Archive for Anakoglou

Inter 0-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, Friendly with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by alexaek

Our final test before the regular season ended with a rather disappointing scoreline, but there were definitely quite a few positives that can be taken from what I saw. I only managed to watch the second half, but from what I read we were also quite solid in the first half, as we were in the second.

Defensively I feel we’re set. Johansson proved last season that he’s one of our best players and I get the feeling things will be the same this season. Sure we’ve signed some bigger names, but hes just so good at what he does that I cant help but admire his playing every time I get to watch a match. He may not be as flashy or technical as other players, but he is so good at doing what we need him to do (breaking up plays and moving the ball around). His strength on the ball is also phenomenal as is his composure. Hes relatively young at 25 but he plays the way players with much more experience than him play, and I genuinely believe that he will be one of our most important players this season.

Another player who really stood out for me was Galo. I’ve been reading pretty good things about him so far this pre-season, and watching him today made it clear that he has a lot to offer to the team. Hes reliable as a defender, has a lot of pace, fights and wins back balls, and provides so much offensively. He was always moving forward while seeming to never lose the pace he had earlier and was consistently able to deliver great balls into the box. In fact I’d say his crosses into the box were what impressed me most; they were almost always perfectly taken and well aimed.

I also have to give credit to Anestis. He came on later in the second half and replaced Baroja. Now, I know I was rough on him last season for the mistakes he made, but if he plays the way he did this game in the regular season, I would be more than happy to see him start over Baroja. Of course I dont see that happening, but I think he proved today that he deserves another chance. Around the time he came on, Dellas switched things around quite a bit, bringing on some less experienced players. Part of the downside of these changes was that Inter were able to move the ball around a lot more freely inside our area, but shot after shot, Anestis was there to save the day.

I was particularly disappointed with two players today: Djebbour and Chrisantus. Djebbour was much of what we’ve already seen so far this pre-season in the sense that he was sloppy and really didn’t seem to have any eye for goal. Chrisantus was also disappointing, but for different reasons. What bothered me most watching Chrisantus was the fact that he was evidently giving everything he had, constantly moving around, getting involved with plays, trying to create plays. Unfortunately though, it seemed that despite all his efforts, he just did not have what it took to make anything work. Sure he was giving a lot of effort and I of course appreciated that (it contrasted quite a bit to the way Djebbour was playing), but nothing he was trying worked and he too was quite sloppy. I feel that part of the problem was that we were not as decisive going forward as we were against Sevilla and so it seemed he felt like he had to make up for that. I’m hoping that when we start playing in the league, we’ll be able to move the ball forward more efficiently and free up Chrisantus to play more as a striker rather than playing deeper as an attacking mid.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how we played. I would have loved to have seen a goal or two, and while Inter are not the team they used to be, holding them back the way we did is something worth appreciating. The goals and attacking edge will come with time, especially with all the new players we’ve signed. As long as we are solid defensively, I feel like we have something very good to build up from.

AEK 2-0 Miedz

Posted in AEK, Friendlies, Singings with tags , , , , , on August 5, 2015 by alexaek

Our final friendly in Poland thankfully ended in a 2-0 win with goals scored by Anakoglou and Chrisantus. From what I was reading during the game, our performance was anything but great, with very little pressuring, lots of mistakes, and lots of fouls. Worrying commentary to say the least, but I’m hoping that comes down to fatigue and the fact that Dellas is still trying out some different formations, but we will definitely need to start showing some more composure as a team.

There have been some developments in the singing of Karim Hafez and it looks like the deal has fallen through. There were quite a few details that weren’t agreed upon judging from what I read, but I’m starting to think this may have been a blessing in disguise since it seems like we would have had nothing but headaches trying to work out the details of his loan.

As a backup plan, it seems we are now going for one of our earlier targets for left back, Spaniard Didac Vila. At 26 years old hes still got quite a few good years ahead of him, and his experience defending in the Spanish league for most of his career can only be a good thing. Hopefully this singing works out since we desperately need a reliable left back, and soon.

Kalithea 0-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, Basketball, football, Football League, Handball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2015 by alexaek

A fairly routine win for AEK against mid-table Kalithea, though an important one none the less as we look to seal as many points for the playoffs as possible. Reviews for the players with Dounis, Chrisantus, Anakoglou, Vouras, and Johansson given particularly high ratings by AEK365, while pretty much our entire defense of Rovas, Kolovetsios, Sarris, and Soleidis gave what were considered to be pretty weak performances.

Our two scorers were Dounis, who opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a well placed shot, and Chrisantus, scoring his first goal for AEK with another well placed shot. VP for the match was once again Johansson, a player who is constantly impressing everyone with how solid he is in the middle of the pitch.

The win, our 21st of the season, as brought us up to 62 points with second place Panachaiki on a relatively low 46. I haven’t seen a playoff table for sure but I believe as Nick mentioned in my previous post, that today’s win got us back the point we had lost from our penalty.

In addition to our football team’s comfortable win, our basketball team had their own win today, one which was both entertaining and impressive. The win, a 93-77 win over fourth placed Aris, extremely important as far as our chances of finishing in the top four are considered, and our performance today certainly showed signs of a team worthy of a top four finish. Our three pointers, as can be seen from the video below, were very accurate today, and it seemed like all players were having a good day.

Today’s win puts us just one point behind Aris, with 35 points. While the top two is certainly out of our reach at the moment, we now also sit only two points behind PAOK, with our rivals from the north currently on 37 points.

Speaking of PAOK, we played them today for the Handball Cup Final, a match-up which we’ve seen before in recent years. Unfortunately we weren’t as lucky as in previous Cup finals as the match, which saw some incidents involving AEK supporters and riot police, ended in a close 29-27 victory for PAOK.

AEK 4-0 Ermionidas

Posted in AEK, Football League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2015 by alexaek

Apologies for the delay getting this post up.

Our win on Saturday was a comfortable one for AEK, something that was a bit of a relief to hear considering Ermionidas were the first team we didn’t manage to beat in the league.

Our four goals were scored by four different scorers with Anakoglou scoring the first goal followed by Dounis, Aravidis, and D’Acol. It was nice to see Aravidis on the scoresheet (he has scored an impressive 13 goals in 13 games) as well as D’Acol. D’Acol’s game yesterday was his first in months since he was injured, so for him to get a goal on his return can only help boost his confidence.

Aside from scoring four goals during the match, we also dominated possession with 64%, while also being by the far the more active team in front of goal with 24 shots compared to 6 for Ermionidas. Our starting keeper for the match was Ilias Vouras while Anestis was on the bench for the game. I assume this was to give him a rest which makes sense, seeing as I can’t actually remember a game where he wasn’t our starting keeper.

I noticed just now that Soleidis was not featured in our starting 11 or on our bench, which worried me for a second. However, I looked at the squad who will be in OAKA for our game against Olympiakos, and Soleidis is indeed listed. I’ve been quite impressed with him so far this season so its certainly a bit of a relief to know he isn’t injured.

Speaking of our game against Olympiakos, its been announced that there are just about 5,000 tickets left for the match. Regardless of whether or not those remaining tickets all sell (which I believe they will), its guaranteed that the crowd in OAKA come Wednesday is going to be awfully impressive.

Episkopi 0-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Football League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2015 by alexaek

Another match, another win (though I’d say the win here was never really much in doubt).

Judging by what I saw in the highlights and from the official statistics, Episkopi never really threatened us all that much. They managed to get 5 shots off, though none of them were able to reach the target. We managed a more impressive, though still relatively tame, total of 11 shots on net with 6 reaching the target.

Aravidis was the player who stood out for us yet again, scoring both our goals (including one in the first two minutes of play). I’m not sure what it is about him, but he just seems to have that knack for scoring goals that certain players seem to have. In a way it reminds me of Blanco during his first season with us. As long as the ball manages to get to his feet, he’ll find a way to get it into the net.

While Aravidis deserves much of the credit, we can’t forget about the rest of the team. In fact, AEK365 gave very high ratings to a number of players including Mantalos, Joahansson, Bakakis, Soiledis, and Anakoglou. The critique of a number of our players including Bakakis, Johansson, and Soleidis mentioned what I’ve seen often in the few games I’ve watched this season: our transition from defense to attack has been very smooth and efficient. A big part of that I feel has to come down to the fact that we have a number of players who are almost just as solid offensively as they are defensively, meaning we have options for getting the ball up instead of relying on one or maybe two players.

No news yet on when the second leg of our cup game with Oly will be, but our next league game is next Sunday against Emionida.

Solid performance today from our Basketball team in thei 105-78 win over Panelefsiniakos:

AEK 2-0 Archanaikos

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Football League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2015 by alexaek

Laid back game from the sounds of things, though I guess at this point there’s no reason to push too hard, particularly with the game against Olympiakos coming up in less than a month (possibly).

Going by what I saw in the highlight video, there were a number of chances for AEK to score, though Acharnaikos had their fair share of chances too. Barbosa and Aravidis particularly looked very dangerous, though Mantalos too was quite involved. Defensively it looked like we were a bit too open at times, though I’m not particularly worried, since I have the feeling that was more the result of the team feeling rather relaxed more than anything else. Especially after watching how tight and organized the defense was against Olympiakos, I know our back four are more than capable of handling most situations quite well.

I’m gonna have to mention Anestis, because there seems to be a recurring theme here with him. Overall he’s been quite solid this season but it seems ever game now, there is a play where he makes a serious mistake. Luckily for us we’ve not been punished too often for his mistakes, but we very well could have. I’m not sure why it is this keeps happening, but if he wants to be our first keeper next season, he’ll have to work on his judgment because you can bet that in games against teams like Olympiakos and PAO, they will take advantage of his mistakes.

MVP of the match was once again Anakoglou, though AEK365 considered Barbosa to be the best player of the match. I remember when we first signed Barbosa, I had really high expectations but I wasn’t seeing too much consistency from him. He certainly had his moments where he looked fantastic, but I was getting the feeling it wasn’t enough at the time. I have to say that he has really stepped up his performances with each passing game and hes now becoming a key part of our team. With him and Mantalos leading the midfield and Johansson and Anakoglou providing the support behind them, we definitely now have a very solid midfield core.

Possession for the match was 74 percent in our favour, and we managed to get off twenty shots (twelve of which were on target).

There was another game today, this time with our basketball team. The classic Athens derby between AEK and PAO. Now, I hate to say it but we all know PAO is a powerhouse, not just in Greece but in Europe. They have been for a while, and looks like they still will be for a while. I was still hoping for a win though, considering how promising our play has been since things turned around for the team, but unfortunately the win was still too far out of our grasp. The final result was 62-70 for PAO, and even though a loss is a loss, I’m sure the score would have been worse had we not had the team we have today. Of course we still have a long way to go until our basket team can challenge for the title, but we have also come a long way since where we were a year or two ago. I think that as long as our management stays focused and continues to provide us with the best players possible, we will only continue to improve. With some of the recent signings we’ve made, we will without a doubt be able to attract even more high quality team, and hopefully by next season will have a top three team once again.

As was to be expected, the atmosphere for the game was fantastic:

A quick word about our next Cup game against Olympiakos… For those who have been wondering when the game will be, I unfortunately cannot say, because I, as well as the rest of the Greece, don’t know. It was originally scheduled for the 4th of March. However, Olympiakos play Tripolis on Monday, March 2nd, so technically they aren’t allowed to play another game within 48 hours. Unfortunately, March 5th there is a PAO basket game at OAKA for the Euroleague, which of course cannot be postponed. So, the obvious solution would be to move the Olympiakos-Tripolis game to Sunday, March 1st, right? Well, you would figure, but Olympiakos like to get things their own way, and since they are obviously now worried about playing us, they are looking to move the game to a later week all together. As a reported mentioned in an article I read today, why was this not discussed before the first leg game? Why were Olympiakos’ concerns for the “well being” of their players not brought up when they thought they would comfortably beat us in the first leg?

All I know is that this is Greece, and if history is anything to go by, Olympiakos will get their way.

AEK 4-1 Chania

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Football League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2015 by alexaek

Nice to see a high scoring game again, this time thanks to two goals from Anakoglou as well as another two from Lambropoulos and Aravidis. The win, our 13th of the season, leaves us very comfortably in first with 41 points, 9 points ahead of second placed Panachaiki.

It was nice to see a promising final match before our mid week Cup game against Olympiakos. Possesion during the match was 58% in our favour, and we managed to get 14 shots (though Chania managed a respectable 8 shots as well). Anakoglou, probably rightfully so (I didn’t get to watch the game… again), won MVP of the match. AEK365 also gave decent ratings for Anestis, Bakakis, Lambropoulos, Rovas, Barbosa, Brecevic, and Aravidis.

Worth noting from today’s match was that our newest signing, promising Nigerian striker Macauley Chrisantus played a few minutes towards the end, and though he didn’t have enough time to make much of impact, it was nice to see that he’s already fairy comfortable and ready to play.

Also worth noting from this weekend was that our basketball team managed another impressive victory, this time beating Panionios away 78-94. We’ve made a few very impressive signings so far this season and they all seem to not only be making quite the impact, but I get the feeling they’re enjoying playing for the team and the fans. Its really quite nice finally seeing our Basketball team having some respectable performances for the first time in quite a while. The next big test for the team will be against first placed Panthinaikos. Won’t be an easy match by any means, but I’m hoping we can be as much of a challenge as possible for the Greens.

Just a matter of days until the match with Olympiakos! I’m nervous, but also extremely excited. It’s been far too long that we’ve seen a real derby for AEK.