Archive for Juanfran

Some updates

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek National Team with tags , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by alexaek

Firstly, before anything else I’d like to post a video my cousin back in Canada made. It’s a video which contains some pictures as well as a few videos, the kind of scenes which make us proud when we look back on them as well as give us hope for the future.

So, the official debts have been released and the numbers were alot less scary than some of the rumours we heard a few weeks back. It’s around 32.5 million Euros which actually is what the current shareholders have been saying all along. Add to that the fact that we shall soon be receiving large amounts of money from Television deals and other sources, it’s really a bearable number.

Kozonis has also returned! He said he will step up and provide the 15 million Euros the shareholders asked for providing the debt was what it was said to be. Well, that has been proven to be the case so it looks like he may be helping us out now. He’s also interested in the Basketball team which would be great news!

Scocco, Tachtsidis, and Alves are all injured and will be out for this weeken’s match against PAS Giannena (the team that just knocked Atromitos out of the Cup). Not good news, especially Scocco, but we can still manage, though Giannena are a tough team despite their low standings.

A number of players have been told to either look for new clubs or they may likely be loaned out. Some of these players are Pavlis, Iordache, and Juanfran. I personally wish we’d just get rid of Juanfran. I can’t believe we still pay him that ridiculous contract and he does nothing for the club. Unfortunately, when he was asked to terminate his contract he (obviously) said no.

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BATE 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by alexaek

Well, our night went from good to about as bad as it could get. As you can see from the post below we were up 1-0 at half time.

The second half started and early on Majstorovic gets his second yellow and is sent off and Bate tie the game. So, one of our key players is sent off, the pitch condition is deteriorating (and it was disgusting to begin with) and we were loosing the control over the game we had before.

We managed to continue fighting (at this point one point really wouldn’t have been bad at all) however we also continued to concede corners. Bate started pressuring and we couldn’t get good control over the game. Blanco was taken off and replaced with Makos. Makos had to cover right back as Jahic had to move to the center to cover the void left by Majstorovic.

Nemeth was left up front and had chance after chance, however the ref seemed determined to call him offside any time he had the ball (fine some of the calls were fair, but there were a few where there was no offsides at all) and refused to call any of the many fouls committed against him.

Eventually, Juanfran had to come off due to injury and was replaced by Karabelas.

As for the game in general, we saw some good things but lost control of the game as it went on, especially with Majstorovic being expelled. The team was clearly being frustrated by the ref, as well as Bajevic, who was eventually sent off.

We saw some good things from our players, especially Nsaliwa, but this is still not the AEK we all want. Bate were an average team at best. At one point in our beautiful history AEK was a team that was able to come back from 2-0 down, in Madrid and end up tying the game 2-2 (becoming the first team to ever do so), now we are struggling to beat poor quality sides from Belarus. Some things must change, especially our luck. Week in, week out, every year, luck does all it can to go against us. I dont exactly believe very much in luck and superstitions, but anyone who has been following AEK at all these past years would notice it must somehow play a part. To illustrate this point, consider the following:

-Had Everton won today, AEK would have still had decent chances of advancing. Instead, Benfica beat Everton 5-0, leaving us further behind.

-Our two centre backs today both got red cards, meaning they are suspended for one match. Our other centre backs are injured (Geraldo) or have just recovered from injury (Alexopoulos) and will not be ready to play anytime soon.

-Araujo is still suspended for a match, Georgeas is injured, and Koutromanos is severely injured and is out for the entire season. So, all three of our main right backs are unavailable for the next match.

-Juanfran received an injury today and might not be able to play next match.

Sp, essentially, we have no defence to field and will instead have to rely on other players from other positions. Of course, add to this the fact that nothing but wins will leave us with any chance of advancing and our future in Europa League this year looks grim. Not good news considering we already have no chance of winning the championship, or at least finishing high.

Not much else I can say right now, I just can’t believe what has happened to our club. I guess all we can do is continue supporting AEK and hope management (this new owner couldn’t come at a better time if he does) and the players do what they can.

Half Time BATE 0-1 AEK !!!!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by alexaek

45 minutes in and we’re leading this one 1-0! Blanco scored a penalty (certainly the correct call) to put us up and we now are in a great position and the win is definately possible.

Conditions are terrible in Minsk. It is extremely cold (near zero degrees celcius) and the pitch is extremely wet. Our players are sliding all over the place, which doesnt help players like Scocco.

We’re playing a very good game, compared to what we saw over the weekend. Our players are fighting hard, winning every ball, and are clearly in this for the win and nothing less. We’re working well together as a whole with pretty much everyone playing a role.

Our starting lineup was Saja, Jahic, Arce, Majstorovic, Juanfran, Kafes, Nsaliwa, Scocco, Nemeth, Blanco, and Manduca. Everyone is playing quite well, including Juanfran, but I really must point out Nsaliwa in particular. He hasn’t played in a while but he is playing extremely well at the moment. His tackles are incredible, ball control, through balls, he’s playing great generally. Nemeth is also playing well and had some great chances.

We are dominating possession and had many good chances. We have been caught on the counter attacks a couple of times and have given up some dangerous free kicks at times, but we’re holding on.

Now, time for the second half!

Xanthi 1-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by alexaek

First off, the highlights:

AEKMAN74 posted a review earlier on this match which covered most of the main points so be sure to check that out as well. I’d just like to add a few things.

We lined up with Saja as keeper, Araujo, Arce, Majstorovic, and Georgeas (who played left back) playing defence, Hersi, Geurreiro, Jahic, and Manduca playing Midfield, with Scocco and Blanco playing attack. Our formation varied at times. I believe that when we were attacking our defence became only three with Araujo moving up and Majstorovic covering right back. I saw this on a number of occasions and am not sure if it was intended, but it happened more than I remember seeing from other games. It is clear though, that after last week’s victory over Benfica we went into this one fighting for nothing but a win. Unfortunately, we got caught many times on the counterattack. Xanthi released forwards quickly and caught us many times with more attackers than we had defenders. This was worrying but luckily thanks to some luck and some decent goalkeeping from Saja we never conceded on one of these counterattacks.

Hersi played up front much of the game and clearly wanted the goal, and a goal is what he got in the 15th minute, as you can all see from the video above. However, the goal, apparently because the ref saw a handball, was dissallowed. As you can see when you watch the video however, there was no handball at all and the goal should have been allowed. So, that is a third game in the “Super”league where we have been negatively affected by terrible referee decisions (let me remind you that a foul was not called which eventually allowed PAO to score and a penalty was not given to AEK from clear handball at the Olympiakos game, along with numerous other poor calls). Our team’s psychology would have been completely different had the goal counted, but it didn’t, and we ended up conceding a goal which could be considered a handball from Poy. However, our defending was poor on the corner and Poy should not have had the time or the space to score such a goal.

Throughout the match we dominated in possession, and created a number of decent chances, but once again could not get the ball in the net. When our lineup is compared to the lineup we fielded against Benfica, we notice it was quite similar. However, what allowed our team to be the stronger team against Benfica was the passion with which we fought that game. Against Xanthi yesterday I saw little passion from our players. Scocco, when he had the ball, seemed as if it made no difference to him whether AEK scored a goal or not.  Unfortunately, with refs making such poor calls against us every time we play a game in this league, the only way to assure the win is to fight that extra bit more, rather to wait and hope for the result. After the Xanthi goal was scored there were still seventy minutes left in the game plus extra time. Against a Xanthi side which is playing some of their worst football in recent years that is plenty of time to score at least a couple of goals. But without the passions or the energy that will not happen. We have seen often in past years that Xanthi is never an easy team to play against, especially up in Xanthi. Our results up there are generally poor, with most of them being draws.

Bearing that last fact in mind, I believe its safe to say that all is not lost yet. Clearly, seeing as we are eleven points behind first place, the championship will not be won this year. However, we can still turn things around and start winning some games, at least keep the pressure up on the tables and regain a higher position. As we saw at the match with Benfica, AEK have a good squad this season, one that is certainly capable of making things happen.

As for our players yesterday, everyone played a decent level. Guerreiro, as AEKMAN74 said, is a creative player who will help us much more in the future. Blanco missed a few great chances, chances which he would have put away with ease had he been on form. Scocco seems to play well when we wants, and yesterday he clearly did not want to. He provided very little to the team in general. The other attackers and midfielders played a decent game, not uch more can be said about them.

As for defence, Arce has shown that he can be an alright defender, but I remember one counter attack in particular where clearly his speed was lacking and there was little he could do but drop and cover in the middle. Araujo played a good game, and likes to throw his weight around, something which I like to see from a defender. However, the refs seemed not to and called fouls every time he touched an opponent. In a league such as the EPL such a play would hot even be considered by the officials.

Due to Juanfran being injured I believe, Georgeas took his place. Hedefended well, and fought hard, as we have seen before, but he had to make his runs cutting across through the middle, rather than up the left wing. Perhaps he doesn’t feel as confident with his left foot, but either way, we created few chances from the left, far fewer than from the right or through the middle.

Overall our play was quite static. We didn’t see the quick and fluid passing we saw at the Benfica match. This makes for a much less effective style of football, as well as one which is far less enjoyable to us, the spectators. Hopefully we will see a much more fluid game against Panthrakikos, a team which is in terrible form at the moment.

AEK 1-0 Benfica!!! Yep, thats right.

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by alexaek

A huge win for us, absolutely incredible! So many good things to say, its going to take a while. I believe AEKBaltimore recorded the game since it was on in the US as well, so hopefully he will have some more comments as well.

First off, let me just repeat that once more. AEK 1-0 Benfica. Who would have thought we would have won this game. Apparently, not the Benfica coach, who said he was quite surprised by the result. However, after watching the tapes from the Olympiakos and PAO matches, he did say in his pre-match conference that AEK were a good team. I believe we proved him right.

Alright, it must be said that Benfica were a pretty good team, especially in terms of attacking. Lets not forget that they have the highest scoring offense in Europe right now. However, Saja saved us today and kept us in the game on numerous occasions. His saves were incredible, whether from one on one shots or fast free kicks. His reflexes were absolutely perfect and he made saves with his finger tips or his feet. He was perfect today. Not much more can be said. He timed the runs well, and his positioning was great.

Our defence we solid. Majstorovic and Arce were a great combo at the back and managed to deal with the free kicks and corners well, something we havent seen in a while. Overall, our defence was just solid. We couldn’t stop Benfica all the time (but hey, thats why we have Saja), and that was expected from such strong players such as Saviola. But for the most part they formed a wall nobody could pass. Georgeas also played a fantastic game and played with passion that I hadn’t seen from an AEK player in a long time. His defending was solid, though he left the left wing open at times. Noenetheless, we worked none stop all game and created some great runs which unfortunately never lead to any goals. Juanfran had an alright game. Not great, but he defended as well as he could, kept his stupidity to a minimum, and actually seemed to be trying his hardest out there. And lets face it, unless your trying your hardest when defending this Benfica team, you will be in trouble.

Jahic was absolutely incredible. His defending was great. He managed to make many critical tackles and stop them advancing before they could create too much danger. His ball control was also great and he kept calm and composed with the ball at his feet. Hersi was also great, and him along with Georgeas were a force to reckon with down the right flank. He made great runs and showed some great technical ability. Hopefully we will see more great things to come from him. The only thing which dissapointed me about Hersi was the fact that he never seemed to want to shoot. He was always looking for the pass when he could have had a clear shot on goal.

Manduca was in from today. I was really impresses with his speed at times, and it was his corner which led to out goal. He wasnt fantastic but he was certainly good enough.

Scocco had a decent game, but could have done more. He had many great break aways but could not score even one of them, break aways he would have normally scored without hesitation. Hopefully with time he will start gaining some more of the form we saw against Vaslui.

Blanco, once again, had some great opportunities to score (and I mean really great) but couldn’t get them in the net. The good news is he looks to be getting closer, and he was definately in the game. Bajevic’s specific instructions were for him to stay in the box rather than running around and getting tired. He seemed to do that today and hopefully he will continue to do that. The goals will start coming for him, it will just take time. He has had to get used to three different teams now in just as many years.

Our passing overall was superb today. It was smooth, with little hesitation, effective, upfield (rather than the back passes we had gotten used to), and overall just a joy to watch. With this kind of passing we should have no problem with any team in the Superleague and we should be able to get by almost any opponent in the Europa League.

As Im still so excited Im finding it hard to concentrate. Hopefully AEKBaltimore or AEKMAN74 will fill in everything that I missed. I will try to post a video of highlights once I find one.

And a couple more things to note about the game which I forgot. Majstorovic scored our goal from a corner, a beautiful header rising over the Benfica centre backs. Also, Georgeas recieved a red, which means he will be out for a game, so Koutromanos is the last option we have available for right back for our next match. Hopefully he will be up to the task.

AEK 0-1 PAO

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by alexaek

So, another derby lost. That makes it the first time we’ve lost two derbies in a row in about ten years. Not a good sign.

Not many positives to take from this game, both sides played some pretty poor football. I’m not going to bother writing much as there is  little to say. Firstly, our forwards still can’t score. We didn’thave Nemeth with us since he is playing for Hungary in Egypt, so that hurt us a bit. Scocco did very little, and played mostly for himself. We’ve seen little teamwork from him ever since the Cup final. Blanco, as usual these past few months, did nothing.

Yahaya started and had a decent game. Guerreiro also started and was probably one of our best players on the pitch.

Our defence wasn’t that bad but we actually weren’t threatened much at all. PAO had a couple good chances, but other than that we were pressured very little. Unfortunately, we managed to dump alot of pressure on PAO but they’re defence controlled our useless long balls with ease.

Once again, Juanfran was absolutely atrocious. Why Dusan did not play Georgeas, I do not know. Juanfran has been playing his worst football since joining the club lately, and he was pretty horrible when he first joined.

The silver lining? Well, Dusan is still trying many different lineups, so its going to take a while for the team to be settled. Much of the team was put together near the end of the summer, so naturally, the chemistry won’t be perfect.

Patience is needed right now if we expect results. Obviously, it looks like the Championship has been thrown out the window, but we can still fight to get at least third.

Clearly, this is not a good time to play Benfica, but there is little we can do about that. I highly doubt our team will gel together in time for that match, so I am hardly expecting a win, but this is football afterall, so who knows.

Sorry for the delayed posts these past couple of matches. Since the games have been late this past week I can’t do the reports when I get home so I have to do them later. Hopefully, our upcoming games will be at a more reasonable hour so I can get the reports up as soon as possible.

AEK 1-2 Olympiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by alexaek

Well, there has been quite a bit of discussion in the post AEKBaltimore put up. Since the match alot has happened, most regarding the horrendous officiating at the match. But first, a review.

For everyone who has been following AEK you know how incredibly unlucky we tend to be, especially when it matters most. We saw that once again many times during this match. For the first forty minutes we pressured constantly except for a few counter attacks by Olympiakos. We dominated in terms of passing and we were all over the pitch, including in their own box. However, as is typical with AEK, we saw chance after chance but no goals were produced. How we continuously manage to do this really puzzles me. After all, we do have SCOCCO, BLANCO, and NEMETH up front. Just hearing those names together should send shivers down the spines of any defenders in Greece. But they still can’t manage to score more than one goal each game. What happened to the times when we would win most games by scores of 4-0 I will never know.

Obviously we never did manage to capitalize on our chances and when this happens the opposition is bound to score a goal before us. And, of course, that happened. The first Olympiakos goal came late in the first, scored by Torosidis (who is in incredible form right now). Of course, the goal came at a horrible time for both the players and the fans.

So, after many chances for us and one or two for them the score was AEK 0-1 Olympiakos at half time. Nonetheless, AEK came out strong in the second half once again producing some fine chances to score. Yet once again we could not get that final touch, just to knock the ball a little bit further and into the net. Instead, Olympiakos scored again, and again the goal was scored by Torosidis.

Our boys kept trying hard but only managed to score one goal, by Nemeth. Not enough even to salvage one point.

By the time the game had ended AEK had fifteen chances on goal compared to Olympiakos’ three (it might have been slightly higher). That statistic proves two things. Firstly, our forwards need to start scoring more and capitalizing on chances or else we will be drawing or loosing at home to teams like Kavala and Panthrakikos. Secondly, it is clear that our defence could be much stronger. When a team managed to score two goals from three or four solid chances clearly the defence needs to tighten up.

Now, time for the player reviews. Saja did not have much to do this game really, and the goals he let in were not his fault, especially the second one. Other than that, not much more can be said about him, though he made some incredible saves once again which helped to keep us in the game.

Araujo was absolutely incredible, and easily one of our best players on the pitch. His defending was as solid as it could be, he was everywhere he could be, his ball control was spectacular, and the runs he made left Olympiakos players only staring after him.

Both Majstorovic and Jahic were average at best. Although we now have Nemeth, we clearly miss Kyrgaikos’ presence back there. We are still horrible in the air when defending corners and free kicks for the opposition. But they are still strong players and will do… for now.

Juanfran was horrible! It was disgusting to see him play for us. He provided nothing to the team. All his runs were predictable which made him easy to defend. He provided few good passes, he was slow, he could not defend, and it was his poor marking which made Torosidis’ first goal an easy one to knock in. Rumors are saying Georgeas might start at left back. I personally wouldnt even mind if Pavlis, or even Arabatzis start at left back. Anyone but Juanfran. It’s incredible that he receives far more than Saja or Blanco and has a nice contract to satisfy him (all thanks to Demis).

Makos was sub par. He did little this match and he defended Torosidis poorly on his second goal (had he tackled Torosidis though, he most likely would have received a red card because of his previously recieved yellow, a card he should not have gotten). I think we should still keep Makos, but perhaps give a month or two with the youth team and see how he improves. He’s a good guy, a good player to have on a team, but his level of football just simply isn’t good enough for what AEK needs.

Kafes was good, nothing special, but a solid player, had some chances on goal and overall a fine player. Not much more to say about him.

Geurreiro played a fantastic match. His fitness still isn’t one hundred percent but his ball controll and passing are all excellent. A fabulous player to have on our squad and once his fintess improves he will be a key player, if he isn’t already. He also likes to prompt the fans to cheer which is always a great thing to see from a player on the pitch.

Ah Blanco, whats happening? Two years top scorer now only one goal. Although, for some reason, Blanco was playing on the wings for this match. I have no clue who ordered him to play there but it is not his position. He is a goal scorer and little else. Im fine with that, its why we have him. He is no Rivaldo or Scocco. He has some decent ball control and mediocre passing skills but the wing should be players like Guerriero. Nonetheless, good old Ismael worked hard all game and was all over the pitch and had some decent chances on goal. I still have faith in him. Who knows, maybe this weekend we will start to see some signs of the Blanco we know. Especially with Nemeth gone for a while and an open spot in the centre again.

Nemeth was fantastic. He had so many chances on goal, some really easy ones I must say, but was unlucky not to score more than one goal. He worked hard and played with passion, clearly wanted the win, which is a great thing to see. Not much more to say, he is a fantastic player (but the whole world already knows that) and we are lucky to have him if only for a year.

Scocco played a good game. He didnt do as much in terms of creating chances but his ball control was fantastic and he managed to get past many Olympiakos players before he would eventually be pulled down by a dirty tackle.

Our substitutes, Leonardo, Manduca, and Pavlis, provided little for the team. Manduca wasted many chanes, and both Pavlis and Leonardo showed nothing special.

Highlights video below:

Now, for the officiating. It was horrendous. The calls made against us, and the calls not made for us were incredible.

This video below shows some of the main ones:

PAE AEK has stated that if the ref is not punished they will take the match to UEFA so it can be reviewed properly. I truly hope this happens. The ref has apologized for the mistakes he made but what difference does it make? None.

The damage is done, and whether it really was an accident or the ref is really that poor or the calls not made were intentionally not called cannot be proved right now. Either way, the officiating is just horrible in Greece or refs are being bribed. Seeing as this has been going on in Greece for years, and corruption occurs at every level in the society of Greece, I would not be surprised at all if it was corruption. Why other people find it so hard to believe I cannot understand. It has happened in Italy, France, Portugal, Albania, Greece, and many other countries in Europe. And these are only the cases that have been proven. Until anything is proven though here in Greece we will continue to play games against refs who seem to be determined to make sure our team does not win. There is only so much we can do at this moment in time.

Now, we have another huge derby in only a day, and after that we play Benfica midweek. Huge games. Whether we are ready for the or not I do not know. Either way, this is AEK, and we support AEK win or loose. This weekend will be a tough match but despite our loss against Olympiakos we showed alot of promise, especially in terms of passing as well as creating chances. Also, PAO will have Cisse and Karagounis more than likely on the bench, as well as other players who will be out due to injuries. Seeing as both teams have decent defences at best but strong attacking players I would not be surprised to see a few goals scored this game. Hopefully, we come out with more than PAO.

By the way, AEK play Thrasivolous for our first Greek Cup game.