When fans think of nations that they personally believe are capable of doing so much more than what they are in the realms of international football, one country that is often brought to the surface is Poland. They have been on the verge of exploding into life on the world stage, and the European stage especially, for longer than we can even remember. They’re strong defensively, they have some seriously impressive attacking options, and that’s starting to work as a nice function.
Last night, as reported by Google and The Jerusalem Post, they took their quest for Euro 2020 qualification to a whole new level as they tore through Israel in a convincing 4-0 win. They took the lead late on in the first half, and then in the second, they just ran riot. Israel didn’t really have any kind of legitimate answer for them at either end of the pitch, and that’s just a fact.
It was one of those victories that just came across as being a little bit too easy, and interestingly enough, it takes us back to the 2018 FIFA World Cup last year – where Poland failed to cover themselves in glory throughout their three group stage encounters.
“Russia 2018 is Poland’s first World Cup finals appearance in 12 years, but rather than grasping the opportunity and making their mark, they went out with a whimper.
Lewandowski scored an incredible 16 goals during qualifying – one more than Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo – but he was unable to carry that form into the tournament.
A change in formation may have contributed to that. Having frequently played 4-4-2 in qualifying Poland lined up 3-4-3 against Colombia and it was clearly a formation in which Lewandowski did not feel comfortable. He often found himself isolated and having to drop back into midfield to help build attacks.
At 29, this may have been the Bayern Munich striker’s last chance to make his mark at a World Cup.”
Those words from the BBC give you an indication of how much, in the eyes of many, they let themselves down. Poland were supposed to be dark horses to go far into the tournament, but instead, Croatia took on that moniker and made it all the way through to the final.
The pessimistic side of things
It’s disappointing to know that Lewandowski will probably only get one (or two) more opportunities to take Poland to lofty heights on the world stage, but even with that being the case, at least he knows the European Championships are just a year away.
Poland look set to take part in them based on their success in the last few games, and they look set to carry a lot of momentum into the tournament. As we’ve seen already momentum isn’t everything in this game, but it also isn’t something that should be scoffed at.
Israel will come again in their attempt to qualify for the Euros, but this tale is all about Poland and the same can be said for their entire group. What a great run this could be.