selection, creating of the team, making them familiar to the tactics he prefers, we just get another hammering from better team, and all those boys learn is, that even if they give everything, the opponents are still light years in front of them and can beat them with one simple move.
You may know the sayings, learn from mistakes, lesson learned, take it on the chin and few more. They don't learn anything, though they take every goal they concede, the same mistakes happen in next game. Smuda is naive because he thinks we can play and run the game against better opposition but the truth is, all we can do is defend wisely, count on counter attacks and move the formation from left to right, limit their chances, stick to the tactics, count on physical appearance, stamina, pace, lungs. Some say that Smuda is ambitious but all I can see, is how naive he becomes with every game, saying that there is still a lot of time to learn and adapt his tactics in Euro.
No, we are running out of time. Those players won't get better during ten games per year, meeting once in two months. Those players can reach their limits but the manager must help them, not expose their weakness to rivals, especially when they are miles in front of us in every football term there is.
Sad but true, Polish National Team is getting closer to EURO 2012 disaster. The earlier we will realize that, the better we will take defeat and learn from it. That could be a new start for our football, long awaited.