Archive for Jahic

AEK 2-0 Panserraikos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2010 by alexaek

For teams like AEK, games against opponents such as Panserraikos, Kerkyra, Thrasivoulos, etc, should be MUST WINS. Three points are crucial and while we will unfortunately drop them at times in the derbies, there is no excuse to not take advantage of weaker opposition. Fortunately for us this weekend, we did manage to get all three points, and while it is still early, these three points could prove to be vital.

The starting lineup was somewhat different compared to what I was anticipating. Arabatzis started in net, Jahic covered right back, Manolas and Dellas were centre, Lagos on the left. Midfield was Kafes, Makos, and Scocco while Djebbour, Libe, and Burns (!) took care of things up front (yes, seven Greeks in the starting eleven). The lineup seemed questionable at first, and while it took a good five minutes for us to gain control of the game (I was at first worried that Panserraikos might have proven to be a tougher opponent than anticipated), things started to settle together well as time progressed. Our attack was alive! Djebbour, Libe, and Burns were all eager and there were some good plays linking up between the three. Libe was often seen feeding some deadly through passes for both Burns and Djebbour to latch onto in front of the net. It still took a while before we managed to go one up but we eventually did after Djebbour controlled a beautiful chip pass from Libe and notched it down low before the keeper could get to it (that makes it two goals in two games for him).

Eventually, fairly late in the second, Kafes scored to make it 2-0 for AEK. However, it took chance, after chance, after chance, to get the ball in the net for us. We did look very good up front, but we wont always be playing against teams like Panserraikos. We have to make sure we can finish our chances when we make them.

The biggest (and most pleasing) surprise of the first half was Burns. He has constantly showed (ever since the tournament in Sydney) that he deserves to play a bigger role in this team and today he showed why. Great runs, superb control, he was always there on the wing when we needed him but he was just as dangerous in the box. If he gets some good playing time he can become a key player for AEK.

Scocco, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. Sure, he did come close on a couple of free kicks, and he did manage to hit the post off a corner, but the eagerness we saw in Djebbour and Libe was n0ne-existent in his passionless play. Unfortunately it looks like we’ll be seeing more of what we saw from him last season.

Lagos gave a solid performance. He was very smooth bringing the ball up to attack and his speed and ball control was far from disappointing.

The stadium was almost full (it seemed there were some unoccupied seats in the vip section) and the atmosphere from my computer screen seemed nice and intimidating, just how we like it. I personally would be all for us playing some more games here (aside from the derbies). If there were a fourth stand added Rizoupoli could prove to be a very suitable temporary solution for us (Im not suggesting AEK adds another stand but simply stating scenarios from an ideal world).

Some tension was expected between the fans regarding Bajevic. The situation was not made any better when Dusan was sent off by the referee. To be honest, I still have no idea why the referee ordered him to leave but hopefully Ill find out soon enough.

Not what we were hoping for.

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Transfer Rumor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by alexaek

So Friday evening comes and PAO draws 1-1 with Xanthi at home. Saturday evening comes and Iraklis beat Olympiakos 2-1. Looks like Sunday may turn out to be a pretty good day I was thinking…

and then AEK loses 2-1 to Kerkyra.

The game was played in Patra since Kerkyra’s stadium was not yet up to Superleague standards. A large number of AEK fans from around Greece filled a few gates anticipating a good result and a positive start to the season. Dellas and Lybe were back in the starting 11 and to be honest, most AEK fans I heard from were expecting a fairly easy win.

We started the match in a strong position, controlling possession, moving the ball up, laying off some nice runs, and at times coming agonizingly close to scoring. Then, completely out of the blue, Diop slipped on the grass leaving his man wide open and with enough time to launch a deadly curving shot right past Saja’s fingertips. 1-0 Kerkyra. One shot, one goal…

We picked ourselves up again but it was clear the team had taken a blow. We struggled to establish much of a rhythm, Leonardo was not at his best, Djebbour disappeared at times from the game, and chances were becoming more and more scarce. Half time came a t a good time.

Alright, second half starts. The score is only 1-0, definitely enough time to score and equalizer and score the winner. Afterall, you would think that would be fairly easy with an offense of Djebbour, Libe, Scocco, Leonardo, and both Blanco and Burns on the bench. Sure, these guys may not have the scoring abilities of Rooney or Drogba, but they are all above average for the standard in Greece. Surely, they can score a couple of goals against a team like Kerkyra?? Where am I going wrong here?

Well, turns out they all forgot how to finish a chance off ever since that game with Sydney FC over the summer. We pressured throughout the second, and despite playing some unattractive football at times, created chance after chance but failed to score each and every time. Djebbour and Leonardo both had a number of good opportunities in front of the net, Blanco was caught waiting for a pass in a good position (and with half the net open) but the ball never was passed to him, and it wasn’t until a bullet of a shot from Djebbour off a freekick did we manage to score. The score was already 2-0 for Kerkyra at this time and it seemed quite obvious we wouldn’t leave with much to be happy about.

Our starting lineup consisted of Saja (considering how few shots he had on him and the number of goals scored, not his best game), Jahic (pretty poor game, tried to get more involved but just doesn’t have the technique required), Manolas and Dellas (both did what they had to do when they were needed, for the most part), Karabelas (considering it was his first game in a while, played alright, but as usual nothing special), Scocco (started off strong but became uninterested as the match progressed, and lacked concentration in front of the net), Diop (very poor game, and I’m starting to loose faith in this guy), Kafes (average game at best, made some mistakes along with Diop), Leonardo (not nearly as good as he was in Scotland), Libe (seemed to be putting his heart into the game, was involved in many plays up front, had some chances to score and took a few shots), and Djebbour (scored, came close to scoring on other occasions, maybe a bit too selfish at times).

Burns, Blanco, and Eder were our subs (Diop, Leonardo, and Scocco came off for them). Burns had a good game against his team from last season, and delivered some great crosses, even when under pressure. Blanco did what he could, but if given some better passes could have been more threatening (by the way, this was his first season without scoring in the first game). Eder, as every other time I saw him during the pre season, I was impressed by. Great technique, not too selfish, and I really believe he has the potential to become a key player for AEK.

Having said all that, its not nearly the end of the season for us. If we can tighten up in front of the net we will already be on much firmer ground. Fortunately, PAO and Oly dropped points so we’re all in the same boat. Its only the first game and things can very easily change (for better of for worse). The addition of Nasuti will help with our defense without a doubt and, if it makes anyone else feel better (I know it does for me), the new jerseys look very nice. Unfortunately, the new Kino sponsor ruins it quite a bit but hey, we need the cash.

AEK 2-1 Olympiakos and Im LOVING IT!!!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by alexaek

Now, in my opinion we didn’t play the best football we could have but, WHO CARES!!!! It was the last game of the season, what mattered most was the result. And, to top things off, Aris also won which mean Oly finishes fifth in the league! IM LOVING IT!!!!

Alright, as I mentioned in the post before Oly had a very depleted squad. Squad depth was being mentioned as one of their greatest problems and it showed today. They were a weak side and though they did manage to create some dangerous chances up front their defense was nowhere to be found! Some tighter finishing by Blanco/Nemeth/Scocco could have seen us leave the game with a 4-1 victory though Saja kept us in the game in the dying minutes.

We had a perfect start to the game with none other than KOSTAS MANOLAS scoring the first goal six minutes in. However, the celebrating didn’t last too long as Olympiakos tied things up not long after. Never the less, we still managed to keep control of the match despite not creating as many chances as we would have liked. Olympiakos gave us the odd scare throughout the first half but the lack of overall quality on their team was evident and it was obvious that the game was ours for the taking if we came out stronger in the second half (don’t forget, we scored three goals in nine minutes against Aris, all in the second half).

Half time came with the score still tied at 1-1 but not long after the start of the second half AEK were creating chances and pressuring. We saw a bit of everything, two against one, one on ones with the keeper, balls going just wide of the posts on a number of occasions… the ball just never went in. Fortunately, Blanco got the job done with his left foot in the 54th minute and put a nice solid shot right in the Oly net. The guy has been far from great this season but he seemed to remember how to score for that one chance and it was enough to give AEK the win. Despite Olympiakos pressuring we held off the pressure well (thanks largely because of Saja) and after a few tense last minutes Kakos (who reffed a very poor game) blew the final whistle.

Well generally I must say it was obvious we need a stronger midfield. It was not there today at all; we would have a strong line of players in defense and some players up front waiting to attack but nobody was left in the midfield to act as a pivot between the opposite ends. Our wing play was good however (Lagos did very good on the left and Blanco/Georgeas were doing good on the right) and Gentzoglou managed to deliver some dangerous long balls so we still managed to get the ball up enough. However, we were constantly attacked through the middle and it was where Oly created most of their chances (their wing play on the other hand was terrible).

Alexopoulos (who?!?!) got to play some minutes today after being out nearly a year with injury. To be honest, I didn’t see enough of him in particular but he must have been doing his job good enough. Either way, its good to see him back on the team, I always like him and he obviously plays with passion on the pitch.

Manolas left the match early after requesting to be subbed (I will try and find pictures of his black eye which was very large) which meant Jahic had to come back to centre back to fill Manolas’ spot. I must say I was very pleased with Jahic today. Nothing superb but he did the job effectively in defense and seemed alot more reliable than normal.

Unfortunately this didn’t seem to be Nemeth’s best game. He did not have a chance to get as involved in the match, mind you I would never really expect a front three of Scocco-Blanco-Nemeth to work too effectively. Scocco had a good match though from what I saw it took him a while to get involved. Manduca also started quite strong but faded away as the match progressed and eventually started playing a very defensive role.

Alright, enough about that. We can critique all we want but its the last match of the season and things aren’t gonna change now for a while. I have to say I was extremely relieved that no serious incidents broke out with the Originals and the atmosphere in the stadium for the most part was a very good/optimistic/celebratory one. This match was one of the most important ones of the season and it was essential that all energy in the stands was put towards supporting our players and psyching out Olympiakos rather than threatening the coach (Bajevic deserves credit today since I feel he handled everything on the pitch quite well with regards to substitutions and the like).

So, Olympiakos, the team that started with +4 points, finishes last in the playoffs and fifth in the league. In case you didn’t read what I wrote before, IM LOVING IT!!! They start their preseason very early now as their first Europa League qualifying matches begin middle of July. We however, don’t begin ’till late August which gives us plenty of time to prepare and make some transfers.

Some pics below from AEK365. Enjoy.

Close your eyes, may be innapropriate for some viewers! 😛

ALEXOPOULOS!!

Zorro has returned (I believe I've said that a couple of times this season).

Why so sad?

Manolas had to go to the hospital.

THIS IS AEK!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2010 by alexaek

So, we drew to PAOK and Lost to Oly. Things were looking very bad and people were wondering “what’s wrong with the players???”. Well, I don’t know what was wrong with them but yesterday’s 4-2 win against Aris saw a completely different team on the pitch. Sure, a little late to start playing some football but better late than never and to be honest we still have a chance of getting something worthwhile out of these playoffs if we keep this up.

First of all, I want to say that in three years and over 60+ games that I’ve never missed at OAKA these past seasons I cannot remember even one game where I’ve experienced these many emotions in the span of 90 minutes. There were four red cards throughout the game, a number of yellows, questionable referring, AEK taking the lead, losing it, evening things up, and taking the lead once again. I’m telling you, it was fantastic.

Now enough of that, lets talk about the players. I cannot think of one game this season where we saw our guys go out there with so much passion, not even the win against Oly (though it is a different experience watching on TV and live). I don’t know what happened but these players have woken up, finally realized what shirt they’re wearing, finally realized what exactly is at stake here. We played with passion, we had direction to our play (something that we had sorely been missing the past few matches), we saw a dangerous offense and some phenomenal goal tending, we saw our players do everything they had to to win. Now, I must say Aris were nothing special. In fact, they were terrible, though they still managed to create some very dangerous counter attacks on a number of occasion. However, if AEK had played this way from the start of the playoffs without a doubt we would be in a much different situation right now.

So, the match itself. One could tell from the start it was going to be a rather exciting game. Aris created the first dangerous chance very early on however there was alot of back and forth play between the two teams from the get-go though AEK managed to take control of most of the passion with Aris looking quite weak on the ball. After a number of decent chances for AEK we finally went up with a superb shot from none other than Rafik Djebbour after Scocco’s pass deflected off an Aris defender. The crowd erupted after the goal (though it was a terribly small crowd at OAKA that night the atmosphere was fantastic for the most part) however cheering soon turned to booing after less than ten minutes later Jahic was kicked out for his second yellow. I’ll let you make your own decision from the video below. He is pushed, as he said he was, but it also looks like he intended on having his hand there so its a tricky decision.

Three minutes later the players were even again as Calvo received a red card as well. Again, some say the red was not required, so I personally don’t know. Either way, a yellow was needed since he kicked the ball for no reason. I just can’t remember if that was his second card.

So half time came and went and at the start of the second we were up 1-0. Things changed shortly later however as Saja received a red card for taking down Campora when in reality in was not necessary. Campora scored the penalty and the score was even once again. Regardless, our players never gave up their attack but failing to quickly restore the lead punished them as Aris’ American forward scored another for them to put them up 2-1. Well, by this point tension was building up again in the crowd but once again the fans were up and cheering  when Leonardo scored only three minutes later. Two more goals followed, a penalty by Scocco and a header by Leonardo, giving AEK three goals in nine minutes and a 4-2 lead.

So, a few players in particular deserve credit (actually, pretty much almost the whole team). Firstly, Gentzoglou! Wow, the kid is still young but, as is the case with Manolas (who didn’t play today because of an injury of some sort), he plays like someone with ten years experience at this level. He has a great vision, and holds up the ball expertly.

Saja and Arabatzis. Both of these guys had great games yesterday. Saja, until he got kicked out, was solid, but Arabatzis was just incredible! Made a number of critical and phenomenal saves to keep AEK in the game.

Leonardo. Now, I know this guy hasn’t been a star this season, but yesterday was a fantastic performance from him. Aside from his two goals he was fighting with passion and was dangerous when on the ball.

Scocco, who scored and had two assists yesterday, and Djebbour, both played very good games. I was surprised to see the level of passion coming from Scocco, but it seems even he wanted nothing less than a win. Djebbour scored a goal and played a killer pass for Kafes to set up Leonardo. The guy’s technical skills are among the best in the league and it would be a terrible loss if we got rid of him this summer. I hope management acknowledge this fact.

Aside from these select players, I want to give credit to the whole team for playing hard despite the heat and being down two players for quite a while. I also want to give Dusan credit since he clearly knew what he was doing when he put Leonardo in and I can’t complain about any of his choices yesterday considering the absence of Manolas and the number of cards the players received.

Okay, so we got a fantastic win and one much needed for the players and the fans. Will we keep up this level of play? I hope so, because of we do we can definately get second place in the playoffs and quite possibly first if we have a little luck and PAOK loses where they should.

As of right now the standings are PAOK with 10 points, Oly with 7, AEK with 5, and Aris with 3.

AEKARA!!!!

Half Time Olympiakos 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by alexaek

Well, the ref is not helping us (though he did give us a penalty which we scored). However, aside from that, our defense is terrible! We are letting every ball through, marking is non-existent. Both Oly goals could have easily been avoided had our defenders been marking their players.

Anyways, Olympiakos is playing pretty poor football, but our defense is helping them out. If we were to come out stronger and tighter in the second half we could easily grab a point if not all three, there is nothing stopping us.

Starting 11 were Saja, Araujo, Manolas, Majstorovic, Lagos, Kafes, Hersi, Jahic, Makos, Djebbour, and Scocco. I hope we see either Manduca or Nemeth on soon, if not both.

AEK Has Supposedly Fixed Upcoming Match

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2010 by alexaek

Reports coming out of Greece suggest that the upcoming match with Levadeiakos has been fixed. Levadeiakos are in a fight for survival and currently only sit one point above the relegation zone and some are saying that AEK will let them win this match so they stay up. Many betting companies (both in Greece and abroad) have started giving some pretty crazy odds such as around 1.95 (or lower) for Levadeiakos and 3.00 (some places are giving odds as high as 4.00) for an AEK win. As a result, betting on this match has been dis-allowed by OPAP and many other sites.

Why would we give away this match?? I have no idea. If PAOK and Olympiakos win on Sunday they will again go higher up in the playoff standings I believe. Why would we want this? No clue. Also, Aris are still quite close behind us and a loss would mean things would get tighter between the two teams and would see us lose any extra points in the playoffs.

I don’t know what to see, I really don’t. Of course, none of this has been anything close to confirmed and is rather just speculation from various sites, but who knows… this is Greece after-all. I do hope it isn’t true though. I’m going to be heading up to Livadia for this one and really do not want to see us lose and I really do not want to see our name involved with any match fixing scandals, ever.

By the way, it looks like we will have a few players out in the end. Scocco, Jahic, Karabelas, and one other (I can’t remember who) will be out with cards. Blanco had an injury during the week but will be fit for the match. Bajevic was apparently experimenting with him at right midfield. WHY!?!? He’s finally starting to score a couple of goals (and is our top scorer in Livadia).

Updates

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Transfer Rumor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2010 by alexaek

First of all, Happy Easter to everyone celebrating today.

Well, because of the the Easter Holidays there were no matches this weekend and therefore not so much to comment on. However, there has been some news lately.

Hull lost over the weekend, 2-0 to Stoke, meaning they still remain in the relegation zone. Now, whether the Geovani rumors are at all true I myself am not too sure (Hull president says he has not been talking with anyone at AEK), but if the rumors are in fact true than this loss is good news (though don’t offense, I have nothing against Hull).

Adamidis was in England discussing the possibility of keeping Nemeth one more season. I’m not quite sure what came out of the talks but Nemeth still says he has no problem with staying at AEK one more season. He gave an interview a few days ago where he mentioned that what he’d miss most if he leaves AEK is the supporters. Great to hear considering the supporters of AEK make up so much of the club.

Two more games left in the regular season before playoffs. As of right now only Scocco and Jahic will be unavailable for our next match with Levadeiakos, both due to cars. Other than that we have no injuries to deal with which is good news.

I still doubt Nemeth will start any time soon. Rather, I see Manduca starting the next match in Scocco’s place so Nemeth can be rested for the playoffs. To see Nemeth injured again would be a huge blow for us since I really doubt any team that we will face in the playoffs will be able to contain our offense at the moment.

As of right now, the playoffs look quite good for us. Nemeth has promised that we will make 2nd spot and I can honestly see that happening. Both Olympiakos and PAOK are falling apart at present, with Olympiakos having plenty of problems off the pitch (including financial problems and trouble with the players…. tough luck is all I can say, about time) and PAOK having a significant drop in form lately.

Aris are still a dangerous team, as they’ve been all season, with some spectacular players up front. While we could drop a few points to them I see us making up those points against the other two teams. I know it sounds crazy but right now we can certainly beat Olympiakos at home and away, that’s how bad they are right now.

Generally, things are much better for us at the moment. Everything is calm, all players have now been fully payed, and the psychology seems quite high overall. Contract renewals are being discussed and the Greeks have been dealt with first. After Easter a few more players (such as Manduca) will have their contracts discussed as well.

We’ve apparently seen some offers for Scocco from Spain around 3 million Euros. Not enough in my opinion, but my opinion doesn’t really much does it? Oh well, I guess as long as he doesn’t go to a Greek team. The 3 mil will still be enough to cover Geovanni.