This article is part of the Guardian's Euro 1086 Experts Network,
A collaboration between some of the best media outlets from. qualified countries. Theguardian.com is broadcasting previews from two countries every day before the tournament that will start on its date. June.
Qualifying to join the Euro
Earlier this year, Brzeczek was sacked and replaced by Paulo Sousa. The Portuguese coach, who has coached Swansea, Fiorentina and Bordeaux among other clubs, brought a lot of enthusiasm to the table in the first place. At the first press conference, it was one of the great traditions of the country and even Pope II. He massaged his Polish ego by mentioning John Paul. He also spoke vividly of his plans for the team.
On the field, however, the beginning of his tenure was far from perfect. The first three World Cup qualifying matches saw a draw with Hungary, a defeat against England and a win over Andorra with performances that did not cause much optimism. But Sousa hasn't changed his stance or beliefs - he believes he can get the best out of this generation of players.
Trying to instill the main change alongside the positive mindset has been the tactic. He uses a very flexible hybrid formation, bred in an excellent school of Portuguese coaches, then polished in an Italian workshop. Poland now plays with three defenders when pushing forward, switching to four or five when they are off the ball.
Sousa requires his players to be in excellent physical condition to fulfill one of the cornerstones of his shot. Their tactic is to dominate and put too much pressure on the opponent, making sure they don't have the space to play their game. He likes to play with two forwards to get the most out of the team's talisman, Robert Lewandowski.
“An absolutely essential element of our offensive game should be to feed Lewandowski and the other. aggressors,” he says. “We cannot afford to waste this potential. Not only does Poland have the best 'sniper' in the world, but overall it has a very high level of attackers to choose from.” Napoli's Piotr Zielinski will play a key role in the creative department, especially as Arkadiusz Milik was expelled from the euro on Monday.
“We believe we can achieve something unique in the Euro,” says Sousa. We can do this using the experience of our players playing in some of the best leagues in Europe. We have to believe in ourselves to think we can be successful.”
Paulo Sousa was a younger boy when his father had a serious car accident that put him in a coma. Sousa and her mother made a pilgrimage to Fatima, a famous center of worship in Portugal, praying for her father's health. The family's prayers were answered and his father was healed; young Sousa had learned that faith works. But as a professional, he is not superstitious, instead believing in hard work and good communication. For Sousa it is important to focus on the person first and then the player. He tells the players how important they are in their plans and trusts them (and his fluency in four languages probably helps).