Poland made a stunning start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign after thrashing Gibraltar 7-0 with Robert Lewandowski being the pick of the bunch. The opposition were playing at home, but Poland came into the match as favourites due to the overwhelming strength of this professional team. In contrast, Gibraltar were able to call upon only two players who have been playing as professionals. They included Preston North End’s Scott Wiseman and Israeli side Bnei Yehuda’s Liam Walker. The gulf in quality showed throughout the encounter, as Poland comfortably brushed aside the opponents.
However, Poland coach Adam Nawalka will be aware that far greater opposition await them in this qualifying campaign. They start with a tough match against Germany at home, while they are up against Scotland three days later in October. These two home games will go a long way into determining the outcome of this qualifying campaign. Getting anything more than four points will be seen as a huge success for the Polish team, who have not been a major fixture at international tournaments of late. The presence of Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski will be a major boost for Poland and he did not disappoint in the opening qualification match after scoring four goals.
All of his goals came in the second half, while Grosicki helped himself to a brace in the match. Szukala scored the other goal in this comprehensive victory. After a string of impressive performances with Arsenal at the start of the season, Wojciech Szczesny was in goal for the Polish and this saw Artur Boruc dropping to the bench. The victory against Gibraltar was far more important considering that one of their main rivals for the qualifying positions, Scotland, lost in the opening match. Three teams have taken a win from the opening round of fixtures. They include Germany and Republic of Ireland aside from Poland.
The USA team reached the round of 16 which was far more than what was expected. The American side was pitted in a difficult group where they had to play against: Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Getting past the group stages of the 2014 World Cup was a tough task to accomplish but the team of Jurgen Klinsmann managed to do it as they secured the 2nd place of group G with 4 points which was the same amount of points that Portugal had but USA had better goal difference.
When the 2014 edition of the World Cup was over, Jurgen Klinsmann received a mix of negative and positive feedback towards the decisions he made during the already concluded World Cup.
Landon Donovan was surprisingly left out of the squad and the veteran attacker did not hesitate in letting his voice be heard as he went on saying that Klinsmann got the tactics all wrong.
Donovan spoke to the media a day after USA was eliminated from the World Cup as he praised the work that his colleagues made throughout the entire tournament but criticized the formations and playing style that Jurgen Klinsmann opted to go with.
“I think we’re all disappointed in what happened yesterday. I think the most disappointing is we didn’t seem like we gave it a real effort, from a tactical standpoint. I thought the guys did everything they could, they did everything that was asked of them, but I don’t think we were set up to succeed yesterday, and that was tough to watch.”
“It’s a results-oriented business, and so, results-wise, you can hold your head high. But, if you really look at the performances, there were some good performances by guys, some not-so-good performances by guys. As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed.
Despite receiving negative feedback from Landon Donovan, the American squad managed to get past the group rounds of the World Cup which was something that not many people were expecting and recognized figures such as Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola praised the work of Jurgen Klinsmann as they stated that the German coach has ‘’ revolutionized football in the United States’’.
A 2-1 defeat against Belgium saw United States being eliminated from the 2014 World Cup but the manager of the squad, Jurgen Klinsmann has already outlined some of his plans for the years to come as the German tactician revealed details about how he is planning to reshape the team.
During the World Cup, United States locked horns against Portugal, Belgium, Ghana and Germany and the American team conceded goals in every single match but nonetheless one of the standout performers of the entire competition was Tim Howard.
Tim Howard made superb performances in every match as he tried to keep his team fighting till the very end and not concede goals in the early stages of any game. During the last match of the World Cup that USA played, Him Howard broke the record for most saves in a World Cup match as he made 16 saves throughout the entire match and this is just evidence of how important and influential the veteran shot-stopper was for his squad.
However, at his 35 years of age Tim Howard has already stated that he is considering retiring from playing at the international scene and Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his plans of allowing younger players on stepping up and representing USA.
“A good thing about this next year is that we kind of have the opportunity to see a lot of young players coming to our platform, coming to the senior team. We can give them time to show where they are up to right now. The experienced players, or the older players, we can tell them for the next couple of months: ‘Go play in your club environment, we know you inside out anyway, we know what you bring to the table’. But right now maybe there’s time for the next couple of friendlies that come up and over the next year that we want to see the young players grow and see how they can make it.’”
The German manager of USA also went on saying that in order to recognize a huge improvement in the squad, it will take a long time but he believes that everything is going the right direction.
United States Men’s National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann has told his players they will be playing for glory, fame and fortune at the World Cup.
Except for a few exceptions, the USMNT are one of those low key teams in the World Cup who do not have much to expect from the showpiece event of the beautiful game but the former World Cup winner has said this is where the players need to perform if they want to sky rocket their careers to the stratosphere.
The German has told the players that they can put the top clubs on notice by their performance in the World Cup.
Klinsmann told the media that this is the stage for the players where they can prove they are ready to take their careers to the next level or even higher than that. He went on to add that there is no better event than the World Cup and whoever steps on to the pitch, should embrace this opportunity, give it a smile and go for it.
Jurgen Klinsmann knows a thing or two about going for glory at the biggest stage of them all when he won the World Cup with West Germany back at Italia ’90.
There have been countless instances where players secure big money moves – often for extremely inflated values – on the back of their performances at the World Cup and the former Bayern Munich boss wants his players to put them on the market with a strong run in the tournament.
Not many people expect the USMNT to get out of the Group of Death, Group G, which features the likes of Ghana, Germany and Portugal but Jurgen Klinsmann wouldn’t mind as long as the team can give a good account of themselves and go out with a big bang.