Krakow football rivals running out of steam

michal_miskiewiczSince the boiling derby, Krakow-based teams haven’t been doing too well in the league. In their last couple of games, the two rivals shared a similar fate, dropping game after game in the Ekstraklasa League Table. Cracovia stands only 3 points clear the first relegation spot, but the situation is even more concerning for Wisła Krakow, currently bottom of the table.

Cracovia slumps after promising open

After a neat 5-1 win in the season opening, Cracovia seemed to have recovered from their early and disappointing European Cup dismissal and looked on the right track to reproduce last season’s high performance. Their promising season start extended to a decent 7 / 12 pts after beating Wisła.

But the excitement dropped, and Cracovia started their downward spiral. First a dismissal in the Polish Cup against Jagiellonia Białystok, then four games in a row without a win. They dropped to the #10 spot in the League Table following their poor 2 / 12 pts, with 9 pts in 8 games.

Their last game at home against Lechia Gdańsk (0-1 defeat) is a good illustration of their current form: lack of inspiration to score, shaky defensive positioning, and a bit of bad luck (hitting the post). On a positive note, they currently the third best scoring teams of the league with 12 goals scored… something good to build upon. Starting next week with a long and difficult travel to the seaside to face Arka Gdynia, new joiners this season promoted from I Liga (Division 2).

Wisła sounding the alarm bell

Disappointing for most of the season last year, Wisła managed to get their head straight and offer a superb season finish to their fans with only one defeat in the last 13 games! A breathtaking performance and full of hopes for the new season. And the unbeaten serie extended, as Wisła kicked off this season with a home win. But 7 defeats in a row later, Wisła Krakow is now bottom of the Ekstraklasa with only 3 pts in eight games and the weakest statistics of the league (seven goals scored and 19 conceded). No more excitement to feel around the Stadion Miejski Henryka Reymana – the team that was still competing in the Champions League in 2008, beating even FC Barcelona 1-0 in Krakow, are today far from their glorious past.

Against Jagiellonia in Białystok last Sunday, Wisła conceded their 7th defeat (2-1). Even if they hit the post once, created many scoring chances, and had their goalkeeper Miskiewicz stopping brilliantly a late penalty, Wisła gaps and weaknesses were once again too obvious in comparison to their strong opponent. A general poor organisation and a lack of automation combined with doubts, pressure, and blatant lack of confidence are making the challenge harder. Some will say that it’s still early in the season to already draw conclusions, but one thing is for sure: the quality offered so far is really poor.

Wisła will play their next two games at home, but facing two tough opponents: Piast Gliwice on Saturday, then Legia Warsaw on Friday 23rd for the “Polish Classic”.

On a better note, they managed to qualify for the Polish Cup 1/8th finals and will face Chojniczanka Chojnice, a team from I Liga (Division 2). A tricky game, but a win there could be the breath of fresh air that Wisła players and fans need right now. Adding to that, last year’s Cup Winner Legia Warsaw got dismissed in the previous round, to the great satisfaction of many teams!

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