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.