Really not sure where to start this one, but I guess Ill begin with Scocco transfer (though I’m sure most of you have heard by now). Yep, Nacho Scocco is no longer a player of AEK. And I really don’t know what to say about this… literally.
Three seasons he’s been with us and in during those three seasons he has left us with so many great memories: his two goals in the 4-4 Cup Final, his two goals against Oly to give us the win in Karaiskaki, his two goals (one of them being an outrageously beautiful shot, as were most of his goals) against Aris, his two goals against Vaslui, his fantastic shot against Panionios, a number of goals against PAO… some of his goals, a majority of them even, were game winners for us. To be honest, and I’m not simply saying this because he played for AEK, I think he was the best player in the league the past few seasons when he wanted to be. Unbelievable skills and technique, his fair share of assists, beautiful goals, he was a joy to watch. But, again, WHEN HE WANTED TO BE.
I’ve seen many AEK fans on the internet claim he was simply inconsistent as most footballers are. That, however, I cannot agree with. I loved the guy for everything he did for us, but to me, it is a fact that when there were no scouts watching or when the game wasn’t high profile, he simply didn’t show any motivation. There were so many games where he completely disappeared, where he simply refused to put any effort into the match, where he refused to assist his teamates on the pitch. And this is coming from someone who saw him live at every home game for his first two seasons with AEK. His body language for the majority of the matches he played for us suggest that he simply didn’t care about putting effort in that was required of him to help the team.
His off the pitch attitude was not much better at times, with him being extremely difficult to negotiate with whenever it came time to agreeing to new contracts. Fortunately he did agree to a “decent” contract (with a rather low sellout price) however I was never once convinced that a move to one of our rivals was ruled out of his mind.
So, I don’t know what to say about this transfer. I’m confident in saying we will not find a player like him no matter how hard we look (at least nobody within our budget or anything near it). He will not be replaced anytime soon. However, if it was up to me, I’d rather we have the team we had in the 2007-2008 season with Ribo, Zikos, Dellas, Libe, Papastathopoulos and co, a team that worked effectively as a unit, and give up Scocco, than have things the other way around. Obviously, this will never happen, but the point I’m trying to make is there have been better AEK teams before Scocco and there will certainly be better AEK teams after Scocco. Having said that though, after the departure of Djebbour (good riddance), then Blanco, and now Scocco… what attacking creativity will we have? Fine, Libe might be around for another year. But who else? Baha was a joke, and we don’t have one decent striker or attacker who is AEK material. Roger might have a good game occasionally, and Michel was solid though we probably wont even keep him. Scocco was without a doubt our most dangerous weapon, a weapon any superleague defense would fear, and now we have lost him and have no chance of replacing him. I’m not saying AEK will be far worse off without him, but without any immediate plans to boost our attack somewhat, we will only continue heading downhill as we have been for the past few seasons.
Having said that, this transfer was not something management could simply pass off. The nearly three million euros we gained from the transfer will certainly help things financially, at least for the time being.
Anyways, like I said, I don’t know what to say. Sure I would have liked to keep him, but I can’t imagine management passing up any offer near or over three million euros (though I think we deserve much more for him). He did say that if he ever returned to Greece, it would only be for AEK, so who knows what the future will bring… but really, who knows what the future will bring for AEK in general. Will we just end up like our basketball team? Its possible…
As of so far this summer, we have made three singings. A young centreback from Aris who is supposed to be very promising (we’ll see), Kontoes from Panionios (I’m happy with this, always liked him, and he even accepted lower wages at AEK than he was offered at Panionios, which is a nice slap to the face for Panionios and its supporters), and an attacker from Giannina, Salmas (haven’t seen much of him at all, but his goal, a fabulous one with an even better assist, his one of the possible votes for European goal of the season, so vote for it here!)
Decent singings for the future, or as possible bench players, but nothing to get excited about at all. They are Greek however, so they will likely respect the shirt they’re wearing a little more than a foreigner, but still… we need some better signings than this if we want to see an AEK that has a chance of making a difference in the league this season.
To end this post, I’d like to post some Scocco videos. I might have some negative opinions of him at times, but he has left me with some memories that I will simply never forget!