Maciej Murawski for “Wprost”: The play of two Polish national team players is very impressive

Maciej Murawski for "Wprost": The play of two Polish national team players is very impressive

Wojciech Szczęsny saved the decisive penalty kick in the Wales-Poland match, but two other players also deserved recognition. Maciej Murawski points to Nicola Zalewski and Przemysław Frankowski.

After an extremely tense battle with Wales, the Polish national team advanced to Euro 2024. No goals were scored in the regular game or overtime, and we won the penalty shootout 5:4. On the one hand, the Polish national team did not have a shot on target for 120 minutes, and on the other hand, they showed features that we have not seen in the group matches of the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Maciej Murawski assesses the Poles' performance

– I was very impressed by the attitude of our shuttle players, Nicola Zalewski and Przemysław Frankowski. In this position and in this formation, you need to have great performance to play defensively and offensively for 120 minutes. This is one hell of a demanding position. Meanwhile, neither of the two was changed. Their attitude deserves respect, because they played very well defensively, but they also posed a threat in the opponent's half. Nicola won a lot of fights, Przemek was also active as much as he could – says Maciej Murawski, six-time representative of Poland, currently an expert for Canal+ Sport, in an interview with “Wprost”.

The only regret from the course of the match is that nothing hit the net after a shot by one of our players. Jakub Piotrowski was close to the goal in overtime.

– Overall, the whole team could be liked. We saw commitment, bravery and determination, which did not always happen during group qualifying matches. The organization of the game was at an appropriate level. There were many moments when we controlled events on the pitch. It's true that the Poles didn't create many chances, but this match should be considered a plus – added Murawski.

Bartosz Salamon brought peace

Our interlocutor emphasizes that our strength was also the fact that the players introduced on the pitch during the match performed well. They were Bartosz Salamon, Krzysztof Piątek, Sebastian Szymański and Taras Romańczuk. In addition, of course, there is the confidence in goal, which was traditionally provided by Wojciech Szczęsny.

– The substitutes performed at a satisfactory level, and Bartosz Salamon was such a silent hero. He did not disappoint in the Polish national team again, and he entered the field in a difficult position at a critical moment. Of course, there is also a lot of talk about Wojtek Szczęsny, but his great attitude is not a surprise. He confirmed that he is a top-class goalkeeper, made some nice saves and helped significantly in qualifying for the Euros. There, however, we will have a difficult group, but maybe that's a good thing, because the players will be even more focused and committed – our interlocutor analyzes.

Michał Probierz inspired the team

During the Polish national team's matches, there is a lot of talk about defensive play. This time the Polish national team did not concede a goal, which does not happen often. Fans and experts point out that the link that needs to be replaced is Jan Bednarek, suggesting that he plays very uncertainly. It was him who was replaced by Bartosz Salamon on the pitch against Wales.

– We like to criticize in Poland, but if you play in defense, it is difficult to play flawlessly for 90 minutes. At the moment, there is no point in wondering whether Jan Bednarek will keep his place in the squad or not. There is a lot of time left until the European Championships, and fortunately the play-off stage ended with promotion. A lot can still happen before the Euro and Michał Probierz and his staff will certainly observe how the players perform in their clubs – says Murawski.

There are probably many elements to improve in the Polish team's game, but what is pleasing is the players' approach to matches. It seems that a lot of things have changed compared to how the players performed during Fernando Santos' tenure. Michał Probierz can celebrate his first success with the senior national team.

– It is often said that coaches take on certain characteristics from the times when they were players. It is similar with Michał Probierz, who as a player impressed with his bravery on the pitch, played on the verge of fouling and expects similar commitment from his players. You always have to try to get the ball, play to your maximum potential and be aggressive. This is something we should start with and I think that Michał Probierz, when taking over this team, paid a lot of attention to this aspect. The coach has given the team more fighting spirit and determination, something we lacked in previous matches. However, let's be honest, if we're talking about the national team, we shouldn't dwell on it. When you put on a T-shirt with an eagle on the chest, the players should be fully committed, but apparently they sometimes need to be reminded of it, concludes Murawski.

Euro 2024 will last from June 14 to July 14. The Polish national team will play in group D against: the Netherlands, Austria and France.

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