Fernando Santos was considered a coach who never said anything interesting in public. He refuted this view first in an interview with Jacek Kurowski of TVP Sport, and later with Tomasz Ćwiąkała of Canal + Sport, who was comfortable speaking without a translator, this always shortening the distance and reducing the risk of misunderstanding.
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That’s why Fernando Santos didn’t want a match against Germany
The biggest confusion arose after the coach spoke about sparring with Germany in June. Some accused Santos of disturbing the corporate order at PZPN – here his bosses are sweating from their brows for such an attractive competitor, with whom he always plays a feast, and still complains. Meanwhile, the selector doesn’t say anything illogical. He is right that such skirmishes would be better in November, after the Euro 2024 qualifiers, and not just before the first leg with Moldova. Moldova, which has already taken points from the Czech Republic.
Therefore, no sane person will be surprised that the strongest squad of Santos will play a match for points, not a prestigious, but still friendly match with Hansi Flick’s team.
Let’s remember that the players will come to training camp in June from the holidays, and they will be after the league seasons. This complicates the task of the Portuguese even more.
To justify the PZPN, we must add that the plan for rivalry with Germany was created in the fall, during the tenure of Czeslaw Micenowitz.
I was surprised by these words of Fernando Santos: – I only learned about the bonus scandal during the training camp in March, – he said.
I can understand that the president of the PZPN, Cesare Colizza, or the general secretary of the federation, Łukasz Wachowski, did not tell Santos about this acid within the team during the negotiations. It might scare him away. However, after signing the contract, when the canaries were already in the cage, they had two months to inform the Portuguese that we brought a time bomb from the World Cup, which exploded after meeting Łukasz Skorupski. This should make it easier for the selector to remove the load.
Meanwhile, PZPN has not learned from its World Cup mistakes. Then he pretended that nothing had happened, there was no bonus scandal, and then, when the milk was spilled and all Poland lived it, forgetting about the success of the first exit from the group at the World Cup after 36 years, the federation threw Czeslaw Michniewicz on a hundred sacrifices and washed his hands.
When Fernando Santos got on board, declaring “From now on, I’m Polish,” it was in the best interest of the Polish national team to tell him about everything, even the dark sins in our locker room.
I loved Santos’ quotes about Skorobski. Some speculated that the coach would stop calling him as punishment for his long tongue. Santos added that he never banned players from contacting the media, but also warned them not to leak anything that might harm the team – for example, information about the squad and match tactics. Skorupski justified the fact that he gave the interview a month before training camp in March, surprising “Przegląd Sportowy” that the publication was so late. This is the media law. They don’t have to post online or the next day.
Fernando Santos sounds the alarm
I liked the sound of the Portuguese for two reasons. The first is how close the players are to the match.
Poles are great patriots, but they don’t always show it. I can’t understand how, after losing two quick goals in the Czech Republic, our players didn’t get a single yellow card, – he confirmed.
After all, Adam Nawałka sounded the same tune, expecting from the “White-and-Reds” complete dedication and the already famous ride on breeches. This is the basis of professional sports – you may lack the skills and the luck but not the heart to fight!
He publicly called on players to play for the team, not to earn individual good note in the media.
Santos warning bell for the league
The second alarm bell for Santos concerns the clubs and the kind of foreigners they bring in. I always felt conscious that we went too far with this. Similar leagues in the Czech Republic or Slovakia are more likely to rely on their players, rather than on exports.
He also believes that clubs sell top talent too early. It was no coincidence that he said these words when Lech Poznan transferred Michał Skorach for six million euros. He believes that if our largest companies grow together with the league, they will soon be exported, but for 10-15 million euros. Just like the Czechs do. Adam Hlożek left for Bayer Leverkusen for 13 million euros – this is an unattainable transfer amount for a player from our league.
– We all have to think together how to bring the Polish League from 24th in Europe to 10-12. The stronger the league, the stronger the representation – he gave a simple rule, because, in fact, the best representation is in the standings: England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Portugal, Belgium have strong leagues.
Likewise, Santos is baffled by how a large country of 40 million people is stuck in 26th place in the FIFA rankings. He pointed out that although we have been playing defensively recently, we have conceded a lot of goals.
Fernando Santos can’t get over the lack of players at the back, especially on the left.
The problem, the problems that we are used to and have stopped paying attention to. Maybe now that this class’s boss has sounded the alarm, we’ll start to change something.
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