Loyalty and football. The case of Kasper Hämäläinen

Today, Kasper Hämäläinen will make the move between the two biggest Polish clubs – from Lech Poznań to Legia Warsaw.  The Finnish attacking midfielder will sign a three year contract worth up to 500,000 Euros a season including bonuses making him one of the highest paid footballers in the Polish Ekstraklasa.  Many Lech Poznań fans […]

The (digital) road to Euro ’88. Jackie Dziekanowski, Tracksuit manager and me

When I was a little kid, the information that I could access about the world of football was pretty restricted.  There was of course no internet, which meant the main form of gleaning knowledge about football was from Match magazine, Teletext and Clubcall. Indeed, Clubcall once got me into big trouble with my dad, as […]

The Polish national team: From challengers to also-rans – Poland 0 Cyprus 0 1987

The Polish national team is on the cusp of qualifying for the European Championships for only the third time in its history. A low-scoring draw on Sunday at home to Ireland is all Poland need to make it to Euro 2016 in France.  This Polish side has received a lot of positive press – both […]

A (foreign) eye on the Ekstraklasa: Interview with Ben Stebbings of Football Radar

The Ekstraklasa doesn’t get many non-Polish viewers and many Poles would say that’s a good thing, such is the negativity surrounding the domestic league here.  But there are some foreign watchers (including yours truly) and they often are far more positive about the Ekstraklasa than Poles themselves.  I spoke to one relatively new Ekstraklasa observer, […]

Germany vs Poland – Frankfurt redux 2015

Tonight Poland play in Frankfurt against Germany in an important Euro 2016 qualifying match.  41 years ago, Kazimierz Górski’s wonder-team also played in Frankfurt against West Germany in a match which would decide who would make it to the 1974 World Cup final.  In the famous ‘water-match’ (Mecz na wodzie in Polish), Poland fought hard […]

‘Mly’ (Józef Młynarczyk at Porto)

In an excellent guest post on the blog, Mário Silva, takes us back to a time when another famous goalkeeper apart from Iker Casillas – Poland’s Józef Młynarczyk – was signed by Porto, and the cult hero status that ‘Mly’ acquired due to his spell in Portugal. Following Porto’s defeat in the 1984 European Cup Winners Cup […]

Ekstraklasa 2015-6 preview

After a short six week break the Ekstraklasa returns tonight as the 2015-6 season kicks off with Wisła Kraków taking on Górnik Zabrze and Lechia Gdańsk playing Cracovia.  A new season means an open book for clubs and players that underachieved and for fans to believe that this season could finally be their year.  At […]

The magic of European club competition qualifiers

Yesterday the draw for the early rounds of the Champions and Europa League qualifiers was made in Nyon, Switzerland. For the larger European leagues this draw, and indeed the early qualifying rounds, slip away unnoticed in the middle of a summer of grandiose transfer acquisitions and international tournaments.  But for smaller European leagues the qualifiers […]