Sunday, July 24, 2011

Uruguay wins 15th Copa America title!

Fantastic display of football by Oscar Tabarez' team! Crushing Paraguay 3-0 (two goals by Forlan and one by Suarez) confirmed that Uruguay has been the best South American team since last World Cup. Move aside Argentina and Brazil!

Great coach, great scoring duo, Musrela at goalie, Lugano at center back and relentless midfielders have made this team more than tough. It is a great team! I still like Argentina but now Uruguay moves ahead in my personal ranking. They deserve it. They have earned it! I love Uruguay's play and I can only hope Poland will play the same next year. No superstars on this team but they play as a unit.

Once again, team concept wins. Individual talent can only take you so far. Team, team, team. Forlan tied team record by scoring twice with overall 31 goals for his country and team's 15th title breaks the tie with Argentina. Today Uruguay is the most successful South American team! Congratulations!

It was a beautiful final and all the beauty was on the Uruguayan side. Go la celeste!!!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summertime...see you in August

I guess you should always look at the bright side. Wojciech Szczesny, 21-year-old goalie, a near-future the best goalie in the world, has taken full advantage of the Boruc-Smuda rift. Boruc, to me and many Polish fans, is a world-class goalie. But Szczesny, whom I picked last year already to be the next best thing, is closing in on the title pretty fast.

A soccer team is built like a house. First you need a solid base, namely a defense. A goalie is at the center of it. Poland already has its rock. His name is Wojciech Szczesny. Now onto the defenders. I will have a new lineup, a bit different from the last year. The two center back should be: Perquis (Pole to be) and Wasilewski. Strangely, neither of them has yet to play for Mr Smuda. Perquis- because he is still waiting to obtain his Polish passport; Wasilewski- the rock under Leo Beenhakker reign has been recovering from the tragic injury (some psycho broke his leg, split bones in fact. horrible!). He played as right full back but he plays at Anderlecht as center defender. He is a definition of a tough guy. Those two would be great together. Piszczek on the right and Wawrzyniak (or Boenisch if he also recovers from injury) on the left. The current players- Wojtkowiak, Jodlowiec, Glik- are nice backups.

Midfield becomes tricky. There are several names for the 5 players to use (Smuda uses 4-2-3-1 system). Two defensive ones could be Matuszczyk and Dudek or Murawski. I would actually use only one defensive players and two forwards. Matuszczyk is a lock, the other ones are not. Left belongs to Mierzejewski, right to captain Blaszczykowski and offensive midfielder is Obraniak. But here is a key: a couple of new names, whose talent will hopefully explode in the next 12 months, might make a difference between a good team and a great one. A lone forward is Lewandowski, who should have a partner in Brozek or Malecki or Sobiech. Obraniak with Matuszczyk are enough in the middle, Mr Smuda. This is, so far, a good Polish team.

But only a great team goes all the way.

There are no real superstars playing for Poland. Yet. The hope is that, as usual, stars will be revealed at the biggest stage. EURO 2012 must provide a couple of stars from the Polish team to succeed. That means to win the cup. I guess reaching semis will be titled by many as a successful campaign for Poland. But I play for a true title. Always and against anybody. That's the real success.

European championship is that prize. Go get it Polish Eagles!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Polska-Argentina 2-1!

NICE win Polish eagles. No first teams for neither squads but win is a win. More important was to see how Polska will play. I am happy to say that it was a lively display, active, good chances created. Much more positives have come from this game. Now Poland must make a consistent effort. Next stop France this coming Thursday. GO POLSKA!!!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Great Saturday with plenty of soccer action

SIX MATCHES at once! That was beautiful! Thanks to espn3 mosaic view I can watch 4 matches at once. Heaven! And two more on TV made it a dream come true, people. A dream come true! Ok, I got it out of my system but it was such a SCRRREEEAAAAAM!

Switzerland should have won on Wembley. 2-2 is still a good score, which also confirmed English mediocre status. I saw Montenegro play for the first time and was very impressed. Confident, efficient and strong team. A bit shaky after losing the goal (first time in 8 games so the shock was understandable, I think) but overall they played great. They will finish first and England will be in the playoffs. Just in playoffs because they will not qualify. Excellent news! You can watch EURO 2012 from the comfort of your living room, damn English freaks. Now, if you could only convince beautiful Helgas from Berlin to join you that would be perfect.

Ireland had an easy win over Macedonia, so did Denmark against Iceland. Portugal had a tough time beating Norway. Now the two are joined by Denmark at the top of the table. It will be a fantastic finish this fall.

For dessert, two friendly games. Brazil 0-0 draw against Holland was a bit disappointing. No revenge for Brazilians after losing 1-2 in the last world cup. But the US SPAINking was a thing of beauty. Another great display of a beautiful game played perfectly. Training session for the Spanish second team. Maybe they can dominate beyond 2012 after all? Young Spanish guns look ready. Americans- how much longer will you pretend you know soccer?! Switch to your stupid baseball. Give it a rest! It's Saturday!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1 year left to EURO 2012

In just 12 months the biggest soccer event in Poland's history will take place on its soil. 16 best teams in the world (only Argentina and Brazil are missing; Uruguay, Ghana and Ivory Coast are getting close, though) will compete for the ultimate glory. EURO finals is equivalent of the World Cup starting from the 2nd round with no koreas, costaricas, americas, aussies etc. to deal with. These teams' only purpose is to annoy you. Fine, i t i s a nice training session. Fine.

The favorites? Poland obviously, then Spain and unfortunately Germany. Barcelona players (Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets, Puyol) have been celebrating in June each year since EURO 2008 (2009, 2011 Champion League, 2010 world cup). Next year could be the last year of Spanish dominance.

The worst that can happen to us, Poles, is to see Germans win next July. Ok, true, at least the final is in Kiev, Ukraine.

I am biased but I am not dreaming. Never underestimate the host nation and its 12th player - the fans. Euro 2012 can, should, be the catalyst for the revival of the Polish team. We are all sick and tired of talking about the glory 1970s and 1980s. The time is now to return to the elite.

Therefore I say to fire current coach Franciszek Smuda and get Orest Lenczyk, 68-year-old veteran who just finished 2nd in Polish division coaching Slask Wroclaw, the team who was close to relegation last September after losing 5 straight games. Mr Lenczyk came, saw and conquered once again. Assistant coach should be a young mind Michal Probierz and goalie's coach famous Jerzy Dudek, who just finished his last year as a 2nd goalie at Real Madrid. Simple and painless but a necessary procedure to get Poland out of the mediocre play.

The two upcoming matches on June 5 against Argentina's 2nd team and June 9 against France (sort of 2nd team) are likely to bring Smuda down. For the sake of Poland this will be the best scenerio. Smuda is a great club coach. International team is something different and, especially playing only friendlies, it proved to be too much for Smuda. Wrong time, wrong place. Sorry. You are out.

Poland does not have international superstars. Thus defense must be stressed, world-class defense and exceptional counter-attack (Polish specialty). Next year's victory is not out of reach for any team including my beloved Poland. We should follow Greece's example from 2004 triumph. That is the short-term resolution. Long-term one is creating academies for young children (see Germany). However, the key is to get rid of current senior citizens who rule the Polish Soccer Association. They live in a different era. They should be sent to some old community where they can enjoy their little world and stop pissing us off. I am sure I am speaking for most of the fans.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2010/11 season is over - Barca & Messi on top!

As a Real Madrid fan even I can appreciate the way Barcelona plays. It is true that even its pure-heart haters (i.e. hardcore die-barca-die, enemies-for-life, barca-makes-me-vomit Real fans) find themselves watching Messi and Co. in awe. How special Messi and Guardiola made this team?

This team, I don't hate! I can't! I simply can't!

That's how special. I could not stand Ronaldinho and before Stoichkov and Romario. But not this team. That fast pace, these short passes, out-of-nowhere attacks on goal, the control of the game. Breathtaking! Messi is so damn good. He really reminds me of Maradona. Too bad he does not play for Real. On the other hand I am not sure if he would excel in Madrid. In Barca he found a perfect company. It fits, it makes sense.

As for real, Ronaldo is a playboy and even his 40 goals this season can't change anything. He did not make a difference in games that mattered. Messi did.

I am still fan of Real but I love watching Messi and fabulous Barca's style of play. Everything comes to an end yet I don't want Barca to stop playing its near-perfect soccer. And they didn't have to spend 100 milion Euros to get one player.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What a beautiful game!

ARGENTINA! It was Argentina after all!

Argentina was supposed to play in the last world cup final and beat the best team, up to that point, in the world - Spain. The world cup would have ended completely different if not for... an Argentinian. And not any Argentinian. In fact, the greatest Argentinian player of all time: Diego Armando Maradona. Maradona was picked to coach the national team having no real coaching experience. Essentially, off the field problems led Argentinian Soccer Association to believe that coaching the national team could help Diego. He did too much for the country so they could not leave him. In a way it did help him but in the process it hurt that incredibly talented team. It hurt bad.

In the last year friendly, only a friendly but still a very prestigious match, post-world cup Argentina destroyed Spain 4-1. It also beat Portugal 2-1 and Brazil 1-0. All elite teams. And today, oh today, in a breathtaking performance against USA, as mediocre as Americans are, it was all about the magical Argentina.

What a performance!!! Simply A M A Z I N G!!!!!

The first half was UN-believable! I have not seen such a brilliant football in a long, long, looong time. Spain has been great for the past several years but it has been playing, especially last June, a sort of calculated football (they borrowed it from Germans, of course). Well, it worked: 2008 Euro title, 2010 world cup trophy. Spain was playing fabulous for decades but was never successful on the big stage. Until it became cold-hearted. However, in the pre-world cup predictions I still believed that it was only Argentina that could defeat the reigning European Champions. If only it had a coach. As brilliant as Spain was Argentina was and still is today more talented and it all starts and ends with the best player in the world - Leo Messi - the heart of breathtaking Argentina. The good news is that Messi is still only 23.

Three years is a long time but the 2014 world cup in Brazil might really belong to them. Brazil will have to swallow another bitter pill. The last time they hosted world's best teams, in 1950, Brazil lost the final to Uruguay. The famous Maracana drowned in tears and 9-year-old Pele, watching in disbelief, promised his dad to win the world cup for him one day. He fulfilled his promise three times. This time I can already bet that Brazil, should it reach the final, will have to face another South American rival. Face it and lose. Because Argentina will not be stopped this time.

We were all robbed of what could have been the most memorable world cup final ever: Spain-Argentina, one for the ages! Unfortunately we are only left with "what if..." What an irony that it was the greatest Argentinian who did it to all of us.