1 lut 2011

The Curious Case of Paweł Janas

He is the first Polish footballer that not only played at World Cup but also took his country there as manager. Hugely respected even though many of his decision remains not only strange but still commented among football fans - like the one about leaving Tomasz Frankowski in the country when he was our best striker in World Cup 2006 qualifications. Media like to recall that time when Poland lost their first game to Ecuador and wanting the answers for some pilling questions he sent out... the cook. Strange isn't it?

When he resigned after World Cup failure, Paweł Janas hided in the woods doing his second favorite thing, his hobby - hunting. Jokes were flying around about the team and the manager but he couldn't care less about what the media says, he never used to read the papers in his job. After two years of hiding in the woods, he came back to manage GKS Belchatow and this was fairly successful spell, although it lasted only few months - he blamed club' transfer policy and moved to Widzew Lodz where he was needed to get them promotion to Ekstraklasa. With the best squad in 1st League that proved to be rather easy challenge and only summer separated him from being back at the top level in Polish football.

Strange thing has happened though - Polonia Warszawa, or rather Józef Wojciechowski (owner of that club) came for him but not wanting him in manager role, he was appointed as Sports Director. Already realizing that crisis between him and current manager, Jose Mari Bakero will rather sooner than later end in sacking the Spaniard, he needed someone who could step in that role. With the personality and knowledge, Paweł Janas seemed to be the perfect and predictable replacement. Widzew was baffled though and many sources from the club said that he simply went there for the money and ambitions had nothing to do with it. Especially when Janas knew what kind of reputation Wojciechowski has - fifteen managers in four, five years of running the club, that speaks for itself.

When Polonia lost their first game of 2010/11 season, being top of the league after five games, Bakero was kicked out and Sports Director took over but the results could hardly get better and they didn't. Polonia was struggling with new tactics, the style was nowhere near what Wojciechowski wanted from his team to present. When the first round ended and already new names where mentioned of managers who could take over at Polonia, negotiations between Janas and Wojciechowski started. As he had nothing for his excuse, silently took his post as Sports Director back. 

That was just before the new year came and also new manager, Dutch Theo Bos. Janas never had the best opinion about Leo Beenhakker and to work with one of his colleague was probably too much for him. Grumpy at times ex-Polish national team manager decided to leave Polonia Warszawa but voices from the club says he was rather uninspiring in his role and never looked settled there.

Will he be back as manager at any other Polish club? Struggling to hold to one spot, in permanent bad mood with media but much happier person on training pitch and inside chaning room... fairly few clubs are looking now at one of the hardest managers to live with, are we about to have another two years without Janas in Polish football? Paweł Janas may be not the one who looks for the job, the good reputation is still his but the time is running out for him to succeed - there may be no way back to management when he decides to come out of the woods once again.

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