If you would like to read once again about year 2010 in Polish football, please head to the fantastic In Bed With Maradona blog and read my article about it, month by month. It is a long read but I suppose a worth one as everything worth mentioning is there. Have a try, at least.
But back to my 2010 ranking and today it’s all about central midfielders. It’s less surprising than the defensive position in midfield I covered yesterday but also less players to consider at this spot unfortunately. Not too many of Polish footballers are able of running for 90 minutes from box to box with some outcome. Here are my picks.
I’m counting down from fifth to first and then those who are not on the list but are worth mentioning anyway. I must warn you that following opinions and positions, as in every rank, are only of my own and you may disagree with me – if you do, please comment.
5th place – Marcin Budziński (Arka Gdynia, Poland, 06.07.1990, 184/80)
Fantastic talent, one of better ones in Poland… but he has to move on to a better club to seek for new challenge. In this year he showed me that he has not only lungs to play it but also brain. Great prospect and leader of midfield line in Arka but must push up more in attack and score some goals as he has great hit as well. Electric.
4th place – Mateusz Bartczak (Zagłębie Lubin, Poland, 15.08.1979, 182/82)
One of players of this season so far in Ekstraklasa? Surely he is contender for a goal of the year with his fantastic hit that gave Zagłębie three points agains Lech in Poznan. Some great performances, mainly against Legia Warszawa, doing very well in the defence and also rising in the role of play-maker for his team. Is he too old to get his chance in national team? I don’t think so but I’m not a manager of Polish squad…
3rd place – Rafał Murawski (Rubin Kazan, Russia, 09.10.1981, 175/75)
Last year he would be on the first place without a doubt but lot of things has changed. His season in Russian Premier League wasn’t that good, although he played 23 games but not even once found the net. Add three fairly decent performances in Champions League this season to less impressing games he played for Polish national team. He must step up this year, maybe in new club? Prepared by Smuda to be team’s leader but not even close to the role right now.
2nd place – Adrian Mierzejewski (Polonia Warszawa, Poland, 06.11.1986, 176/73)
Great technique he has but unfortunately if it’s not his day, he gets lazy on the pitch. Highlight of his year was performance against Legia Warszawa with a fantastic goal that clinched great triumph for Polonia over arch-rival. But he also broke to the national team and as one of few players from Ekstraklasa he can reach the level of his teammates that play abroad. Great passer but too lazy in defence.
1st place – Adam Matuszczyk (1.FC Koln, Germany, 14.02.1989, 183/73)
It was his season. Probably the best addition to our team in terms of hard work on the pitch. Box to box player, great stamina and pace, gets better with his tackling every game of his I watch and my only concern is that he should be leading the team more, shout and advise his players. Shouldn’t be so shy, young midfielder. He has great future, I’m sure about it.
Worth mention: Janusz Gol (If only he was less injury-prone… Intelligent, great technique, passes the ball very well. Highlights of his performance against Legia in Warszawa were not something you see every week in Ekstraklasa. Fantastic game for him and GKS Bełchatów) and Adrian Mrowiec (Now let get few things straight – he is not a defender as Polish managers thinks. And unfortunately in every club he played in Poland, he was used at different defence positions, while he shows his best as central midfield. Sources from Scotland are praising his season at Hearts as one of better players of this club).