Franciszek Smuda — a former player who featured for the likes of Legia Warsaw, Los Angeles Aztecs and San Jose Earthquakes.
Poland has never won a European Championship finals match.
Jakub Błaszczykowski; plies his trade domestically for Borussia Dortmund as a midfielder. Has won two Bundesliga titles and a German Super cup. He has won the Polish footballer of the year twice.
Star player: Robert Lewandowski. The Bundesliga’s player of the year hit 22 goals over Dortmund’s double-winning campaign and is likely to kick on
Looking at the squad, it possesses within it, a large chunk of attacking talent. What Combination Smuda chooses, depends on the opposition and as much too, depends on form and ability of the individual players.
The defence should be patrolled by the four man army of Lukasz Piszczek, the Dortmund regular at right back. The left side seems to have issues; whereas Piszcek can beat strikers and form a quick counter attack, the left back Sebastien, is not your typical athlete who’ll possess the flanks. Hoping he keeps his shape and is fit to start, Jakub Wawrzyniak, a possession keeping full back who might have replaced him, should enjoy his place on the bench. The two remaining spots in midfield should be covered by French born defender Damien Perquis and Anderlecht hard man Marcin Wasilewski. Watch out for this guy Perquis, a good reader of the game and has aerial ability. Should act as good cover for the Arsenal keeper, Szczesny who’ll be between the sticks.
Here as I have come to learn, the midfield is a tight affair. More individualistic talent than team work exists in this midfield that plays right infront of the defense with two players and two other spread to either flanks. Dudka and Polanski seem like the likely choices to start for Poland, though it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise to see Murawski in the starting XI. The diminutive midfielder has been good since his return to Lech and he is probably the best passer of the bunch.
Just in front of the half way line should be captain Kuba on the right and Rybus on the left, both acting as wingers, midfielders and attackers at the same time. Kuba has pace as already seen in the German Bundesliga, Both Rybus and Kuba should be able to feed the ball to the link of Obraniak, another French born player but who in as much as doesn’t have the most pressing of abilities, is the most cultured midfielders. His main attribute should be that he is capable of providing a pin point pass or cross and creating a chance out of nothing. Though not an assured starter, should battle it for that spot with Mierzejewski.
Clearer now, the formation is most likely something of a 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 set up. The lone striker upfront should be Lewandowski and will be relied upon heavily to provide goals.
The Polish defense is surely not able to last a whole 90 without a mistake; the midfield will sure need to fall back severally to help in defense. With not so many cultured midfielders, a player in the likes of Andre Pirlo, (Italy) would destroy the Pattern of the team, give a quick through pass and with a disorganized and so many players behind the opponents attack, Szceneys’ heroics will be needed severally.
Allow me say this: Poland is not a favorite by any stretch despite being hosts. They will need to do what many weaker sides need to do to be successful: play reactive, defensive football, counter efficiently, get big performances from individuals (such as Lewandowski, Blasczykowski, and Szczesny) and nip a set piece goal here and there.