Archive for November, 2009

Derby Win for AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by alexaek

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but we came out of this derby with all three points.

The first half was a very poor one. We played with little passion, and little focus on the game. It was a sloppy game, though we did manage to create a couple of decent chances. Fortunately for us though, PAOK weren’t having a great game either. Had they been in better form though, they likely could have scored a goal or two in that first half.

Some more sloppy mistakes came from Saja in the first half, one which was almost an exact replay of a mistake against Kavala. Fortunately, he tightened things up as the match progressed.

We turned things around in the second, when we started to play with much more passion. It was clear the players came out of the dressing rooms at the start of the second half going for nothing but a win. Our game tightened up, and we began attacking more. Eventually, our goal came, after Scocco walked easily past the PAOK defense in order to set up Manduca for an easy tap in.

Despite the improvement in our play during the second half, we did not play nearly as tight as we should be playing. Though we won, I think a large part of that is due to the fact that PAOK were quite bad rather than us being quite good.

Leonardo played and once again he provided very little. Scocco, who received the MVP award, had a fine game, and had an incredible shot denied by the upright.

AEK also had an incredible chance denied by Chalkias who produced an incredible save to prevent a header from going in for AEK.

Well, despite the relatively poor performance, we got the three points. A huge morale booster for the fans and the players. Now, we have to see what happens when we face Everton this week. If we win, we keep our chances of going to the next round alive. Personally, I think its possible, and the victory against Benfica illustrates this. It will be hard, but it can still happen.

Cirillo was applauded and cheered by the AEK supporters today. It was nice to see him clapping back, and it looked like he honestly meant it.

Kavala 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer, Transfer Rumor with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by alexaek

Recently promoted Kavala’s impressive form in the Superleague has continued after they managed to get a late win against AEK. This win means that Kavala has managed to take points from each of the big three (a draw against Olympiakos in Karaiskaki and a home draw against PAO).

Though Kavala’s first goal came off of a penalty which was a clear dive and a few calls weren’t made in our favour, Kavala were clearly the better team. Even though we managed to hold on to possession for much of the game, we rarely managed to create any chances and most of our chances we did create came from free kicks or corners. Kavala was actually the exact opposite in fact. Every time they had the ball players would be making runs in every direction opening spaces and getting the ball dangerously close on a number of occasions.

Leonardo was terrible. I really hope we don’t see him play much more. I hate to say it, and I know he isn’t doing it on purpose, but he just can’t perform on the pitch. He does have some good ball control but his passes are absolutely terrible and ends up being an absolute waste of space on the pitch.

Gentzoglou was our best player yesterday, and while that wouldn’t necessarily mean much when he was surrounded by mediocre players at best he really was quite fantastic. Aside from scoring the goal for us (it seems our centrebacks are scoring more goals for us than our strikers) he made a critical and perfectly timed tackle from behind to stop the Kavala player from having an easy one on one with Saja (who was not playing his best today). The kid has massive potential and is improving each game (he is only 19 years old by the way).

Karabelas also had a good game again before having to come off for an injury and along with Gentzoglou he is improving every game.

As we are seeing every game now we missed some incredible chances but Kavala’s keeper was just to alert for us.

Its too bad really, I would have loved to see us beat Psomiadis’ team (just to remind you all, that is the a– h— that stole 12 million euros from us and should be in prison right now). Before the game he said he didn’t want to give AEK tickets because he was afraid we wouldn’t pay him back. He has a nerve, considering he is the reason we are where we are financially. In the end though (after Original threatened to buy regular tickets and sit with the Kavala fans) we finally got tickets for our supporters who made the long trip (over one thousand of them).

Really not much more can be said. We simply aren’t good enough. Though the referring was not the best, and though we missed some fantastic opportunities, Kavala were simply the better team.

We are still fifth, but that could change depending on what happens with the PAOK-Aris derby tonight.

Olympiakos were up 2-0 (away) against PAS Giannena but PAS managed to come from behind and ended up with a draw! Just one small thing that we can smile about this weekend ūüôā

 

 

 

So, some news about the deal with Kozonis. During the week, someone (they are trying to find out who or at what level) released the papers to the press which stated all the details about the deal(the debts and any other information), even before Kozonis’ lawyers received it. Clearly, someone withing AEK is trying to prevent the deal from happening. Kozonis said he is still determined to get the team and make it a big team once again. Hopefully it will happen, but I won’t believe anything until I see it (though I still remain optimistic).

Press Conference

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, football, Greek Football, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , on November 11, 2009 by alexaek

So, a two hour press conference was held by Thanopoulos today. Reporters said it was very sincere, “straight from the heart” kind of stuff. Clearly not saying what he is being told to say but rather what is true.

So, progress should be made soon with regards to Kozonis. A paper should be signed this weekend stating both sides are intending to go through with the deal (or something along those lines) and if all goes well (no arguments or hidden debts suddenly showing up) the transition will occur December 31st.

He said our debt is 30 million euros, and insists that is all, they are hiding nothing. Hopefully that is true.

He talked about some of the huge mistakes that were made under Demis, the biggest being getting rid of Ferrer. He wasn’t blaming him, simply saying that he had too much control (everyone let him do what he wanted since the rest of the shareholders knew little or nothing about football) for someone with little experience and knowledge in the area of running a large football team.

Thanopoulos will stay with the team until December 31st. Then, Kozonis will decided whether to keep him as an adviser or to let him go. I personally would like to see him stay. He’s an honest man who wants success for the club.

Some of the shareholders have given up their shares, including Pappas.

Alot was mentioned and discussed today, but those are just a few of the things said. Hopefully I can add more later.

Oh, one other thing. Thanopoulos said Kozonis loves AEK. He stays up late to watch the games and follows all the results. I really hope this is true. We need someone running the club who wants success for AEK.

AEK 3-1 Larissa

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2009 by alexaek

So, a nice, relatively comfortable win on Monday brought us up from ninth to joint fifth.

We got the three points we so desperately needed, as well as a little bit of reassurance for the players and fans. Beating a team like Larissa with a score of 3-1 is always a nice thing. Sure, Larissa might not be at their best, but they are rarely an easy team to win against (I feel like I’ve said that many times already this season).

We went up first with an incredibly strong header from Majstorovic (it was from outside the small box and the Larissa keeper still couldn’t stop it even though he managed to get a hand to it!). This guy is really mastering the art of scoring from set pieces, great stuff to see.

Larissa tied it up late in the first half, forcing the team to head to the lockers with a sour mood from the supporters in the stands (only 8,000 showed up though, it was 4:45 on a Monday night and I had to leave as soon as I got home from school). I thought it was over then, up to then we really weren’t playing all that great. Our defence in particular was quite poor, making mistakes which almost led to goal (mostly up to their usual tricks of passing the ball back and controlling until an opponent got it and had a chance on goal). Saja wasn’t fantastic. I can’t blame him for the goal since it was a really well placed shot but he made some more poor clearances and passes, and his confidence really seems to be getting worse. Hopefully we’ll see an improvement.

Some key players really deserve credit for this game. Firstly, Karabelas. The kid has been steadily improving at a fast rate, and was MVP for the previous two games. This game he was terrific, he’s defending well, making good runs, and contributing a lot to the games overall now. Turns out Dusan knew what he wanted when we wanted to get Karabelas from Aris.

Nameth! He made all the difference when he came on. Aside from scoring the goal, he made a nice pass which almost led to another goal as soon as he came on. He played great, which was good to see since it seemed like he toned things down the previous games. It was also great to see Nemeth run right up to the fans when he scored, and without hesitation. It is well known how much he appreciates the fans but it feels great to see him celebrate with us, a really nice thing to see from a player on the team.

I really wasn’t impressed with Guerreiro. He started great when he first came to us but now, he does very little. He spent most of the time with the ball just wasting time. When its extra time thats fine, but not when there is still plenty of time to score one or even two more goals.

Every other player had a good game. Scocco, Araujo, Gentzoglou (his confidence his improving and he’s turning out to be a pretty solid player), Blanco (three goals in three games) as well as everyone else.

Overall, we played a much better second half. The pressure must have done good for our players, who began to attack and began controlling the game much more. Larissa still had the occasional chance but I began to feel more sure of our players as the game went on.

Still, it was not a fantastic win, but it’s exactly what we needed at this point, both for the players and the fans. Hopefully we will begin to see more confident results.

Manduca was MVP of the game.

One more note, another two posts in this game! That’s 13 this season (I believe including Europa League as well).

AEK 2-2 BATE

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by alexaek

So, one point from a game where it won’t really do much to help us. In reality though, we could have come away with all three points had we managed to score one more of our chances, or had Saja not made a terrible mistake that the goalkeeper on my own amateur team would likely avoid.

Well, AEKBaltimore will watch the match on TV soon, since I believe he recorded it, and I’m not sure if AEKMAN74 watched as well. I watched from the stadium and have yet to see a highlights show so I can only comment on what I saw from my seats.

We got off to a dream start, literally. Actually, I didn’t imagine we would get a better start, I thought it was too good to be true. We scored the opener in the 15th second. Yes, thats rights, 15th second, not minute! A record for a Greek team in European competitions, and perhaps a record in the new Europa League.

We got off to a great start, but the game was quickly back in the balance with both teams having a few chances if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, we conceded next, after a mistake from Nsaliwa I believe (remember, we had Majstorovic out for this one), and we were again next to conceed after a poor clearance from Saja was controlled by a BATE player who scored an open net shot from 45 meters out.

The Originals starting singing chants against the players, but I was glad to see the rest of the stadium boo them, telling them to get out. Our players were trying, and Saja’s mistake was one that could happen to any keeper. We had no coach for this one, players were out, they were still holding in.

Second half came on and it was clear our players were going for nothing less than three points. By full time we had three posts but no goals from them.

Manduca scored before the half time mark. Other than that, I cant remember any other facts, hopefully one of our other two posters will have some more news to say, but I cant remember much else. My heart was going crazy with all the chances we missed, I couldnt keep track of what was happening.

Ergotelis 2-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by alexaek

So, as is typical with AEK, we blow an early 1-0 lead and end up with a draw (today, the match against PAS, the Cup Final, the match with BATE).

 

My stream today was poor quality, so I can’t comment as much as I could have. But basically what we saw throughout the match was that we had many chances, yet we only scored one of them.

We went up first after Manduca headed in the ball off of Karabelas’ cross. Saja saved an Ergotelis penalty, Ergotelis scored a goal, scored another and went up 2-1. While this was happening we were missing some of the easiest chances imaginable and we didn’t have a penalty scored. Late in the match though, we were awarded a questionable penalty (I personally don’t think it was a penalty but I wont complain since we should have had the penalty earlier on). Blanco easily scored this and we got away with a draw.

Ergotelis have never beaten us before this match, and that still remains true (we have won six games and tied four).

We are now in seventh with only three points separating us from third and only two separating us from a spot to qualify for Europe. Had we won today we might have been in fourth but as we all know, this is AEK that we love and follow so much. And as we also know, AEK never likes to do things the easy way.

Saja played today, made some fine saves to keep us in the game. Overall, we played a decent match, but really should have scored our chances. We were not great, but we saw moments of brilliant passing, but those moments were few. This is not the AEK we all want to see, the AEK we are used to seeing, not like the AEK of 2007-2008 (a team consisting of a Blanco that could score with ease, Liberopoulos, Ribo, Dellas, Zikos, the fantastic Papastatopoulos, Kallon, Edinho) that ended up with the highest scoring offense, the fewest conceding defence.

Things are a long way from being how we want them to be. A very long way.

The bus with the AEK players was attacked by AEK supporters that made the trip to Crete to watch the match. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more attacks in Athens (the plane should be arriving soon if it hasn’t arrived already).

Oh well… we play Bate on Thursday, with basically no defence available, and Larissa on Monday (the match was postponed due to a Beyonce show).

Lets see what happens there, though I am not expecting much.

Half Time Ergotelis 0-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC with tags , , , , on November 1, 2009 by alexaek

After a pretty good performance by AEK, we are up 1-0 from a Manduca header off of a fine cross from Karabelas. Some great chances for us, including one with Manduca and one with Blanco. Ergotelis started stronger but we picked up the tempo around the 20th minute and we are now dominating for the most part.

Also, Saja saved a penalty for Ergotelis!