World Cup 2018: 5 Coaches That Have Disappointed So Far
The second round of matches in the group stages of the World Cup has been completed and, like week one, it has been an absolute joyride for fans and pundits.
Croatia's dismantling of Argentina was the standout result of the round but it was not the only one. Hosts; Sbornaya of Russia, El Tri of Mexico, Les Bleus of France sealed qualification with a match to spare.
There were also resurgent victories for Brazil and Germany against some very stubborn opposition (both victories required very late goals) and they will be confident of their chances to advance. Everything points to what would be the mother-of-all second round clashes between both teams.
One thing that has stood out though has been the abysmal coaching - especially by coaches of the favoured teams. While the so-called "minnows" have shown good organization and played to their strengths, the big teams have looked scattered, lacked cohesion and have been lucky more often than not.
Here is a look at 5 of the coaches that have been most disappointing in the tournament:
#5 Adam Nawalka (Poland)
When the Polish FA choose to game the seeding system for the World Cup by not playing friendlies, coach Nawalka would have been forgiven for not being too worried. The Poles sailed through qualifying and looked like one of the dark horses to do well.
However, this lack of test fixtures leading up to the Mundial has come back to bite the Orly hard in the posterior. Against Senegal, the Poles were undone by the Teranga Lions' pace, directness, and defensive solidity.
Against Colombia, the Polish defence and midfield were unable to cope with the incisive passing and quality of the Colombian midfield especially James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero.
A top-heavy team with good strikers and a shambolic midfield lacking creativity, manager Nawalka failed to fashion a system that could get the ball to his strikers. The team's most creative midfielder: Piotr Zielinski was played too deep against the Senegalese and was wasted on the flanks in the humiliating loss to the Colombians.
While Nawalka was dealt a bad hand by the injury to top centre-back Kamil Glik before the tourney started, the defence was undone by pace and incisive movement in both games with players like Michal Pazdan and Lukasz Piszczek being consistently drawn out of position by the movement of their opponents.
Captain and talisman Robert Lewandowski has cut a frustrated figure and, with only pride left to play for against Japan, the team will need to be rejuvenated and a lot of the older players let go after the team gets back to Warsaw.