24 mar 2012

The only way is down

Miserability is a key word at Cracovia for about four years now. Since last months of Majewski's tenure during dire season 2007/2008, the owner Janusz Filipiak made seven managerial changes - in other words, eight coaches worked during that time and each and every one of them was bringing the club down.

How they survived in Ekstraklasa for so long is something that beggars belief and simply puts a shade on Ekstraklasa's wishes to become strong league. Dozens of deadwood have pulled Cracovia's shirt over the last few seasons and the eleven sent tonight by Tomasz Kafarski is the most disastrous one fans at Kałuży have ever seen. 

Cierzniak - Struna, Nawotczyński, Radomski, Suart - Budziński, Boljević, Szeliga, Steblecki, Suvorov - van der Biezen. Not every one of them is lost or is not Ekstraklasa level but you should see how awful these footballers are as a team - for some it would be a comical viewing, though Cracovia fans have something else to say.

"1. Liga, 1. Liga, 1. Liga" - that is what they shouted at this bunch of losers, creating an image of a club that have a devoted support that is so desperate that in strength of almost 8.000 comes to one of most crucial games of the season and believes something may change, suddenly. Nothing like that had happened, that is why they greeted own players with chants of the name of the league below. Surely, there is nothing in the world that will make Cracovia an Ekstraklasa team once again.

Surely, they know a bit about miraculously surviving the season despite huge numbers of defeats and with bad players. Once they stayed up only because others failed with license, others were sent down in punishment over fixing scandal, others just were even worse. It is hard to imagine whether there could be anything worse than current Cracovia squad and manager - as a whole, the picture painted, is not a disappointment but a disgrace.

Yet, somehow, some will feel only compassion towards club owner, Janusz Filipiak. After all, he is the one who invested money when Cracovia were at third tier, brought them back to Ekstraklasa and even then they had a style, attractive one, and a future to hope for. But this is a long story, memories have passed and only the image of Kafarski's men causes headache for each and every fan. 

Filipiak invested a lot of money in Cracovia - and unimaginable part of this sum was spent badly - but always had something from a naive kid, a local fan that always wanted his team to succeed and be something more than bunch of averages. But in this naivety there never was and there is no knowledge, no plan, no people that have Cracovia's crest in mind, only own business. 

And this is always where new hope lies for fans. With fantastic stadium, great history and dedicated owner, they may need a fall like the one happening right in front of their eyes. Today, goalkeeper Radosław Cierzniak kicked the ball into Górnik's player while one yard off the line and it ended in goal. There is nothing worse, no image that could better describe of what laughable stock this club have become.

The relegation could be crucial - for too long now, Cracovia have been sliding and counting on their luck, miracles even. They need this clear out, they need a strong line to be put under recent seasons and have a new start, new ideas and new people behind the project that is deemed for success. Because however enjoyable this fall may be for others, for those in opposition to Cracovia and their red-white stripes, Polish football cannot lose such project and club, again. 

The lesson needs to be learned at Kałuży and it will be the hardest and most embarrassing way fans could imagine. They can only pray for this season to end, sooner than later. Just because that is when the big change will come. Hopefully.

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