Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Thursday May 10 2007
Spare a thought for Tomasz Frankowski.
Leading light of Polish football. Former signing of Arsene Wenger. Leading goalscorer in England's World Cup qualifying group, including a goal against us at Old Trafford.
Following a hat full of domestic honours, an ambitious Spanish segunde liga side come calling so you gather your family and head to the sun, instantly becoming a hit with the fans and form a partnership with the ocal hero that has promotion written all over it.
Then Glenn Hoddle spots you, hails you as the missing link to his jigsaw, sends his CEO out to Spain on a dont-take-no-for-an answer mission and you end up burdened with a £1.3 million price tag and the expectation you will single handedly fire Wolverhampton Wanderers to The Premiership.
The list of foreign strikers that have failed ot make an instant impact in English football is long and bears some illustrious names.
Thierry Henri, Didier Drogba, Andrei Schevchenko, Diego Forlan all failed to make an instant impact. Scevchenko has hardly made an impact at all.
Frankowski earned the label 'The Pole without a goal' and drew fierce derision from some quarters of the South Bank which in light of his scoring record or lack of, some may feel justified.
But he still managed to show flashes of the skills that earned him so many accolades in Poland to suggest that he certainly wasn't a complete dud.
During one of the last games of his brief Wolves career it was his sublimely weighted pass that let in Jeremie Aliadiere to score against Watford, and it's been widely acknowledged that whilst not finding the net, he did bring something to the team.
What might the effects of him playing with an Andy Keogh or Michael Kightly have been?
Instead of Glenn Hoddle's at times baffling front three selections that included playing Carl Cort as a wide prong in a forward trio?
The net effect of Franek's tenure at Wolves, during which he won the Polish Fans Player Of The Year was that he missed out on his last chance to represent his country at a World Cup finals, where in his absence, they proved to be goal shy, and failed to make it past the group stage.
Lesser men may have retired by now, confidence shattered and resting on the laurels of former glories in their homeland , where memories of the 100 goal video are longer than those of a few months in England.
Vital Wolves will always have a soft spot for Tomasz Frankowski, more a victim of circumstance than his own shortcomings and wish him well should he be granted his move to CF Tenerife.
Franek, Franek. Lowca Bramek.
Date:Thursday May 10 2007
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