As part of SFG’s Euro 2012 post-mortem, the SFG writers take the first cursory glance at the fortunes of each team at Euro 2012, breaking down the performance of each team in the format of Sergio Leones’ seminal work The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. We start with Group A:
The best fans at Euro 2012? Not filled with as much joie de vivre as the Irish, but certainly up there – it’s a shame, however, that their fans were rewarded with little substance. Should we have expected more (even though they were the lowest-ranked team – 62nd in the FIFA rankings - in the tournament)? As they were co-hosts, probably. Can we fault them for not trying? Absolutely not. Maybe they were simply not up to the standard, even with the feeble group they were in they were the lowest ranked team by some distance. Footballistically, few positives can be taken from the tournament for Poland, but Kuba Blaszczykowski’s flowing thunderbolt equaliser against Russia was one of the best moments of the tournament.
The lack of a genuine playmaker or someone reasonably comfortable on the ball meant Poland struggled to control games even when they were in the ascendancy – this was particularly damning in the opening game, a game they should have won after Greece played the majority of it with 10 men. Due to the lack of an adequate playmaker, Poland were limited to sporadic attacks on the wings and once opposition centre-backs smothered Lewandowski, there was very little originality from midfield to conquer the opposition with guile.