Saturday, July 30, 2011
By Daniel Jagiello
In the UEFA zone, Poland's rivals to qualify for Brazil 2014 are known. They are England, Ukraine, Montenegro, Moldova and San Marino. It's not the most difficult group but no way is it going to be easy. I'm personally pretty happy we got England as they are that kind of National team that always has good players with a great manager, Fabio Capello. Montenegro are not a side to take lightly, they have been very impressive in the EURO qualifiers and have some decent players that are starters for some good clubs.
Lets hope Poland does well in the EURO, then we can worry about this I say. Is it just me or do Greece and Switzerland always seem to get some favourable draws?
Posted by MrHussaria at 10:26 PM
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Gaziantepspor 0-1 Legia Warszawa
Goal: Radović 52'
Gaziantepspor: Žydrūnas Karčemarskas - Elyasa Süme (58. Yasin Pehlivan), Emre Güngör, Dany Nounkeu, Ivan - Iwelin Popow (67. Cenk Tosun), Serdar Kurtuluş, Murat Ceylan (85. Muhammet Demir), Wágner, Olcan Adın - Ismael Sosa
Legia: Wojciech Skaba - Jakub Rzeźniczak, Michał Żewłakow, Marcin Komorowski, Jakub Wawrzyniak - Manú (81. Janusz Gol), Ivica Vrdoljak, Ariel Borysiuk, Miroslav Radović, Michał Kucharczyk (62. Michal Hubník) - Danijel Ljuboja (90. Michał Żyro)
Few Chances -
A largely defensive game for Skorza's men as they battled hard all 95 minutes today. Unfortunately for the Polish side, the Turks attempted to make the most out of their non stop chances but luckily for us Legia goalie Skaba was up to the challenge, not once but several times throughout the game. However, some chances did come for Legia mostly out of long balls provided by our back line, but also a couple creative attempts came out of the midfield.
The Goal -
Radovic's goal was set up by Ljuboja sending a perfect through ball between two opposing defenders which Radovic calmly put away.
Two Debuts -
Daniel Ljuboja debut was a good one he was able to hold up the ball well, and at the end of the day he assisted the only goal and showed flashes of class that will be a big part of Legia's offensive success. Micheal Zewlakow also made his first debut and played a very solid game not only defensively but provided several accurate passes throughout the game that led to a couple of chances for the offense.
The Referee -
The Spanish refeere Cesar Fernandez caused many headaches today, as he continued to call each and every foul or non foul in favour of the Turkish side. 22 fouls were called by the Spaniard on Legia along with several yellow cards, while in contrast the Turkish players were only called on 8 fouls. To get a better idea - there were times where the Turkish players were barely touched but fell and the referee automatically gave the spot.
Slask Wroclaw 0-0 Lokomtive Sofia
Śląsk: Marián Kelemen - Piotr Celeban, Dariusz Pietrasiak, Marek Wasiluk, Amir Spahić - Waldemar Sobota (83. Marek Gancarczyk), Mateusz Cetnarski, Rok Elsner, Sebastian Mila, Piotr Ćwielong (69. Sebastian Dudek) - Cristián Díaz (53. Johan Voskamp)
Lokomotiw: Walentin Galew - Darko Savić (69. Władisław Romanow), Jordan Wyrbanow, Milen Łachczew, Kristijan Dobrew - Iskren Pisarow, Rumen Goranow, Iwo Iwanow, Wasił Welew (65. Marczo Dafczew), Atanas Atanasow - Presław Jordanow (82. Mirza Mešić)
Very Offensive -
Orest Lenczyk's squad featured several new faces in the starting 11 and what looked to be one of the most offensive set ups ever. Two high wingers in Cwielong and Sobota, creative midfielders in Mila, Cetnarski and Elsner and finally Diaz up front.
Slask Wroclaw peppered the Lokomotiv defense all day long as the more technically gifted, speedy and physcially stronger Slask dominated play for most of the game. The first perfect opportunity came early in the game when wingback Celeban drove into to the box and instead of attempting a shot passed it out for Cwielong to try as he hit his shot directly into the keeper. Later, on more chances from Diaz, Mila, Cwielong and even Sobota came close but did not find the back of the net.
The Bulgarians -
Lokomotive looked out of sync in the first 30 minutes of play but soon continued to attack on the counter and almost converted on several opportunities. They started to get the better of Slask at moments in the game, but nobody really stood out - the second leg will be much more interesting as Slask will look for the away goal as will Lokomotive which will in turn make for a great entertaining game.
As always please feel free to comment on the surprises of today and perhaps what is to come of the teams next week!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Legia Warszawa will meet the fourth place finisher Gaziantepspor out of Turkey for the very first time in team history. The Poland side is seen as the underdog once again, as they will try to get their name on the map and advance as far as possible on the European stage.
The List -
Maciej Skorza announced his squad of 20 Legia players for their upcoming European league clash;
Goalkeepers: Marijan Antolović, Wojciech Skaba
Defenders: Jakub Rzeźniczak, Artur Jędrzejczyk, Inaki Astiz, Marcin Komorowski, Michał Żewłakow, Tomasz Kiełbowicz, Jakub Wawrzyniak
Midfielders: Manu, Maciej Rybus, Ariel Borysiuk, Rafał Wolski, Michał Żyro, Janusz Gol, Ivica Vrdoljak, Miroslav Radović,
Strikers: Michal Hubnik, Danijel Ljuboja, Michał Kucharczyk
Some Positives -
Once injured and now healthy, Legia are very lucky to have both strikers back to regular fitness as Ljuboja and Hubnik were out recently with respective injuries. Furthemore, captain Vrdolijak is back after a groin injury.
Splash the Cash $ -
Legia found several key veterans and added them to their already experienced club. Veteran captain and former Polish national Michal Zewlakow was a huge step in the right direction. Then a very polished striker in Ljuboja and finally they did get their Israeli helper Moshe Ohayen.
Legia's Record vs Turkish team all time -
Legia – Galatasaray Stambuł 2:1
Galatasaray Stambuł – Legia 1:0
Legia – Galatasaray Stambuł 1:0
Galatasaray Stambuł – Legia 1:1
Legia – Galatasaray Stambuł 2:0
Legia – Besiktas Stambuł 1:1
Besiktas Stambuł – Legia 2:1
To sum up -
Date and Time -
Tomorrow the cup winners will face off with a good squad of out Turkey at 20:00 European time or 2:00 Eastern Time.
With the upcoming draw to take place on July 30 in Rio, Brazil - Poland has found themselves in Pot 4 which will not be an easy Pot to be drawn out of, as they will face several top end teams to fight with for that number 1 automatic spot.
We will hope to be in the same group as Slovenia, Hungary and possible San Marino and not Spain or France.
UEFA World Cup 2014 - Pots
Pot 1: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Norway, Greece
Pot 2: France, Montenegro, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia
Pot 3: Switzerland, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary
Pot 4: Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Lithuania, Albania, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Poland
Pot 5: Armenia, Finland, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands
Pot 6: Wales, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra, San Marino
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Polish National Team manager Franciszek Smuda has named a 20 man squad for the upcoming friendly against Georgia. Which will take place on the 10th of August. Some key changes from our last squad include Eugen Polanski's Polish debut, unfortunately we'll have to wait a little longer for our much needed Centre Back Damien Perquis while Slawomir Peszko returns after a long break and Jakub Wawrzyniak keeps his place in our squad for now.
Goalkeepers: Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal FC, ENG), Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia, POL)
Defenders: Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund, GER), Arkadiusz Glowacki (Trabzonspor, TUR), Maciej Sadlok, Tomasz Jodlowiec (both Polonia Warszawa, POL), Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (Lech Poznan, POL), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Legia Warszawa, POL)
Midfielders: Dariusz Dudka (AJ Auxerre, FRA), Ludovic Obraniak (OSC Lille, FRA), Adam Matuszczyk , Slawomir Peszko (both FC Koln, GER), Eugen Polanski (Mainz, GER), Jakub Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund, GER), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor, TUR), Rafal Murawski (Lech Poznan, POL), Szymon Pawlowski (Zaglebie Lubin, POL)
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dormund, GER), Pawel Brozek (Trabzonspor, TUR), Michal Kucharczyk (Legia Warszawa, POL)
Now, it would be a good idea to start the game with Szczesny (since Sando is still looking for a club to land at, maybe Everton or Celtic). Back Line I have no idea, I know Piszczek will be there for sure since he's World Class and probably Glowacki too, the rest up to the boss. I don't know if the time is right, but seeing Wasilewski in our line up would create a smile, but I guess Smuda changed his mind on calling him up.
Ludo, Kuba, Polanski and Mierzejewski look favourites to take the midfield (as Smuda must be licking his chops to use the new Mainz addition, and hell why not!), Peszko or Matuszczyk may take the fifth spot if Smuda decides to play the lone frontman card again, most likely using Robert Lewandowski. What's happening with Kamil Grosicki? Why didn't he get called up, he's not injured like Sobiech is he?
Give us your thoughts fellow football lovers. I heard Boenisch may be returning soon. Question is, can he get to top form quickly?
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 9:51 PM
Wisla Krakw XI - Jovanic, Lamey, Jaliens, Chavez, Diaz, Sobolewski (C), Wilk, Nunez (Gargula 78'), Melikson, Genkov (Jovanovic 87'), Iliev (Kirm 67')
Litex Lovech XI - Vinicius, Zanev, Berberovic, Yanev, Wellington, Todorov (Codo 65'), Milanov ( Josse 86'), Nikolov, Yelenkovich (C), Tsvetanov (Flores 73'), Bodurov
Litex Lovech - Wisla Krakow 1:2
0:1 Lamey (19')
1:1 Wellington (45 +1')
1-2 Melikson (76')
Game Roundup -
Wisla Krakow beat out Bulgarian Champions 2-1 in a very tough battle, which saw each team capitalize on several opportunties but also miss out on several easy chances. Litex attacked Wisla from the 1st minutes and did not stop until the 95th minute of the game.
Last minute replacement -
The day started off on the wrong foot as Wisla goalkeeper was pulled out before the game due to a back injury. Last minute replacement Jovanic had to come in and replace Pareiko, his play was at best satisfactory and the backline was also affected not having their leader.
Litex Lovech showed why they are a very good team, with great tactical abilities and pace, they used both their wingers to progress play and did not stop all day - causing many problems for our back line. The Norweigien referee also missed several key calls but in the end they evened out well for Wisla. Two penalty kicks missed, a goal discounted for a foul and two crossbars by Litex was how the game summed up - one full of surprises.
Debut for two players -
Two key additions to the squad were used from the get go as wingback Diaz and midfielder Nunez both started in the first eleven. Although, Diaz struggled against a very fast Brazilian Tom he used his muscle to pound him into the ground but that was at a cost as Tom ran by several of our defenders creating excellent chances. Luckily, not to many were converted.
Goals Goals and missed opportunities -
Wisla opened up the scoring off a free kick as captain Sobolewski put in a perfect ball that was ninja kicked in by Michael Lemay - he looked more like Jacki Chan with that high drive over the keeper. But, as always good luck doesnt last that long and with the advancing Litex everyone felt that they would eventually get on the bored. In the forty sixth minute Litex advanced and found a man in the box who drove a low kick home and unfortunatly it bounced of Jaliens to tie the game 1-1.
After the break more dirty play continued as Wisla again had their backs against the ball but managed to clear many of the Litex chances away. The game was stopped several times as Wisla continued to get fouled on the ball, which in the end was the bright point for Wisla as they had stopped the movement of the technically gifted Litex team. Wisla thought they put the game away on another beautiful chip pass that found Maor Meliksons' head as he calmly controlled it and drove it into the back of the net. 1-2 was the scoreline with twenty minutes to go and Litex was still hungry for a goal. They got the goal as their striker climbed the back of Jaliens but the referee saw that it was a clear foul and called the goal off.
Fifteen more minutes of shell shock had to be avoided and finally Maaskant brought on Jovanovic for Genkov to give a much needed defender. Wisla were able to hold on after a very tough game and got two very important away goals. Although, Litex was the better team on the day, not everything went there way as Wisla fought hard to win a very tough game in Bulgaria.
Back to the drawing board -
Wisla Krakow will have a week to prepare for Litex at home and ensure they fix the mistakes that caused them problems. Let's hope Malecki and Periko will be healthy for this match. As Iliev will not be able to participate due to a yellow card ban. Next week will not be easy but we should have full confidence in coach Maaskant to come up with a good game plan.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Tomorrow at 19:30 Euro time, Wisla will take on Litex in Bulgaria for the first leg of the 3rd round qualifications of the Champions League. The Bulgarian Champion had no problem with their last opponent as they outplayed them in all aspects of the game. While on the other hand, Wisla had a difficult time finishing off Skonto FC. Although, Skonto played a very defensive game, count on this round to be much more exciting as both teams will look to attack. Coach Maaskant referred to the Krakow players as causing a lot of smoke last game prior to the second half, he told them to make a fire and they did as Wisla went on to score 2 goals, which could of easily been 4.
There is no doubt that Wisla will play a predominantly counter attacking game, as Litex will definitely try to score as many goals as possible being at home. What we cannot do is what Slask did last week and put up a game plan with no striker! Wisla front-man Tsvetan Genkov, who has played in Bulgaria, knows many of the players from the National team - he has made everyone aware that Litexh veas a very good squad.
Bad news has sometimes a bit of good attached to it, same story for Wisla - who will be without Polish winger/attacker Patryk Malecki after picking up a knock in the Skonto game. It is a huge loss for Wisla as they play to him very often, but on the bright side as Tomas Jirsak is fit and in form and ready to step in. Coach Maaskant has already stated that several changes to the first squad will be made and tactically he has a couple of different choices.
I'm going to assume we will play it safe, but smart. I would like to see a 4-2-3-1 formation and hope for something like this...
Diaz will provide a much needed offensive threat along with Lamey on the other side - this along with Jirsak and Nunez will give Wisla a very dynamic combination. I hope our squad will look something similar to this.
It seems Wisla are taking steps into the right direction, and after watching the Skonto series many players will have to do a lot better to stay in the starting 11 while the ones that are given their short time must show flashes of brilliance. Last week, many saw newcomer Nunez not only debut, but play very well off and on the ball. I feel that Maaskant will pair him up with Wisla captain Sobolewski as Wilk was very quiet last game. Jirsak was very much missed last series and I feel his presence will be needed verse a strong Bulgarian side. We must look for Iliev and Genkov to do a lot of the attacking and of course Melikson to produce some chances.
Some Fun Facts:
After doing some research on transfermarkt.de - Litex have the Brazilian GK Vinicius as their most prized possession at 700 000 euros and a total squad worth of almost 11 000 000 Euros. While, on the other hand, Patryk Malecki is worth 2 200 000 euros and a total squad worth of 23 000 000 Euros.
Will Maaskant men have even more trouble with the technically gifted side who is very well balanced from front to back? Or will his plans pay dividend, tomorrow, we will have to wait and see who plays the better game!
My scoreline is 1-1. But, I hope for a 0-1 win coming from Bulgarian assasin Genkov.
What do you think the scoreline will be?? Comments and predictions are always welcome!
By Krzysziek Moskal
Several weeks have gone by since the last edition and no real progress has been made on the top ten players Poland has to offer. More noise has been made but players are still available, although there is some interest form several clubs nothing is set in stone as of yet...
Here are some updates on the possible transfers yet to come...
Top 10 Available Polish Players this summer
1. Artur Boruc (Fiorentina) - GK - The latest out of Italy is that Boruc will actually stay as the number #1 keeper.
2. Ludovic Obraniak (Lille) - MF - Obraniak was offered a new contract but has not signed yet will he leave or will he stay?
3. Ireneusz Jelen (Auxerre) - ST - Jelen has now two main clubs after him Greek club Panathinaikos and Polands own Polonia Warszawa, as he is a free agent there is noise that he wanted to come back to Poland is it too soon? Maybe he wants to cement a starting spot so he can play in Euro 2012?
4. Ariel Borysiuk (Legia) - MF - Udinese have agreed to terms with Bory and from what I hear he is one foot in the door, but Legia want him to stay until their Europe run is over...we will have to see how this one turns out.
5. Dariusz Dudka (Auxurre) - DM/LB - Latest reports indicate that he will stay!
6. Tomasz Kuszczak (Machester United) - GK - Kusz interest from West Brom has smoked over and it appears he will be staying with the Red Devils - What a nightmare !!!! Get ready to end your career on the bench!
7. Marcin Wasilewski (RSC Anderlecht ) - RB -Will stay with current club no more Poland for Wasi!
8. Lukasz Zaluska (Celtic FC) - GK - Zalus wants to keep the number 1 spot as he has played well so far.. he is looking to be Celtics go to guy.
9. Jerzy Dudek (Real Madrid) - GK - Nothing new with this story as of late....he will go but probably stay in Spain somewhere.
10. Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagellonia) - GK - Passed the Everton medical test then flew to Scotland and passed the test for Celtic, after a horrible Europa experience Sando wants out and lets hope he gets to go to a club where he will become better!
These are just some of the latest facts and rumors, some are changing from day to day, but one thing is for sure most of these players will find a new home very soon!
Have you heard anything new? If so please post a comment! Thanks!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Orest Lenczyk compared the win to a car that had lost two of its wheels but kept going! He wasnt the only one that almost died from a heart attack as millions of Polish fans who witnessed the clash almost suffered a similar fate.
Prior to the game everbody knew that Slask Wroclaw would come out defensivly, but was Orest correct in his decscion making by choosing a very defensive formation that had no striker. A 4-1-2-3 lineup is what they started with but soon had to make several changes to rally from a very advancing Dundee United!
A game like no other saw the home team score two goals in the first 5 minutes, a nightmarish start along with very ugly defending and unlikely bounces is how the first two goals came about. Russell and Goodwillie got onto the score sheet before many fans could sit down but Slask did not give up and came back attacking. Ten minutes later a beautiful corner kick met the head of Rok Elsner who slammed it home for a beautiful goal. There was no noise from the home fans anymore as Slask took the opportunity to raise some hell, the game continued to be an awful introduction on how not to play long balls as Slask defenders continued to make mistakes eventhough they lead.
About forty minutes into the game, the Polish side picked up the pace, controlled the game but every time a ball was lost Dundee continued to kick it in the air and hoped for more defensive mistakes. Orest brought on a striker, finally, and Voskamp made his second appearance. Dundee continued to pour the long balls down Slask throat and once again it payed off as Goodwille pulled down the ball from the sky in the Slask box but our alarmed goalkeeper ran out and made a horrendous mistake taking down Goodwille. The penalty kick, along with yellow card served Kelemen right as he did not look himself. Forty four minutes in and Daly made no mistake by slamming home the penalty kick effort that saw Kelemen attempt a dive but it went over his body. Slask squad went into halftime down and out, as Dundee cheered their Orange Tangerines on.
After the half time break, similar events were on tap - as Slask controlled the ball on the ground but again had trouble winning headers verse a bigger Dundee side. The action was back and forth and there were several harsh challenges by Dundee players that tallied up 3 yellow bookings. Twenty minutes past and Orest decided on another change by bringing on offensive starlet Waldemar Sobota - who automatically made a difference by making a couple of brilliant runs and winning some one on ones.
Seventy three minutes passed and Sebastian Mila continued to play hard and look for chances and he soon found a wide open Sebastian Dudek who took a stutter step and shot a cannonball of a shot that hit the top right corner of the Dundee net. There was silence from the Dundee United fans while the Poles were in euphoria- heaven as they had just climbed out of hell - 3-3 on aggregate and Slask were very close to moving on! But, once again Dundee did not give up and looked as if they were about to score another one and put the Polish side away.
In the last ten minutes Dundee threatend the Polish side but they could not put another one through, then Goodwillie had the best opportunity after another corner kick came in as he took the ball kicked it up and tried to kick it over but that is exactly what happened it went over the bar. Another chance came as Dundee drove down the field and wasted another opportunity.
Ninety three minutes done and the referee blew the whistle, Dundee United were beaten but not after an amazing battle between the two great clubs. The Polish side was better, but they made mistakes that in the next stage will probably not be made up.
Orest Lenczyk put his demons back in hell as he overcame the nightmare scenerio, this win will not only help Slask as a team but build their morale in a way that a win of 6-0 coudlnt even do. A great step for Slask and again for Polish football! Next up, is Bulgarian side Levski Sofia and that will definitely be a great test.
In other news, Legia Warszawa also found out their opponents as they will face Turkish side Gaziantepspor. Also, Wisla will face Litex next week as well!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Flash back to 1980/81 Slask Wroclaw faced off with Dundee United for the first time in club history - it looked more like a friendly match against a bad team as the Scottish side embarrassed the Polish giants 7-2 on aggregate.
This is something that former and now current manager Orest Lenczyk has not yet forgotten, and will attempt to take his revenge after 3 decades. Media reports blamed the loss on players irresponsible behaviours as it claimed that many of the Slask stars were drinking into the late hours before their rematch in Scotland.
Slask Wroclow is in Scotland, and everybody knows that this second leg will not be like the one they had 30 years ago. The Polish vice champions are on a mission and out to prove everybody wrong, with a squad full of mostly Polish players and some internationals - they are a different team, one that has gelled extremely well. That is probably why Slask decided not to bring in too many players and keep their nucleus balanced as best as they could. The two new players were midfielder (Cetnarski) and one forward (Voskamp). The latter already proved his worth giving his team the 1 goal aggregate in Wroclaw after a truly incredible debut - 2 minutes into his substitution his header found the back of the Dundee net.
Post match in Wroclaw was magical, a celebration as if they had gotten into the group stages, in a game where Slask were the underdogs they proved in many different ways that they can compete at a very high level. They dominated the Scottish side in many different aspects of the game including possession, technical ability and outplaying them with just pure hustle.
Obviously, when the underdogs win there will be excuses. Dundee manager Peter Houston ran around the field in his shorts and blamed the loss on the new Ekstraklasa ball that was used saying that his players weren't used to it, even though they had trained with the same exact balls days prior. Then came more excuses as Dundee United players blamed Slask players for being dirty and playing without any class.
Slask Wroclaw took the match in stride and explained that Dundee were very dangerous opponents, as everyone clearly saw in the game where they could have scored on two different attempts - but they were not alone Diaz was very close to scoring for Slask two times as well.
Tomorrow's leg will be a bit different, I believe Orest will play a very defensive counter attacking game, and Slask will take all the opportunities that Dundee will give them. The positives for Slask is their backline, they are organized very well and get back in time to defend, I think Orest will fill up the midfield and rely on Sebastian Mila to lead the Polish side to victory.
Players to watch tomorrow:
Slask Wroclaw - GK Kelemen, MF Mila, FW Diaz, MF Sobota, MF Gancarczyk
even if it means a draw. With the one goal aggregate in their pockets it will be very important to defend but also to attack when the chance is there, as Dundee will have to press and attempt to score on Kelemen.
Dundee United - MF Flood, FW Goodwillie, and two defenders that missed the first leg D Danny Swanson and D Garry Kenneth
What we know is that tomorrow will be a very exciting game with a great atmosphere, will history repeat itself or will Orest rewrite the books and put Polish football back on the map?
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The game was looking very similar to the 1st leg as Wisla attempted to get through the defense on the counter, while they did not want to put too many people ahead and Skonto waited for their chances creating several interesting plays but nothing too dangerous in the first half. The first half could be summed up as a wasted opportunity for many players including Malecki, Wilk and Sobolewski who had no clue on what to do with the ball - the most active player on the pitch was Ivica Iliev.
The second half opened up very nicely as Skonto almost scored on the break, but soon Wisla made their own run and Malecki scored a beauty - the goal opened up the game so much so that it was actually a pleasure to watch lots of back and forth football and no longer a boring stalemate.
It did take 3 halves of football to finally end the drought for Wisla players and fans all across the world. Malecki, who put in a lack luster performance in the first half of today's game turned out to be the difference maker - by dashing in and scoring a scorcher of a goal in the early 2nd half. Giving Wisla not only a much needed confidence boost but a nice cushion on aggregates.
Newly signed winger/striker Ivica Iliev also added a beauty several minutes later also making it his first ever goal for the Biala Gwiazda - he took the ball rounded the defender with a quick hop over the defenders leg holding onto the ball well he ran inside the box and slammed home a low curving drive that gave Wisla a 3 goal lead!
The 3-0 aggregate for Wisla Krakow ensures their Round 3 qualification spot is booked, but now the real competition starts. The Biala Gwiazda will face off with Bulgarian Champion Litex FC, who comfortably beat out their opponent Mogren on a 5-1 thrashing, winning away 2-1 and at home 3-0 the first leg was very important as they came back from a 1-0 deficit and won the game.
Wilk and Melikon commented after the game by admitting that Litex are no push overs, they are strong, very fast and technically gifted. Having faced them earlier in pre season action where Wisla went on to win 2-1. A funny coincidence our own Genkov the Bulgarian ended up scoring both the goals for Wisla.
Everybody knows that this cannot be compared to a pre season victory as they will face the strongest Litex squad possible, Wisla will have to make sure they are fully fit come match time.
Coach Maaskant fielded the same 11 players for the second leg, and finally brought on new signings Nunez and Jovanovic. He played the game very safe, as he could have brought them on much sooner. Nunez in the short time that he played was more active and wanted the ball, unlike Wilk who happened to not want anything to do with it - perhaps it will be enough for Maaskant to make a change next round. As Wisla cannot afford to sit back against a team such as Litex we will have to play smart football.
Nunez reminded me of old time Wisla favourite Mauro Cantoro who is also Argentinian and played a similar role to what Nunez will play now, here is hoping he will get more of a look next game as he can be in a joker type role making plays and contributing offensively.
That is it for now, please share your comments about the game!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Maybe not entirely true, but it sure seems quite the interesting rumour. What if something like Zenit St Petersburg's Gazprom takeover, or Chelsea FC's Roman Abramovich ownership happened to a Polish club? It looks like this may be a possiblity according to some media reports (fakt.pl, sport.wp.pl). Widzew Lodz, a very historical club in Polish club football who have 4 Polish Championships along with a few other notable honours, have caught the eye two massive Russian companies. Gazprom first had a keen eye on the club and now more recently Fuel giants Lukoil.
As a Pole, anything Russian gives me a bit of a chill to the spine, but could this be the boost a Polish club needs to be successful in Poland as well as the European scene? There are those certain objectives the current ownership has to still fulfill to make this takeover more likely, which include staying topflight and getting rid of the debts. Avoiding relegation won't be easy and the financial issues are making this an uphill battle for the current owner Sylwester Cacek.
These financial issues may be the reason why events like the sale of Marcin Robak to the Turks, the sale of Lithuanian international Sernas to Zaglebie Lubin are taking place, and why more of the club's stars may be offloaded this summer, but once these main objectives are completed, this will make the takeover realistic for the Russians. The club would be worth around 50-60 million zloty ($20 million), if the takeover happens would this bring those hey days of the 80s and 90s back to Widzew Lodz?
This is an extremely interesting topic, and would definitely bring in a big discussion from Polish fans. Have your say.
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 10:15 AM
Unfortunately, looks like Legia won't be landing that 'golden' signing this summer since the revealing of the latest rumours, Legia target Maor Buzaglo is very close to signing a contract with Belgian giants Standard Liege who are looking favourites to sign the young Israeli talent. This was known when Legia were contacting the Tel-Aviv based club Maccaibi Haifa who Maor is currently playing for.
Sorry to the Legia fans, but I don't think a Polish club can put in much of a fight against the financial muscle of a big Belgian club (or its prestige), it would now be a miracle if Maor Buzaglo landed in Poland. Buzaglo will most likely be the ideal replacement for Axel Witsel (a name Poles will never forget, he's the Belgian who pretty much wrecked Wasilewski's career, and now spoiling a Polish club's plans) who is now Lisbon based, representing the club SL Benefica.
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 9:21 AM
A lot of club friendlies going on at this time of the year, but one that catches the eye is German champions BvB Dortmund taking on Mr Wojciechowski's 'Black Shirts'. Polonia Warszawa somehow managed to squeeze a rather unlikely win, coming up from a goal down to net back twice. This was the first loss in BvB's pre-season matches. But hey it was experimenting, it seems that Lewandowski is still the 'Almost scorer' in the Black n Yellows' firing squad after he got a great header from a cross just somehow misdirected.
2-1 was the final score, Zidan scoring in the 50th minute for BvB, while Baszczynski and Cani fought back for the Polish club in the 62nd and 72nd minutes respectively. It really is just another pre-season friendly, no big deal but definitely something Polonia fans can quietly celebrate about (for a few seconds at least haha) raisng a glass of winko or whatever.
In other news Ruch Chorzow destroyed Jagiellonia 4:0 with Piech scoring an amazing goal (try find it on youtube); Lech Poznan flopped to third division German outfit VfR Aalen 2:0 after defeating Rubin Kazan 2:1 (Bakero isn't very consistent but still, I'm praying for a good season... KOLEJORZ!); Legia is having ups and downs too, this time a up-ish match drawing with TSG Hoffenheim 1:1 (not too shabby); Lechia Gdansk beat EK newcomers LKS Lodz in a 1:0 win.
Let's discuss our Polish clubs judging by their pre-season progress with signings and friendlies. Are you satisfied with your club so far?
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 6:41 AM
Friday, July 15, 2011
The 2011 UEFA lottery is so far a good one for our Polish squads. Many great teams were avoided but at this point in the game every team will be difficult to beat.
First, Legia Warszawa will play the winner of FC Minsk/Gazientenpspor. Both teams are quality opponents and Legia will have a great test, if I were to pick the team for them - I would like to see them match up with FC Minsk.
Wisla Krakow also knows their next rival if they progress, once they do advance they will play the winner of the two clubs - which are FC Mogren and Liteks Łowecz.
Finally, if Slask Wroclaw does get by Dundee they will either face Lokomotiv Sofia or FK Metalurg Skopje. Again, the favourable opponent here would be Metalurg- the good news is the first leg was a draw so anything can happen.
Next week will be a huge test for our clubs, who will need to put in great performances and advance to the next round.
What do you think about the draw, is it a good one?
Apart from Jagiellonia Bialystok's incompetence, Polish clubs in Europe seem promising so far as Slask Wroclaw defeated Scottish outfit Dundee United in their first meeting. New Dutch striker Johan Voskamp proved himself a useful substitute (and signing) by scoring the only goal in the 75th minute. I guess it's good a clean sheet was kept at home for the 'Wojskowym' as they'll have the chance to build up from that at Dundee.
Sport.wp.pl claims that it was reserve players that gave the Polish club the victory over what seems to be a full strength Dundee line up. Slask was definitely the team that took more attempts on goal and by the looks of it, created more chances. So good on them, and all the best for the Wroclaw team as they travel to Scotland for the second leg. Keep up the good work Voskamp!
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 2:37 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
A 40th minute own goal by Renars Rode has given a precious away leg victory to our Polish champions Wisla Krakow. A win or draw back at Krakow will take the 'White Stars' to the next round in the Champions League. Wisla and Skonto started off rather cautiously but soon it became evident that the Polish outfit was the dominant side and I'm sure Wisla's passionate fans were satisfied with the result after really embarrassing European campaigns in the last few seasons.
On paper Wisla should be able to destroy Skonto FC on the second leg and I'm personally expecting nothing less. I'd really like to see a Polish club be in a Group in the Champions League once again, but it is still looking like a long shot and it will be really difficult. The Third round will feature some decent clubs like Trabzonspor, Rangers, Copenhagen, Dynamo Kiev, Rubin Kazan, Benefica, Panathinaikos and Twente not to mention the teams that wait in the Play-offs round.
Hopefully Wisla are focusing on their current opponents though, tomorrow can wait. Here is a video that will show you, it wasn't just Wisla players who won the match, the Wisla fans also dominated in their department!
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 3:58 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
A co-ownership deal has been agreed between US Citta di Palermo and Torino FC, seeing our Polish defender Kamil Glik move up North to the Serie B club. Giampiero Ventura, the same manager who managed Bari in 10/11 season is Glik's boss so I am sure he will continue to give Kamil that much needed play time to develop.
It would be nice if Torino got promoted as I have been told by my friend in Torino that the club has had a bit of financial trouble in the last few years, which is why they're in the second tier Italian league (unfortunate for a club with seven Serie A titles). What makes this deal seem secure right now is that Palermo still has a share in Glik, so if things continue to go wrong with the 'Bulls', Kamil still has that insurance policy to go back.
What are your thoughts about this move? Was it wise to pick Torino FC over Chievo, Siena or even the mighty Glasgow Rangers of Scotland? I don't have an answer but I sure hope so!
Hint: I guess you could say Torino are to Juventus in Italy to what Everton is to Liverpool in England. City Rivals!
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 8:16 AM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Coach Maaskant has done a very good job so far, helping a very diverse team gel together nicely. Although, changes are far from few, he intends to get his players playing in the same direction and attempting to reach their goal - which is the group stage of the CL and another Polish Ekstraklasa title.
Many of us are still getting over the Jagiellonia loss, but Wisla also had its demons 2 years ago, losing to two very bad opponents, but it is time to leave things in the past and focus on the future. The future is now, and Wisla Krakow have splashed some cash to bring in some players not only to improve their squad but players that have had experience on the CL stage.
Additions such as Kew Jaliens, Michael Lemay, Marko Jovanovic, Ivicia Iliev, Dudu Biton, and Sergei Pareiko have not only improved the squad but these players have been on the biggest stage. They will be able to use their experience to benefit not only themselves but team as a whole.
The White Star brigade only had 10 days off as they went right back to work in preparation for their biggest challenge - attempting to prove to the world and to themselves that the Polish league is a respectable one. If anyone is going to put Poland on the map, it is going to be Wisla Krakow.
What do we know about our preparations? Wisla didn't have the best showing in friendlies but coach Maaskant used players in different positions and attempted some new strategies. We lacked finishing, and our possession game was very weak at times, moreover we let teams score goals on us game in game out. Some players stood out, and one of them was new comer Iliev who scored two goals in the last friendly. With Andraz Kirm out with an injury it is very possible Iliev will be called to fill that role.
There are many question marks left in the air, but with the new acquisitions, tactics and player development Wisla should be able to get the job done vs Skonto FC but what they need to do is be able to finish all opportunities and play as a team.
Kickoff 20:30 in Poland and 2:30 Canada.
Stream - http://www.stopstream.tv/
Please feel free to comment and make a prediction!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Not really much news coming out recently but have been keeping an eye on Poles who will definitely be moving this summer window and once again, it looks like Russian Premier League Champions Zenit are the closest to land Irek. It's not a really appealing move but they do have a Champions League spot and Zenit have been pretty serious this break signing promising players including young Italian international Domenico Criscito.
Zenit may be one of the only clubs that would be willing to give Jelen more desirable rates, everyone knows he is a fantastic player but what stuns that is his medical record. I guess we could dub him Poland's Michael Owen, which may be worrying some clubs who would like to sign him but will they get their money's worth or will he be lying around in sick bay? Hopefully not.
Has anyone heard anything else lately? Opinions and comments are always appreciated.
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 10:30 PM
Friday, July 8, 2011
Newly relegated side West Ham will decide next week whether to sign Polish defender Hernani da Rosa.
They have opted to take the Brazil-born centre back, 27, on their pre-season tour of Switzerland after a successful 4 day trial.
The Hammers are said to be offering Korona Kielce an initial 500,000. West Ham are strengthening their side with the aim to jump back up to the Premier League. The club have very high standards and passionate support, so it would be interesting to see how Hernani would get on at that level.
They have opted to take the Brazil-born centre back, 27, on their pre-season tour of Switzerland after a successful 4 day trial.
The Hammers are said to be offering Korona Kielce an initial 500,000. West Ham are strengthening their side with the aim to jump back up to the Premier League. The club have very high standards and passionate support, so it would be interesting to see how Hernani would get on at that level.
Posted by alanraftery at 5:31 AM
Thursday, July 7, 2011
By: Krzysiek MoskalThis is unfortunately becoming a trend in Polish football, you would think that each team from the Ekstraklasa would attempt to make the most out of their European campaign.
Each year the top 3 teams, along with a Cup winner get a chance to showcase their talent. Hoping to make the best of it, by putting their names on the map and making some extra money for the team, squad, players and youth development.
One would think each team representing Poland would do their best to earn some respect, collect coefficient points and show the world that the Ekstraklasa is a respectable league. But, year in year out we fail miserably. Yet, we have had only two successful campaigns in the last 10 years.
Last year, nobody gave Lech Poznan a chance, but what they did was magical as they conquered Europa powerhouses Man City and Juventus. Another great example is when Wisla Krakow reached the 3rd round only to be eliminated by Barcelona FC, in the Champions League late round qualifications (2001-2002).
With Euro 2012 coming to Poland, new infrastructure, stadiums and an overwhelming support from UEFA. We should rise to the occasion, but not today! Again, another lack luster performance, more like a total embarrassment not only for the players, but also for the team, fans, Polish league and even Poland as a whole. It's becoming a nightmare year in year out, as decent Polish sides can't compete, or rather choke verse an underdog. Jagiellonia are not the only culprits, Wisla have also had this fate.
When Jaga won the first leg, unconvincingly, as they were a man ahead and could not capitalize on many chances. This not only happened again, but this time the Kazaks took advantage and beat them out fair and square. The road will not get easier as Slask Wroclaw battle Dundee a very good squad, while Wisla take on Skonto FC.
I hope we will have something to cheer about, just as we did with Lech last year, but once again I'm not holding my breath. It is to be decided one leg at a time.
What did you think happened to Jagiellonia today, and will this trend continue? Any predictions for Wisla, Legia and Slask???
Polish shot stopper Artur Boruc apparently still has English Premier League interest, the most from Aston Villa who just sold Friedel to Tottenham and the next most likely spot that links Boruc to England is Sir Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool. There is also that long lingering rumour to White Hart Lane, but that rumour has been going on so long that it's unlikely plus they just signed Friedel.
Since Frey may be heading to Genoa this summer, it is also possible Boruc will be staying at Fiorentina. I would just like to share with all the other Polish fans who may feel the same, that I'm aching to see Boruc in the NT again. He is our best and I believe he could play for any club. He is that good in my opinion.
Striker Ireneusz Jelen will most likely stay in France's top flight 'Ligue 1' but either in the colours of Bordeaux (along with Krychowiak, so smart move if it happens) or St Etienne. He did say he'll help Auxerre avoid relegation at the end of last season but will be signing for a stronger club (and in the West).
Good luck to him with that, we know he was linked with Marsielle but of course he had some fitness issues which prevented him from playing most of the season showing just how important he was to AJ Auxerre. If it wasn't for his injuries I'm sure Jelen's career could have been a lot brighter than it is, but wherever he lands this window, I hope he 'gels' nicely into the squad and scores a lot of goals!
In other news, Pawel Brozek's position at Turkish outfit Trabzonspor seems to be under threat since Halil Altintop's arrival at the club from relegated Eintracht Frankfurt. A few smaller Turkish clubs like freshly promoted Samsunspor and Orduspor seem keen to land the Pole, whether to loan or purchase is still a question... will it happen? Or is it just a rumour, we'll have to wait and see.
Hey, did anyone else hear about Roger wanting to move to a UAE club and still have a place for 2012? What a joke...
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 5:40 AM
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Sparta Rotterdam striker who last year scored 8 goals in one game is ready to sign with Slask Wroclaw. The 26 year old will aid Wroclaw in their European campaign. A very interesting move for him as he will gain some exposure on the European stage.
29 goals in 31 appearances is no easy task, not only is he good with his head but has a great shooting touch. A year prior he scored 22 times in 34 appearances. Supposedly, Wroclaw have found a clause that will buy him out directly from his club, as he is valued around 600 000 Euros.
News of his transfer was taken out of Dutch media 'Metro". In the coming days we should see this deal finalize.
Here are the 8 goals he scored in that one game;
According to onet sport (sport.onet.pl), looks like infamous FSV Mainz playmaker Eugen Polanski will actually recieve a call up with a white eagle on his chest. Smuda has been chasing this fellow for the last year and a half or so, so no doubt he'll welcome Polanski to the National Team with open arms.
"It is my final decision", he confirmed after media reports of him saying yes then no, then yes again... "If I am in form and my abilities can be of use for Poland, I would like PZPN to keep an eye out and consider a place on the NT for me" we all know he was fairly decent in a respect-worthy 5th place finish with FSV Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga who on the first half of the season were up top with the likes of BvB, Leverkusen, Hannover and even sitting on top undefeated for a good amount of games.
As upsetting as it was with his 'if you don't pick me, I'll support Germany' approach, I believe accepting him would be a smart decision. He can be a great back up if other Midfielders like Murawski, Matuszczyk, Klich, Obraniak, Roger, Mierzejewski lose form (or get injured) and according to another blog post I once read, he is a strong-physical fighting type of player, a leader. Just what we need, just wondering if he'll stay that way if Poland face Germany.
Poland's midfield is good as it is but 1) extra options always help and 2) there's always room for improvement and we have nothing to lose! Polanski was even born in Poland, so fine with me. I want to see him passionately play for Poland though if he's given that call up.
In an interview Smuda has been reported to say that he will give Polanski a go, so whether you like it or not, Polanski playing for us seems inevitable right now. Rumour has it he has been watching some recent matches of Poland, and he sees himself fitting in to the squad! We'll see.
Any thoughts? I myself am also wondering about that defender Lukas Sinkiewicz.
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 9:07 AM
Monday, July 4, 2011
Israeli NT striker is in Krakow today, along with ex Wisla playmaker Junior Diaz. Both players are reportedly going through medical testing and shortly after contract negotiations.
Dudu is only 23 years old and has been successful thus far, just this past season he appeared in 12 matches for Charleroi (Belgium League) and scored 5 goals. Last year, he was with Hapoel and scored 12 times in just 15 appearances.
Supposedly, the deal is to go through any hour now and it looks like he will be loaned to Wisla, but since the club fell off to the second division - there might be a contract buy out as he still has two years remaining on his contract.
Diaz on the other hand, is an experienced 27 year Costa Rican national and an ex Wisla player - who has played all over the field, reports indicate he will be playing the left back role. As he has left his team - Club Brugge and didn't make too many appearances due to injury.
Wisla Krakow are reportedly seeking both their signatures in the coming hours and if they both sign it will not only add great depth, but most likely produce two starters. Check the youtube clip - very good use of his head!
I will be reporting any new developments and as always I welcome your comments and contributions.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
|Zaluska looks on as Celtic defend a free kick from the Mariners|
I myself was watching the match at the stadium disappointed that Celtic didn't capitalise on their possesion, and was shocked why Zaluska was being replaced as he did nothing wrong and commanded the defence very competently despite not being really tested until the second half (must have just been to test out the American keeper, Dominic Cervi who let a goal in later on).
Although a NT place for 2012 seems pretty far-fetched for Zaluska, I believe he can win/secure that number 1 shirt for the Bhoys. I personally don't think this match should be taken too seriously either, 1) it's a friendly and 2) Celtic's line-up wasn't full strength. But anyway, well done for the Mariners and good luck to the Glasgow Club for the remainder of the tour.
Posted by Daniel Jagiello at 11:05 AM