This is not bad situation, taking the time of the season in account, for all Polish clubs. It even got better this morning, as Śląsk Wroclaw, Ruch Chorzow, Legia Warsaw and Lech Poznan have all found out their fates in the Champions and Europa league respectively, subject to the second matches of these clubs. But two wins and two draws when three out of four games were played away mean there is a chance that when the next qualifying rounds will come, not even one early exit will be made.
But looking at pure results doesn't do any justice to Polish teams, especially when one looks at the class of their rivals or the position in Europe teams from Montenegro, Latvia, Macedonia and Azerbaijan. An honest evaluation should, however, come from the style and performances of four representatives of Polish football on the European stage.
Śląsk's win in Podgorica was put much to the luck of Polish champions, especially given their shaky start against Buducnosti, who exploited easily problems of Lenczyk's defensive formations. For the whole first half, Marcin Kowalczyk, nominal right-back, was adapting himself to the place at the heart of the back four, making similar mistakes to the ones he committed during last pre-season friendly against third division team from Wroclaw.
Arguably, Śląsk did well enough to expose weaknesses of their rivals in a heated game, easily creating chances whenever they have put more patience in setting up their attacks. Sadly, that was the issue only in the first half, as after the break Śląsk decided to defend the lead and the second goal came after debatable penalty decision - defending was improved but there was no fluency and Lenczyk's players struggled to keep the ball even in the easiest situations.
Legia's troubling draw away in Latvia means that home game will be more stressful than it should be. Again, it were easy mistakes at the back, mainly from Inaki Astiz, that gave Metalurgus Lipava a chance in the tie that should be very much over. Legia took the lead twice and last minutes of the game played with advantage, and judging by the quality of rivals' center-backs, both were turning like tankers, not footballers, there should be goals galore, not even scoreline. Jan Urban had rather different problems at his first stint at Legia, when it was rather an issue of transferring quality from the back to the front, rather than the other way. The form of whole back four needs huge improvement, and even of the subs as well, as we hear that their only signing, Marko Suler, is nowhere near place in the side, despite huge expectations.
Lech's issue is with their away form, as the second draw shows that the main problem is in attack and finishing. The likes of Vojo Ubiparip and Bartosz Slusarski are hardly anywhere near the class of Artiom Rudnev, who went to play in the Bundesliga, and even though Hungarian Gergo Lovrecsics showed glimpses of talent in the previous round, he started the game in Lenkoran only as a sub. Hopes are high in Poznan regarding Mariusz Rumak's managerial talent but even he will struggle to defend his work and team against accusations of too defensive set up and lack of classic and clinical striker. It is highly unlikely that one of Lech's targets will join the squad before next challenges in Europe will come.
Ruch's win over Metalurg Skopje was a nervous one, and put down only to late wave of the Blues' attacks, as goal conceded meant the away match could be a mission impossible for Tomasz Fornalik's men. But once again Ruch proved that whenever they can support Arkadiusz Piech with crosses in the right place, the goals will come. Ruch will, again, stretch their chances in the following rounds but they showed, despite losing the goal and putting themselves for a nervous finish, that their form is the closest to the needs of the European football.
The scores in current round and future games made Polish hopes rose again, yet there is a feeling of job unfinished. It remains unlikely, that four teams will show their true quality at this stage of the season, though for once each of them should get credit for coming unharmed from problematic situations. Even if it is their fault.