Archive for March, 2011

AEK 1 paok o……..and into the 2011 CUP FINAL

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , on March 16, 2011 by aekman74

AEK fans all around the world world will be rejoicing today after our beloved team came back from Thesaloniki with a hard earned,well deserved victory over the locals,in the second leg of  Greek Cup Semi final.The one nil  scoreline was more than enough to take us through to the final on April 30 at the OAKA.

Jimenez,who is already just about an AEK legend,warned the players of a need to have an almost war like mentality going ito the game,telling the players “whoever isn’t ready for a fight to stay home”,before they left Athens.But ready they were,each and every one of the 14 players that wore an AEK jersey today can be proud of their achievements as we fans are of them.With it realistically being half time at 0-0 over the 2 legs,Jimenez knew that a single goal,forcing paok to score twice,would be enough.He had  the right team selection and the perfect tactics and we can be thankfull that Manolo is here for us.He played a 4-4-1-1 system with a diamond for a midfield,and it was this shape in particular that stopped paok creating any chances.In fact over the 90 minutes they had 1 clear chance,which Ilic totally wasted.The midfield of Papa Boupa at the back of the diamond,Libe at the front of it,Michel to the left and Makos to the right,closed down their midfielders as soon as they had the ball,forcing them into many errors.Keeping it tight,they completely controlled the middle third of the park.

Saja in goal,was once again well protected and had little to do apart from catch some crosses.Karabelas started left back but got injured midway through the 1st half.He was sustituted by Lagos whose experience showed.Georgias on the right was faultless as well as helping in attack,so happy for him.Dellas was Dellas,the rock,and aided by a young enthusiastic and very gifted Mateos,looked in complete control,making Salpingidis chase shadows all night.Scoocco played behind Blanco in his favourite classic no:10 role,and even though they didn’t get many chances themselves,they did look like a threat in and around the penalty area,which caused the paok players to foul time and time again.It was one of these fouls in the 48th minute which proved the difference,Scocco whipped in low free kick which Dellas bent down low himself to meet and his header just got enough on it to get it past their keeper,making the infamous Toumba shut their mouths.

Once we got the goal,they had to play,and they didn’t or rather,they couldn’t.Nothing changed,we still controlled the middle of the park and looked more than likely to get a second before they got one.As the minutes ticked by,Gate 4 sensed this,and in the 89th minute a pitch invasion forced our players to make their way to the change rooms,stopping the match with virtually injury time left to play.One of their scum bags,actually made it to our bench and started hitting players,Dellas grabbed him and a few knees to the head later by the collosus of Rhodes,the cops took him away.All this was after Saja had been hit by a flair,burning his jersey,thankfully no injury was caused.The players then came back out to resume the match after about a 20 minute break.Saja took  a long kick and that was it .Again,their morons made their way onto the field forcing the referee to finally call an end to the match,with roughly 4 minutes of injury time to play.

HOW SWEET IT IS!!!!AEK in another cup final,our 1st after the epic shootout of 2 years ago.Our opponents will be Atromitos,coincidently led by Donis,our couch before Dusan.He lasted about 7 games for memory and at the time was not ready for a big club as AEK.We’ll go into the game obviously as hot favourites and i’m sure the players will deliver to Libe and Dellas what they deserve for their time with us.FORZA AEKARA!!!!!

 

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AEK 1 Kavala 0

Posted in AEK on March 14, 2011 by aekman74

Nacho Scocco came on as a sub and won the game for AEK with a header from close range,after a sublime ball by another sub Geriero found him,for once,unmarked.
Jimenez rested many players with the midweek cup match at Toumba in mind.Saja still started in goal,and honestly was a spectator for most of the match.Manolas a surprise right back,took time to get into the game,their left caused him problems early,but steadied and finished strong.Nasuti and Mateo like Saja,had little troubleto deal with,as Kavala’s attacks were few and far between over the ninety minutes.Dadomo went ok,but really,he’s barely only a squad player,hence the few starts this year.The central midfield duo of Gentzoglou and Michel struggled to create any worthwile attacks in the 1st half,and it was only when Gentzoglou was replaced early in the 2nd by Papa Boupa,did it allow Michel to get more free in attack,and the much improved team 2nd half was mainly down to that duo.Michel had a stinging shot hit the bar midway through,and he deservedly ended up with the MVP award.

Out wide,jimenez stared Lagos on the left,who was fairly quiet,and Burns on the right,who looked lively early on,but seemed to fade in that 1st half,much like everyone else.
Liberopoulos behind Baha as a front duo struggled,they did connect briefly when Libe sent Baha through after a nice little one two,but the final pass just eluded him.In all honestly,Baha seems overweight still,and it affects his mobility.
We were much better in the 2nd half,defending much higher up the pitch,winning the ball in good positions and cutting out 4-5 chances.This coincided with all 3 subs Nacho,Geriero and Papa,having a big say in this.The victory was deserved,as Kavala were terrible for the most part,seemingly intent on trying to win a game with bad tackles.
Now its onto Paok in the 2nd leg of the Cup Semi,we need an away goal,hopefully early to shut their crowd up.Blanco has a great record up there,and he should be well rested now for this one.Saja will obviously need to have a big game as will our defense,but with Dellas marshalling,1 goal for us should be enough for another crack at Silverware,one long overdue!

AEK wants prime minister to intervene in Greek soccer

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer on March 10, 2011 by kgbaek

The board of AEK has asked Greek prime minister Papandreou to take meaures to clean up the Super League. Adamidis wants Papandreou to end the supporters violence, corruption and accusations of fraude in the Greek topleague.

AEK chairman Adamidis thinks that Papandreou can play the same role as Margareth Thatcher did in the UK in the 1980’s. The Iron Lady managed to make an end at excessive violence in British soccer.

So we seem to take initiative to end all what is wrong in the Super League. Great! Hopefully it will also mean less crazy referee decisions against us.

THIS IS AEK!!!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by alexaek

Im pretty sure Ive used that title before but Im going to use it again because I feel it works for the occasion. Today, in the same stadium, against the same team we so miserably drew 0-0 with five days ago, we witnessed a performance from AEK that was unlike anything we’ve seen yet this season (in my opinion). Why? Maybe because Manolo decided to make the changes that were needed soon enough (some of the changes most of us were calling for before the last game as well!)…

I don’t know how start off other than by saying we were superb! We dominated them in the midfield, in their own end… we out passed them, we were better lined out tactically, our players were up for the task at hand, and it was just all around a wonderful game from our boys. The score line of 4-0 certainly suggests the same however to be honest the match could have very easily ended up with a few more goals for AEK.

Saja? Didn’t have to do much to be honest… I may have missed a few bits here and there but from what I saw our defense did most of the dirty work, forcing Saja to have very little to deal with.

Our defense? I don’t know what to say, but I loved everything our defense today represented. Passion and experience from Georgeas and Dellas, young talent from Mateos, and hard  work and dedication from Karabelas… it was enough to get the job done, and with ease. The Mateos-Dellas combination at centre back is one Im really a fan of and I hope Manolo keeps going with it… I feel the two compliment each other very well when on the pitch. Georgeas had a wonderful assist on Scocco’s first goal today and did everything he needed to, just like every match he plays in. I realise he never was and certainly never will be an outstanding talent in terms of wing backs, but he plays with some much heart and has a great understanding of the game, something which many other players lack… ultimately though, it leads to us seeing the most we can from him both in terms of going forward and defending. Karabelas also had a good game and to be honest, Ive been quite pleased with him this season. He’s another player who always puts the effort in, his crosses have been improving, and I see him getting involved in plays far more often (though that may just be me).

In midfield we had Michel, Diop, Makos, and Guerreiro and it was a combination which worked! I just hope Manolo takes note and doesn’t change things come next match. To be honest, I don’t remember Makos standing out today however, poor streams means I missed some of the match. I did read that he played very well so I guess I just overlooked him. The same I would have to say for Michel… in fact it was Diop and Guerreiro who stood out today (that’s not to say Michel and Makos didn’t do their job, they most certainly must have considering the way we controlled things in the midfield today).

Before going in to specifics, I’d like to just say that our midfield as a whole was almost perfect today. It was as if they all were on the same page with each other… positioning, passing, defending, moving the ball around and controlling it when needed, we were doing everything we could to control the play and create when the opportunity arose, and our activity inside the PAOK box today suggests the same (compared to how rarely we broke their defense down just five days ago). Diop has certainly been bringing his best with him recently and he was finally rewarded today with a goal (after hitting the post twice last match). Roger brought the creativity we so desperately lacked last match and to see the whole team played when he was in control was wonderful. Id also like to point out that his set pieces are superb. A free kick and a corner he took today both led to goals and every ball he was sending in the box was perfect.

Up front things got interesting, with Blanco starting and Scocco playing a free role alongside him. At the end of the match Scocco said he finally played his best position after two and a half years and his two goals (both classic Scocco goals) support what he said. Ive thought about how he would be up front before and Im glad to see it tried out… with Guerreiro taking control of things behind the forwards, I think we can afford to see Scocco up front. Blanco played well and tried hard to get a goal to his name but things just didn’t work out for him today… I still hope to see him start next match, and especially in Toumba… he always seems to find a way to score up there 🙂

Also, our fourth goal came from Dellas… a lovely timed run resulted in him latching on to Guerreiro’s cross before PAOK’s keeper could get his hands to it. Fantastic seeing him get on the score board today.

I must say, looking at our goals scored today, we saw two goals scored with headers (shows we have options in the box from both Diop and Dellas, as well as Libe when fit), a goal from from team work and crisp passing, and a goal created from some fantastic individual talent (as well as good decision making from Michel)… overall a perfect set of goals scored today, clearly showing how we took control of the game today in every aspect.

Now, will we see the same thing from our boys the next matches coming up? I suppose some of that depends on Manolo, but things are going well and after today only a fool would tinker with the team further. The win today sees PAOK remain further behind while we reclaim third (however Oly Volou and Kavala are not far behind) and PAO’s slip against Larissa means if we keep putting in solid performances, we could end up in a decent position come play off time.

However, what I hope for more than anything is that we go to Toumba and play exactly like we played today. If we do, the qualification to the final is ours WITHOUT A DOUBT. Even in Toumba, this PAOK team today will have no chance if we play the way we did.

FORZA AEKARA!!!! Vamos Bien!

4-0... its been a while since we've seen that scoreline!

Simply Not Enough

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2011 by alexaek

Everything leading up to kick off was looking good for us. We came off a solid away win over the weekend, PAOK stumbled at home, the atmosphere inside OAKA was fantastic, Vierinha would not be playing… how could our players not take advantage of the prime opportunity to nail a few past our rivals!

Some players deserve some credit for today however there are many who simply didn’t pull their weight on the pitch or failed to contribute anything worthwhile to the match. Jimenez will probably also recieve some criticism (for leaving Blanco off till later, not getting Michel in sooner perhaps…) though with the performance of some players such as Scocco and Baha, there is really only so much blame the coach can take…

Scocco…. I really do not want to see him start for a while. AEKMAN74 suggested leaving him as a sub till later in the game for the next match and I would have to agree (depending on how the score is going). He refused to distribute well today when he had the chance, held on for far too long and simply failed to produce much of anything worthwhile. Same goes for  Baha… I would rather have seen Blanco on from eariler.

Libe also did not play as important a role as I would have liked to have seen. He didn’t provide much of an attacking threat and his passing was not as effective as usual. However, Libe being the living legend that he is, will never receive a negative word from me… the guy is not getting any younger, has played many games already this season, and has already contributed more than many others on the team…

Burns was probably our most dangerous player going forward… made many runs with his speed and was almost always involved in every attack from the right. He keeps on impressing me and I hope to see this keep up.

Our midfield did its job for the most part. We controlled the middle of the pitch for most of the match while PAOK simply sat back (as we were all expecting). We were poor when they countered (however the defense can also take the blame for that) but other than that I feel our midfield did what was needed of it.

Our defense was shaky at times. They weren’t pressured often but almost every time they were led to PAOK coming very close to scoring. Thankfully Saja was alert today.

As for the match itself, what can I say. We controlled things really however our attack was simply not producing. Papa Bouba however hit the cross bar twice from corners though really those were probably our two best chances of the match. PAOK also received two red cards yet despite playing with two more players we simply could not break through and get the ball in the net. Sure, the ref didn’t call a penalty for us, and the extra time was far too short, but we have nobody to blame for this result but ourselves.

We go to Toumba with a 0-0. At least we didn’t concede. In reality, this PAOK team is very much for the taking. We get one goal and things could very well go our way. I certainly never expected PAO to show up and score three against us, but they did, and nothing is stopping us from doing the same.

We face PAOK again this weekend at OAKA for the Championship. Im praying for a win here… not since December of last year have we won at home!

Also, our handball won an important league match today bringing us one step closer to the Championship! Well done guys!!