Chat with Janusz Michallik
Janusz played 44 games with the US National Team from 1991 to 1994 and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991 and US Cup in 1992. He won indoor National Championships with Louisville and Canton in 1986 and '87 respectively before enjoying a career in the MLS with the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution.
Janusz holds a United States Soccer Federation 'A' coaching license and coaches with Connecticut's Olympic Development Program (ODP) and Youth Player Development Program (YPDP). He is currently the National Director of SoccerPlus FieldPlayer Academy, the Director of Coaching for FSASoccerPlus Premier Football Club, a soccer analyst for ESPN and serves on the Board of Directors for the US Soccer Foundation. A member of Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame, he is married to Marzena and has a son, Daniel.
Janusz won't be stopping by until 2pm BST (9am ET) on Friday but you can send your questions now and we will save them for his arrival.
Johannes Rodén Umea, Sweden
Hi Janusz? Sweden had a good tournament in European Championships 2004 and has a stabile team with some sparks: Ljungberg & Henrik Larsson as well as a world player; Zlatan. What do you think are their chances to repeat a sucess like the one from 1994? What speaks for and what speaks against them? What other outsiders do you expect succeeding?
I think Sweden has a chance to repeat what they did in 2004. This is a team that always seems to be flying under the radar yet has world class players and the makeup of the team technically and tactically is what needs to be to be successful in this type of tournament.
Patrick (Virginia, USA)
Janusz, Who do you favor to go through from the playoffs (Europe, Aust vs. Uruguay, Bahrain/T&T) to Germany?
The sentimental choice for me is Australia as I think it would be nice to finally see them in the world cup. However, I do feel that Uruguay has a little bit more quality and experience in big games like these. As far as the other matchup, I do think that Trinidad and Tobago will easily go through to Germany.
Can you please give me your thoughts on Turkey v Switzerland?
Emmett, very even matchup. Perhaps the toughest to call out of the three European Playoffs. You have to give Switzerland credit for coming out of maybe the toughest group. I will favor Turkey as the second leg will be in Istanbul and I am sure the home support will be unbelievable. I also think that it will be wonderful for them to qualify for Germany as there is a huge Turkish population living in Germany and that would be fun to see.
Tung Tung: (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
Hi Janusz. How good is the current Uruguay squad and do you think the Australian team under Guus Hiddink can beat them? And who from the Uruguay national team should we escpecially be worried about. Thanks!
Obviously Uruguay is a very good team as you have to be in order to come out of South American qualifying, even in 5th place. This team appears to play a bit more direct and will rely heavily on the four strikers (yes four), you will see the big target in Morales with Diego Forlan and Marcelo Zalayeta beside him. Alvaro Recoba will play just behind the front three and will be the playmaker. Given that the style of play will probably be direct, I think Australia with their size and physicality will be able to cope with them in some way.
Hi Janusz, Marco Van Basten states that "i pick the best team not the best players". Shouldn't England benefit from that i.e play with a proper defensive midfielder?And then:Gerrard or Lampard?what you think?Fof me, is like the ad;Gerrard: the midfield dynamo!!!
I have been critical in the past of Marco Van Basten as he has been selecting very young players with virtually no international experience. However, the proof is in the pudding and Holland has won their group rather easily so give him credit for that. I think you are spot on as far as England goes that it would be nice to see that philosophy at times. For the life of me I do not understand why Darren Bent was not given a chance to play the other day instead of Peter Crouch. You need to reward players that are in form and scoring goals.
What do you think of liverpool's start to the season? They way I see it is that they have done just as well or better in every game this season.
Jess, I have to say that I am disappointed. They seem to be out of the race for the Premiership already and they have not been scoring many goals. I gave Rafa Benitez alot of credit last year but the style of play resembles more and more the way the team played under Houllier which in my mind is unimaginative to say the least.
DT Hartford CT
will somebody please admit that England needs to sit Lampard or Gerrad and play a holding midfeilder in front of defence
DT, perhaps you are right. There are two things that you need to consider. 1. I can't think of a player that is world class in England that can play in that position. 2. Don't forget that just a few months ago we were all raving about how good this England team was and there was talk in the media that England would contend for the World Cup. They are going through a rough patch but all that really matters is how they perform in 8 months. Alot can hapen in that time and perhaps we will have answers to our questions.
Pete (SF, CA)
Hi Janusz. What are your thoughts on England's defeat of Poland on Wednesday? Eriksson and some on the squad would have us believe that they are ready to take on the world now, but I don't think we should be getting too excited just yet.
It is fair to say that England were the better team and deserved to win. There is no reason to get excited just yet, however, their performance was much better and resembled the English team from a few months ago.
Tomasz, San Diego
Why are there so many Polish born players on the German National Team. Do Poland or Ukraine have a chance to go into the elite eight in 2006.
Tomasz, give your name I have to assume that you realize that many of those players have left Poland at a very early age, they may feel Polish at heart, however growing up in Germany all their lives I can see that this would be a natural choice.
On to your second question...Of course the possibility of going in to the elite eight always exists but I must admit that is not very likely to happen given the lack of depth for both of those countries.
Keith (Toronto, Canada)
How on Earth can Mexico, who have only ever won ONE knockout round game in the World Cup (and that at home in '86) be seriously considered by FIFA as a WC top seed?! The shambles that are the FIFA ranking are turning out to have significant repercussions for the World Cup Finals.
We have always made fun of the FIFA World Rankings, however now they are coming in to play as you see with the European playoffs the teams were seeded according to those rankings. I do agree that the system needs to be changed as you can't compare the games being played in various regions of the world. For as long as we do not have a good system, you have to live with the results. like it or not, Mexico has had decent results in CONCACAF and a good showing in the Confederations cup.
Amir, Auckland - NZ
Hi Janusz, I?m gonna pick Argentina to win World Cup next year, who?s you?re favorite?
Amir, my answer has always been the same on this one as it is an easy one given the percentages. Brazil is always my favorite to win the World Cup. Argentina has always had great teams and they certainly can be considered as one of the favorites but I like Brazil. They could put three teams out there capable of winning the trophy...
Now that the shortlisted candidates for FIFA Player of the Year is out, who do you think will win it this time? Oh, by the way, what does your friend Tommy Smyth have againist Ronaldinho? I think he will win again this year... I hope so, anyway. What do you think?
For me, Adriano is hands down the player of the year. Given what he does for Inter and also what he has done for Brazil. I suppose the knock on him will be that Inter have not won anything but I can't imagine what they would be like without him. By the way, I do not know who Tommy Smyth is...but seriously I think Tommy is slowly warming up to our friend from Barcelona.
there has been talk that italy will make a decision to bring either delpiero or antonio cassano to the world cup..at the moment del pieo looks the more likely ..but i personly think that cassano deserves a spot to..wat do u think
Giuseppe, let's revisit this question in 8 months time when Lippi will have to submit the list to FIFA. It makes no difference to me how these players are playing now, all that matters is their form just before the World Cup. If I had to make the decision now I would go with the experience of Del Piero and be conscious of Cassano's bad temper. Those are intangibles that you have to consider along with the players form.
wally - melbourne
Hi Janusz, with Arsenal struggling to keep up with champions Chelsea so early in the season and facing many injury problems do you think it is time for Mr Wenger to enter the January transfer window and buy a player that can play with either Henry or Reyes upfront.
Absolutely right, Arsenal needed to buy before the season started. There was always questions about depth in the squad and you can see it now with the injuries and suspensions that some of the young players like Senderos, Flamini and Fabregas are not ready to carry the load just yet. The loss of Patrick Vieira was bigger than I thought thus Arsene Wenger will have to look to bring two or maybe even three good players in.
Dont you think Sepp B. critisims of monney bags hijacking the football game is valid. Look at the premiership it is becoming more and more predectable.
On the surface I think it has some merit. But I am not sure that you can prohibit people from investing in clubs. In some ways it makes it boring as you mentioned. But in others, like with Hearts in Scotland where Mr. Romanov basically came in and rescued the Tyneside club, this is good for everyone. At the end of the day Sepp Blatter is entitled to his opinion, however he needs to choose his words more carefully as he and FIFA have made some unbelievable decisions in the past regarding football in general.
Akshat Prasad, Singapore
Every World Cup has a dark horse, who's you're pick for the unfancied team that will make it to the semi's or even the finals?
I am not sure if you can consider Sweden a darkhorse but I think they have a chance to have a very memorable World Cup. If you are looking for some small countries, without giving this too much thought, I would love to see Ghana do well. We know they have had a lot of good players over the year but they have never made it to the big show. This could be their platform to shine.
Eddie Sepulveda (Darwin Australia)
Hi Janusz, Now that Uruguay has been confirmed as Australia's final opponents on the way to Germany, what do you think are our chances of success? Can Guus Hiddink provide the "extra bit" to get us over the line this time?
I think you are absolutely right, Guus Hiddink can provide that special intangible to take them to the World Cup. I happen to think that if there was a world manager of the year award last year he would have gotten it. Just consider the job he has done with PSV last year after losing Kezman, Rommedahl and Robben. He won the dutch Eredevisie, Dutch Cup and should have been in the Champions League final. If you consider the success he had with South Korea, if you are an Aussie you have to feel pretty confident with the man that will lead this team in to the Uruguay playoff.
It has been great chatting with you. Let's get our minds back to the Champions LEague and I am sure we are all looking forward to the playoffs in Europe and in the rest of the world.