31 maj 2011

From bottom to top – Ekstraklasa’s teams season review (2)

Thirty league rounds are now behind us and finally we know everything about season 2010/2011. Few great stories, both happy and sad, many fantastic goals, heroes and villains, skillful players and those lacking any qualities, stadiums full of fans and games played behind closed doors… That was really entertaining season of football in Poland but before we start looking at different players, stories, let’s share few lines about every club. From bottom to the top. Part two.

Eight in the table is Lechia Gdańsk, perfect example of a club that lost over a million of Zlotys in just one game. They were very close to the top three finish but lost two last games and finish disappointingly low. Especially against Zagłębie, when they were leading 1-0 and lost. Tomasz Kafarski is often praised, being young and ambitious manager but he got his tactics wrong too many times and still his squad lacks depth, despite having quality players on the pitch. Shame that Surma stepped down with his form in last few months but Razack Traore proved to be fantastic player and if they stick with him, they will be good team next round. More focus on the defence though!

Polonia Warszawa finished on seventh place – despite having five different managers this season! Jose Mari Bakero started the job, then Paweł Janas took over, Theo Bos lasted few games, Piotr Stokowiec was temporary solution before Jacek Zieliński was signed as manager. What a mess, eh? Strange how they finished so high but it wasn’t their ambition at all, they were aiming for championship, shouldn’t we forget about it. They have a really good squad but several transfers, especially of foreigners, are more than suspicious. Better organization of the team and calmer head from the owner should help them out to make next season better. But we can doubt that the second part will happen. The big question is whether Adrian Mierzejewski will stay…

…but even more questions are asked over the future of Górnik Zabrze. They finished surprisingly high but lost too many games, several that shouldn’t be lost by them and this summer will be decisive in Zabrze. Manager Adam Nawałka did good job but will threaten to leave if they decide to sell their best players. Robert Jeż, Martin Bemben, Daniel Sikorski were all signed this season and may move on quickly, as may Bonin who is their leader. If they will not cover for them, next season will be rather a disappointment than another step in the right direction. Players performed way better than the club is organized to be honest.

Lech Poznan on fifth place and this is… the biggest disappointment. This is very high position for them regarding how badly they were playing several times this season and nobody should forget about their dreadful start to the campaign, despite good adventure in European Cups. Surprisingly, Jose Mari Bakero will stay as a manager while he should be sacked as simply not good enough. Squad as good as their should definitely finish higher, fight for the championship and ending season with empty hands is their loss. Unfortunately for fans in Poznan, clubs seems unable to answer who is responsible for this disaster.

Fourth place is occupied by Jagiellonia Białystok, leaders after first round. Many problems occurred during winter time, selling of Kamil Grosicki may look like a mistake but Probierz, their coach, decided to put more perspective players for the price of losing one of the leaders. Also his silent row with Tomasz Frankowski had an impact on their season and good for them that they finished with European cups in their hand as fourth is the best result in their history. But, as Michał Probierz said himself, ambitions were higher in Białystok. Will he move on? There is no better coach for Jaga at the moment and they should solve their problems as soon as possible – he wanted to walk away after their loss against Polonia Warszawa…

Third place is for Legia, and that probably shows the best the weakness of Ekstraklasa. Why team that was a disaster, a tactical mess in first round, losing games so easily, ends as high? They won Polish Cup even though they played badly. They finished third but Skorża’s work was questioned so many times that it seemed they will look for a change and even negotiated with Vladimir Weiss, only to stick with Skorża when they failed to reach an agreement. Ethics? Few will care about style of that decision and surely Legia should now focus on stabilizing their squad. There is less money than last summer and moves will be made only if somebody will be sold. Media are already all over the possible transfer of Ariel Borysiuk

Second place for Śląsk Wrocław? Now this is the biggest surprise our league has seen. Despite being in relegation zone after eleven games, they finish with the biggest success their fans have seen for over twenty years! Great achievement that wouldn’t be possible without Orest Lenczyk, who was hired when Ryszard Tarasiewicz failed to cope with new squad. Many will argue about their style and rightly so but they have whole summer to made changes that will make them more attractive side. There is a potential in this team but they need young blood injected as they remain the only team that failed to field an U21 footballer this season, even for a second. Sebastian Mila, Przemysław Kaźmierczak, Piotr Celeban and Marian Kelemen deserve praise for this seasons effort but not less than other members of their squad. Fantastic job.

Wisła Kraków are champions! No surprise here at all, even though the way they started this season was awful and even Robert Maaskant didn’t gave the kick they needed right from the moment he took over after European exit… But it’s not only about Dutch coach, also his friend Stan Valckx, who is sports director at Wisła. His contacts made them so strong during winter session that no other team could be compared to them, especially with Maaskant’s tactics. Of course, they failed several times but their approach was always positive, always attacking and that brings back memories of the Wisła that was impossible to beat in Ekstraklasa. We will see how they will explore this team and whether they stand a chance in Champions League race but transition of Wisła seems to be now done, especially in the first eleven. If they can move wisely for players to the backup, there will be no arguing that it is the weakest champions Poland has seen for many years.

2 komentarze:

  1. Thanks for this huge review. There is a possible transfer of Adrian Mierzejewski to my team, Trabzonspor. Fans are waiting for him... The transfer will be end at friday.

    There is also rumours about Maciej Sadlok and Ariel Borysiuk. I hope we'll get Artur Sobiech too.

    We need a back up for Glowacki, so Sadlok is very versatile defender. I think he could easily replace Glowacki. Ariel Borysiuk is too young for us but Sobiech has a great talent and i think he can show his potential in turkey.

    What do you think about their chances in Turkey?


  2. Hi Adem,

    I've heard about Mierzejewski but Polonia will not let him as easily as You think. If they will, costs will be around 4-5 million Euro. He is good enough to make it in Turkey, needs to work harder though.

    I don't believe in rumours about Sadlok, Borysiuk and Sobiech going to Turkey. Sadlok will stay at least for one more year at Polonia, Borysiuk will look for a club in western Europe while Sobiech is in the same situation as Sadlok. Maybe next summer?