Poland's national football team has decided to part ways with Portuguese coach Fernando Santos after a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Albania, which has left their Euro 2024 qualification hopes hanging by a thread, as announced by the Polish Football Association (PZPN) on Wednesday.
Santos, who famously guided Portugal to victory in Euro 2016, took the helm in January, succeeding Czeslaw Michniewicz, who was dismissed following Poland's premature exit from the Qatar World Cup, where they were defeated by France in the round of 16.
As it stands, Poland occupies the fourth position in qualifying Group E with merely six points accumulated from five matches. Their current standing places them four points behind group leaders Albania and two points behind both the Czech Republic and Moldova.
Despite the recent setback in Tirana, Santos initially expressed his commitment to continuing as head coach. However, the Polish Football Association has decided to take a different direction.
PZPN President Cezary Kulesza stated, "The selection of a new manager is now a priority for the board of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), so we will soon announce when the presentation of the new coach will take place."
Santos's tenure began with a 3-1 loss to the Czech Republic in their first Euro 2024 qualifier, followed by a narrow 1-0 victory over Albania. A friendly victory against Germany raised hopes, but their performance took a nosedive with a disappointing 3-2 loss to Moldova, squandering a 2-0 halftime lead. They struggled again in a 2-0 win against the Faroe Islands, with a 73rd-minute penalty from Robert Lewandowski finally breaking the deadlock against a team ranked 129th in the world.
Poland is now at a critical juncture, in search of a new leader to rejuvenate their campaign and reignite hopes of securing a spot in Euro 2024. The footballing world eagerly awaits the announcement of their new head coach.