Djebbour Misses Late Penalty To Salvage Three Points!

Sorry for the delay for this one. AEKMAN74 posted a good summary of the game which you can check out as well.

Well, my Father and I decided that since I only have half a year left in Greece before I, unfortunately, have to return to North America for university (don’t get me wrong, I love North America, I just don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay away from AEK) we’d go up to Thessaloniki and watch this one so I could experience a proper away game.

In the end it turned out to be a great experience, one which fortunately had little trouble between the AEK and Iraklis supporters. It was very cold up north, with some people even saying it was going to snow, but that did not take anything away from the excitement and the atmosphere that night. Around 1,800 AEK supporters showed up from all over the country (some from Athens, a particularly loud bunch of guys from Serres, some local supporters from Thessaloniki) and they created a rather festive mood, despite our team’s far from spectacular form.

Thanks to the wonderful planning from the guys over at Superleague, the PAOK game (which they won 1-0 against Tripolis) was ending at the same time Iraklis supporters were heading to the stadium. Of course, this resulted in a number of clashes but it thankfully never reached the AEK supporters.

Below are a couple of pictures I took from the game.

Considering there wasn't a huge number of them they made a fair bit of noise.

We made some noise ourselves

A view of the stadium before the match

Now, for the match itself. In the past three years we’ve won in this stadium (all 1-0 wins) but it’s never been easy. I honestly didn’t expect this one to be easy as well. Before the match, if I had known this would have ended in a draw I would have been relieved.

Unfortunately, however, we could have left Thessaloniki with all three points to place ourselves in fifth. Sure, Iraklis also could have done the same but there is little doubt that overall, we were the better team.

We lined up with a lineup similar to that which we fielded against Oly. Arabatzis as ‘keeper, Araujo, Majstorovic, Geraldo Alves, and Georgeas took care of the defense, Kafes and Jahic were the defensive midfielders with Manduca and Scocco taking the offensive midfield roles, and Blanco and Djebbour were upfront. A pretty solid lineup considering what we have to work with.

Our problem last week was our lack of a midfield, due mostly to the exclusion of Kafes (injury) and Jahic (too many yellow cards). Immediately, a difference was seen on Saturday with those two guys, especially Kafes, back in the midfield. They stopped the Iraklis counters early or at least stalled them for our defense, and they helped to drastically improve the transition of the ball from defense to the attackers. Honestly, from where we were sitting the view was terrible, so I don’t know how much of a role these two midfielders actually played, but I do know that were getting the ball up much more effectively than last week.

Arabatzis had a good game but could do little to stop Kone’s (yes, the former AEK player who refused to celebrate out of respect; he says he still has very fond memories of his time at AEK) fantastic shot.I think very few ‘keepers would come close to saving it. Arabatzis did make another save in the dying minutes of the game, just like against Oly, to keep us in it, so he certainly deserves credit.

Our defense was good. They were beaten often on the 1-on-1’sĀ  but they were quite solid when it came to stopping the counter attacks which was mandatory with this Iraklis team. Unfortunately, Araujo got a red card for his second yellow late in the match but the boys were forced to play rough or else there would have been no stopping Iraklis.

I already mentioned our defensive midfielders but the more attacking guys, Scocco and Manduca, also did their job. They got the ball up and dangerously close on another of occasions and only a lack of either luck or concentration (or, of course, both) kept us from scoring another goal or two.

Blanco was not the main man in our attack on Saturday. That honor would have to go, without a doubt, to Djebbour. He scored a fantastic goal (which I will post further down) and was dangerous, as we’ve been seeing these past two weeks, when on the ball. It’s a shame he wasn’t here the first half of the season, we really could have used him.

I’m just dreaming of when Nemeth will return and play with us (if he ever does come back). Nemeth and Djebbour, with Blanco ready on the bench, would be deadly for any team. With Pao’s weak defense, these guys could easily do some damage in two weeks.

One thing which many noticed from this game was our playing style. I don’t know what it was, but the whole team was playing with a fantastic fluidity. We were passing the ball nicely, there was alot of one touch passing going on, it was overall a nice style of football we saw. We really did play some good football and only due to luck didn’t come away with a win. As everyone has been saying in the press, AEK was the better team on the pitch that night, even though Iraklis did come very close to scoring on a number of occasions.

Now, some highlights.

As you will notice, Djebbour missed a penalty…with three minutes of time remaining! I really don’t know what he was attempting with that shot, but he really should have done better. He apologized to the fans but that really isn’t enough. He had a solid chance to place us firmly in fifth spot but it was wasted. Hopefully, he learned his lesson and won’t try a stupid shot like that again. By they way, Blanco had already been subbed off by this time which is why he didn’t take the kick.

Well, fortunately, Kavala tied 0-0, once again, with Oly. This is the ideal result for AEK since it now keeps them two points behind us. It also leaves Olympiakos now trailing Pao by seven points, meanwhile they are only ahead of PAOK by three. I’m loving it.

The Oly fans (10,000 of them were allowed to go up to Kavala) caused a bunch of trouble in the city and the stadium, running around like a bunch of hooligans, running on to the pitch numerous times, and clashing with police. Of course, if this was a fair league, they would have been punished for their disgusting hooliganism (that’s all they’ve ever been). At least one home match without fans would have been the norm (that would mean no fans at home when they play PAOK at home next weekend… considering how terrible they played yesterday I would have said a sure win for PAOK there), if not more, and perhaps a heavy fine. Of course, we know this isn’t a fair league, and they will get away with no punishment at all.


7 Responses to “Djebbour Misses Late Penalty To Salvage Three Points!”

  1. What’s happening to AEK? We havent got such a bad squad, dusan is by the most successfull trainer in Greece. I really don’t get it. It’s like they don’t care if they win. AEK deserves something better, I remember games like aek-osfp 2008 when we were 80k supporters (all aekfans) in OAKA. And now.. they are turning it to ruins. AEK supporters are really angry, many are not showing up at our game.. this is a HUGE catastrophy. I really hope that Adamidis and co does something for the club, they do seem like reasonable guys. They handled the situation with kozonis well, and I still trust their abbility to maintain stability. We must get new players, ecpecially defenders. Our defence is by far the worse aek has ever had. Majstorovic is a good player (OK, avarage the last games), but it’s not enough. And the midfield, it’s just embarrising. I can’t stand it, Leonardo is a joke. Him being in the squad is kind of odd.. he haven’t been in the first squad for some games.. but his been called out. His sitting on the bench.. even though he shouldn’t. We should sell him our loan him to another team, it’s getting really frustrating. Djebbour is a good player, dusan got into a fight with him (?) and refused to let him play.. thats what I heard. Ofcourse, it’s hard to get in shape after not being able to play for a while but I really see a future in him. Keep up the good work AEK: we support you. As Tsiartas said before the game against real madrid: We don’t fear anything. Bring that spirit back to AEK and I ensure the shareholders, the team and all other interesters that we will not only win the league, the cup but we will also have an avarage of 40k+ at each game. PAO has money, OSFP has the media. AEK is the peoples team, and in which case our team will be supported not only by us, but also by our following generation.

  2. Very right about that! AEK is something different from the rest of them, our players have to start showing they appreciate that.

    As for Adamidis, I dont know. The guy is young, little experience with this and, he want full control. Sound familiar? Who else wanted full control? Yes, Demis. What happened with that full control? We were brought back to the mess we are. Sure, its not only him responsible, but had he not had full control and others around had a greater impact on things, certain mistakes could have been avoided.

    Another problem with Adamidis: his side man is Kintis and this guy hates Bajevic. His main aim is to get rid of Bajevic as soon as possible. This must not happen.

    Yeah, fee fans arent showing up at our games anymore and while I haven’t missed a match yet I don’t go because I’m expecting great football, simply because I love the club and feel its my duty to support it. For the majority of the people, they dont feel this way and want to watch good football like we saw two years ago. Who’s gonna pay twenty euros a game to watch the style of football we now play. At least it finally is improving.

    As for Djebbour, he got into a fight with Dusan early in the season (as well as other players) but his atitude has really changed since then, and for the better. It’s a shame we didn’t have him from the beginning.

    As for defense, your right. I mean, two years ago we had guys like Papastathopoulos and Dellas back there. Not even the best offense will get past those two. Now we have a good player and an average player, but this is not what we need. We have conceded well over 20 goals, PAOK on the other hand has conceded eight and NONE in the last six games!

    Leonardo must not play. But, when guys like Kafes and Jahic are out we sometimes dont have much of a choice šŸ˜¦ I’d rather we sell him rather than loan him, if he’s willing to break his contract. He is not AEK material, not even close.

    As for the players not caring to play, I’d like to say something. This weekend after leaving Thessaloniki I saw the Lamia volleyball team at the train station eating dinner. They had just lost 3-0 to Iraklis (by the way, our womens volley team is undefeated in second division this season) but nobody would have guessed they lost! They were laughing and joking around, especially the foreigners (not so much the Greeks). I doubt its that bad with our club but people like Scocco, after the Oly victory showed very little emotion compared to players like Makos and others. This team is Scocco’s, Blanco’s, Manduca’s and others job and nothing else. We must get back players who fight with the spirit of Demis, Dellas, Libe, Papastathopoulos, Zikos, and many others. If not, it will be that much harder to rise from these tough times.

  3. By the way, some info here:

    good to hear some passion at least from someone.

  4. šŸ˜¦ No win, too bad. And to many reruns of the Iraklis goal, I knew what happened after the first rerun. By the way: Arabatzis was too far from his goal to stop the shot. As for the fans: you know you’re dealing with a real one if he or she keeps showing up in times like this. I have to disagree on Majstorovic. I think he is over the hill and we should look for a replacement for next season. And I still think we will finish strong this season. The team is okay, so is the coach, so the wins will come! Trust me šŸ˜‰

  5. The team is certainly okay, as well as the coach, one would assume the results would come. I certainly hope your right!

    You’r right about Majstorovic, but as of right now, there isn’t much we can do. I don’t know how long his contract is for but if we get some more investors I really wouldn’t mind a solid CB. By the way, for anyone who watched the Liverpool match last night, Kyrgiakos was incredible!

  6. I’m actually a big fan of majstorovic. Maybe because I live in Sweden. I’ve seen his capicity, and must say that his a great player. I watch AEK play almost every sunday, and must say that his a good player. But not even Dellas in his best shape can would be able reach his normal level with the companions he have in AEK.

  7. The Majstorovic we saw last season beside Kyrgiakos was very good, solid. This year, I don’t know, he’s certainly a good player, a good, strong defender, but he’s been a little careless at times, and its cost us or came close to it. I feel that if he was tighter in general he would be one of the best, if not THE best centre back in the league.

    Some games he’s played he was superb, others I dont know. He can score goals which is always valuable.

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