One Pole to be more exact: Jacek Masiota - a member of the PZPN (Polish FA) board.
In an interview published in several Polish newspapers and websites, Mr. Masiota warns about Poland's position in the FIFA ranking and the impact it will have for the 2014 FIFA World Cup preliminary draw.
Read the interview in Sports.pl. (Thanks Soccer-db.Net for the info!)
Mr. Masiota warns about the very distinct possibility of Poland being placed in the fourth pot for the preliminary draw. Sure, he's right if we look at the October 2010 ranking, as Poland are 36th in Europe. I have some bad news for him - Poland are in the fifth pot based on the interim July 2011 ranking, the one that will most likely be used to see the European teams for the draw.
In November 2009 I wrote to PZPN warning them about this and offering my help in choosing opponents in order to maintain a respectable ranking. I also wrote a post about it:
Are Poland the new Austria?
Well, as you probably figured out, I got no answer from PZPN and they kept making mistakes in choosing opponents. Sure, I understand the need to test the team against the likes of Spain, but I don't get why they chose to play against Thailand and Singapore. Mr. Masiota suggests PZPN had to bow to the will of SportFive - the agency that holds the rights for Poland's matches.
Soccer-db.Net asked me what can Poland realistically do to gain ground. Not much, I'm afraid, because there are only 6 FIFA match dates available. Three of them are already filled: November 17 (at home vs. Cote d'Ivoire), March 25 (away vs. Turkey), March 29 (away vs. Greece). That leaves three match dates: February 9, June 3 and 7.
From the first three time frames Poland have 257 points. In this time frame (July 2010 - July 2011) Poland have played 5 matches and gained 475.08 points. Add the three matches already scheduled and they have 59 points from this time frame, for a grand total of 316 points. They absolutely need to win those three matches since it will help them rise above 500 points. Not an easy task looking at their current form. They also need to choose wisely the opponents for the other three match dates and maybe even play a match or two outside the FIFA dates. And you know what? The ad on the right side of my blog is not displayed for nothing. I really can help teams improve their ranking. They only need to contact me :)