Saturday, January 10, 2009

Radzinski rumours?

I don't intend for this blog to become a clearinghouse for all Tomasz Radzinski news and merchandise. But I did stumble across something interesting in my Saturday morning perusal of Flemish second tier football sites (Did I ever say that I had a life?)

A story from just before the new year (30.12.2008) has some interesting tidbits on the 2008 Voyageurs International Player of the Year and Lierse striker. The most interesting parts are in the first half of the article, excerpted from the Gazet van Antwerpen:
Tomasz Radzinski drukt geruchten over vertrek de kop in

Vooral Tomasz Radzinski nam na de 1-0 winst tegen Hamme ruim de tijd om handjes te schudden met de thuisaanhang. Het had voor vele fans wat weg van een afscheid, zeker nadat de geruchten over een mogelijk vertrek de voorbije dagen de kop opstaken. "Larie", weerlegt de Canadees. "Ik wil met Lierse naar eerste klasse."

Of er dan geen interesse is van clubs uit eerste klasse? "Dat weet ik niet en het interesseert me ook niet", zegt Radzinski. "Ik ben met een bepaald doel naar Lierse gekomen en we zitten momenteel ook op schema. Ik zie dan ook geen enkele reden om hier nu te vertrekken. Natuurlijk wil ik graag opnieuw in eerste nationale voetballen, maar die stap wil ik de komende maanden met Lierse zetten. Dat was ook de reden van mijn komst."
Babelfish if you dare, but if you prefer the translation work of one whose crowning achievement in the Dutch realm is reading 6 of the 7 Harry Potter books, read below:
After the 1-0 win against Hamme, Tomasz Radzinski especially took time to shake hands with the home crowd. For the fans, it had the feeling of a farewell, especially after the rumours of a possible departure that have popped up over the last few days. "Nonsense", the Canadian replied. "I want to go to the eerste klasse [Belgian Jupiler League] with Lierse."

Is there any interest from teams in the eerste klasse? "I don't know, and I'm not interested either", said Radzinski. "I came to Lierse with a particular goal and we're currently on track. I see no reason to leave. Of course I'd love to play again in the top flight, but I'd like to take that step in the next few months with Lierse. That was the reason for coming here."
That's a pretty firm denial, and the words of loyalty ring pretty true. On the other hand, if he did have one foot out the door, you'd expect him to say kind of the same thing. Another article on the subject sums up the situation pretty well:
De Poolse Canadees is er al 34, maar duidelijk nog te goed voor tweede klasse.
The Polish-Canadian is already 34, but clearly too good for the second division.
Radzinski seems to be fighting a winning battle right now against time, but how long will that last? Can he wait eight months to return to top flight football? Are top teams still interested in a guy like Radz? AZ, the top team in the Dutch Eredivisie, a better league than Belgium, were interested in Tomasz in August, so it's not that far-fetched.

Radzinski enjoys the physical play of the lower divisions.

The winter break, the natural time for any transfer, is on for a few more weeks in Belgium. Radzinski is currently enjoying a vacation/training camp in Egypt with his team, and played in their most recent match against an Egyptian side.

Another interview answer that I hope isn't true:
Voyageurs: “Can you say whether Dale Mitchell be the coach of the Canadian Men’s Team at the Gold Cup?”

[CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli]: “Yes, Dale will be in charge.”
The truth?


PT7 said...

Very disappointed with the interviewers line of questions. Were they pre-screened? Dale Mitchell has to go.

P said...

So who from among the players does that rule out? That is, which of the players have publicly stated that they will not play again under Mitchell. De Rosario, Friend, Brennan at least, and the first two would be automatic call-ups in anyone's book. Who else, perhaps? Serioux, Radzinski? The only reason I can see to keep this hapless coach around is that they can't afford to hire anyone else. Pathetic.

J said...

I wouldn't rule any players out based on statements they made in the heat of a failure of a qualifying campaign.

I could easily picture De Rosario returning to the fold reluctantly because time is quickly running out on his career, and he'd certainly love to eclipse Mitchell's goal scoring record. Friend may be out, but the way he's been used under Mitchell it's hardly worthwhile having him around. Other than that, I don't know of anyone who would turn down an invite besides Brennan, who is not in my first 22 players anyway.

And in a glass half full kind of way, it's not all bad if our Gold Cup squad consists of a largely under-25 group of players because much of the current core is too old to contribute for 2014 WCQ.

P said...

True enough, I rather doubt that De Ro would turn down a call-up, and especially in the later matches I could not understand why Friend was starting instead of Gerba, who was actually... scoring... occasionally. And it will be good to see some of the younger players get a chance, but it would be better if they had their chance under a coach that could at least inspire a minimal confidence. I mean, his roster's aren't too bad, but is there anything else that's good to say about him?

J said...


You're right. Mitchell has actually been the best of our last few coaches at bringing all of the top players into the squad (although Yallop deserves credit for bringing Radzinski back into the fold). But having the best squads available only makes his failures appear all the more stark.

Anonymous said...

i wouldnt go so far to say that holland has a much better league than belgium, considering the precipitous decline of the dutch league (look at the results of psv in champions league) and the rising fortune of belgian team (standard liege dominated their uefa group and did well against liverpool). And those AZ rumors, consider that they have pelle, ari, dembele, and el hamoudoai, i highly doubt radz would get a shot there.

J said...

Mr. Anonymous,

I have to both agree and disagree with you in your assessment of the respective strength of the Dutch and Belgian leagues.

I agree that the Belgian league is on the rise. A stronger domestic contingent (witness the improved recent form of the Belgian NT) and some smart foreign signings has made the Belgian league a better place.

As for the Dutch league, I don't think PSV's disappointing Champions League campaign necessarily reflects poorly on the Eredivisie as a whole. PSV, along with fellow traditional power Feyenoord, are on the decline. Teams like AZ and Twente have had success at home and in Europe in recent years (recall AZ's UEFA run in '05) and Ajax remains strong. I prefer to think of it as a shift in power instead of a decline.

And you're right, Radzinski wouldn't have a hope to play in AZ. I was surprised to learn that they had been interested. Even if El Hamdouai ever insteads up in Spain, I highly doubt they'd be interested in a diminutive 35-year old striker.