England v Poland: 'Clown' Jan Tomaszewski - who defied England in 1973 - not expecting repeat on Tuesday
Monday 14 October 2013
Jan Tomaszewski has recalled his goalkeeping heroics which prevented England from qualifying for the 1974 World Cup – but believes Roy Hodgson’s side will prevail when the two sides meet on Tuesday night.
Tomaszewski made a string of outstanding saves to earn Poland a 1-1 draw in their final World Cup qualifier at Wembley in 1973, putting his side into the tournament in West Germany at England’s expense. The goalkeeper had been written off before the game as a “clown” by Brian Clough, working as a TV pundit.
But Tomaszewski, now 65, said yesterday his side were “ugly ducklings” when they arrived for the encounter at Wembley, but returned to Poland as “football swans”.
Speaking through a translator on BBC 5 Live, Tomaszewski said: “I remember one thing the most: that we were those tiny footballers from Poland and despite the fact that we were playing with one of the most – or the most – huge teams in the world everything is possible in football. We came to Wembley as those ugly ducklings and we left as football swans. And why? It’s because the man who stopped England – as they call me – was actually composed of 12 parts – the coach, Kazimierz Gorski, and all of us 11 players on the pitch. And we were fighting just like the three musketeers – all for one, one for all.”
Tomaszewski believes England would have reached the World Cup final if they had won that crucial qualifier. “I’m convinced that if England had won this match with us, I can guarantee they would play in the final in 1974 because they were a great team,” he said.
Tomaszewski warned England they would face “world-class players” tomorrow in Jakub Błaszczykowski, Mariusz Lewandowski and Artur Boruc.
“There is no pressure on Poland and England will be very stressed because they have to win, otherwise their supporters won’t forgive them,” he said. But he added: “I think it’s going to be 3-1 for England.”
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Latest in Sport
Tottenham to use controversial blood-spinning technique to speed Jan Vertonghen return
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Transfer news: Wayne Rooney sparks Manchester United exit rumours after rejecting new contract talks - reports
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
- 4 Not all right on the night
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding