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Poland coach Jerzy Engel has defended his decision to leave Austria Vienna forward Tomasz Iwan out of his final 23 for the World Cup. "Tomek has not play regularly over the past few months, and he would not have been well-prepared for the finals," he said.

"It was not an easy decision," he went on. "So I turned to the players who have played more often for their clubs."

The issue, though, has divided opinion within the Poland camp, with many players feeling that a man who was key to their qualification has been harshly treated.

"We are very disappointed by this situation," Marseille midfielder Piotr Swierczewski said. "Tomek is our friend and we want him in the team. He played in the qualification games, helped us a lot and deserves his place in the team.

"Why should Tomek not go, when others, who did not play for the club sides, will? I hope the coach will change his mind."

The situation has grown so serious that the vice-president of the Polish Football Association, Zbigniew Boniek, has attempted to turn the attack onto the press.

"Many Polish journalists are very hypocritical," he said. "Recently they've been asking why Iwan is getting in the national team when he isn't playing for his club.

"Now, when Engel didn't include him in the finals squad for the World Cup, the same journalists are asking why he has been omitted."

Another major talking point is the case of Artur Wichniarek, the top scorer in the German second division, who has been named as a reserve.

"I don't want to be on a reserve list," the Armenia Bielefeld striker said. "It means that I have to wait for an injury to one of my colleagues and jump into the squad because of that."

Even Boniek believes that Wichniarek has a point. "His case proves that the association has no influence on Jerzy Engel," the hero of the 1982 World Cup said. "If I were coach I would take him, but I am not, so the decision belongs to Engel."
 

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I can't believe they still think he's worth a game... :eek:
 

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I think you are too hard on him. In my opinion he would have a starting position in every club apart from the top 4 in the table. And by having a starting position, he would settle and develop better and be a positive factor in the Austrian league.

PMDF
 
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