(Credit: Peter O'Doherty)

Polish manager wary of Irish threat
Published: February 05, 2013

 

Polish manager Waldemar Fornalik was keeping his cards close to his chest when he met the media in Aviva Stadium on the eve of Wednesday’s friendly international with Ireland.  As per his tradition, Giovanni Trapattoni named his team a day ahead of the game while Fornalik, despite probing from the Polish press, was sticking with his own tradition of only announcing the team on the day of the game.

 

Most speculation about Fornalik’s team revolves around the goalkeeping situation and who to choose from between the two English based goalkeepers in his squad.  The decision is between Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny and Southampton’s ‘keeper Arthur Boruc. Fornalik hinted that both may play a part in the game but the goalkeeping situation “is a competition. We haven’t made a decision yet.”

 

Fornalik is looking forward to playing in front of the Aviva Stadium crowd that could well provide a home-like atmosphere for his team. “It is very hard to say who the favourite is as there will be so many supporters from Poland. If there was only Irish supporters, they would have the 12th player but in this scenario it is hard to say who is the favourite.”

 

Both sides were eliminated in the group stages of Euro 2012 but Poland, who drew against Greece and Russia, only went out when they conceded a late goal to the Czech Republic in their final group game. Ireland’s performances, admittedly in a much harder group, were thoroughly forgettable, as was the 6-1 defeat to Germany last Autumn. 

 

Fornalik wasn’t reading too much into that heavy loss to Germany. “We have analysed the Irish team. It is hard to base our opinion’s on the game against Germany. We are ready for every option to be honest,” he said in relation to Ireland’s formation. “Let us not forget that the Irish team took part in Euro 2012. They got into Euro 2012, this is quite crucial. Every team after such a tournament goes through a process of change which could be quite problematic. Ireland is also going through that process of change. Ireland can do quite well and will not be an easy team to beat.”

 

Fornalik has had to deal with the loss of influential defender Lukasz Piszczek. The Borussia Dortmund player picked up a hip injury at the weekend against Bayer Leverkusen and, while he joined up with the Polish squad at the weekend, he returned to Germany on Tuesday while the rest of the squad travelled to Dublin. Widzew Lodz’s Lukasz Broz was called up as a replacement.

 

The Polish manager admitted “this is a problem for us. The replacement for Piszczek will be somebody who will bring a lot of value to the team so that should diminish the loss.  There are three possibilities of players who could play in that position.”  These include Sebastian Boenisch and Marci Wasiliewski but Jakub Wawrzyniak from Legia Warswa is expected to start.

 

Grzegorz Krychowiak will anchor the midfield but as to who will play along side him, well, Fornalik was giving nothing away. “I will not answer this question in front of the media.  The players will find out first. We have a few candidates and a few options for us. I don’t think there will be too many surprises.” 

 

Poland currently lie third in Group H behind Montenegro and England with Ukraine behind them in the table and the focus after this friendly will be their home game with Ukraine next month. “I would like to say that this match is quite important to us. It is a very important test before the World Cup elimination matches and before the match with Ukraine. The group of players that came with us is a strong group of players. They can show good football.   We count on our team and we count on their good performance.”

 

 

Poland (probable): Wojciech Szcz?sny (Arsenal); Jakub Wawrzyniak (Legia Warsaw), Damien Perquis (Real Betis), Kamil Glik (Torino), Sebastian Boenisch (Bayer Leverkusen); Jakub B?aszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Reims), Daniel ?ukasik (Legia Warsaw), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor); Ludovic Obraniak  (Bordeaux), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund).

 


Leave a Comment

Macdara Ferris

Macdara made his debut as a football supporter in Lansdowne Road watching Ireland defeat Liechtenstein. He still believes one day he will see his club Shamrock Rovers win an FAI Cup. You can follow Macdara on twitter @macdarabueller

More articles from Macdara Ferris

image description Photographer: Jason O'Callaghan

LSC Report: Bohemians 0-0 Bray Wanderers (AET - Bohs win 4-2 on penalties)

by Macdara Ferris on Sun, Feb 22 2015

A penalty shootout win saw Bohemians beat Bray Wanderers in the fourth round of the Leinster Senior Cup on Sunday. ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Jason O'Callaghan

Shels sign Heaney and Rodríguez

by Macdara Ferris on Sat, Feb 14 2015

Shelbourne have added two more players to their 2015 squad. Reds boss Kevin Doherty has brought in defender Sean Heaney ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Peter Fitzpatrick

No plan B for Shamrock Rovers

by Macdara Ferris on Tue, Jan 06 2015

To the list of YMCA FC, Frankfort FC, Rathmines FC and Reds United, it looks almost certain will be added ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Billy Galligan

Top 10 ExtraTime.ie Stories for 2014

by Macdara Ferris on Wed, Dec 31 2014

What will the football headlines be in 2015? In the last decade, eight different clubs have been League of Ireland ...... Read more

image description Photographer: John Doyle

Hoops confirm four more for 2015 squad

by Macdara Ferris on Wed, Nov 26 2014

Shamrock Rovers confirmed another four faces for their 2015 squad on Wednesday with the capture of Gavin Brennan and David ...... Read more

North heads for Dublin as striker joins Shamrock Rovers

by Macdara Ferris on Thu, Nov 20 2014

Danny North has made the switch from Sligo Rovers to Shamrock Rovers for the 2015 season. The club announced the ...... Read more