2 gru 2010

Polish FA at its best

You couldn’t make it up. One of Polish finest youth coaches, Michał Globisz was replaced after successful campaign to reach another qualifications phase of EURO for U19’s. The list of his successes so far is a long one and such achievements like winning U18 EURO back in 2001, second place at continent tournament of U16 team also taking his team to 1/8-final of U20 World Cup in Canada, back in 2007. Dozens of players came under his wing and every single one of them gave the credit to dedicated, humble and very wise coach  that Michał Globisz most certainly is. Why did they sacked him?

The official reason is laughable. In nine days Globisz turns sixty-four, just a year before the official retirement date in Poland. He is not old in his own mind, he is not tired and most importantly he is not out of reality in terms of coaching. To be honest, he is one of few that keeps up to date with tactics and youth developments coaching trends with his work on 4-2-3-1 (prepared in 2008) proving just that. But Polish FA stated that the man is not up to the job anymore and U19 team needs younger replacement. So they choose man ten years younger and much less experienced in coaching young minds – Janusz Białek, person forgotten by top clubs of Polish football.

Białek biggest achievement is taking Aluminium Konin from lower division to the Polish Cup final over a decade ago and finishing second best to Amica Wronki in one of most controversial and laughable league finals I’ve ever witnessed. Amica won 5-3 thanks to help of referee which was later arrested and charged for fixing this game in favor of team from Wronki. But Białek is not without scare on his CV – while being Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski manager and having his team in last place before second round, he won nine league games in a row to ensure that his club secured place in the league. Up to this day legends follow that story and if half of it is true, players, board and manager shouldn’t be anywhere near football anymore. Since then he worked with lower league clubs not really enjoying the best of spells at Odra Wodzisław, Stal Mielec or Stal Stalowa Wola.

So why he was chosen as such successful coach replacement? It is no mystery that Janusz Białek is man of Antoni Piechniczek, Polish FA vice-president for Development Matters, also person that decides on future of youth national teams. Piechniczek, despite doing legendary things in his managerial career back in seventies and eighties, remains person of rather old date and view on football, being also the synonym for Polish fans of typical, old and disinterested in future of football in this country activist from federation. He was disillusioned with Globisz comments about FA laziness about changing youth development programme as with current there is no chance that “Polish player will kick the ball properly before EURO 2020”. He is not a favorite inside federation, that’s for sure.

I hoped on this year evidence that Polish FA at least won’t sabotage youth national teams, despite not caring about any connection between them and main team coached by Franciszek Smuda. They use different tactics, Smuda is not really interested in those teams and players that may be the future of football in Poland. But FA gave the teams to proper youth coaches with vision, plan and background (with exception in Stefan Majewski) and Michał Globisz was the face of that crew, experienced and successful. Also they gave a job to the only scout Poland has and Maciej Chorążyk is doing decent job in convincing players all over the world to represent country that is seventy-something in FIFA ranks. But now they probably thought that they lost control in that department and replacing Globisz with Białek is perfect example of decision making going the bad way.

Globisz doesn’t feel old at all and says that he is following closely “Spain and example of coach Juan Santisteban. Since I remember he always is present at tournaments, either coaching or helping others. He is over seventy now. People think that person in my age is at the end of the road. But I feel a better coach now than I was when my team won under-18 European Championship”. I firmly believe that his abilities, experience and hunger still makes him the best youth coach in our country. There will or at least should be dozens of clubs willing to gain a signature under a contract of coach that lead Tomasz Kuszczak (Manchester United), Tomasz Cywka (Derby County), Przemysław Tytoń (Roda), Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal), Bartosz Białkowski (Southampton), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Bordeaux) and Paweł Brożek (Wisła Krakow) among many other names in his national teams.

Polish FA while discrediting itself, may be finally doing the best thing to Polish club football in the same moment they hurt youth national teams. Clubs need person like Globisz that will not only prepare a solid development programme but also show to the others how it should be done. We are long way behind to the Europe in that terms and only huge investments made in training bases and youngsters, their managers can give us a hope that one day we will match countries of second European tier. Most certainly, Michał Globisz is the man that Polish clubs can turn to for help in such important matter.

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