Śląsk Wrocław have finished in 3rd place in this year's Ekstraklasa, despite being slaughtered 5-0 by Legia Warszawa in the Pepsi Arena yesterday. Piast Gliwice had the chance to leapfrog Śląsk, but they slipped up at home to bottom placed Bełchatów. Śląsk have finished now finished in the top three for the third year in a row, having finished runners-up in 2011 and won the championship last year.
Stanislav Levy set his stall out to attack the new Polish champions yesterday, and in the opening moments of the game things looked relatively bright for Śląsk. Wrocław looked good going forward and were creating opportunities, but a series of regrettable defensive mishaps resulted in a drubbing that Śląsk's fans would rather forget. With just over half an hour played Legia's Marek Saganowski had already bagged a hat-trick, and another thirty minutes later it was 5-0, with both Kucharczyk and Radović getting their names on the scoresheet.
All things considered, a 3rd place finish was the best that Śląsk could probably have achieved this season. The loss of key personnel such as Piotr Celeban left holes in the defence, while all the wrangling off the pitch regarding the club's finances was clearly an unwelcome distraction.
Looking forward to next season, the good news is that club captain Sebastian Mila has committed his future to Śląsk. There are likely to be wholesale changes to the playing squad too – lazy misfiring strikers Voskamp and Diaz will be binned, and it expected that Eric Mouloungui will return to his parent club.
Nevertheless, it is likely that events off the field will dominate the headlines over the summer. Fans are increasingly losing their patience with Śląsk's board of directors, who have made a number of costly errors this season. As recently as this week, it was revealed the club failed to activate the continuation clause of Marcin Kowalczyk's contract before the deadline. Kowalczyk was called up to the Polish squad this week, and as Śląsk failed to discuss terms with him over a new contract, the experienced defender did not hesitate in putting pen to paper on a pre-contract agreement with Russian side FC Volga. Piotr Ćwielong, arguably Śląsk's player of the season, has also stated there is a strong chance he will leave the club.
Clearly Stanislav Levy is in for a busy summer, but much will depend on whether the club's owners can conjure up enough funds to capture his key targets. Can Śląsk remain competitive at the top of the league, or are they set to nosedive into a relegation battle? The new season will be with us before you know it, and it won't be long until we find out.
Don't forget to check out Wrocław Uncut for all the transfer news throughout the summer!
Photocredits – Krystyna Pączkowska, slaskwroclaw.pl