Archive for February, 2010

AEK 1-0 Ergotelis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by alexaek

So, the good news? Three points and our fourth win in a row!
Bad news? Terrible performance!

Djebbour celebrating his game winning goal against Ergotelis

Djebbour celebrating his game winning goal against Ergotelis

We started off on pretty solid ground. We were controlling things for the most part, though Ergotelis were still moving forward at times. Eventually, the first, and only, goal came. Djebbour scored the goal with some superb control (nothing Blanco could ever pull off, though I still love the guy).

Shortly after this though we began to take things a little slower and pressured less if I remember correctly. And from this point on it was only downhill. We came out in the second half as if we were sitting on a four goal lead. No attacking desire at all was showed by our players. Blanco had even gone back to playing right back for a while! The players didn’t realize that a) Ergotelis has some dangerous players up front and b) in football, a one goal lead means nothing! (anyone who watched the Canada- Slovakia game last night would know that things can turn around quickly in sports).

I’m not going to go into to much detail. Hopefully, it was just a fluke. Before today we had seen some nice football from our players. Maybe they got a little too confident, thought they could handle anything now. I’m not sure, but hopefully come next match they will remember the fans booing them today when they insisted on sitting back and defending rather than attacking.

As for the players:

-Saja was pretty solid. Bajevic didn’t know who to start with since he now has two great keepers at his disposal. Still, I think he made the right choice. Aside from one or two poor clearances by the Argentinian, he was solid in the box and held onto every ball with confidence except for one which slipped out of his hands.

-Araujo was our best defender I feel. He fought hard on the pitch and never sat back. From the start of the match he was pushing himself, and he kept it up throughout. Our two center backs did the job, though Geraldo was a little shaky today. Karabelas had a decent game though we have seen better from him this season.

-Kafes had a good game. Nothing special, but did his job and pushed up at times. Makos had one if his best games of the season (yes, yes, that’s not saying much, I know). When the pressure was on, he began to look shaky again, but he didn’t waste every ball that was at his feet and even had a decent shot on net.

-Scocco was TERRIBLE! I was watching the players warm up today and the usual bunch were trying hard and running: Majstorovic, Blanco, Karabelas, Kafes. The rest of the players were putting a fair deal of effort into the warm up but you could tell they were only going about 50 percent. Then, there was Scocco. He walked around, waited for the ball to arrive to him, did a fancy pass, and then disappeared. I was worried when I saw this and my fears were confirmed during the match. He waited for the ball go straight to his feet, made a decent run which normally led to him being fouled, then did nothing the rest of the match. Even Djebbour came back towards the end to defend on corners, but never once did Scocco help out the rest of the team. He played for himself and whenever he did pass he made sure to avoid passing the ball to Djebbour at all costs. Shame really, since Djebbour can do some damage (he’s not called the terrorist for nothing) but there was definately no chemistry between the two players.

Anyways, four wins in a row. In the past 8 games of 2010 we have six wins and two draws. Not bad at all. Hopefully the team puts this performance behind them and we continue forward the way we were before!

P.S. LETS GO CANADA!

May the best team (Canada) win tomorrow!

Some updates.

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by alexaek

Well, I never got around to a summary of the Aris match so I’ll post something brief now for those who missed it.

So, if I had to describe that game and how we got away without conceding, all I could say is luck and Saja. Aris’ offense is fantastic, and they started off extremely strong (they could have taken the lead in the first minute had their finishing been better). However, Saja made a few saves which kept us in the game while Aris managed to blow some great chances and over time we began to take control of the match.

Both team’s played some nice attacking football, but Aris’ defense, and ours of course, were terrible. Players were walking into the box as if defenders were stationary. The marking was also terrible, and there were too many gaps which left the Aris forwards with too much space.

Nonetheless, we got a fantastic three points and are now four points above Aris. That means we currently have 1 point in the playoffs which will certainly help.

The atmosphere at the match was fantastic, the best since we played Oly earlier in the year. The section with the Originals was almost packed. The attendance was 18,000 (not bad compared to what we saw a little earlier in the season) though I believe, and a TV commentator also said the same, that it must have been at least 20,000.

Kafes scores the winning goal for AEK

AEK 1-0 Aris!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , on February 21, 2010 by alexaek

Well, I don’t have time for a full report right now, but for the time being, here is a video of some of the chances as well as Kafes’ goal.

Huge win, four points clear of Aris now and safe in fourth place.

The Future Looks Promising……………

Posted in AEK on February 14, 2010 by aekman74

So after another win,in Komotini(as described perfectly below by Alex),AEK remain unbeaten for 2010.The second half of the season has started similarly to the beginning of 2009 and the pattern seems to be that we have a much better second half of the season,than the 1st.Unfortunately,by the time the Bajevic influence takes affact on the team,the championshiop has just about been decided.I honestly think,that if we can strengthen just a few positions,we can be a force,once again.Obviously,we need another central defender,in the Kyraikos mould,feared by opposition strikers.At the moment Majstorovic,is not intimidating enough.He might look it,with his size and “bikie” looks,but he’s too “nice” in all manerisms and mistake prone.Alves on the other side,is really just a “Squad” player who does cover well(even though he lost his man for Panthrakikos goal).The fullback positions look ok.Central midfield definately needs strengthening.Not so much a ball player as once Geriero gets a full pre season under his belt,he will be great for us,but a defensive midfielder,as Kafes(getting old),Makos(ability?)and Jahic(a center back)are not consitent enough over a whole year.Our attacking options are great and out wide we are looking more of a threat,Hersi has had more good games than bad,even though he joined late,Lagos is almost fully fit again and i havn’t given up on Leonardo,don’t forget,he’s only 23 and Brazillian,which means he’s had the schooling,Bajevic can apply the finishing touches and we’ll be much better next year again.Our phenomenon Scocco,by far and away the best AEK player this year is going to be hard to keep.Big money will be knocking on AEK’s door as that 5 goals in the past 6 games,and the temptation to sell,given our well publicised debts might be to great.Here’s hoping he stays,as does Blanco who along with a rejuvinated Djebbour could be the best strikeforce in Greece next year.So,all in all,if we can keep Scocco,get a proper pre season under our belts with a full and ready to go squad that has included a couple of snew signings in the key positions i’ve indicated above,I’m sure we can challenge for our first “protathlima”since 94,and what a team that was!

Panthrakikos 1-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2010 by alexaek

Seven games undefeated since January and we don’t look like slowing down any time soon.

Despite the recent court decision to ban all organized away fans in Greece 1,000 AEK fans we’re in the stadium of Komotini cheering on the boys louder than ever! Nothing will get in the way of AEK supporters. You gotta love it.

Well, as for the game, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Not only do you never know what can happen with this AEK team (despite our recent run of good form) but Panthrakikos had just won two games in a row (including a 2-0 victory away against Aris!) after failing to win a single match all season long.

We traveled north with a few key players out due to injury. Djebbour, Manduca, Kafes, Araujo, Nemeth (obviously) and Arabatzis were all our for this match. This meant we had to start with Saja, Georgeas, Majstorovic, Geraldo, Karabelas, Jahic, Makos, Scocco, Leonardo, Hersi, and Blanco.

Saja was, thankfully, quite reliable between the posts. The same cannot be said for our defense, unfortunately. We saw a number of weaknesses and had trouble resisting the pressure from Panthrakikos. Luckily for us, Panthrax were nothing special up front and only managed to get one goal.

Makos, I am pleased to say, didn’t play his worst game yet! His performance was certainly nowhere near spectacular but we’ve seen worse…. lets leave it at that. Jahic, who missed a couple of games because of cards, seemed more intent on playing offensively rather than helping out with the defensive duties. Though I didn’t see much of him, except a couple of shots (the guy certainly likes to shoot whenever he gets the chance), many times players like Scocco were forced to come back and help out, possibly where Jahic should have been.

Scocco is…. well, just watch his goal below:

The Argentine can split any defense whenever he wants, simple as that. Though I can never trust a player who may leave at any time, he is an integral part of this team when he wants to be.

Leonardo played a decent game but I personally didn’t see him play as big a role as Scocco. He’s a good player but cannot yet hold on to the ball the way Scocco can.

Hersi played a very good game. Aside from scoring the second goal he was involved constantly with our attacks from the right side.

Blanco had a number of chances and worked well with Scocco today. Shame he didn’t score, but I believe we will start seeing some more goals from him in the upcoming matches.

Generally, we controlled the game, especially the first half (the final ten minutes of the match were tense though). Despite poor pitch conditions, we managed to move the ball around well, runs were timed well, we were creating space. However, when it came time to score it seemed the players decided the effort required would be too much! We had a number of superb chances yet failed to score as many as we should have. Many the players confidence mixed in the knowledge that they were playing the lowest ranked team had an effect psychologically on the players. Hopefully we will see more concentration in front of the goal when we play Aris next weekend.

So, right now we are guaranteed to stay in the top four for at least another week. We currently sit four points ahead of Aris with 36 points (which means if the playoffs were to start now we would have 1 point). Aris still have to play tomorrow so the lead could be cut down to one point by tomorrow evening, though Aris play a tough match against Ergotelis away. Aris’ poor form plus Ergotelis’ incredible win last weekend against Tripolis (a fantastic match that was!) means its quite likely that Aris may leave Crete with one or no points tomorrow.

AEK handball won yet another derby over Veria after last weeks fantastic win against league leaders PAOK. Maybe it can be an even better weekend if AEK’s two game winning streak in Basketball can be extended with an away win against Peristeri tomorrow. Let’s all hope!

AEK 3-1 Xanthi

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by alexaek

Well, let’s face it, Xanthi is never an easy challenge. After they beat Aris 2-1 last weekend I really doubted our chances with them despite our recent run of good form.

My fears were confirmed early, or at least I thought so. We went down very early, in the 8th minute, after a severe mistake from Araujo. The first twenty minutes were generally very scary for AEK fans as we failed to take control of the game and Xanthi continued to come close to scoring.

As Blanco said after the match, however, the Xanthi must have acted like a slap to the face of the AEK players who quickly woke up and soon after going down earned a penalty. Unlike Djebbour a few weeks ago Blanco’s penalty was a direct one which went straight to the goal. After this we began to slowly take control of things however it was still a slow process.

The final twenty minutes of the first half saw us take a little more controlled and in the final minute of extra time a left footed Djebbour cross was knocked smoothly into the net by Leonardo. The goal meant that despite the cold and the rain us AEK fans saw the first half close with smiles on our faces.

The second half was delayed by twelve minutes due to the rain but when it did start we were treated by a much more confident display from the AEK players. Sure, Xanthi still managed to create some danger but the possession was largely controlled by us. Even Makos, who once again had a terrible first half, was able to provide a little more to the game (though his performance was still far from satisfactory).

Our third goal was off of a lovely counter attack (our counter attacks generally were very good today and another golden opportunity off of one earlier in the game could have resulted in a goal had Scocco not wasted the chance with a useless pass). Georgeas set up Blanco perfectly who only had to tap the ball into the net. That meant that Blanco now had two goals in the game! (yes people, Zorro is back!).

Saja was keeper today since Arabatzis injured his wrist in last week’s derby. I honestly wasn’t too confident when I heard this would be the case and while it wasn’t Saja’s worst performance with AEK it was far from flawless. Once again his clearances were terrible and Xanthi had a chance to score a goal similar to the one scored by BATE in OAKA.

Our defense was alright though we were caught off guard on a number of occasions and we left too many gaps, especially where Araujo should have been marking. Thankfully, Xanthi didn’t capitalize however they could have.

Geraldo, from what I could see, had a great game. He was solid and defended well and the same could be said for Georgeas who also provided quite a bit offensively.

Araujo would have had a flawless match were it not for his terrible mistake. He defended with strength and is not afraid to throw his weight around in order to get the ball. Sure, that may be why hes already received a number of red cards and many yellows but defenders need to be tough if they want to get the ball so I’m not complaining.

Majstorovic was good defensively I believe but his speed continues to be his weak point. He had a couple of chances to score from corners but unfortunately all his headers failed to hit the target.

Makos was disastrous. Lost the ball every time he got it and failed to make even the simplest of passes. Yet, Bajevic continues to play him.  I’ll admit it, his second half performance was much improved but he has to show alot more if we wants to prove he deserves the starting spot. Unfortunately, Jahic was out due to cards (he will be out next match also after collecting ten yellows!) so our options were limited.

Kafes had a decent game though he didn’t contribute as much as against Giannena as far I could tell. Still, our midfield is much more confident when he is in.

Leonardo scored that important goal for us but I really didn’t see much of him until the match progressed. I had actually completely forgot he was in the starting XI. It had been since before Christmas (the match with Panionios where he also scored I believe) since he last started so he may have required a little time to find his place in the team once again. Overall though, it was a decent performance from him. He was involved in the switches with Scocco often (nromally Manduca’s job though he was out for this one) and they seemed to have worked well.

Scocco played well. I wouldn’t say this was his best match but he managed to contribute once again to the team (he had a great direct free kick just miss the cross bar) and he was very active in our counter attacks.

Blanco played more attack this match compared to last week and he seemed to be in form. Aside from scoring two goals he was actively involved in the plays up front and is able to control things well when the ball is at his feet even though he may not have the technical ability of Scocco. Djebbour also had a good game but he wasn’t as much of a goal threat as he normally is. Still, he provided that wonderful cross to Leonardo which made all the difference.

Well, so far in the second half of the season we have had three wins and three draws. Not bad at all considering our poor performance in the first half of the season and the fact that we have already played both PAO and Oly away and have managed to take four points from those two matches. 3-1 is a very pleasing result here considering how we were wrongfully affected by the ref in the first half of the season against Xanthi. Scocco said they wanted revenge and it looks like they got it.

We now, temporarily sit in fourth place. Aris were down at home 1-0 to Panthrakikos at half time! However, the game could not be continued due to terrible pitch conditions so if the weather allows it the game will be resumed today with the same score and only the second half will be played. If Panthrakikos can hold on to the slender lead, we will finish the week in fourth place.

Generally this was a great weekend to be AEK! Firstly, the second game with our new basketball coach and already a second win! What is more impressive is it was a home win without fans to Panionios, one of the toughest basketball teams in the league. Not only did we beat them, we beat them with the impressive score of 89-56 after the score was tied 28-28 at half time. It was a superb performance by AEK and things can only get better from here on. Hopefully we continue and finish the season with a chance of some European basketball next season.

Our handball team also got an impressive win. They beat current leaders, PAOK (who hadn’t lost a game yet this season) with a score of 26-25! Certainly a great weekend to be AEK! Hopefully we see more of this from our teams.

So, Let’s See How The Referee Once Again Helped Butcher AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , on February 1, 2010 by alexaek

All three videos take only a minute to watch. What is important to notice is how not one of the PAO players received a yellow card for those disgusting tackles, some of which should have earned second yellows for the players committing the tackle.

How can Scocco, one of our most important players in matches like this, be expected to perform when he is being hacked at like this?