For the most part, Polish footballers failed to impress around the globe this past weekend. Some were hurt, others were benched, while most of the remaining just flat out under-performed. There were, however, a few rays of sunlight during this rather gloomy interval that we will focus our attention on.
Adrian Mierzejewski is enjoying his life down under right now. Through 19 games, his Sydney FC squad have been the class of the Hyundai A-League, with a comfortable nine point lead over second place, Melbourne Victory. Mierzejewski has been nothing short of dominant. He leads the league in assists (seven) and is third in goals (nine), all in a matter of 16 games played. His torrid pace showed no signs of slowing down this weekend, as he hammered home Sydney’s second goal with conviction in a 4:0 thrashing of cellar dwellers, Wellington Phoenix.
Despite the evident lack of talent in the Australian League, the prolific left-footer from Olsztyn cannot be disregarded. Other than Robert Lewandowski, few Poles have shown this level of offensive production in recent memory. He is making a serious pitch for a midfield spot among a relatively unimaginative bunch of incumbents currently residing on the Polish national squad. (Minutes Played: 90, Whoscored.com Rating: N/A)
Sonny Kittel in a Poland jersey this summer. Have I secured your attention? The 25-year old, German-born midfielder (with Polish parents) has been a revelation this season for his Bundesliga 2 side, FC Ingolstadt. Currently, his club sits in a cozy top-five slot in league standings, with Kittel being an integral part of the equation. The 25-year old’s fruitful season continued this weekend with a finish illustrating his patience and comfort with the ball, in his side’s 3:0 steamrolling of Greuther Fuerth.
Kittel formally submitted an application for a Polish passport last year and has a clear desire to dawn the red & white in Russia this summer. Much like Mierzejewski, Kittel would fill a rather sizable void currently existent within the kadra’s midfield. (Minutes Played: 90, Whoscored.com Rating: 8.5)
Lukasz Piszczek’s return from injury must be viewed as a Godsend by Borussia Dortmund supporters. The Polish right-back has immediately galvanized the stagnant side upon his return. Piszczek continued his successful run with a professional performance, laden with aerial wins (three) and tackles (two), during Dortmund 3:2 defeat of FC Cologne. The “Black & Yellow” have seemingly transitioned nicely from the recent departure of disgruntled striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in favour of the enigmatic, Michy Batshuayi – who notched a brace in his first game for the German giants. (Minutes Played: 90, Whoscored.com Rating: 7.4)
Perhaps it was time for Robert Lewandowski to not play a full 90-minutes and not put his Bayern Munich teammates on his back for once. This situation manifested itself this past weekend when Bayern decided to start newly signed Sandro Wagner ahead of “Lewy” in their Bundersliga match vs Mainz 05. Wagner failed to have any semblance of material impact on the game and was subbed out for the Polish assassin in the 63rd minute. Lewandowski, for once, failed to get on the score sheet, as his side enjoyed a comfortable 2:0 victory. The victory helped the Bavarians further distance themselves from those below them in the Bundesliga standings. (Minutes Played: 27, Whoscored.com Rating: 6.1)
Despite taking a teammate’s shot directly to the face during training late last week, Thiago Cionek managed to put on a brave face and played the full 90 for SPAL 2013 in their weekend 2:0 loss to Cagliari. Cionek was among the highest rated players on his team, with a pair of aerial victories and tackles. The Brazilian-born Pole can be considered a late bloomer, as he is playing the best football of his career at the ripe age of 31. (Minutes Played: 90, Whoscored.com Rating: 7.1)
The Sampdoria triumvirate were all in action yet again this weekend in their hard-fought 1:1 draw with Torino. Bartosz Bereszynski and Karol Linetty both started for the sixth place Seria A side. While young gun, Dawid Kownacki, came off the bench to replace Duvan Zapata at the 57-minute mark. The trio failed to move the needle one way or another for their squad, but continue to gain valuable synergies by sharing the field against high-level competition. (Bereszynski Minutes Played: 90, Whoscored.com Rating: 6.1) (Minutes Played: 90, Whoscored.com Rating: 6.3) (Minutes Played: 33, Whoscored.com Rating: 6.3)
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