Football: Tomaszewski says ‘weak’ England will have last laugh now

Football: Tomaszewski says ‘weak’ England will have last laugh now

WARSAW - The hero of Poland's most famous match against England doesn't expect them to equal his Wembley feats even though Roy Hodgson's side are "weak" compared to the one he stopped from going to a World Cup.

Tuesday's World Cup qualifier will take place almost 40 years to the day since Jan Tomaszewski's brilliant display.

On October 17 1973, Poland goalkeeper Tomaszewski, dubbed "a clown" by celebrated manager Brian Clough, made a string of saves in a 1-1 draw.

The result denied England a place at the 1974 World Cup - the first time they'd failed to qualify for the finals since they started taking part in 1950.

"Back then they (England) were one of the world's best teams, probably even the best," Tomaszewski said in an interview with AFP in Warsaw.

"Now England is weak, weak but they're not falling below a certain level.

They could have qualified already, like the Italians or The Netherlands, but they've drawn too many games."

Forty years ago, a draw signalled the end of an era as manager Alf Ramsey, who'd guided England to their lone World Cup title at Wembley in 1966 and the quarter-finals in Mexico four years later, was sacked as a result.

Roll the clock on to 2013 and England again need to beat Poland at Wembley to be certain of qualifying for a World Cup finals.

But the difference now is that, following Friday's 1-0 defeat by Ukraine in Kharkiv, Poland can no longer qualify while England will go into the match on the back of a morale-boosting 4-1 European zone Group H win over Montenegro at Wembley.

'Something just isn't right with England'

"They (England) are still among the world's best, but for sure now they're not in as good form (as 1973)," said Tomaszewski. "But, objectively speaking, they're the best team in the group.

"Something just isn't right with England these days. All the players are fantastic but during a game - I mean individually these players are nearly the world's best - when they play together something's off with the communication, it's just not there."

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