Archive for Kostas Manolas

Kavala-AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by alexaek

So, not sure if you saw the result of the Ira-PAO match today, but Ira were up 2-0 early in the first only to end up blowing it and losing 2-4.

What does this mean? The pressure really is on now for us to take home all three points and nothing less from our trip to Kavala tomorrow. Certainly easier said than done, but we have no other option now! The next match is a home derby against Olympiakos so six points in the next 2 games could really help us out considering after this we would have completed our derbies until the second half of the season.

Some positive news for the team is that Scocco will finally be returning. Djebbour is still recovering from an injury last I heard, and both Manolas and Dellas will be out due to their ridiculous red cards last match, so we could use all the help we could get.

I can honestly say I have no clue what to expect come tomorrow. This team so far under Manolo has shown us great performances (the 0-4 against Aris and 1-5 against Panserraikos) as well as depressing ones (most recently against PAOK as well as the match with Panionios). Having said that, the team will hopefully be looking to prove a point because if we dont turn things around soon any chances for a championships will be slipping out of reach.

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AEK 1-1 Anderlecht

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , on November 4, 2010 by alexaek

Frustrating, disappointing, nerve wrecking… all suitable adjectives for describing today’s the game.

Firstly, we still have hope. Zenit beat Hajduk in Croatia today meaning the race for second place is very, very tight. If we can manage to turn things around, second place is very possible.

We started todays game strong, creating a few excellent chances (sitters, really) but failed each and every time to get the ball in the back of the net. We had fairly good control on the match throughout the first 45 and looked good considering we were missing key players like Roger, Scocco, and Liberopoulos. We were certainly showing much more determination than the match with Panionios, but we were still severely lacking discipline from the midfield up.

Our goal finally came through a penalty in the second half. But the good news ends there. Anderlecht turned the pressure up a notch after conceding while it seemed our guys seemed to drop down considerably and eventually it was the Belgian team’s turn to score after some poor (and I mean POOR!) defending from our guys. Having said that, Manolas had a great game today, though I did get worried when I saw him complaining about injuries.

All things considered, there is still hope in my opinion. Manolo’s second European match only and the players have had to deal with quite a few games in a short period of time (and the number of injuries meant little flexibility with resting certain players). Circumstances clearly aren’t ideal, and we were saved towards the end by some key Saja saves, but all is not lost yet. After all, this is Anderlecht we’re talking about… when was the last time we were lucky while playing them?

 

Some better news as well… our team has finally begun training in Spata! The pitch looks great, such a massive improvement over the sand pit there were training on at Thrakomakedones. This will only help our team in the future and its a great moment in our history. There is still work that needs to be done but the facilities look very nice indeed.

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! ūüėõ

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.

Guess what? We’ve been robbed!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , on May 2, 2010 by alexaek

Ok, we were terrible today. We did turn things up a bit in the second half which ended with Nemeth messing up a sitter. But aside from that, we were terrible, and lucky.

However, we scored a PERFECTLY LEGIT goal, scored by the Great Manolas yet for some reason (oh wait, there is a reason and we all know it), it was dissalowed by the ref. Had the goal stood we would have gained a point and held oly back by two. Instead, we gained nothing and our chances of seeing Champions League football are pretty much over.

Now, we were terrible (I think I’ve mentioned this already?) today. Our defense was useless, especially Majstorovic. The principles of man marking, a basic defending technique, seemed to have completely slipped the minds of Majstorovic and Lagos. Had they done that properly however, both Oly goals could have been avoided.

Nonetheless, Oly had four posts throughout the game and with a little more concentration and better finishing they could have been up by three or four come the final whistle. However, the score does not take into consideration the number of times the post has been hit but rather the number of goals scored. So technically, we should have had a point from this game.

Anyways, not much can be said. We were terrible. Oly was not that much better but we were so bad that they looked good. The ref robbed us. Simple. I’m really quite angry and annoyed at the moment and to be honest my concentration is not 100 percent. I’ll post a vid when it’s available showing our goal scored. Other than that, all I can say is we better get ready for some more Europa League football this summer. Once again, I appologize for tonight’s post, my mind is just everywhere at the moment. I’ll write a more organized report tomorrow.

Hello Everyone!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2010 by alexaek

First of all, it’s been a while since I lasted posted and quite a bit has happened since then.

Well, we beat Tripolis in our last regular season game, 2-0 at home. A rather eventful game in fact so I’ll go through some of it here.

We started with a different line up than what was being predicted by most, the main reason for this being the fact that several players (Scocco, Blanco, Araujo, Arce, Saja, Roger, and others) were out partying two nights before the game until the early morning hours. Naturally, Bajevic found out about this and benched all of them, including Roger who was set to have his first start with the team since December. Unfortunate for him, but I support Bajevic’s decision completely. Only two weeks before the playoffs and the last thing we need is our players partying during the week before important games.

Another thing worth mentioning is that before the game a large gathering which I attended, was held in Nea Filadelfia on the street outside our old stadium. Around 2,000 AEK fans showed up. A decent number, sure, but hopefully we will see far more in the future. Several former players including the great goalkeeper Elias Atmatsidis showed up and gave speeched discussing the team’s past and its current situation.

The general feelings regarding our management were not happy ones since only days before Adamidis gave a press conference in which he stated that Scocco is for sale, including to Greek teams (Panathinaikos, Olympiakos…). Rightfully so, the fans were not happy about this. Afterall, AEK has never sold a player to either PAO or Oly. Unfortunately though, Adamidis was not predicting (or maybe he was…) as large an uprising among the supporters and before we knew it AEK was once again a team surrounded by controversy as we were before the Christmas break.

Back to the game. Things started well for us generally. Tripolis rarely gave us trouble and we were creating chances, but not scoring when we should have been. Eventually though, Djebbour finally broke the deadlock. However, later on in the game Bajevic decided to introduce Scocco as a sub (most people believe he did this on purpose) which immediately led to half the fans booing the player and another half singing his name, trying all they could to support him. Just minutes later, the Originals began rioting and were soon making their way towards the VIP section. Eventually the Riot squad came into the stadium to protect Adamidis and others however, anyone who knows the Originals knows that bringing the Riot police into the mix is only going to make things worse. All of a sudden hundreds of fans started charging the police and many minor fights broke out leading to some injuries. The rioting carried on throughout the game and even for a while after it. The ref was forced to pause the match for approximately ten minutes as the fighting spilled onto the pitch. He did eventually continue the match though and late in extra time Kafes scored another goal for AEK (without many of the fans even realizing the game had started again) making the score 2-0. The game ended that way and Kostas Manolas received the MVP award. Not one player out there deserved the award more than him. Every game he is constantly proving fans and management what he is capable of as he continues to consistently play like a center-back that’s been playing the game professionally for a decade rather than a year or so.

Well, up next is the playoffs and they are approaching rather quickly. In fact, we play our first game this Wednesday against PAOK in OAKA. I personally believe we will take this one if the players and fans can focus on the match for ninety minutes rather than whats happening behind the scenes. PAOK are no longer anything special (though they did win their last game 4-1 against Ergotelis) and while we mustn’t underestimate them, if we play the best we can we should be able to leave OAKA with a positive result.

Now I would like to take a minute to apologize to any readers who use this site frequently. Over the next three weeks I will be taking my end of year exams. These will be my final high school exams since I will be going to University next year and it is these exams that the Universities focus on most when making a decision, so I will not have as time as will like to update the site. I will still be going to the games so I will try to update as frequently as possible, but I can’t guarantee anything for these next three weeks. However, after the 24th of May, I will be more free than ever and I promise to update the site then as soon as something worthwhile pops up in the news or something regarding the transfers. I will be away at times during the summer however even then I will try and update as often as possible to make up for these past few weeks and the upcoming weeks.