With almost two weeks since the last blog post, it is finally time to bring you back some update on Polish football. So, without much words, here it is.
Wisła Kraków finally stopped. And by who? Ślask Wrocław, out of all, in probably the strangest of matches this season, won at home with future Polish champions (as Wisła probably will hold to their first place). Wisła had all the advantage they needed last Thursday night in Wrocław, almost 80% of possession, made 60 crosses all game but failed to score. Yes, they played without Genkov and yes, Śląsk started well scoring in second minute but it was the first time Wisła was as clueless in attack as they were in Wrocław so far in 2011. Good defensive display from the hosts, but now they have lost Łukasz Gikiewicz due to ankle injury and face several difficult games that will demand much more attacking plot from there if they are willing to stay in the battle for third place.
Lech and Legia set priorities. As both teams struggled again this weekend in football – Legia losing away in Gdańsk to Lechia and Lech failing to win against GKS Bełchatów at home – the only way they will play in Europe next season is through Polish Cup, where both face each other in final this Sunday. Arguably, Legia is in bigger problems. 11 defeats this season, squad is in a mess, manager Maciej Skorża out of the club and Paweł Janas prepared to take his place. He will have fairly talented side but without character and lacking class at important positions – in goal, at the back and out wide. Lech will probably see new manager coming this summer, while the new one may face problems in making biggest stars stay – Rudnevs and Stilić already being scouted by several clubs from better leagues.
Jacek Zieliński makes the Black Shirts click. Polonia Warszawa have now won four games in a row under management of Jacek Zieliński which is stunning comeback for someone who once was regarded as the biggest failure at Konwiktorska, sacked by the owner Józef Wojciechowski. This time he made this squad click, being fifth manager this season of Polonia. Arguably, they deserve to be in top five with the squad and talents they have but looking at long term success they have there it is doubtful whether they will survive untouched a year or more – bad run will come and then the madness of Wojciechowski as well.
Eleven for Europe. Looking at the table we are sure of three things. Wisła and Jagiellonia will battle for the title with the first looking much better and preferred thanks to their advantage. Also, three teams are fighting for one place above the bottom two to stay in the league. Cracovia’s recent run being held in last two games, Polonia Bytom back to their poor old and Arka Gdynia letting goals as easy as they never been this season. What for the rest of the teams? Placed on thirteen Zagłębie Lubin is only six points behind Lechia Gdańsk – third team in the table. Eleven teams fighting for the one place that will give them place in Europa League – from which Legia and Lech are focusing on Polish Cup this Sunday. Anybody can go up, this may be the most interesting explanation of league’s mediocrity you will find in the whole Europe.
Welcome, Podbeskidzie and ŁKS. In the 1st League we are almost sure to have two club finish on the promotion spots – Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała, they ended their fantastic run in Polish Cup in dramatic defeat to Lech Poznan, and ŁKS, club that made huge progress in last two seasons but still needs desperately new ground. Both have interesting squads and I’m looking forward to see them play in Ekstraklasa. Next season should be very interesting indeed.