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Will Wisla’s stars shine again this season?

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Aug 2008

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There was Gornik Zabrze in the 60Â’s and 80Â’s, Ruch Chorzow in the 70Â’s, Legia Warszawa in the 90Â’s, and now Wisla Krakow in the 2000Â’s.

These are the teams that have dominated their respective decades when it comes to Polish soccer. Anyone who has paid any attention to top-flight soccer in Poland will know (although, depending on their allegiance, will not always admit to it) that Wisla Krakow has been the most dominant team in the league for the past 10 years.

Since the 1998-99 season, they have won 6 championships and have finished outside of the top 2 just once. Players such as Maciej Zurawski, Tomasz Frankowski, Jakub B³aszczykowski, Dariusz Dudka, and Kamil Kosowski have all played in Krakow and although they are not household names on a continental stage, all have gone on to play for clubs such as Celtic, Dortmund, Auxerre, and Kaiserslautern.

This dominance took a severe hit in the 2006/07 season when Wisla finished a shocking 8th in the league. They only had four losses and had the fewest goals scored against them, but had no firepower up-front and that was their downfall. They rebounded in the 07/08 season where they tore up the Ekstraklasa with 77 points from 30 games, a goal differential of +50, and only 1 loss.

So what team will show up this year? The duds of 06/07, or the stars of 07/08? Soccer is a sport where anything can happen, but the team seems to again be favourites to win the league and have the strength to defend their title. They lost two key members from the starting eleven in Dariusz Dudka and Adam Kokoszka to larger clubs abroad, but this has happened to Wisla every year.

Up front Wisla have argueably the best striker in the league in Pawel Brozek, who scored 23 goals for the “Biala Gwiazda” (White Stars) in last year’s campaign. Brozek seems to be continuing his form with a goal in the Champions League against Beitar Jerusalem and continually being involved in the pre-season friendlies.

WislaÂ’s midfield is par for the course, and their defence, although taking a major blow in losing Arkadiusz Glowacki at centre back for 6 weeks, is still quite stellar when compared to others in the league.

So will Wisla dominate the league again this year as they did last year? Legia and Lech Poznan both have strong teams and a strong faithful backing them.

Add Gornik Zabrze into the mix and Poland might have a very competitive top-flight this season. This should be an interesting year between the traditional powerhouses and a couple of the outsiders looking in. All that needs to happen now is to get the governing body to get their act together and finally call for the official start of the season. Soon enough it will be known if the White Stars of Krakow will shine again, or if they will be dimmed by an emerging powerhouse.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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