When Mariusz Rumak took over from Jose Mari Bakero at Lech Poznań two years ago, I didn’t like him. I actually quite liked Bakero. Rumak looked like a kid with big ears that had been dressed up in a suit to play the part of a football manager in some school play.
He came out of nowhere and I couldn’t understand why he was put in charge. Somebody must have known something we didn’t, because he seemed like a guy who was a bit big for his boots, being very critical of Bakero’s work, while in charge of the Lech Poznań youth team
After managing the club now for 2 years and three months now, its high time for me to analyze his performance and see whether my skeptical stance on him at first glance was justified.
The best way to make this analysis would obviously be for to ignore his funny child-like country side look and concentrate on is his list of achievements. There’s one problem with that though, he doesn’t have one. Unless you count finishing second twice in a row an achievement, he hasn’t won the Polish league or Cup during his time as coach. He hasn’t won anything.
Granted, in 2012 he took over in from Bakero in March, so only had a few months to work with. In fact at first it looked like he had improved the team, hence why his contract was extended.
For the following two seasons there were two clear goals set at the club. Win the league and do well in Europe. Lech Poznań had a couple of great seasons in the UEFA Cup/Europa League previously [by their standards], and were looking to at least equal those achievements. if not better them. Rumak failed to do this and the club took a step back, having his side knocked out in the qualifying rounds twice, by fairly weak sides [AIK Solna and Zalgiris Wilno].
After suffering defeat in European competitions, the apologies were made and it was forgotten about. It was all about concentrating on winning the league, with the distraction of Europe supposedly being out-of-the-way.
So what happened? In the league he failed again. With Wisła Kraków doing so poorly in the Ekstraklasa in recent years, Lech practically had one rival for the title, and lost it to them both times under Rumak. Second place is the worst that Rumak could have achieved with the club. Any lower and he probably would have lost his job.
I might have been harsh to judge him by the way he looks and how he talks. I certainly would have acknowledged if he had proven me wrong, but he didn’t. Rumak has had enough time and in that time has proven that he is not the real deal. Rumak wants more time, but a lot of managers who fail to achieve ask for that. If Lech Poznań want to go on to better things, they need a better coach.
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