Skoda Xanthi 0-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by alexaek

A disappointing result after an equally disappointing performance for AEK today. Playing Xanthi away was never going to be easy, particularly with a very obvious lack of any attacking presence at all. One point is better than nothing, especially considering Xanthi managed to get away with a draw against PAOK in Toumba as well, but seeing first place slip away from us so early into the championship is never something we want to see.

I tried throughout the entire match to find a stream, but it seemed like nobody online had any luck at all. I’m hoping this wont be a regular occurence, but if the radio commentary was anything to go by, it seemed like we weren’t missing much. Neither team managed to really create many decent chances but I can’t say for sure whether that came down to good defense, poor offense, or simply a lack of any attacking desire from either side. Regardless, the commentary about our performance afterwards was not assuring to read. We clearly still have work to do, and we desperately need to sign another striker up front. I’m seeing a lot of names being thrown around lately, but I’m hoping we can just sign someone good soon and start getting them ready as soon as possible.

http://gazzetta.novasports.gr/VideoId/25423/

Hopefully we can get back to winning ways next week at home against PAS Giannena since we’ll need all the momentum and confidence we can get going into our game against PAOK. Today has made it painfully obvious that we are back in a league where most games will not be the easy wins we were used to seeing in the third and second divisions. We have a good squad but we can’t get too comfortable at any point. This may not be La Liga or Serie A, but every team in this league is more than capable of beating any other team in the league on a good day.

For those who may be wondering, Buonanotte only played a few minutes towards the end of the match. Hopefully by next week he’ll be capable and fit enough to play a decent amount of time since I feel like he’ll really add another dimension that we’re missing at the moment. He won’t solve all our problems, and neither will Mantalos when he returns, since Aravidis can’t do it all on his own. But hopefully he’ll add an element of creativity going forward that we’ll really need to make us more of an attacking threat in the middle of the pitch (rather than relying on attacks down the wings or initiated with long balls).

AEK 3-0 Platanias

Posted in AEK, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2015 by alexaek

Now that I finally have a chance to sit down at my PC, albeit in a hotel room in North Pennsylvania, I’ll get together a quick post on our game yesterday.

First off, check out some of the highlights from the game. Galo’s goal was fantastic, giving me even more reason to be excited about this player. Also worth noting is that gorgeous pass to set up Vargas for the first goal. Johansson is without a doubt proving to be one of our best signings of the past few years.

http://www.sport-fm.gr/videos/24082128

Just from watching the highlights, its obvious that there’s something good going here. The attacking mindset is definitely there, passing is great, and we’re making chances (how many chances do Platellas and Djebbour need to miss though??).

I definitely really like what I’ve seen so far from the first game, but there’s still a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, we desperately need a quality striker, someone up front who we can get the ball to and who has the experience and composure to take the shot that’s needed. They don’t even need to be able to score the stunners, goals like those Scocco used to score, since we have the players who can score those goals when the opportunity arises (Simoes, Vargas, Galo). What we need is someone we can really on to get the job done up front, a player like Blanco during his first season with us.

All that aside, we definitely have a solid team otherwise, but we still need to see how they fare against a strong team. We may have played well on Saturday, but with our upcoming games against Xanthi, PAS, and PAOK, we’ll definitely have the chance to see just how ready our team is within the next few weeks.

If anyone happened to catch the whole game, I would love to hear your opinions on how we played! I’m hoping to be able to watch our next game, but I’m not too sure how likely that is to happen.

We’re back: AEK 3-0 Platanias!

Posted in AEK on August 22, 2015 by alexaek

More to come first chance I have to sit at my PC (currently writing this on my phone). Huge win, and in front of a respectable crowd of 30 thousand! Goals by Vargas, Galo (Galo’s goal was yet another screamer), and Aravidis. Goo start to the season!

Inter 0-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, Friendly with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by alexaek

Our final test before the regular season ended with a rather disappointing scoreline, but there were definitely quite a few positives that can be taken from what I saw. I only managed to watch the second half, but from what I read we were also quite solid in the first half, as we were in the second.

Defensively I feel we’re set. Johansson proved last season that he’s one of our best players and I get the feeling things will be the same this season. Sure we’ve signed some bigger names, but hes just so good at what he does that I cant help but admire his playing every time I get to watch a match. He may not be as flashy or technical as other players, but he is so good at doing what we need him to do (breaking up plays and moving the ball around). His strength on the ball is also phenomenal as is his composure. Hes relatively young at 25 but he plays the way players with much more experience than him play, and I genuinely believe that he will be one of our most important players this season.

Another player who really stood out for me was Galo. I’ve been reading pretty good things about him so far this pre-season, and watching him today made it clear that he has a lot to offer to the team. Hes reliable as a defender, has a lot of pace, fights and wins back balls, and provides so much offensively. He was always moving forward while seeming to never lose the pace he had earlier and was consistently able to deliver great balls into the box. In fact I’d say his crosses into the box were what impressed me most; they were almost always perfectly taken and well aimed.

I also have to give credit to Anestis. He came on later in the second half and replaced Baroja. Now, I know I was rough on him last season for the mistakes he made, but if he plays the way he did this game in the regular season, I would be more than happy to see him start over Baroja. Of course I dont see that happening, but I think he proved today that he deserves another chance. Around the time he came on, Dellas switched things around quite a bit, bringing on some less experienced players. Part of the downside of these changes was that Inter were able to move the ball around a lot more freely inside our area, but shot after shot, Anestis was there to save the day.

I was particularly disappointed with two players today: Djebbour and Chrisantus. Djebbour was much of what we’ve already seen so far this pre-season in the sense that he was sloppy and really didn’t seem to have any eye for goal. Chrisantus was also disappointing, but for different reasons. What bothered me most watching Chrisantus was the fact that he was evidently giving everything he had, constantly moving around, getting involved with plays, trying to create plays. Unfortunately though, it seemed that despite all his efforts, he just did not have what it took to make anything work. Sure he was giving a lot of effort and I of course appreciated that (it contrasted quite a bit to the way Djebbour was playing), but nothing he was trying worked and he too was quite sloppy. I feel that part of the problem was that we were not as decisive going forward as we were against Sevilla and so it seemed he felt like he had to make up for that. I’m hoping that when we start playing in the league, we’ll be able to move the ball forward more efficiently and free up Chrisantus to play more as a striker rather than playing deeper as an attacking mid.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how we played. I would have loved to have seen a goal or two, and while Inter are not the team they used to be, holding them back the way we did is something worth appreciating. The goals and attacking edge will come with time, especially with all the new players we’ve signed. As long as we are solid defensively, I feel like we have something very good to build up from.

Link for Inter-AEK

Posted in AEK with tags , on August 16, 2015 by alexaek

Decent link for the game (even though Im a bit late at this point).

http://firstrowi.eu/soccer/first-inter-milan-vs-aek-athens-row615282

Buonanotte Signs for AEK

Posted in AEK, Friendlies, Singings with tags , , , , on August 15, 2015 by alexaek

Diego Buonanotte has officially signed for AEK, after being greeted by about one or two hundred AEK supporters at the airport. He arrived in Athens at about 8:45 PM Athens time and signed his contract (two years until 2017) this morning.

To see video of the reception as seen from inside the car Diego was driving in, see the bottom of this link. He wanted to play in our friendly with Inter tomorrow but he was able to actually practise with the team today which was great to see. Its unfortunate that he wont be able to get any match experience with us before our first league game, but I’m not too worried. I think he’ll be able to fit in quite nicely with the rest of the team.

Our friendly tomorrow with Inter will be at 8:00 PM Greek time and I’m not yet sure if there will be a stream for it. I’m pretty sure there will be though, and I finish work tomorrow just when the game is about to start. If I find a stream when I get home, I’ll be sure to post it as soon as possible.

Diego Buonanotte

Posted in AEK, Singings with tags , , , on August 11, 2015 by alexaek

Reports from Greece are stating that Diego Buonanotte has ended his contract with Granada and should be on his way to Athens some time today. I’m not sure how true all this is, and when exactly he’s expected in Greece, but I’m hoping the singing goes through without any hiccups. Having a player like Diego on the club will really add an element to our team that I feel has been missing since Scocco left. We’ve seen moments of great ball control from many of our players the past few seasons, but nothing near the level of what we got used to seeing on a weekly basis from Scocco. Hopefully Diego shows us what we’ve been missing for too long.

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