Archive for Kyrgiakos

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.

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One More Day Folks.

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2009 by alexaek

So, only one more day of waiting before the big game, the one game we all wait for all summer. AEK-Olympiakos, one of the most well known fixtures in Greek football. Unfortunately though, and as much as I hate to say it, I think our chances of winning are very slim. The best result I can see for us is a draw. Nonetheless, this is a derby, and as last year’s Cup Final proved, anything can happen at this derby. Either way, I see goals being scored, as they normally are (unlike the Panathinaikos-Olympiakos derby, where both teams tend to play very cautiously, hardly taking chances), and still, I wont rule out a victory for us because, literally, anything is possible at this game.

Unfortunately, I wont be surpirsed if we see some trouble at this match. Tension will be high in the stadium due to the recent Kyrgiakos transfer and generally with the way the team has been run. Original21 wrote on the walls of the AEK offices, saying “Patience is over”. Of course, nothing will be solved by causing violence, however, I still excpect we will see some.

Sportingreece.com are predicting a couple of results for this game. I believe the 2-2 draw is quite possible.

A review of the Vaslui-AEK match can be found here.

The Kyrgiakos transfer is everywhere on the web, including http://www.uefa.com and http://www.fifa.com frontpages. It is definately one of the largest transfers involving a Greek in Greek football history and has gained attention from aroud the world. The Liverpool fans on some online forums are saying some funny things such as “He’s one of the 300 Spartans”, “He was raised on an island and defended the island from predators”. Good to hear many people are positive about this transfer and I hope he can do well in England. There is a good chance he will start on Monday.

As for the transfer, AEK have recieved a list from Liverpool of available players to loan and Thanopoulos is in Liverpool right now looking for our two players. Some fairly big names are included in the list.

AEK will also play two friendlies with Liverpool, one in Anfield, and on in OAKA. AEK will recieve all of the profit from the two friendlies.

Bajevic is looking at some more players even now, as the transfer deadline approaches.

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.

Almost Final

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Football, Greek National Team, Greek Soccer with tags , , , , on August 20, 2009 by alexaek

Well Liverpool have confirmed everything here. Its as close to a done deal now and all that remains is the medical. AEK have also stated that they will not get in his way if this it what Kyrgiakos really wants.

While I’m proud to see Kyrgiakos going to play abroad for Liverpool what is disgusting me is the way Liverpool are trying to negotiate things. Liverpool’s original offer was 1.5 million euros, ridiculously low. AEK then came back and said no lower than five million (although I think he is worth more). AEK and Liverpool then agreed on three million euros as a compromise. As of yesterday Liverpool’s offer had dropped down to 2.2 million and now its as low as 1.8 million euros. If PAE AEK accept an offer this low it will be horrible. Kyrgiakos should not be sold for anything less than three million euros I believe, even though we should have been recieveing mucn more. He is a starter on the Greek National Team (which is ranked 11th in the world at the moment), he is healthy and fit, and has proven to be a top class centre-back. He is not some unkown centre back from a league such as the Bosnian league as many Liverpool fans on the web seem to believe.

I truly hope AEK manage to negootiate a better offer out of Liverpool, even though there is not much we can do.

Kyrgiakos is gone…

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by alexaek

goal.com

Well, it looks like Kyrgiakos is no longer a player of AEK. Out of the blue Liverpool have singed who could arguably one of our most precious players. I have no clue where this has come from but Liverpool needed a centre-back since theyr’es were injured and so have signed Kyrgiakos for three million.

This is sad news for us. Especially with a Europa League game and our biggest match of the season coming up this week. However, nothing has been confirmed so I have still hope its not true. But I can’t say Im surprised. I dont know many players who would give up the chance to play in one of the world’s best leagues at one of the most historic clubs in club football history.

I cant say much more right now as Im at a loss for words.

Well, press in England is also reporting this now so I guess its just a matter of waiting until it is confirmed.

AEK 1-3 Mallorca

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Transfer Rumor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by alexaek

One final friendly loss for our team before our first Europa League match against Vaslui.

Below is the video of our goal, scored by Leonardo although it deflected of a number of players.

A 3-1 loss at this point really isn’t the most encouraging result but it must be pointed out that the squad playing today was largely a B-Team. The original lineup was Saja, Georgeas, Manolas, Alves, Juanfran, Manduca, Iordache, Yahaya, Leonardo, Gentzoglou, and Blanco.  Blanco was a lone striker with Manduca, Leonardo, and Iordache behind him. Playing defensive midfield behind them was Yahaya and Gentzoglou. Manolas and Alves were playing centre back and Georgeas was right back while Juanfran while was left back.

As you can see, many key players were not playing including Kyrgiakos, Makos, Majstorovic, Djebbour (all for National Team Duty), Pavlis, Tachtsidis, and Scocco (I might have missed some as well). Bearing that in mind, we can’t be surprised to see we got a loss here. I am confident that had we played our main squad we could have won this one by a score of 3-0 at least. Mallorca was not a strong team and would have hardly caused us any trouble if we had a stronger defence in place.

Saja did as good as he could. He saved a penalty but unfortunately could not save the rebound. I personally think goal keeping is the least of our worries.

Georgeas, Manduca, and Leonardo all looked good. Leonardo will become a great player after a few more games with the team. Manduca has kept up his good performances from previous friendlies and Georgeas was as solid as ever (for the most part).

Iordache must improve. He played alright however he really should be providing more to the team. Maybe with a stronger lineup around him he will be better.

Yahaya was great today. He covered alot of distance, took care of bussiness on both ends of the pitch, provided some good passes, defended well, and overall proved that he must be kept.

Manolas was not good, perhaps he is still having trouble with pressure. He didn’t seem to have the confidence nessecary. I don’t see him starting or playing much this season. Alves was the better of the two centre backs today, and he provided some great tackles and did as much as he could. He isn’t starting material though he will be good to have on the team, at least as a backup.

Juanfran showed some good moments but he couldn’t cross well today. He overshot all his crosses and Blanco or any of the forwards couldnt reach any of the balls.

One thing I really want to mention is Lagos, yes LAGOS, played today! I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him in action. And the even bigger suprise? He played some good football. I think there are many good things to come from him. Considering it was his first game in a while (well, a year and a bit actually) he showed some good ball control and I think we can expect to see him more, at least when he is needed. He seemed match fit, even though he only played one half.

Well, as I said, it was basically a game for Bajevic to try out some of the younger players and give them a chance to play some more. We lost but I don’t think we should be too dissapointed. In fact, we actually saw some moments of good football from this squad. They controlled the first tewnty minutes and pressured often, creating good chances and weaving together some good passes. Other times however, the players seemed to fall asleep and forget about the match.

Unless something comes up we won’t be playing any more games until our Europa League qualifier so hopefully Bajevic would have gotten the team ready by then.

Some other news, it unfortunately does not look like we will be signing the South African right back we were about to sign as his club in South Africa have suddenly risen their asking price. It is a shame, but I guess we will have to wait for someone else. I can’t see many more, if any, transfers happening now until January.

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.