This is the second edition of Polish Football Scout Ranking but the rules have changed this year – instead of my own opinions, a selected panel of experts put nominated players in direct order that gave them points – 5 for the No. 1, 3 for the No. 2, 1.5 for the No. 3 and 0.5 for Special Mentions. They were very harsh and at several positions top spots were empty, while at others only one or two footballers deserved to be picked. Out of twelve categories, only three players were given the maximum number of points by each expert and there are definitely few surprises. More information about experts and results in all categories can be found at special page – 2011 Polish Football Scout Ranking.
3rd place – Damien Perquis (Sochaux, 10.04.1984, 182/75), 6.5 points
Who would have thought that only four months of being a Polish citizen would gain him so much praise? And indeed, that also could be the hardest four months of his life as he had to cope with critics that questioned his commitment, interests and need to the national team. These talks weren’t calmed down a bit by his performances under white-red flag that were described as the average at best, but it seems that the French-born Pole is much tougher than many think and indeed, if there is something we could see that might be his advantage is his hard style playing. We obviously haven’t taken away the most talented centre-back from French national team but nonetheless, he is sure of the place in his team in strong league, can raise his level and is focused, not exactly as prone-mistake as many thought he will be. If there would be transfers in international football, then Smuda once could have been praised for making him ours – he cost us nothing but a bit of patience, while being young and already experienced and shaped footballer.
He has experience of playing in solid club of one of the best leagues in the world. He is a warrior, heading is his advantage. From time to time, he makes horrible mistakes though – Maciej Chorążyk
Still, fails to convince many of us in national team but that doesn't mean he isn't the best defender we have – Michał Zachodny
Ex aequo – 1st Piotr Celeban (Śląsk Wrocław, 25.06.1985, 181/76) & Michał Żewłakow (Legia Warszawa, 22.04.1976, 182/75) – both at 14.5 points
This is something of a paradox that both top players in this ranking will probably miss out on the Euro 2012 – despite being the most recognized and respected at their positions, making real impacts at their clubs and gaining the reputations that would and should be enough to make the national team. When Michał Żewłakow decided to make a late comeback to Polish Ekstraklasa this summer, only few doubted that he wouldn’t be the Legia’s back line leader, the missing link that hurt their shake defence so many times in recent seasons. He showed even more than this and his performances on European stage were often praised as Żewłakow made a real, positive impact on Legia’s relatively young team that has developed since Skorża was given the extension to his deal, just before Żewłakow signed. Maybe his legs are slower nowadays, but his mind is still quick and his experience makes him probably the best reader of the game in Ekstraklasa.
I put more faith in Legia’s two centre-backs than to whatever pair of defenders Smuda will pick in national team – Michał Szadkowski
He should play in the national team. He could give the team hierarchy – Kibu Vicuna
Meanwhile Piotr Celeban, nine years younger than his colleague from Legia, enjoyed the best year of his career. Few could disagree that when times were hard for Śląsk, he was the one that still stood out – being more than solid, performing miracles at times, tackling perfectly and beating stronger opponents to clear the danger or… score the goal. Yes, that’s right. Piotr Celeban is a goal poacher, a player that developed the killer instinct and is most feared by Śląsk opponents, whenever they have a set piece near their box. A perfect professional too, he is also a universal player as he showed as late in this year, playing at right-back when Śląsk problems with that position were exposed. He stood out to the challenge and enjoyed the role that gives him even more opportunities to spur forward, do something he likes so much. Nonetheless, he is a centre-back and should remain one – his talent is enough to beat what so many have failed against recently – the harsh reality of national team, where his qualities are overlooked.
Good, consistent form during the whole year, some impressive displays, goals scored from set pieces. Worse as right back – Andrzej Gomołysek
Overlooked by Smuda. Consistent for Śląsk, where he rarely puts the feet wrong. Their leader – Maciej Chorążyk
No special mentions in this category.
Also ranked: Tomasz Jodłowiec (Polonia Warszawa, 08.09.1985, 190/86, 1 point), Marcin Kuś (IBBK, 02.09.1981, 187/82, 0.5 point), Marcin Komorowski (Legia Warszawa, 17.04.1984, 186/75, 1 point), Arkadiusz Głowacki (Trabzonspor, 13.03.1979, 186/78, 1.5 point)