First part of my Ekstraklasa round up after fifteen games and before long break with Polish league. Also, You can read my newest contribution to the fabulous In Bed With Maradona site where review of first round in Ekstraklasa is more compact and… well, different. Try it yourself but meanwhile, let’s get back to football and team-by-team round up – I start from the bottom and first group is about teams that will obviously be involved in the battle to stay in the league.
Position: 16th, eight points (2-2-11), 16-31
Review: huge ambitions not matched with performances on the pitch and they are struggling at every position and in every game. Huge problems inside the team did not help either.
Manager: Now Jurij Szatałow who already was close to resignation, but season started with Rafał Ulatowski. Both struggled to get anything out of this team.
Best player: Saidi Ntibazonkiza. Yes, he’s gone missing on several occasions but also was their main (if not the only one) threat up front.
Should: built team for the future in 1st league after relegation as current one will not save them from going down.
Future: Tough years are coming and they thought it will be so different. But that’s chance for them to clear their squad from deadwood and be back in two years time.
Position: 15th, seventeen points (4-5-6), 9-14
Review: Unbeaten at home but still struggling to find the net in away games. Solid at the back and well organized team.
Manager: Dariusz Pasieka is doing really well, his transfers were good but still needs to find an answer to his team attacking problems.
Best player: Marcin Budziński is close call as also Labukas, Bruma and Noll played well but young Polish midfielder improved tactically and I’d finally promote some talents on this blog!
Should: find a striker!
Future: they seriously need to get some points away from home as their artificial pitch will not be advantage anymore (moving to new ground).
Position: 14th, seventeen points (4-5-6), 12-14
Review: They had some fairly good results at home against tough opposition but struggled away from home. Short squad and it’s quality was the issue but not as huge as financial problems in Chorzów.
Manager: Waldemar Fornalik is doing his best to get out of his players as much as he can but without investments in the squad and only selling players, they may found themselves in 1st League very soon.
Best player: Wojciech Grzyb is not getting any younger (36 years old) but many teams would love to have such committed players in their ranks. Young striker, Maciej Jankowski deserves mention as well.
Should: Strengthen their squad with at least four players as Maciej Sadlok will leave this winter for Polonia Warszawa.
Future: Financial problems are the issue but the board says that Fornalik may count on some money this winter. He surely needed that statement…
Position: 13th, seventeen points (4-5-6), 13-16
Review: Did not have as good home form as I thought but also presented much better away from home. But still only few from the squad deserves to play in Ekstraklasa.
Manager: Jan Urban was appointed when Jurij Ształowv left for struggling Cracovia and he may not changed much but his team won seven points in last five games which was fairly good for them.
Best player: Szymon Sawala without a doubt – one of few that might find better team very soon, leaving Polonia.
Should: Well, very much strengthen their squad, again. It will not be easy as money there are tight but Jan Urban may be the man to save them from going down.
Future: Personally, they are becoming second Odra Wodzisław (now in 1st League) of Ekstraklasa – awful ground, financial problems, very average side… and for me, they are going down, if not this year, there is always next season. No vision in Bytom.
Position: 12., eighteen (4-6-5), 23-18
Review: After fairly good start they lost few games and changed manager but it is strange why team with such attacking force (Sernas and Robak scored fourteen this round) and positive goal difference is so close to the bottom.
Manager: Czesław Michniewicz was appointed when Andrzej Kretek ended his mission there and his biggest challenge is to organize team from the back.
Best player: Darvydas Sernas – Lithuanian Player of the Year, as well. He deserved it with good performances when Robak was injured and despite not scoring recently he played really good this round.
Should: Get a decent goalkeeper and organize their team in the middle of the pitch. Michniewicz brought back Kuklis to the squad and this decision may prove crucial.
Future: I can’t see them getting relegated but if media are right that Sernas and Robak are close to leaving Łódź, there may be a problem for Michniewicz with finding players that could match that duo.
That’s it for today, watch the space tomorrow for the second part!