Kulesza-Sous interview on Tuesday. A selector like a stone in the PZPN shoe. Different scenarios considered [NASZ NEWS]

Paulo Sousa will fly to Poland next week. The coach of the Polish national team will meet on Tuesday with the president of the Polish Football Association, Cezary Kulesza, to sum up the year, but not only. Although the dust after the defeat with Hungary has dropped, the tension around the Portuguese is still high. The talk with the head of the federation is supposed to improve relations between the parties a little in order to fully focus on the task: next year’s play-offs for the World Cup in Qatar. What’s next? Various scenarios are silently analyzed.

When the Polish national team was returning from the training camp in Spain, the selector and the president of the Polish Football Association did not exchange a word with each other, although they were sitting in the plane in one row. The lack of chemistry between Sousa and Kulesza is no secret, and there are several factors contributing to it. The head of the federation does not speak English, which is a major barrier to direct communication. The selector is a legacy of his predecessor, Zbigniew Bońek, which is not without significance. Boniek did not decide to dismiss Sousa after the failed European Championships. He left this decision to his successor. Only that there was no time for a change, because just after EURO the national team resumed the game of el. World Cup. Installing your trainer would be a huge risk. It was virtually impossible, and let’s remember that the nomination of the selector is always one of the most important, author’s and image-related decisions for the president of the Polish Football Association. Such Kulesza could not take up his first hundred days of work, which he had recently boasted like the prime minister of the government. And now he has a headache.

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Difficult relationships

Despite everything, the president tried not to interfere. He left it in the old way and it worked, because the Polish team started to score points, winning all matches except for a tied, well-played match with the English. The squad set a course for a quiet winter, which they deviated from on the home straight.

Over the last few months, there has been a small guerrilla war, because Sousa had to hear every now and then that he does not see enough of him in Poland, does not watch PKO BP Ekstraklasa matches, earns a fortune, and is difficult to coordinate. When there was information in the public space that he was to land the president on the rug – this was the message outside, although it was toned down that it was a regular working meeting – he was furious that he learned about such things from the Internet, and not from direct communication . This already difficult relationship due to the language barrier only worsened and actually completely fell apart. Her positive accent is playing to one goal in the Matty Cash case.

The fault does not lie on one side, because the selector, due to receiving a new supervisor, has also become more “electric”. Perhaps he decided that after the exchange of people in the offices, he was a foreign body, therefore he limited his visits to Warsaw to a minimum. He felt unjustly attacked. The culmination of the difficult relationship was everything that happened around the match with Hungary. Instead of ending the year with a victory at PGE Narodowy, there was a defeat on the pitch and a series of decisions that were not discussed internally, and which in the following days became a problem for the representation, PZPN and the most important people in Polish football – Kulesza, Sousa and Robert Lewandowski.

The discussion flared up again about what to do with the Portuguese trainer. Some activists, warmed by the VIP atmosphere during the youth meeting in Krakow, demanded immediate resignation. As a bucket of cold water, Sousa’s enormous wages and severance pay were once again used, which would have to be paid to him and his staff. It has been rumored how many millions the federation has lost due to the lack of a play-off on its own territory. Some publications presented numbers pumped up to absurd amounts – including promotion to the World Cup and even leaving the group!

Repair meeting

After the defeat with Hungary, a day later, a summit meeting with the coach was supposed to take place, but Kulesza finally canceled it – as did other meetings the day after the fall of the National Fortress. He left for Białystok, and Sousa returned home on Wednesday. Since then, the gentlemen have not spoken, although they had to speak up a few more times, through statements and interviews, as was the case with the captain’s rest.

The beginning of Kulesza’s term of office is assessed rather positively. However, the results of the representation are the most important in the reception of his work among the public, and his staff cares about it. Nobody will say it out loud, but to the new CEO, Sous is like a stone in a shoe. It hurts him. It’s not his man. It is difficult to supervise. Irritates with decisions without even informal agreement, because so far no working communication has been developed.

After the elections, the new government has been trying to make its presence felt from the very beginning, and it is unable to do so in the most important area. The brake is mainly the calendar, because even if the head of the federation wanted to make a change, regardless of the cost, the time is again unfortunate. The new coach would not have a moment to meet the players and implement his plans before the potentially most important match of 2022. And that could end up being a disaster and a stain on the CEO’s image.

That is why the meeting, which will take place next Tuesday, is to be not only a summary of the last months, but most of all a normalization of relations for the next four months, when the national team needs calm and play to one goal. Fortunately, the draw-off draw, despite the fact that without a seed, was kind to Poland and lightened the atmosphere by itself. Path B, in which, after the possible elimination of Russia, we can hit Sweden or the Czech Republic in the final, gives hope for a game in Qatar.

Sousa will be fired even after a promotion?

What if it fails? Sousa will say goodbye to the staff one hundred percent. What if we get promoted? This is a much forward analysis, but as we hear such a scenario, it does not necessarily mean that the selector will stay with the staff for one hundred percent.

Various scenarios are silently analyzed. Including one, but to choose your man who would prepare the team for the World Cup. Kulesza thinks a lot about it, consults his people, but knows that such a decision would be very risky again, as we saw when Boniek unexpectedly exchanged Jerzy Brzęczek for Sousa a few months before the European Championships.

If the national team managed to go through the difficult play-offs, the president would be exposed to criticism and a nationwide discussion by such a bold change. The failure of the staff therefore means an easy choice. On the other hand, success is probably swallowing the fact that the Portuguese will become his rebellious employee for the next year.

About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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