We got the three points here. It wasn’t a pretty three points but, at this point in time, I’ll take them.
First, the video of our goal, set up beautifully by Nemeth.
Some good aspects to mention about our play today, but overall, it was not an impressive victory.
Our defence today was not the greatest, and Majstorovic and Juanfran in particular were quite poor. Juanfran allowed men to pass him every time and therefore our left was really weakly covered. Atromitos were able to run in constantly from the left and send in easy crosses. Luckily, Saja was in top form today and was able to save us a few times.
Juanfran managed toplay a half decent game offensively, and created some fine passes and runs. But, at the end of the day, he is a defender. He must be able to defend better or else our left will contsantly be open to the oppoisition throughout the season. Once we start playing teams like Benfica, Everton, BATE, Olympiakos, and Panathinaikos (as well as, of course, others) we will not be as lucky as today.
Majstorovic also had a bad day (in fact, he hasn’t been impressing me much at all lately). His headers were poor, and his marking was not the greatest. He was also quite sloppy, which lead to him recieving a yellow card.
On the other hand, both Araujo and Alves played well. Fine, Araujo did loose the ball at times, but he played some great defence. He is a tough defender, which I like to see, and will hopefully help us against Everton. His marking is great, as well as his speed. Unfortunately though, he held on to the ball at times for a little too long, which eventually led him to him loosing and Atromitos pressuring on the counter attack.
Alves was our best defender today. Good headers, good marking, decent speed, solid tackles, overall, a solid game from him. I really hope he keeps it up.
Scocco unfortunately had to be taken out early. He was complaining for a while about his injury throughout the match and it was clear from the start that he wasnt in form, and was not ready to play. In fact, even last match, he had to play while taking needles to reduce the pain.
Nemeth came on as his substitute and the kid was fantastic. The connection between him and Blanco was excellent (Blanco missed three easy chances, all set up by Nemeth). He is clearly a technical player who will do well with us this year. I cannot wait to see him play some more games with us especially when he as gelled even more with the team.
Makos and Kafes did not have great games.They were both weak in terms of defending, and didn’t really manage to contribute much to the team, either offensively or defensively. Makos did play better in the second half, but still, neither of the two had a good day on the pitch.
Leonardo was slightly better, but still was not fantastic. Manduca also had a decent game but was not the same as he was against Vaslui. He couldnt hold on to the ball as well and was closed down too often.
Blanco is still not playing at his best, despite missing three great chances and scoring our only goal. He is not playing in the same great form as he has played most of last season and the season before. Hopefully, we will see an improvement soon. I can see good things coming from the connection between Nemeth and Blanco.
Overall, we did not play at the same level we did against Vaslui. It must be said that Atromitos played a good game, but nonetheless, if we had played better and capitalized on our chances we wouldn’t have had such a hard time. Our defence could hardly control Atromitos (there is only so much Araujo and Alves can d0) and thankfully Saja was in top form and saved us on a number of occasions.
Unfortunately, with still more new players coming in, I think it will be a while before we get a good idea of how our team will look. It takes a while for a team to adjust to new players and we had two playing today.
To make matters worst, we have a tough schedule in September.
Our other two subs for the match were Karabelas (who had a good game) and Yahaya (who did not). Yahaya was far too risky with the ball in front of our net and hada hard time controlling the ball.