WARSAW, Poland. Sep 16 — Many believe Poland’s failure to progress to the FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa™ resulted on a count of poor judgment and tactics, that is only the tip of the ice berg as Jan de Zeeuw explains.
The manager of the Polish national team, Jan de Zeeuw, has recent come out to the public to reveal the deep dark, sad and troubling secrets found only within the Bialo-czerwoni.
“Some of the players at some point like Leo stopped caring, but for all the different and completely wrong reasons.” says de Zeeuw.
Does that mean that they did not want to go for the World Cup?
“Sorry, but it is true. Their attitude during the match with Slovenia, as well as before it, is the best proof of this.”
It so happens to turn out that such incidents that happened behind the scenes from the public eye may be the reason why Poland will not travel to South Africa next summer. On the subject of Slovenia, while at the time not there, the Dutch manager admits he heard of the players going to parties before the match in Maribor – Poland went on to lose 3-0 the next day and embarrass themselves in front of Europe.
“All I know is that the players asked Leo if they could hit the disco the night before the match, obviously he refused them. He told them something like this: What will you all tell your children and grandchildren one day? That you did not go to the World Cup because you just had to party instead? Try to understand, we are fighting for our qualification life now. Unfortunately, not everyone on the team cared or took seriously to what Leo said.”
“When it was lights out, a couple of the players snuck out of the hotel and went to the nearest night club. Instead of getting a good night sleep for a World Cup qualifier they spent their whole night with alcohol and strange women.”
Of course, de Zeeuw also explains that the secret midnight parties not only happened in Maribor, but also in Chorzow before Poland’s match with Northern Ireland – where Poland drew 1:1 at home.
“They don’t care if you tell them ‘no’, national team duty for most of them is like a holiday. It is when they get to leave behind all their club problems, family, etc, and travel to a new country, and stay at a fancy hotel with all expenses paid. For them at times it seems the night life is of more interest then the football for their country.”
“This is not the first time players have tried to sneak out of the hotel. Back in the day when Bobo Kaczmarek was still assistant coach on the national team, he surprised me because he would always sleep with his hotel room doors open. I asked him why, and he told me that I should keep constant attention to the elevator at all times, because the players would try to leave unnoticed at any time. This surprised me a lot, that he could not even trust his own players. He was right, you cannot take these kind of people seriously.”
According to the Dutchman, the whole national team after the game against Northern Ireland was told that Leo Beenhakker would lose his job if the team failed to perform well against Slovenia.
“The team’s morale took went down. They no longer felt like playing the match anymore as they knew qualifying for the World Cup was nearly gone. Much of them do not have much money, and for them that is the most important thing, money first, country second. If they knew the team was falling apart, why try anymore?”
“When we first picked up these signals from the players, we quickly arranged a trip to South Africa. A lot of people were surprised by this, but we did this to keep the players still interested in playing for the national team. But like all things, once we got there the players began thinking more about going on vacation rather then football. The results from our friendlies in South Africa show that as proof.”
“Of course, the real problem came when we were set to leave South Africa and return back to Poland. Ten of the starting eleven players refused to leave, as they were enjoying themselves too much in a luxury suite in an exotic country. But we had to leave as it was the official UEFA date for club players to return back to clubs from international duty. From that moment on I begun to see the true nature of Poland’s players, they acted like children. I told Leo that there was no longer any point in trying to deal with them anymore and that he should just give up. He denied me, and told me he still kept hope in trying to qualify for the World Cup – that we would get there, one way or another.”
Such scandalous behavior within the national team is nothing new, it is only now recently become a problem as previously Polish coaches before Leo did not seem to think of it as much. Jan de Zeeuw believes Leo’s strong determination for staying so long with Poland is something to be praised.
“Any other coach would have thrown the towel the first few matches after he would see the mentality of some of the players. On the other hand, Leo Beenhakker stayed with them until the very end, even when they stopped caring about him and the team. A lot of people keep harassing Leo that he started to not care about the team, but I assure you that is false, in my opinion he seemed to care too much. The trouble he received from the players, press, and the Polish FA is uncalled for.”
“Like any human being, even Leo had his limits. After the different scandals that took place during the UEFA EURO 2008™ Leo started to slowly give up, like his players, except they already gave up ages ago. That is why he took the job at Feyenoord, because he felt it was foolish to spend all his time on a team who only saw international duty as a time to relax, drink and party.”
“Even when he would try to make the players work hard during training sessions they would complain. I tell you, it is not normal for a team to go warm up before a crucial World Cup qualifier and return back to the changing room all exhausted and drenching in sweat.”
Former coach Leo Beenhakker has so far learned 3 very valuable facts about Poland after his time as national team coach that future canditates should be wary about before taking the job – 1. The federation drinks, 2. The coaches drink, and 3. The players drink. Simple. Can another foreign coach’s patienence be meet any where close to with Leo’s? We will have to find out.
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