Archive for Koutromanos

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.

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Kanellopoulos Donates His Shares of AEK!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by alexaek

Kanellopoulos has given his 13.5 % of shares to the amateur club so that they now have a 23.5 % share of the club. A pretty big share of the club indeed. Dimitris Hatzichristos as many of you will know is the head of the amateurs and Original21.

What will happen from this move nobody can say yet. However, this does put more power in the hands of the fans (that might not be a good thing right now since we all know the Originals aren’t exactly fond of Bajevic). We will have to wait a little while until we see what can result from this.

In other news, Koutromanos will be out for around six months! He picked up a serious knee injury while training and will require an operation. Bad news for us, especially since we now dont have a proper right back for our next Europa League game. We should know about Araujo’s appeal to UEFA tonight. If things go our way his sentence will hopefully be shortened.

Vaslui 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, UEFA Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by alexaek

We got the loss here I was fearing. Perhaps not a pleasing result but immediately we notice the away goal we scored. This will help us alot since really all we need in OAKA now is 1-0.

Before anything else two points must be pointed out. Firstly, Scocco was out for this match due to cards and will play with us for the next match. Secondly, our new singing (who was made official on AEK’s site), Araujo, will be playing as well. These two players will be two large boosts for the team.

Okay, now for the match. Many online are making it seem like the way AEK performed was atrocious, horrible, disgusting, and all sorts of negative comments. However, it was not nearly so bad. Sure, it was not pleasing performance, and the score was not what it should have been (normally, I would have expected AEK to take this game 3-0 had we had a better and more prepared team), but it was not a bad gane, and there is certainly much that Bajevic can build on.

Our defence was what I was most interested in seeing before the match. Alves covered centre-back along with Majstorovic and he did a fine job. Not top notch but he didn’t make many mistakes and defended as well as he could. He is a tough player and I think he can handle the position for a while. Majstorovic was a little risky and made an unnessecary tackle which led to a penalty for Vaslui (which they scored). I had to watch from a stream which kept switching between the match and an olympics competition in Berlin so I missed parts of the match but from what I saw our centre backs could hold them. The one worrying thing I saw is both Alves and Majstorovic were constantly beaten in the air by shorter players, something that might not have happened with Kyrgiakos. I dont know if this is going to cause us problems this year or if it was only something we saw this match.

Koutromanos played right back, however Araujo should be ready this weekend. He was alright, despite many saying he should never play again for AEK. He still looks nervous however I feel his confidence has been built up since last year. Ha managed to control at times, defend well enough, and create chances, but hopefully Araujo will be an improvement.

Georgeas was our best defender today and proved that he should still be with AEK. He handled left back well, defended well and was strong out there, something which we will need in order to compete in our league and against tougher teams in Europe. We can’t be walked over constantly and I can’t see this happening to often when Georgeas is playing. Despite what others believe I feel he should start as often as possible, even at left back (I can’t see Juanfran improving much since last season).

Most of our play today was created through the middle of the pitch, and not as much from the wings. Leonardo was involved often, as well as Manduca. They both had a decent game but must show more. Hopefully once Scocco is back in there things will change for the better a bit. Makos played a good game and seemed to work hard. He missed quite a few chances to score himself but nonetheless, he played well and once Kafes is back in we should be more secure in midfield.

Blanco had a good game, considering it was hard for him as the midfield had a hard time creating chances. Regardless, we had many chances and Blanco was involved with most of them. Djebbour had a few good chances but other than that provided very little. He was the most dissapointing player for AEK in my opinion. He must start providing more to the team rather than simple dribbling every now and then and then dissapearing.

We missed many chances, most coming from either head to head’s with the keeper or set pieces. Had half the chances gone in I believe the score would have been perhaps 3-2 for AEK or higher. Unfortunately though, we must finish better. We can create chances all game long but we’re not going to win if we dont score them (although that is generally how things work in football). Both Blanco and Djebbour (as well as others such as Leonardo and Manduca)  have proven they can score but they must do it consitently (especially Djebbour). I think things will change a bit, if only slightly, when Scocco returns to the pitch.

Overall, we pressured often, more than the Romanian side, and controlled the game except for times, normally five minutes at a time, when Vaslui pressured and were quite dangerous. One player of theirs in particular, I believe his name was Wessley, was very dangerous on the ball and scored both goals for them. He must be watched better next game, especially in the air.

I believe we were playing some sort of 4-4-2 for a while but towards the end might have switched to 4-3-3. As usual, Bajevic waited until very late (one minute left) to make substitutions. The only substitute I can remember right now was Iordache who came on for Blanco. Yahaya,  as well as Tachtsidis, was warming up on the side.

Dont know what else there is to say. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, the stream switched periodically throughout the match to another chanel so I missed parts. However, from what I saw, I think we will get past them in OAKA, perhaps comfortably. As for this weekend, thats a different stroy. But we’ll have to wait and see. As news comes up about the derby we will start posting, including which players will be ready.

Below are some highlights. As you can see, our goal was scored by a penalty.

Its late here now so I will see if I can remember anything tomorrow. As always, feel free to leave a comment.

AEK 0-2 Boca Juniors

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by alexaek

So, we lost this one but it was not at all a bad performance by our team, and was definately the best game we’ve seen AEK play all pre-season. First of all, goal highlights.

Unfortunately I haven’t seen a video with more highlights uploaded yet, but we had many chances, just as many if not more than Boca.

Boca started the game strong and pressured quite a bit but after a while AEK seemed to gain more and more control to the point where at times we were by far the more dominant team. That balance shifted from time to time, with Boca pressuring for an extended period of time before AEK began controlling things once again. Considering that this is Boca Juniors (with the likes or Riquelme and Palermo), we should be very pleased with how well we managed to play against them. At times we played some beautiful football and the team really seemed to play smoothly together for the most part (I was not impressed however, with Djebbour) with some fancy ball control and enjoyable one touch football in the Boca box.

Our defence still showed that there is room for improvement. Krgiakos was excellent and controlled every ball in the air. Majstorovic was also quite solid. Unfortunately though, Karabelas still isn’t showing too much promise.  Koutromanos played better but still, the same applies with him, basically there is room for improvement. Georgeas showed how much extra experience helps after playing some smart football when he came on as a sub but we can’t rely on him to play every game of the season, and we can still get a better right back than him. He is, however, great to have as a sub.

One pleasant surprise was that Leonardo played. Considering he has probably only had a few practises with team he played alright. It must be tough playing your first game with a team you are not used to against Boca Juniors. Everyone is talking about how he has shown alot of promise at practises and I am confident he will turn out to be a great singing for the team. We should most likely see him play against Mallorca next week as well.

Scocco showed some moments of great football and whenever he had the ball he did something good (at least from what I could see, even though the view from where I was sitting wasn’t the greatest for this match). Bajevic was apparently switching Manduca, Scocco, and Leonardo, around to see where each played best (either left, right or center), but Im sure he will need more than one match to figure that out.

Generally, most of the players that played at the Panionios match got some playing time. Of everyone who played (other than those already mentioned) Manduca also had a good game.

The crowd was small (I believe around 14,000) as it is the time of year when most people leave Athens and the city bcomes almost empty (in comparison to the rest of the year). Still, the crowd support was good, considering some people thought there might have been trouble due to the lack of singings. Generally the mood was relaxed and there was no tension in the air at all, compared to last season. This is a good sign to see, and hopefully everything will remain this way for the upcoming season.

Anyone who watched the match from television please post whatever you can in the comments section. I sat behind the net for this match, as I wanted to sit with the Originals, so the view really wasn’t great, epecially when the ball was at the opposite end. I also spent alot of time watching the chanting and jumping around, so I didn’t get to see as much of the match as normal. So any comments or opinios would be greatly appreciated!

Btw, Riquelme said at the end of the match that he had a fabulous time here in Greece and that AEK was a very good team. I certainly thought we played quite well, and am glad to see him thinking the same things.

Next friendly is this Wednesday I believe, against Mallorca. Hopefully we will see even more improvements. Although, if we play like we did today, I think we should be able to get past them, maybe 1-0 or 2-0. Mind you, I haven’t really followed Mallorca at all this summer so they might have really improved during the pre-season.

Also, another note to consider is the fact that Blanco did not play this match. We created many chances but had trouble scoring them (partly due to the fact that when I attended a Boca open practise, the goalkeepers were fantastic) but I believe that when we see Blanco play against Vaslui we should see some of those chances lead to goals. Bajevic decided to save Blanco rather than risk an injury, which I have no problem with.

Panionios 0-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, UEFA Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by alexaek

We finally got a win, with the only goal of the match coming from a very nicely set up play.

Here is the first video I could find of the goal

Overall the team showed some promise but lacked consistency throughout. There were times when everything was going smoothly. Passes were being made, plays were built up, and a few chances were created. Then there were other times where the team fell asleep and we had to rely on Saja to save us.

We started with Saja, Kyrgiakos, Majstorovic, Koutromanos, Karabelas, Kafes, Makos, Manduca, Iordache, Djebbour, and Pavlis. Pavlis played a great game and missed some good chances, including a chance to score a nice bicycle kick. Djebbour on the other hand had only a mediocre performance. He lost the ball often and asides from scoring his goal, he did not contribute much else.

Manduca had a pretty good game. Had a decent shot but did not manage to get enough power on the ball. He is definately showing some promise once again. Iordache made some good plays but was not as actively involved in the match as Manduca, at least as far as I could tell. Makos had a good game but also with him I dont remember seeing much. Perhaps I was just overlooking both Makos and Iordache, but it looked like Manduca was doing much of the midfields work. Kafes was injured around half way through the first and was replaced by Nsaliwa who had a pretty good game. He fought hard, created some chances and overall proved he deserves to be playing with the team.

At the back Kyrgiakos had a pretty solid performance and made some good tackles. He even ran up from half way and took a pretty good shot which the Panionios keeper could only tap away. Majstorovic also played a good game but seemed to be stressed, perhaps due to the fact that his wife recently had a new child, I believe a daughter. Koutromanos played a good game and showed that he can be a pretty solid right back, just like he was beggining to show at the end of last season. However, I still doubt he is ready to be a starter, and I think we should look for a top quality player for that position. I can’t remember seeing much from Karabelas. I believe he had a shot which didnt manage to trouble the keeper.

Saja made some critical saves and looked to be alert, like last season. I think we are fine with him for the time being. Arabatzis was on the bench since it doesnt look like Lukac has been impressing much.

The subs in the second half were Diouf, Yahayia, Burns, Manolas, Geraldo, Georgeas, Juanfran, Gentzoglou, and Tachtsidis.

Tachtsidis took a very good direct free kick which was only a little wide of the goal. He looked alright, and came on to replace Pavlis. However, up front it seemed to be Burns who looked to be in form, playing especially well with Manduca. This was definately promising to see. He had a header which hit the post, and seemed to be working hard. Diouf did not impress and missed many chances and wasted many balls. It looks quite likely that he might be loaned out this season.

Our next friendly is this weekend against Boca Juniors, at OAKA. A big game for AEK, however people are saying there might be fan trouble since at the moment it doesnt look like any singings will be happening any time soon, however Thanopoulos has said that we will be getting a right back and have a list of targets.

Hopefully we see a more entertaining match against Boca Juniors. Its certainly one Im looking forward to.

The draw for AEK to learn its opponent for Europa League qualifying will be held this Friday, I believe. That information will be posted as soon as it is available.

AEK 1-1 Burgas

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek National Team, Greek Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by alexaek

Highlights Below (Pavlis Goal, Burgas Goal, and Scocco post)

Again, another draw for AEK. I believe that’s our third from three friendlies. Perhaps not an encouraging result on paper, but in reality, AEK dominated the match.

Each half saw two different lineups. The first half seemed to have what might be considered to main squad, consisting of players such as Scocco, Blanco, and Majstorovic. The second half seemed to be for the second team, with guys like Tachtsidis and Pavlis playing.

The two lineups were

First Half

——————————Arabatzis—————————

Koutromanos—-Majstorovic—-Kyrgiakos—-Karabelas

———————-Yahayia—————–Kafes————-

——-Iordache————————————Manduca—

——————Scocco——————————————

————————————–Blanco———————-

Second Half

——————————Arabatzis—————————

—Gentzoglou——Geraldo——Manolas——Juanfran—

——————————–Makos—————————–

——————–Nsaliwa————-Tachtsidis————–

———–Diouf————————————–Burns——

——————————–Pavlis—————————–

As you can see from above the first half lineup does look stronger however there were also some key players on during the second half. One thing Im interested to see is who will be Dusan’s first choice left back, Karabelas or Juanfran.

Well, as for the game, it was a pleasing performance. AEK dominated throughout. Passing seemed smooth and effortless, and the players seemed to be really in sync with each other. Many opportunities were created in front of the goal which was a good thing, but we could not score any, which was not a good thing. Our defence was rarely troubled, so it is difficult to comment on them. I was impressed with Yiahayia. He fought hard, showed strength, and is clearly a good defender. The partnership with Kafes should be a good one. Iordache also impressed, had great ball control, and was able to set up plays nicely.

Although some papers are saying that AEK were better in the second half I believe it was the first half where we were strongest. Either way, its still preseason, and this is still friendly, so while it will show some information about the club, we still can’t see the club showing its full potential until later on.

Our goal came from the second half by none other than Pavlis. The young striker (who by the way is being called the next Demis due to his form, goal scoring, and small size) played great with the Greek youths this summer in Italy, and with the right team and coach around him I believe he can become a key player, and will be a good player to have in the squad.

Burgas levelled things up in the last minute, so it was unfortunate we couldn’t hold on to the win.

Our next friendly will be in Athens against Panionios, and a few days later we will play Boca Juniors in OAKA. I believe these matches we will start to see the team perform closer to its full potential.

Another Big Win Against PAOK

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 20, 2009 by alexaek

Yet another big win against our northern rivals, this time with a scoreline of 3-1.

Videos below:

It was a fairly confident win against PAOK this time with goals coming from Djebbour, Blanco, and Scocco. There were some questionable calls from the ref (including a red for PAOK, which I agree with but could have been avoided by PAOK) and some calls not made (including a hand ball from Kafes which wasn’t called).

Nonetheless, AEK were the stronger team on the pitch and by far at times. We dominated the game often with some great control. Passing and crossing were excellent throughout the game. The players seemed to be playing perfect in their assinged positions and the game flowed well. After we scored our second goal PAOK all but stopped existing, except for a few attacks every now and then.

Firstly, Saja played a good game and made some critical saves, although he really didn’t have much to do, especially during the second half.

Secondly, Koutromanos was excellent. He played quite far up at times (it even seemed as times as if we were playing with three defenders and with Kouts playing as a midfielder) and made some great runs, really showing a boost in confidence, likely due to Bajevic taking over. He made some great crosses and showed great speed and ball control. Defeinately a lot of promise.

Majstorovic played allright, but I must say that I feel that he was the weakest player playing for us today. He let some men slip by him, and he, as usual, looked too often for the back pass rather than controlling (when he had time) and getting the ball up. Alexopoulos played a good game and missed a great chance on a corner when his header was cleared by a PAOK defender.

Alves played great today as well, in left back rather than his normal centre back. His tackles were smooth and almost always got the ball, his headers were good, and he controlled the ball calmly and confidently and managed to distribute well.

Our midfield was good. Nsaliwa played a good game, made some nice passes, ran well and managed to bring the ball up on his own many times to help set up the offence. Kafes played some good defending along with Pelletieri.

Our offence, which consisted of Scocco, Blanco, and Djebbour, was fantastic. They worked like a well greased machine. They created chance after chance. Blanco once again showed how much he has developed by making a beautiful cross. Djebbour took part in the game much more than normal, and Scocco (well, no surprise here) was incredible. He ran, passed, crossed, took some great corners, and was everywhere, swapping from left to right, taking great shots. I strongly believe that him and Blanco must be kept no matter what. If Djebbour keeps playing the way he did today (he got MVP of the match and the fans certianly appreciated the effort he put in today), we should look to keep him for another year, although he might not be affordable next year.

Our subs were Manduca, Gentsoglou, and Edinho. Firstly, Manduca played yet another great game, as he has been doing since the start of the playoffs. Im not sure what it is that brought him to increase his game so much so suddenly, but perhaps it might be worth it to keep him on another year at least. He ran great, and conrtibuted much to the team. Hopefully we will see some more of this form him until the end of the playoffs.

Gentsoglou played great, even though he wasn’t on for too long. Hi made some superb crosses, seemed confident enough considering he hadn’t played in so long, and had a beautiful shot saved by Chalkias (Chalkias had a horrible game today, hopefully his performance will be better when PAOK play Pao this weekend).

Edinho only managed to play a few minutes so not much can be said about him. He had a nice header but thats about all he managed to do this game.

PAOK created some good chances as well, and played some dangerous football at times however couldn’t keep it up. They did have some critical players out so that may have affected them.

Well, overall, it was a satisfying performance. The crowd was definately pleased. Hopefully, we will continue to see this level of play until the end of the playoffs, in which case we should beat Larissa this weekend and we should have a high chance of beating PAO at our last game of the playoffs.