6 paź 2012

Arkadiusz Milik's career on the up

There was quite an amusement when both squads were announced. It was the opening of previous season in Wrocław as Śląsk was hosting Górnik Zabrze and whole attention was put down to one man who was there to lead visitors' attacks against Polish vice-champions. Just seventeen year old striker, a certain no-name in Polish football was send onto his debut by Adam Nawałka - a manager who is not known for his habit of risking. By that time it may be more about statement of Górnik's problems with strikers but at the same time a surprising one-all draw in Wrocław could be a start of one of most electric careers in recent seasons of Ekstraklasa.

Of course, Milik might had to wait until 24th match of the season to get his debut goals - he hit two that day past impressive Korona Kielce - but there was never any doubt or mistrust towards young striker. Occasionally he was sent to play for the youth team, but given that he was made a set-piece taker by Nawałka shows that his coach knew straight away that the confidence will grow and goals will come, eventually. 

Fourteen months later and Arkadiusz Milik will probably step into the national team from the reserves list after Marek Saganowski was withdrawn with heart problem, full of the thing as he put two past poor Podbeskidzie. First one was a fantastic, powerful, 20-yard strike from tough position on a bumpy pitch, while the second finish has made the commentator compare his second touch to what Paul Gascoigne did once against Scotland. It may not be even close but the way he coped with a long pass, out-running two defenders, taking the ball down, chipping it onto defender's head and then volleying the thing home he made the press open their reports tomorrow with a question whether 19-year-old Arkadiusz Milik should start against England.

And why shouldn't he? Waldemar Fornalik may have only a couple of games under his Poland's belt but he has shown that he prefers in-form players rather than those of certain status. Milik's biggest problem is not, however, his young age or lack of experience at this level but the way his performances resemble those of Robert Lewandowski. These two have not only similar physical appearance but also are looking for intelligent solutions on the pitch, eager to move a bit deeper, withdraw defender and create space, take the ball or offer himself behind or between the lines. 

There is a long way to go for Milik but he is observed closely and well known abroad already with different clubs following closely his performances and development. The latter is taking the tempo and Milik's five goal in this season already are showing that Adam Nawałka's work and care over him are showing him the right way. He is growing in the best environment possible at the moment - he even took care of his brother in his contract, guaranteeing him the job at the club in the newest deal -  and if there is anything on Milik's mind about his next move, he may have to look at his possible partner versus England and create another connection.

Without a doubt, the way Lewandowski's career was directed by himself and his agent, Cezary Kucharski - even forgetting about latest silly and unnecessary differences over striker's new deal at Dortmund - is the right one. Two years at the time of building his name (domestically at Znicz Pruszków, then continentally at Lech Poznan) with one season for adaptation in foreign conditions then confidentially stepping in the place among Europe's finest strikers. Even with that awful miss at Eithad on Wednesday.

Arkadiusz Milik is already in his second season at Górnik with new long term deal and club looking for possibly the biggest sum for his signature from foreign club. The latter brings obvious worry regarding his future - if he will be pushed out of the club, then will he be advised by the money or by the chance he will get wherever he goes? 

Thankfully, by now he can focus at what he is doing better and better - scoring goals. His next biggest challenge is to move up to a different level and the only taste he will be given on the international stage is by trusting on Fornalik's instinct. Although the papers will point at the England game, his possibility may come with earlier match with Republic of South Africa. Even with Górnik's bright start to this season - if proven only by last two wins over Śląsk (4-1) and Podbeskidzie (3-1) - there is a doubt whether they will challenge for top spots with as tight squad as Nawałka has at his disposal.

"Our current situation is interesting" - says Milik himself - "but we simply keep being happy by winning games." He ruled out winter's fire-sell at the club which financial problems were well documented over last years. For Górnik's chances it's absolutely crucial to keep their momentum over next games. Despite Milik's goals and possible inclusion in Poland games, Adam Nawałka may be cursing the international break - it simply comes in the worst possible time for his team.

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