Archive for Asteras Tripolis

Promising Start to 2019

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Atromitos, Champions League, Greek Football with tags , , , on January 20, 2019 by alexaek

Well, its been a while since I’ve posted anything (almost two months in fact) and I’ll be honest, a big reason for the lack of posts had to due with the disappointing way that this season started. Its one thing for a season to not go your way, but it was annoying to see considering the positive way we left off last season. We had a championship winning team, and a team that was successful in Europe, overall a team that was a great starting point for more success.

Instead, we got off to an awful first half of the season, and our Champions League campaign was about as embarrassing as it could have been. Nonetheless, that is all behind us and while the championship is all but out of reach for this season, it would be nice to see us at least end the second half of this season on a high. Thankfully, we’ve started the year off right, with a convincing 4-0 away win in Giannena (a stadium in which the wins never come easy) and then today’s 3-0 win over Asteras.

I missed the first 30 minutes of today’s game and just my luck, that was when all the goals were scored. What I managed to see though was fairly promising. I don’t want to read too much in to today’s result though since though we may have played alright, its worth noting that Asteras were pretty awful and not the Asteras team that I’m used to seeing. In either case, to start off the second half of the season with 7 goals for and none against is always a good sign. Funny thing is, we didn’t really end up changing the roster much over the break. We did sign Serbian midfielder Nenad Kristicic over the holidays and a few junior players, though our roster for the first two league games of 2019 remains pretty much unchanged compared to what we were used to seeing in the later part of 2018.

Maybe the holidays gave the player’s time to regroup, or maybe Marinos decided to try out some new things in training. Whatever the case, we seem to be able to find ways to score goals and get results now, something which we were struggling with coming into 2019.

Having said all that, we’re only two games into 2019 and we haven’t really played a stronger team yet. Next week’s game against Panionios will be a bit more of a challenge, but its the match against PAOK, February 3rd, where we’ll really see if things have changed for the better. PAOK’s good form has kept up so far after they’ve managed to start 2019 with two 3-0 victories, all this despite trading Prijovic.

Our win today sees us move into 3rd place, courtesy of Atromitos’ loss to Xanthi. Not that 3rd place is much consolation considering 2nd is still 6 points away and first is 14 points away..


AEK 1-0 Asteras Tripolis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Soccer, Injuries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2018 by alexaek

After two straight wins against Olympiakos, AEK would have gone in to today’s game against Tripolis knowing the 3 points were anything but guaranteed. Sure enough, we had a much harder time today though I would argue a lot of that came from bad luck rather rather than having anything to do with the opponent we were facing.

Bearing that in mind, it didn’t help that Athanasiadis had what might have been one of the best games of his career in nets for Tripolis. What really made this match a struggle for us though was the inability of players like Araujo and Livaja to finish plays which they normally would have no problem scoring on.

It was absurd really, but the ball just didn’t want to go in. We had a lucky break when we were awarded a penalty (rightfully so I might add) which Lazaros was able to put away, otherwise I’m not sure we would have scored any other way. I still cannot wrap my head around what I saw from Araujo today. After scoring one of the nicest goals of the season earlier this week, there was nothing he could do today to get the ball in the net. Aside from missing a relatively easy header and having another post later in the match, his strangest miss came early on in the match. A simple cross in from Masoud was dangerously deflected by an Asteras defender and was heading right for the open net when Araujo inexplicably tried to kick the ball into the net. Understandable as he was just looking to guide it a little more but the result of his attempt was the ball hitting the crossbar and floating harmlessly away from goal. The worst part about the whole play is that had Araujo simply not even touched the ball, it would have gone in on its own without a doubt.

Its one of those plays thats simply too hard to even understand, but I suppose its forgivable considering what Araujo has done for us so far. To be honest I’d rather he miss today and get it out of his system, considering we got the win, if it means he’ll be having some better luck for our match against Dynamo Kiev in a few days time.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible match by any stretch. Tripolis are always a tricky opponent so any win is a win I’ll take, even more so considering Olympiakos’ draw against Atromitos earlier today. The good news from today’s game is that we’re now first, at least until tomorrow when that could change depending on PAOK’s result against Larissa. The bad news from today’s game though is that Kone had to leave the pitch shortly after coming on as a sub. He suffered a leg injury after recovering awkwardly from a challenge though its still not known the extent of the injury. Hopefully it won’t keep him out too long, as we’re already stretched thin as far as injuries are concerned.

Some positives from the match for me include:

  • Hult, our new singing from PAO, had a pretty solid start at left back today. The Swede, who was with PAO for two years and was arguably one of their better players recently, looked good overall defensively but was also able to contribute going forward on a few occasions. What I liked about his presence in the starting 11 today was that it allowed Bakakis to cover right back which gave Galo the opportunity to play as a right midfielder, a position that suited him as hes always been an offensively minded player.
  • Today’s match was our 22nd match undefeated in all competitions which I believe is a new record for the team. For more info on this run, check out this AgonaSport article here

As of now, this is how the top 5 of the standings looks:


Still far too close for comfort, and I expect PAOK to get the win tomorrow. But hey, at least its exciting for once!

Asteras Tripolis 2-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, Superleague with tags , , , , , , on October 2, 2017 by alexaek

We suffered our first loss over the weekend and though we might be lucky to still be in 1st, we chose an awful weekend to drop so many points. Why you might ask? With PAOK drawing and Olympiakos losing at home, we had a golden opportunity to increase our lead in 1st to 4 points. Instead, we find ourselves lucky to still be in 1st after Lamia beat Panionios earlier today.

It could be worse for sure, but its disappointing still. Its especially disappointing since it feels as though this loss could have been avoided. I missed this match too unfortunately but I followed it and was surprised to see some of the decisions Jimenez went with. What really surprised me at first was the fact that we started with Tsintotas in goal. Now I’m not saying that he was to blame for any of the goals (to be honest I haven’t even seen the highlights yet), but why start with him in possibly our most important game of the season so far? He hasn’t even played yet in the league this season afterall.

We also started with Giannoutsos and Vinicius in defense and it seems as though neither of them had a great game either. Giannoutsos specifically was making his Superleague debut in a high pressure game and Vinicius was apparently largely to blame for the opening goal. It just doesn’t make sense why Jimenez would risk so much in a game like this. I understand that the players were tired, we saw this clearly in our Europa league match earlier this week, but we have two weeks until our next game and plenty of time for the players to rest before then. It seems very odd that Jimenez would make these moves; maybe he thought it was a risk worth taking. Its safe to say that the result was not what he was hoping for so the best we could expect is that he might not take such big risks in the future.

It didn’t sound like the most exciting game and it seems as though when both Livaja and Lazaros are not in the starting lineup, then we really struggle to create genuine chances. Whats really alarming when looking at the stats is that we had 2 shots inside the box while Tripolis had 6. A porous defense and an attack that could hardly create anything worthwhile, definitely not what we like to see. To make things worse, this is the 3rd game in a row now where we concede just after half time, with Tripolis’ opening goal coming in the 47th minute. Its a weird trend if I may say so myself but after seeing it happen three games in a row, I’m starting to wonder if its more than just coincidence.

Overall a disappointing weekend, but like I said we’re still 1st with 13 points while PAOK are closely behind us on 12 points. Its worth noting that after their loss, Olympiakos 7th with 8 points, only 2 points ahead of PAO who got off to an awful start this season. Its definitely an interesting start to the season and while its a little too close for comfort from an AEK supporter perspective, it definitely has more potential to be one of the more exciting championships we’ve seen in a while.

AEK 2-0 Asteras Tripolis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by alexaek

Good start for Jimenez

As I mentioned in my last post, rumours were floating around saying that Manolo Jimenez was on his way to Athens for his second stint in charge of AEK. The next day, those rumours turned out to be true as Jimenez signed a contract which will keep him with the team until at least the end of the season.

Thankfully for both Jimenez himself as well as the team, the Spaniard’s first game in charge ended with a comfortable 2-0 win over a team that has given us a hard time these past couple seasons. Goals from both Pekhart and Mantalos (both now have five goals this season) were enough to seal the win though by all accounts it sounds like it was a solid team effort all around. Even players like Simoes and Johansson, players who have been having mediocre seasons compared to what we’ve come to expect of them, turned up and played a phenomenal game. In fact, Johansson ended up with the MVP award for the game, something which I pretty much felt he deserved every game last season compared to the current season.

I’m not sure if its just because of the change, or if Jimenez has already managed to bring some positive change to the team. I feel like theres definitely something about Jimenez that can really give the club a boost for the rest of the season: hes passionate, he knows the team, and he has some solid experience. On top of that, I feel like he would be a much more motivating figure in the dressing room than someone like Ketsbaia was.

Apologies in advance for the poor quality highlights, they were all I could find on YouTube from the game.

Comfortable win for basketball team as well

Our basketball team played earlier in the weekend against Apollonas Patras and came away from the game with a convincing 88-69 win. As has been the case for most of the season, the win means we still sit comfortably in third, one point behind PAO and two behind Olympiakos.

Tripolis 3-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby with tags , , , on January 9, 2017 by alexaek

At least we managed to score this time..

Sadly though, and as I feared, we didn’t even manage to come away with a point. To be fair to the team, the pitch had a noticeable layer of snow throughout and from what I read during the game, the players struggled at times to get the ball to move well.

Something worth noting from the match was that Ognen Vranjes, our recently signed Bosnian centreback, received a red card during the game (his first appearance for us). Its also worth noting that Pekhart scored both our goals, further cementing his role as our primary goal scorer now that Aravidis seems to be out of the team’s plans and Almeida is still struggling to find the form from his first match of the season. With Pekhart’s two goals over the weekend, he has now scored six of our last ten goals scored.

The result certainly doesn’t help Morais if he wants to remain a part of the team. I’m not saying I believe we need a new coach right away, since I think a lot of the blame falls on the players as well. However, it definitely feels like something isn’t right. I read articles about how the atmosphere within the team isn’t at its best and when I see people like Johansson struggle to seem at all comfortable on the pitch, I start to wonder myself whether we might need to change things up yet again.

Normally I don’t like seeing us change managers as soon as things start to go bad, but at this point I’m starting to feel like it can’t really hurt. We’re currently sixth in the league and show no sign of improving. I’m starting to wonder what the worst that could happen is at this point. Do we change managers and drop more points? Its not like we have much to lose. The teams above us all seem to be finding it easier to get points and the teams behind us are right on our tails with the possibility of overcoming us with just one win.


Better result for our basketball team

It might not have been a great weekend for our football team, but our basketball team managed to get the result they were looking for in Athens over the weekend, beating Aris 81-61. An extremely important win considering only two points currently separate us and Aris, and a great momentum builder going into one of our final Champions League group stage games tomorrow.


Cup game cancelled

Our cup game against Levadeiakos, scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed due to the weather. Snow and cold has been affecting much of Greece for the past few days, with even a number of islands being affected by considerable snowfall. At the moment I’m not quite sure when the game will be played, but I will try and post here when I find out.


Asteras Tripolis 0-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , on March 7, 2016 by alexaek

Didn’t get the chance to watch the game since I was at work, but I’ll try to summarize some of the main points from the game based on the highlights and what I read during and after the game.

The good:

  • We managed to at least get a point. Asteras are never an easy opponent, as they proved in the first round, so I guess a point isn’t all that bad. We’re still five points ahead of Panathinaikos and have an easier schedule ahead of us.
  • Cordero managed to get some solid game time without picking up an injury, and Buonanotte also got the chance to play a bit.

The bad:

  • We really could not finish, and that is worrying. Its one thing if we struggle to create chances, but we definitely made some chances today but still never really looked like scoring. As my father pointed out, we have a number of set plays but still Poyet didn’t even give Pekhart a chance as a sub. Personally I feel like today would have been a great game for Pekhart, at least after half time.
  • Djebbour is bad… really bad. I wouldn’t be upset if I never saw him play again to be honest. Mistake after mistake, and an absolutely pointless red card to top off what was a terrible performance. Linking to my previous point, I really have to wonder why Poyet went with Djebbour over Pekhart.
  • Asteras had way too many chances. We were lucky to not concede, very lucky. Based on what I saw from the highlights, I would even say that Asteras looked more dangerous inside the box than we did, and our sloppy defending did little help. Terrible clearances, poor tackles or a lack of any sort of tackle when it was needed, we ended up giving Asteras way more room and time than we should have.
  • We should have had a penalty after Iglesias pulled Lambropoulos down in the box. How neither the ref not the linesmen saw it I really can’t understand.

So not a great game overall. At least both teams managed to create a few chances, but we really could have and should have come away from this game more. Its games like these though that show how desperately we need players with experience, calm nerves, and motivation. Sure we got some big derby wins and theres no denying that our players have the right attitude at times, but we need a team that will walk away from games like today’s with three points and without even struggling to do it. I know everyone always says it, but its games like these that always count in the end. The derby wins are nice, but we absolutely need to get all three points from the smaller games where a team like AEK should always be the favourite.

Not much else to say about the game since I didn’t actually get the chance to watch it, but I will mention the fact that Zuculini was in the stands to support the team, having travelled from Athens to Tripoli with crutches just so he could be there with them. I don’t know whats in store for him, and whether we’ll actually ever see him play for us again, but the fact that hes been attending practices and following games despite still recovering from his injury is quite something. There’s no doubting that he wants to be part of the team and I can only hope that he recovers fully so we can see him action again. I’m sure he still has a lot more to offer.

One final thing to note was that Johansson picked up an injury. Definitely not something I want to hear with playoffs coming up rather quickly, but judging from what I’ve heard, it doesn’t sound too serious. He’ll need some time off, but I’m hoping he’ll be back within a game or two.

Highlights on the NovaSport sight as usual:

AEK 0-1 Asteras Tripolis

Posted in AEK, Basketball, Euro Cup, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2015 by alexaek

Well that was disappointing… For a number of reason. First of all, we should have won that game. We were all over Asteras for much of the game, especially much of the first half. We were creating chances, we weren’t afraid to move the ball forward, we contained Asteras pretty well. But, as we all very well know by this point, we cannot finish plays. Sure, every now and then we have a good game, but we can’t let games against weak teams like Iraklis, PAS, and Platanias fool us. When you look at our results against teams like Xanthi, PAOK, Olympiakos, PAO, and Atromitos, it is clear that when times are tough for our players, we simply cannot score, even when we’re creating the chances. Our game over the weekend was just more proof of this. If you look at the highlights, our only scoring chances are from set plays or balls to Aravidis. Sure we create a lot, but we’re never going to score every set play, and we certainly cannot rely on only Aravidis to score goals…

The simple fact of the matter is that the players can talk all they want about changing the system at the club. Poyet can talk all he wants about changing the system. Anyone can make whatever changes they want to our system, but no change will fix the fact that we don’t have the players we need to score goals. Whoever had the bright idea this summer that we did not need to invest on some solid strikers and could instead rely on Aravidis and Djebbour has certainly been proven wrong, and it is costing us dearly. Already we have lost points in games where we could have won had we had some decent goal scorers. Our 0-0 with Xanthi, our 0-0 with PAO, our 2-1 loss to PAOK, these are all games where we could have potentially come away with an extra seven points compared to where we are now had we been able to score a goal or two…

Why else was this game disappointing? For those of you who haven’t yet seen what Vargas did, check it out in the highlights that I’ll post below. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen one of our players do something so immature on the pitch… In fact, the last thing that I can think of was when Katidis did his nazi salute which he still says he didn’t understand… I get that he was angry, I get that theres a lot of adrenaline going, but could he really not control himself a little better than that? Maybe not, but I hope he learned from this because I think its safe to say that there was a good chance the game would not have ended in the way it did had he not been sent off the way he had been.

To be honest, I was afraid of Asteras before the match. They were coming off an impressive win against APOEL in the Europa League, and they are always a dangerous team. But we should still be able to take them comfortably, and we could have had we had a couple different players on the pitch and had a couple things gone our way which ultimately did not. Nobody was expecting us to win every derby in our first season back, but shouldn’t we at least be able to expect us to get points against teams like Asteras at home? And aside from the fact that we lost to Asteras at home, we are also now behind them AND Panionios in the standings. A third of the way into the championship so far and we’re already long since said goodbye to first and are quickly watching second place slip from our reach too. This is why we desperately need some more players come January, players who can make sure we get the job done against the smaller teams and end up in a decent position for the playoffs…

By the way, did anyone see Scocco’s goal from a couple days ago? Ah what I would give to have someone like him on the team again…

Match highlights:

Things may not be going too well for our football team, but they’re certainly going alright for our basketball team. After five wins out of five games in the league so far, we’re currently first with 10 points. Of course, we still have to face PAO, Olympiakos, and Aris, but its still a very promising start to the season regardless. We have a very strong team this year and with a few more additions we definitely have a chance of challenging Olympiakos and PAO come game day. In addition to our success in the league, we’re also in decent shape in the Euro League, having lost two and won two. Our first win was agonizingly close, and our second game was against Galatasaray, a Euro League caliber team who was always expected to win every match pretty easily. We’ve been very strong so far and have another game tomorrow against Neptunas of Lithuania. A win tomorrow would put us in a very good position for ensuring we make it to the next round, and I genuinely believe we have a good chance of making it happen.