In the third part in series of four previews of Ekstraklasa teams before they head to the last thirteen games of remaining season, PFS concentrates on those that might be involved in a battle meaning more than simply staying up… Based on own opinions, not current league position.
Podbeskidzie is hardly a team to watch, while Bielsko-Biala is hardly a city to take longer look at. But manager Robert Kasperczyk is not a man that puts beauty over results - he knows exactly what it takes to be Ekstraklasa's best newcomers this season and that is said despite their poor start. Stable in many different ways but still with enough resources to make their team efficient - once they got to the terms with Ekstraklasa football and quality, manager changed few things, they've become one of the hardest side to beat. And watch, actually.
Not that Kasperczyk cares. He brought more players now to introduce what he wanted his team to play last season and we could see in his clashes in Polish Cup, impressing ones. But will seeking for redemption Łukasz Mierzejewski be the addition at full back he is wanting? The other names are surprising and questionable as well, it may take time to fully make them (Curic and Elmalich) work with the rest of the team. Kasperczyk will continue his stabilizing mission for next three months but with a wider picture ahead of him and the club - Podbeskidzie wants to make their stamp on Polish highest tier in football and in some style, not hoofing up the ball and counting on what Sylwester Patejuk may give them with his skills.
Widzew is another example of why Łódź is not a place friendly to run a football club. Without proper ground, fierce rivalry with ŁKS and financial problems restricting their transfers abilities, Widzew is another candidate to be something more than mediocre football club but less than candidates for anything serious. With several leaders that were still kept in place, Radosław Mroczkowski keeps hold to anything that is worthwhile during countless trials. But this time, he lost more players and important ones too - Dzalamidze went to Jagiellonia, Grzelczak is off to Lechia, Budka picked Pogoń.
Their only addition that keeps fans' eye for longer is Marcin Kaczmarek who went over the line and signed from ŁKS - clearly not winning anyone over with this move on either side of Łódź. Mroczkowski's squad is interesting one, at times playing something more than too well known solidness but it is one destined to be disassembled by richer players in the game. There is a lot of work that needs to be done if Widzew wants to be one of the best, not one of the rest. At least in Mroczkowski they have the man they need. Or he seems to be the one.
Ruch Chorzow is almost a definition of a club that rich in history, fails to make ends meet and works only up until certain level. With Waldemar Fornalik at the helm, they have got a perfect man for the job, calm and reassured, knowing his job and showing wisdom - in tactical changes, picking talented players from lower clubs and making these average play like they are top ones. Then earn Ruch some money.
Sad but true, Ruch's story so far in this century is rich anyway but nothing like their history of winning titles. This is highly unlikely that they will achieve as much soonish, or in next decade, but Fornalik is once again the example of a man that is not only the one who makes everything tick, he is also the one that makes this club still having a point and sense in future existence. After all, not even the die-hard supporters and his biggest opponents in blue colours can now argue his latest addition, the comeback of Andrzej Niedzielan after his very unsuccessful spells at Korona Kielce and Cracovia. When he was a blue, he was scoring and being linked with national team and he openly speaks of his admire for Fornalik. Ruch is now fourth, doubtful they will stay there, but in games with them, there will be blood split. Toughest game are played against them.