Absolutely Incredible Start to the Decade!

So our players went into this game after the first half of what has been the worst season in AEK’s history. Few fans were expecting such a win and such a pleasing performance from our boys. But, they pulled it off (whether the 150,000 Euro bonus they were promised helped at all I dont know) and we have begun the new decade with a fantastic win!

As for the game itself, we were treated to a wonderful display from our players, considering everything that had gone on recently (the players not being payed on time, no president, major financial crisis, fans booing the players at home on a regular basis). The starting lineup consisted of Arabatzis, Araujo, Majstorovic, Alves, Karabelas, Jahic, Kafes, Manduca, SCOCCO, Blanco, and Djebbour (sorry for highlighting Scocco, it really was a fantastic team effort but he deserves the credit).

Arabatzis: well, this was his first derby despite him being with the team now for seven years. Some, including myself, were wondering about this decision by Bajevic but in the end it turned out to be the right choice. He was confident and when he went for the ball he made sure he got it. He also pulled off an incredible and critical save to keep us in the lead with minutes left.

Our defense wasn’t always the greatest (not that they were bad in any way though) but what I loved from them today was they showed passion and got to every ball first and when they didn’t they stuck with who they were marking and made sure they did their job. Majstorovic pulled off a critical slide to get in front of a shot from out side the box. Arabatzis was in a poor position and the shot easily could have gone in had Majstorovic not slid in front of it. Karabelas played well and was generally solid, and he was never afraid to do whatever was needed to get the ball (a risky mindset when playing in Karaiskaki since we all know how quickly the refs will give cards). Araujo had a nice shot and made it up often to help out. Alves was rarely seen but I guess he was doing his job for the most part. We were the dominant team in the air and got to every ball before they did.

Our midfield controlled the game well. The transitions from defense up were smooth and calm. The players focused and made good, smart passes. They didn’t give it up, they didn’t panic, they did their job. They also helped to get back quickly when it was time to defend. Manduca didn’t have his best game today but his crosses and corners were good.

Offensively was where we shone today. Sure, we didn’t create as many chances as Oly did but when we did create chances we looked deadly. The score easily could have been 4-1 had Djebbour had the composure required to finish properly. Nonetheless, whenever we made it up we got the ball infront of the net and create fantastic chances. Blanco didn’t do much but he was running alot, helping defensively, and he did send out some good passes which could have resulted in goals.

Scocco was superb. If he goes to Pao in the end, all hell will break loose with the AEK fans. His technical abilities are absolutely incredible. He got the MVP of the match and he definately deserved.

However, despite Scocco’s incredible performance, it was a great team effort from every player. They played with passion that we hadn’t seen in a while and in the end that is what separated us from them.

Lagos, Makos, and Tachtsidis were our subs. Makos had a decent game but I really can’t remember seeing much of him. Lagos wasn’t bad at all and had a great chance. He shot well, Nikopolids just managed to get to it though. Tachtsidis also had a pretty good game from what I remember.

Well, as AEKBaltimore said its been 15 (yes, FIFTEEN) years since we beat Olympiakos in Karaiskaki. We witnessed a historical day for our club and we saw what is possible from these guys. Hopefully the shareholders saw this and realize what incredible potential lies within this team. They fought hard and did what was needed for the club. Hopefully management will now do the same.

After the game I, along with my father and a friend (who don’t tell anyone but when he first came to Greece he was an oly supporter. He had no clue but after watching AEK play last year at some of the games he realized what it is to be AEK and now hes a diehard AEK supporter) went to Holiday Inn hotel where the bus drops off the players. Eventually many others showed up as well, it must have been around a thousand. We were singing, celebrating, flares and firecrackers were going off everywhere, it was something I’ll never forget. Eventually the players came and the celebrations from the fans were incredible. Dimitriadis came out of the bus and the fans picked him up and starting throwing him up and down while singing his name. Spirits were high, tourists were filming us from the bedrooms wondering what the hell was going on, it was incredible. Fifteen years since weve seen anything like this but it happened again today. A fantastic day to be an AEK supporter, we saw what it means to be AEK. Today was somewhat symbolic of the formation of the club. Refugees from Konstantinople, few had homes, they were treated terribly, they were forced to take whatever jobs they could get, life was tough, yet a Sports club was formed and now it has become one of the greatest in the country (in my opinion, the greatest).

This is what it means to be AEK. Its a day we will all remember and will hopefully signal better things to come while helping us to forget these past few months.


5 Responses to “Absolutely Incredible Start to the Decade!”


    Really like your blog, keep the articles poppin.. As I dont live in greece I dont get that much time to read in greek, though I’ve spoken greece since I was a child.. so this blog is highly appreciated.. great job, though I was really annoyed by the commentators at net tv.

  2. Wow!!! What a great goals! What a great win!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Awesome read,thanks Alex for making us jealous of your experience.The Game,well,i think it’s fair to say that Dusan won us the match today,totally outcoaching Zico.Switching Scocco and Manducca a couple of times in the match paid off and Zico didn’t respond.Arambatzis still looks a little green but did you see his passion at the final whistle?We need more of that every week from every player.I mean,telling their fans off after the game,i love the kid already!The back four i thought were outstanding Geraldo and Majstorovic threw themselves at every danger in front of goal and won the battle with Torosidis.Araujo and Karambelas continue to impress and Karambelas must be getting close to national duties.The midfield was tight in the centre,Jahic was strong and Kafes the more creative.Manducca didn’t have one of his better games but went ok.SCOCCO,what a player!!!!!!!!!!!!Blanco ran his legs off and in the 2nd half did a great job tracking Oly’s midfielders until substituted and Djebbour showed he does have something to offer,particularly when he plays the ball early.What impressed me tonight was thr running “off” the ball by our attackers and if our midfielders had spotted some of their runs,we would have carved them up.The fact that we had movement that their defense had no idea how to cope with might just say that out players are finally understanding the way Dusan wants the game played.I hope this is the springboard that we need.Keep beleiving people,it will happen,we will be the no:1 team in Greece again,soon.Aekara for life!

  4. Guys who is Dimitriadis ?

  5. The Net commentators were absolutely disgusting. These commentators are not supposed to show any favoritism but they couldnt hide it any worse than yesterday.

    AEK2326, Dimitriadis was once a fantastic player for AEK (he’s on wikipedia and Im sure there are videos on youtube) who is now the General Manager of AEK. I don’t know if thats the correct translation of the term, but its something along those lines.

    Dusan did everything right this game, spot on lineup! This is why we need him to stay with us. His tactics and experience, our players skill, add some passion to that like yesterday and we can see great things from our team!

    Everything you said AEKMAN74 I have to agree with. Arabatzis, seven years he’s been with us, too bad only now he’s gotten a chance. Such a bright future for him and once you handle a derby in karaiskaki your ready for most games in this league.

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