Archive for Karabelas

PAOK-AEK Live Updates

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by alexaek

I’ll try to keep some live updates of the match here for those without a way to watch it. From what I know, the three links below will show a stream of the match:

I’ll add more streams if I come across any.

PAO is currently beating Oly Volou 2-0 with about twenty minutes to go. I was hoping PAO would lose this one or it would end up in a draw but our fate is still entirely in our hands (the match has now ended with a 3-0 victory for PAO). Either way, tonight will be a huge game.

Our starting XI for the match includes Saja, Georgeas, Manolas, Dellas, Karabellas, Makos, Michel, Diop, Lagos, Scocco, and Blanco. Arabatzis, Nasuti, Mateos, Roger, Leonardo, Dadomo, and Baha are the substitutes.

Game has started. PAOK came close off a free kick about three minutes in.

PAOK seem to have much more control of the game than they did over the weekend so far (only six minutes in).

Great chance for AEK after a defensive error by PAOK but Scocco couldn’t get a good delivery into the box.

GOOOAL! Scocco! 13th minute!! Long rage free kick, tricky bounce in front of Chalkias.

Saja playing risky at the back so far. I hope he tightens up.

Huge chance for PAOK with a critical save by Saja. And another huge chance for AEK in the 22nd. Blanco is in the mood for scoring it seems, hopefully he’ll keep up his good record in Toumba.

Freekick for PAOK in a very dangerous location. 1-1, 28th minute after Garcia’s freekick finds it way under our wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Flares on the pitch at the 31st minute so the ref has temporarily paused the match. It seems it will continue again.

Good header from Dellas off of a corner in the 33rd, save from Chalkias.

Penalty for PAOK, and goal. 2-1.

Very close chance for AEK off a Blanco header in the 38th minute, ball wasn’t directed well enough.

We are very shaky at the back so far.

Half time, 2-1 for PAOK. Not nearly good enough from us, far too many mistakes. We’ve still managed to create chances, but we must tighten up for the second half.

Nice shot from Michel after being set up by Blanco, just out.

Close for PAOK after a Vierinha shot rebounded off of Georgeas’ foot.

First substitution of the match, Baha on for Lagos. And now Leonardo on for Blanco. And I must say, the diving by the paok players is really getting quite ridiculous.

Red card for Makos.

Third change, Roger on for Scocco. Can’t say Im too happy about this choice.

Red card for Garcia. Disgusting behaviour from him as usual, but this is the worst Ive seen yet from that animal.

2-1, fulltime.



Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by alexaek

Im pretty sure Ive used that title before but Im going to use it again because I feel it works for the occasion. Today, in the same stadium, against the same team we so miserably drew 0-0 with five days ago, we witnessed a performance from AEK that was unlike anything we’ve seen yet this season (in my opinion). Why? Maybe because Manolo decided to make the changes that were needed soon enough (some of the changes most of us were calling for before the last game as well!)…

I don’t know how start off other than by saying we were superb! We dominated them in the midfield, in their own end… we out passed them, we were better lined out tactically, our players were up for the task at hand, and it was just all around a wonderful game from our boys. The score line of 4-0 certainly suggests the same however to be honest the match could have very easily ended up with a few more goals for AEK.

Saja? Didn’t have to do much to be honest… I may have missed a few bits here and there but from what I saw our defense did most of the dirty work, forcing Saja to have very little to deal with.

Our defense? I don’t know what to say, but I loved everything our defense today represented. Passion and experience from Georgeas and Dellas, young talent from Mateos, and hard¬† work and dedication from Karabelas… it was enough to get the job done, and with ease. The Mateos-Dellas combination at centre back is one Im really a fan of and I hope Manolo keeps going with it… I feel the two compliment each other very well when on the pitch. Georgeas had a wonderful assist on Scocco’s first goal today and did everything he needed to, just like every match he plays in. I realise he never was and certainly never will be an outstanding talent in terms of wing backs, but he plays with some much heart and has a great understanding of the game, something which many other players lack… ultimately though, it leads to us seeing the most we can from him both in terms of going forward and defending. Karabelas also had a good game and to be honest, Ive been quite pleased with him this season. He’s another player who always puts the effort in, his crosses have been improving, and I see him getting involved in plays far more often (though that may just be me).

In midfield we had Michel, Diop, Makos, and Guerreiro and it was a combination which worked! I just hope Manolo takes note and doesn’t change things come next match. To be honest, I don’t remember Makos standing out today however, poor streams means I missed some of the match. I did read that he played very well so I guess I just overlooked him. The same I would have to say for Michel… in fact it was Diop and Guerreiro who stood out today (that’s not to say Michel and Makos didn’t do their job, they most certainly must have considering the way we controlled things in the midfield today).

Before going in to specifics, I’d like to just say that our midfield as a whole was almost perfect today. It was as if they all were on the same page with each other… positioning, passing, defending, moving the ball around and controlling it when needed, we were doing everything we could to control the play and create when the opportunity arose, and our activity inside the PAOK box today suggests the same (compared to how rarely we broke their defense down just five days ago). Diop has certainly been bringing his best with him recently and he was finally rewarded today with a goal (after hitting the post twice last match). Roger brought the creativity we so desperately lacked last match and to see the whole team played when he was in control was wonderful. Id also like to point out that his set pieces are superb. A free kick and a corner he took today both led to goals and every ball he was sending in the box was perfect.

Up front things got interesting, with Blanco starting and Scocco playing a free role alongside him. At the end of the match Scocco said he finally played his best position after two and a half years and his two goals (both classic Scocco goals) support what he said. Ive thought about how he would be up front before and Im glad to see it tried out… with Guerreiro taking control of things behind the forwards, I think we can afford to see Scocco up front. Blanco played well and tried hard to get a goal to his name but things just didn’t work out for him today… I still hope to see him start next match, and especially in Toumba… he always seems to find a way to score up there ūüôā

Also, our fourth goal came from Dellas… a lovely timed run resulted in him latching on to Guerreiro’s cross before PAOK’s keeper could get his hands to it. Fantastic seeing him get on the score board today.

I must say, looking at our goals scored today, we saw two goals scored with headers (shows we have options in the box from both Diop and Dellas, as well as Libe when fit), a goal from from team work and crisp passing, and a goal created from some fantastic individual talent (as well as good decision making from Michel)… overall a perfect set of goals scored today, clearly showing how we took control of the game today in every aspect.

Now, will we see the same thing from our boys the next matches coming up? I suppose some of that depends on Manolo, but things are going well and after today only a fool would tinker with the team further. The win today sees PAOK remain further behind while we reclaim third (however Oly Volou and Kavala are not far behind) and PAO’s slip against Larissa means if we keep putting in solid performances, we could end up in a decent position come play off time.

However, what I hope for more than anything is that we go to Toumba and play exactly like we played today. If we do, the qualification to the final is ours WITHOUT A DOUBT. Even in Toumba, this PAOK team today will have no chance if we play the way we did.

FORZA AEKARA!!!! Vamos Bien!

4-0... its been a while since we've seen that scoreline!

Is There Any Hope Left?

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by alexaek

I seriously wonder sometimes… if it wasn’t for what our badge stands for and some of the legends that have worn our shirt, why would any of us bother even paying the slightest attention to this joke of a league. I’m referring specifically to yesterday’s derby between Oly and PAO though also our match today as well as yesterday’s match between Tripolis and Kerkyra. Its been a while since such a clear reminder of how much of a joke our league really is has been sent to us fans (at least those not with red glasses distorting their view). There has even been talk of PAO considering leaving the league, or forming a league of their own and I for one would be completely for such a move (however unrealistic and unlikely it may be at the moment). Aside from Oly’s B teams (Panionios, Xanthi, Oly Volou), many teams would benefit from such a move since it is clear as day that NOTHING will ever change with our league as long as pigs such as Marinakis are still involved.

Yesterday’s match was a disgrace with a handball from Torosidis in the box not given as a penalty, a perfectly legit goal to give PAO a 2-1 lead ruled for offside, and an illegal goal in many ways scored by that other pig Djebbour in extra time giving Oly the win and sealing their championship. In addition, a number of Oly supporters stormed the pitch and physically attacked a number of PAO players including Cisse and Simao. At half time and after the match, more hooligan like behavior witnessed, this time coming right from Superleague PRESIDENT, Marinakis (less than a week after Beos’ pathetic comments towards Larissa). How will our league ever advance in any way with thugs such as Marinakis, Beos, Psomiadis, and Co running things… whether its their unbelievably obvious influence they have off the pitch or their incredibly childlike attitude, it is obvious that no progress will ever be made towards improving our league… if anything, this weekend has confirmed the worst, and it will only be a matter of time before things get worse, and quickly.

Now, I mentioned yesterday’s match between Kerkyra and Tripolis. Why I mention it was because of the following video. Even for those who don’t understand much Greek, or any at all, the confusion coming from the commentator’s voice is painfully obvious.

Right… so the Kerkyra player gets taken down in the box and it should be awarded a penalty, correct? The Tripolis keeper receives a yellow card, yet the ref goes on to give a yellow to the Kerkyra player (his second of the match in fact, leading to his red). Why? Diving? Yet the ref still awards the penalty… even the commentator is left wondering who recieved the cards and for what reason…

Now, as many of you have noticed, neither myself or AEKMAN74 commented on our 3-1 loss to PAO last weekend. It was a terrible match in every way. A terrible offside was given on Blanco with the score 2-1 in PAO’s favour. However, Blanco was onside considerably and had the offside not been called he would have been 1 0n 1 with the PAO keeper. Now, aside from poor officiating, AEK simply looked terrible at the match. We played with no intent at all (aside from a brief 20 minute spell in the second where we applied considerable pressure) and our defending was atrocious at times.

As for today’s match… again, we looked terrible. We managed to score a goal late in the first half thanks to Libe (again, what will we do once he retires at the end of the season?) however the goal was canceled out almost 45 minutes later when, Mitroglou of all people, score the equalizer with very little time remaining (and, of course, the assist came from another player on loan from Olympiakos, Galitsios). Riera should have been sent off after he pushed Kafes from behind (when neither had the ball near them if I remember correctly), yet apparently all four officials, including the linesman who should have been near the two at the time, happened to miss it? I find it quite unlikely, but who knows anymore…

Aside from poor officiating though (also, Ill remind you that this match was played behind closed doors), as I said, we looked terrible. No attacking intent at all for the entire first half, we could not get plays together, there was very little sense of structure within the team, and we simply could not create. Also, Im starting to get very tired of seeing Scocco play, ever since his contract extension was signed. I much rather would have seen Leo or Burns start today… what they lack in skill compared to Scocco they would have made up for today with their speed or… simply trying to do something, anything, to get an attack together.

I know we can complain about the officiating today, however I would like to point out that both Manolas and Karabelas were lucky not to recieve more than just a yellow card today. They were both involved in some very dangerous plays a number of times, and while I dont mind seeing that, I think they got off easier than they could have.

Overall, its a shame we couldn’t get the 3 points today. To be honest, I dont care how ugly it would have been, I just wanted a win to help keep Panionios close to the relegation zone and us as high as we can in time for the play offs. I believe it is now for games in which we have not won a match at home, and if I understood correctly, the last time we have beaten Panionios was 2009? I could be wrong, but thats disgusting if true.

I do apologize for the unorganized post, but Im simply starting to lose my patience with everything going on, either with AEK or the league in general.

Also, some more terrible news for us AEK supporters. It seems our Basketball team, a team which was once the team that made Greece most proud, the first Greek team to win a European trophy, will be playing next season in the 2nd divisioin. Words simply cannot describe what a shame this is to see.

Panserraikos 1-3 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Euro 2008, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2011 by alexaek

We NEEDED a win and thankfully that’s just what we got! Now, before we get too confident, this was Panserraikos we played. An AEK team that we the fans want should beat this team EVERY match, home and away, and comfortably, rather than having us threaten the team not to return if they lose. Yes, we got the win, but let’s not forget the fact that we still have many problems which need to be resolved, ASAP.

Ok, back to the game. All I can say is there was definitely an improvement from our last match (and thankfully so considering Kafes and Diop were out). I did miss the first thirty minutes of the match but the rest which I did manage to see showed an AEK who was able to take control of the game and make their point. Alot more confidence to our game today, the players seemed to be playing with more intent (and to be fair, we did manage to create plenty of chances last match but we were lacking elsewhere).

For the players, Ill start from the back and work my way up. Saja had a very fine game today. Was forced to be much more involved than against Kerkyra, and aside from letting in one goal (a fantastic goal, may I add), dealt with everything that came his way in a necessary manner. Dealt with one on one’s, reflex saves, and was collected in front of the goal when required.

Our defense had a little more to deal with than against Kerkyra but they also did they’re job for the most part. We were pretty secure down the wings today from what I noticed (Georgeas on the right and Karabelas on the left) and it seemed that both right back and left back defended a little more aggressively which payed off in the end. Karabelas also had another good game in terms of attacking and was very involved in plays from the left wing and his cross resulted in Libe’s goal to make it 2-0 for AEK. Manolas also defended very well and Im starting to wonder if this guy will ever have a poor game. As hard as I try I can’t remember the last time he wasn’t solid… pretty exceptional when one considers he’s only 19 years old (even I’m gonna be 19 in less than half a year!).

One weakness I did notice however was the Panserraikos came very close to scoring on at least two set pieces. There may have been more which I missed, but for some reason we let them slip by and it resulted in two goal scoring opportunities for the host… fortunately they failed to convert either.

Our midfield was able to control the match pretty well. From what I saw it seemed Makos was looking to play the ball forward whenever he had the chance rather than backwards as he tends to, and while he may not be the next Rivaldo (not that he even plays a similar position) it was certainly nice to see him play with more attacking intent. Scocco was also pretty busy in the middle of the pitch and helped out with distributing the ball and Lagos had a very good game.

Roger was alot tighter in my opinion. Less wasting around with the ball at his feet, more playing for the benefit of the team. He also took some nice free kicks and it was his which Blanco latched on to for the first goal. Still not sure if we’ve seen enough of him, but I’m sure we all know he must be capable of good things. He had some very strong games earlier in the season and a fantastic EURO in 2008 from what I read and heard… surely we can expect more? Not sure if I can say the same for Eder though who was useless the last match and didn’t come on today until very late in the game.

We were pretty sharp up front which nice to see after that dreadful performance against Kerkyra. Blanco, who missed all those chances last match, scored a stunning header, perfectly placed and one of his more memorable goals of recent memory as far as I can remember. Libe scored our second one, a close range, one time volley in front of the net. Nicely shot, down low and with enough power that the keeper had very little he could do to stop it. A great finish to a nice play inside their box.

Panserraikos evened things up before the half with a stunning goal, a perfectly placed volley from outside the box with enough of a downward curve and power that Saja could do little to stop it from the position he was caught in. Libe had a chance later in the match to make it 3-1 after a nice run led to Blanco feeding him inside the box, however he was called offside (and rightfully so in my opinion though it was very close). However, Libe did finally manage to seal the deal after scoring a penalty which was a result of Georgeas being brought down in the box (in my opinion it was a very soft penalty but there was not ball contact at all and it was a tough angle for the ref).

Overall, a much improved performance and a badly needed (and well deserved) three points, even if it was against lowly opposition. Hopefully we build on the momentum now! By the way, Jimenez proudly showed off his Serres Original21 shirt he promised he would wear. Awesome stuff to see, especially from a foreign coach who only started coaching in Greece this season! Let’s not get rid of this guy!

Also, some other news from this weekend. Panionios lost at home! (The quicker we get these guys in 2nd division the better!) and the Original club house in Kerkyra was attacked by about 10 olympiakos supporters. Some of them were caught and apparently charges will be laid.

AEK 0-0 Kerkyra

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by alexaek

I was really looking forward to this game today as it was going to be my first AEK match that I’d be seeing live since last season. I’m now sitting here wondering what I was all excited about in the first place!

First match of the new year after a fairly quiet holiday period and we needed a win to keep a good grip on third place. We needed a win to start the new year on a positive note, to get revenge on Kerkyra for beating us in the first round… yet we could not even score a goal!

The Kerkyra team we faced today played football like amateurs. They couldn’t create any decent attacks and their defense had trouble handling even the smallest amounts of pressure. AEK teams of previous seasons would have won this game 3-0 at least and should the AEK team of today! To be fair, we did manage to create a few chances, but never did it look like our team really have what it took. Unfortunately, if this is the best AEK can offer right now we are in for a rough few months.

What is obvious from today’s match is that a) we need to clean up a fair bit (players like Eder specifically must go NOW!) and b) we must find a replacement for Djebbour! First, let’s deal with Eder. To be honest I had high hopes for him during the pre-season. He showed alot of potential and I truly thought he could play an important role within our team. Today however was a different story. No passion at all, he contributed nothing to the match, was absolutely useless when off the ball (he forced Libe to run more than he should have had to to pick up his slack), completely disappeared for long periods of time, and was a huge waste of a spot on the pitch. There is no room for players like him though I suppose Jimenez did need one final performance like his today to confirm his opinion on him. I pray that we never see him play again!

We also need a new striker up front now that Djebbour is gone. Sure, Blanco might be in some good form lately, but he missed some good chances today and him and Libe alone up front simply will not last the rest of the season.

I was pleased with Nasuti and Dellas today. Both did what was required of them today and I feel they complimented each other well… however, things may quite possibly have different had we faced a team with a half decent attack. Karabelas gave a decent performance, but I feel he could be a bit more aggresive when marking players. Also, while his footwork may be alright and he is capable of providing an attacking option down the left, he really must improve his corsses.

Georgeas received the MVP award today and rightfully so in my opinion. The guy is the personification of the word passion and had others on the pitch today showed the passion he did things might have turned out differently. He may have been a bit sloppy at times but he always ran and contributed what he could, when he could.

Kafes and Makos had decent games though Makos will have to give a bit more in my opinion.

Overall we created chances today, managed to get the ball up in their end plenty of times, but things will need to change and improve drastically if we are to expect better results and a chance at getting the cup! Some players need to go, others will need to provide more for the team and in general we will have to tighten up as a unit!

I was terribly disappointed with the atmosphere today. Sure, it may have been cold today, and our attendance may have been terribly low, but the atmosphere I remember just wasn’t there. Plenty of cursing, applause when it was deserved, but no flares, no singing… very little to give the players some added motivation.

Panthrakikos 1-5 AEK!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by alexaek

If you remember from past year’s, we’ve never been extremely impressive in the cup. Narrow wins against teams like Xanthi, Panserraikos, and even smaller clubs had over time become the norm for us (aside from that eventful cup final two years ago).

Well, all that changed today! To be honest, after hearing Panthrakikos go up 1-0 I thought we were gonna be in for another long match. Never for a second did I think we would lose this match, but I never imagined the turnaround that eventually happened. Ismael Blanco (it’s been a while since we’ve seen him on the scoresheet) scored his first goal, and one which surprisingly wasn’t fed to him but actually required some footwork. Good, 1-1, still plenty of time left. Next, we get a penalty, one which Blanco converts with ease. 2-1 up, but still plenty of time left. I was thinking to myself at this point all we need is one more goal and we’re good.

Seems as though Blanco and co had other plans. Zorro (he’s back!) scored his third of the night, an easy one set up perfectly by Roger (who, from what I heard had yet another fantastic performance!). Then, Karabelas of all people scores to make it 4-1. Somewhere in between the third and fifth goal we hit a post with Leonardo and narrowly missed on more than one occasion, but Leonardo finally got one in, another perfectly set up goal, this time with the assist coming from Rafik Djebbour. That’s three goals coming from assists placed at the scorer’s feet. Something tells me this team is working on efficiency up front with the ball movement, assists, and positioning all very well done.


5-1, a score to thrill every already delighted AEK fan, despite the rain and cold up north. Bearing in mind that Panthrakikos’ goal was scored from a penalty (and ignoring the stumble in Belgium), that’s 10 goals scored in Greece (two league and one cup game) in three games! Guys, I think AEK is back!

Also, considering Blanco’s hat trick today and Roger’s great performances lately, I can’t help but feel we have a team in a great position. We have three great strikers (assuming Blanco keeps this up) and chances are at one given moment at least one of them will be on a patch of good form. In addition, with Roger performing so well, we are set in attacking mid (that is, if we can hold on to Scocco), and with Diop and Makos’ solid performances the past two or three games, our defensive mid is also set. Now, hopefully we can deal with injuries, though Manolo seems like the kind of guy that can almost always work out a solution with what he has.

Enjoy the goals below. Too bad I can’t find a more in depth highlights vid, because it seems we played some nice football up front at times at a few of those goals.

Great job to the supporters who were there and vocal despite the weather, and great job (though to be honest, I think that’s a bit of an understatement) to Manolo! He’s turned around this team incredibly, got players playing some great football, players who are happy to be training and playing and, most important of all, is getting results. Sure, you may stumble against Anderlecht, especially when it’s your first European game with a new team, but against Panthrakikos, these are games where you can really establish who’s boss in Greece and AEK certainly did that today.



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.