Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hoping for a Miracle on the River Oder

If Poland loses to Germany tonight they may as well pack their bags and go home.

The newspapers are all saying the same thing: we need a miracle. To beat Germany tonight in Dortmund would surly be a famous victory. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely.

Poland was hopeless in their first match against the lowly Ecuador. Their listless performance has been blamed on their hapless trainer, Pawel Janas (photo). He went AWOL after the game last Friday and let the journalists lay into him - he was ineffective, weak, tactically clueless, they said.

And that’s left Poles longing for another miracle to save them. They got one in 1920 when they saw off the Red Army – the so called Miracle on the Wistula; they got one when Karol Wojtyla became the first Polish Pope; they got one with the fall of communism.

And now they need another miracle, at 21.00 CET tonight.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I find Polish quite strange nation.

If I am not mistaken, just about a year ago they had a laud corruption scandal within national football association. The level of local games is what it is and about the only people filling the stadiums, are fans-hooligans who fight the police when the game is over. Like its not enough, the national team trainer chooses the selection for the World Cup without consulting with anyone, in the way that even selected players find out about it from the morning press.

And yet, at the time of "Mundial", as they call it, all Polish suddenly become huge football fans, hoping that their team will show any performance...

Sorry, its just not going to happen.

Gustav said...

Did you see Janas at the press conference two nights ago when he finally spoke to the media? He was practically giggling and seemed oblivious to how serious a situation his team is in. Several people I know say he looked drunk. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to be mean, but the man has both the right and the reason to be drunk.

Lynn said...

I see they are 13 for 2 underdogs in the betting. I wonder who the two guys who bet on them are.

Gustav said...

Well, they played their hearts out. Much better than in the first match. They really didn't need a miracle. Just a little luck.

michael farris said...

I have to say, I haven't been able to get into this world cup at all, zero interest in who's winning or losing. Maybe because most of the matches are only some obscure channel I don't get (whereas I watched a bunch of 94 and 98 on Eurosport). Just watching Poland and then the final has no appeal whatsoever for me.

But then I can only get interested in soccer in its national format, I'd rather watch paint dry than watch games from any professional league.

Two stupidest things about soccer:

Overtime : you never have an idea when the game will end, it's the 21st century, get a countdown clock already.

Offsides : this is even stupider when the official explanation is to prevent goals, no a 90 + 0-0 tie (and a penalty shoot out) is much more exciting than a 6-8 (or whatever) game.

(bonus) Penalty shoot outs : why not just flip a coin, it would make as much sense (see above).

Anonymous said...

So funny, heheheh Poland lost to Germany. hahahah Poland will never win a thing, Nothing, Ditto....

They never have never will, after all it is in thier heritage to loose.

And those skinheads, what a bunch of LOSERS, life is just eating them up..... ahah what a bunch of losers.....

Bisous Poland

beatroot said...

Henry: you are right, the talk was about miracles and ...war.

Mike: Americans always complain about the offside rule but it's one of the rules that makes the game what it is. If you took that away then it would turn into a game suitable for...American TV!

And that is the last thing the world wants. It's the only game that unites the world in its interest except for the US. That's because there is 45 minutes of continious play (no ad breaks!). No immediate gratification. Goals happen occassionally, if at all. It can end in a draw and that draw can be a good draw!

not really an American type game at all.

And it's the only game where America is not the superpower - Brazil is! 9apart from cricket!).

Long live the beautiful game!

Lynn said...

I thought Poland played a very good game even though they seemed, for most of the game, they were playing for the draw. Or was it just Germany that made it seem that way?

It had to be heartbreaking for the fans to see that goal in injury time.

beatroot said...

It was gutting, Lynn, to use the footballing vernacular. I was soooo disappointed. The Poles really tried. Crunching tackles. Brave play. But little skill. That's what did em in the end. They are not really that good. And the German's - as ever - are lucky bastards!

michael farris said...

"not really an American type game at all"

That doesn't bother me at all. I wouldn't mind watching more of the world cup (live) this year, but it's tucked away on Polsat Sport 2 which I don't get and I don't feel like making an effort to watch. I kind of hope Spain wins (my second choice(s) would be Holland, Portugal or any African team).

Thinking more about low scoring, I've read a hypothesis that that's part of soccer's international appeal. Low (and occasionally almost random) scoring make upsets more likely so that the weaker teams often have a real shot against the big guns.

The offsides rule also strikes me as discouraging ability. Can't defenders just hang back so that the front runner can't get the ball?

beatroot said...

All you get then, Mike, is defenders booting the fall long up field, much like school kids do. Being once a school kid I can tell you that this would not make an interesting viewing experience.

The off-side rule adds greatly to the skill factor. How far to push the line up? Too much and a great pass will slice through it. To far back and you asking for trouble.

It works fo the rest of the world. Why not in the US?

And all the group games, at least, are live either on Polsat or TVP.