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.

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