Although with two games to go and as poor performance from the team as the one in the one-all draw at Widzew there should be a relief at Legia from the fact that Lech Poznan was unable to beat Podbeskidzie at home. Demons have never gone away for Mariusz Rumak’s side and fifth home defeat was a fact thanks to Fabian Pawela’s brace – Legia was named Polish champions as they were comforting themselves in front of TV for the big Champions League final.
There is, however, at least few things to be aware of before going off to celebrate in the manner Danijel Ljuboja and Miroslav Radović did after the Polish Cup win. Legia’s chairman, Bogusław Leśnodorski, is probably extremely glad of the double in his premiere season in the job, happy to be able to put this behind – because, in all fairness, the winter spending spree must be only the beginning if he is serious about Legia’s ambitions.
Central defender to cover for Astiz, Żewłakow and Choto is a necessary, while influential central midfield figure would be welcome addition to already proper department, as Radović will be moved following his post-cup win celebrations. And then there are wide man. Kosecki was barely able to hold key zones himself, while Żyro stopped his once-rapid developement, and Kucharczyk with Brzyski are simply not good enough.
Not good enough for what exactly, you may ask. Leśnodorski’s ambitions are running high and after dashing presentation in dozens of interviews he gave out in the first weeks of his tenure, lately we have seen quite different face of one of the most unique man in Polish football. Still sharing a smile, but being perfectly focused and analyzing the situation, probably a bit shocked at the way his players conducted themselves. Facing fairly drunk players at the club that night, he might have had just realized how tough his challenge is.
While all credit for winning the double should go to Legia staff members and players, there is no doubt that in recent games their football was far from the best they have produced this season. It may be all about crawling over the finish line, but the pressure surely got to the players’ heads and at Widzew they struggled throughout the game. They might have been winning in the spring round anyway, but such attacking team with powerful striking force only four times provided three or more goals, contrary to nine times they did last fall.
That was more about controlling the game than winning them in an impressive manner, but many will disagree, rightly pointing out that there was more luck than purpose in Legia’s performances of late.
For what Jan Urban should be credited for, is great use of Bartosz Bereszyński at right back and then preparing Saganowski to partner Dvalishvili up front when it was needed. Defensively Legia was solid thanks to Artur Jędrzejczyk who matured well under Michał Żewłakow’s experienced eye. Dusan Kuciak remained to be solid in goal, while Vrdoljak and Łukasik kept their cool in the middle. So much positives but the wider context is needed for Legia to aknowledge how much there is still to do.
Hopefully the double will be treated by Legia only as a stepping stone, with confirmation of their success being a perfect description of their season – so much excitement, passion and turning points, that the relief came thanks to poor result of their biggest rivals rather than one decisive performance on the pitch. Some should take it as a sign of luck – arguably and that despite waiting for the title seven long years, the satisfaction from the title will not be complete until they win it themselves and on the pitch. May that be their ambition for upcoming years, hopefully spent on giving the best example and being the ones to chase for the rest of the league.