Archive for Liberopoulos

Aris 1-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football with tags , , , on January 21, 2013 by alexaek

Could’ve been worse! We managed to grab a point after Petrogol scored the equalizer late in extra time (there were about six minutes extra time I believe, a fair time considering there were four red cards given) and now, believe it or not, we’re actually third from last! Still not out of the relegation zone, but we’re slooooooooowly making our way up. All thanks to Petropoulos! (He really is starting to look like the next Libe)

I heard there were some pretty poor calls made by Kakos (surprising? Not at all if you ask me)… I’m really disappointed to see this guy still officiating high level games…


This is it!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Greek Football, Greek National Team with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by alexaek

After our 2-0* win against PAOK earlier in the week (it feels like ages since we beat them), its come down to a match-up between PAO and AEK to  decide who will be Greece’s second team to attempt to make their mark in the Champions League. Thanks to Chelsea’s win against Bayern in the final today, whichever team goes on to win the playoffs will be placed in the stronger group for qualifying matches and will play against lower seeded teams (definitely good news!).

I really think we have a chance of getting the win tomorrow, though it will not be easy (it never is really). PAO will want this just as much as us, and their supporters will be there. Not sure what to expect for this one, but Im sure we’ll be going all out, its do or die now, nothing but a win will be good enough and we have nothing to lose. PAO, on the other hand, might very well be playing for the draw (we’ve seen them do this in the past), so lets see what happens.

*Libe and Leo were our goal scorers for the match. This was Libe’s last home game for us, sadly, and Dellas’ as well.

Two legendary players for AEK (and Greece). Respected the shirt, always gave the most they could, rarely, if ever, caused any trouble. Players that AEK and Greek football will miss. Players that we dont see as often these days, yet players that our league so desperately needs.

And as much as I love Dellas, I will miss Libe more than I’ll ever miss another AEK player. He’s been with AEK through the good and bad times, never complained, always accepted lower wages, always gave all he had to offer on the pitch. Even at 36 years old this season, he was still scoring goals (and some beautiful ones indeed). Its not often that you find a player who is so respected by AEK and PAO fans, and I certainly wont be surprised to see a standing ovation by the PAO supporters tomorrow. And I also wont be surprised to see Libe score a goal or two tomorrow as well!

AEK 3-2 Atromitos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by alexaek

LIBE! What else can I say? The guy is a legend, 36 and still scoring goals (beautiful ones too).

Didnt watch the match. I heard the first half wasnt our greatest but things picked up later on. Not sure how specific players played but we scored some nice goals today and grabbed some critical points.

PAOK beat Panathinaikos today which puts us one point behind first with three games left. Can we finish top? Too early to tell but its definitely possible. Away to Atromitos could be tricky, but with PAOK at home and a very mediocre Panathinaikos away, there is definitely plenty of potential for us to pick up points.



Panionios 0-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2011 by alexaek

So, a lot has happened since my last post, and not much of it was good.

Before talking briefly about today’s match, Ill mention the other two we played this week, even though Id much rather not.

So, PAOK-AEK in Toumba. Of all the derbies we play each season, the PAOK one rarely gives as much trouble as others. Even Toumba, despite being filled with incredibly intimidating and passionate PAOK supporters, is a stadium AEK always seems to have a chance in. I cant seem to figure it out, but our record there these past few years has been quite good.

Things did change last weekend when we lost 3-0. Ill be honest with all of you, this was the first time I closed the computer early during an AEK match. Things weren’t looking good right from the start, our defence was terrible, we were lacking creativity, and as soon as PAOK went one up as a result of some terrible man marking (or lack of, rather), I gave up. I knew we had no chance of getting back in the game. We didn’t have Roger playing (the man responsible for assisting two of our four goals against Xanthi a few days before) and we were creating nothing, going nowehere. PAOK on the other hand, who have got off to a very good start this season and are playing some attractive football, clearly seemed the better team, and I couldn’t see them giving up their lead. And seeing as I had other stuff to do at home, I figured it wasn’t worth watching the rest, so I listened on the radio. As I expected, things only got worse.

Aside from our terrible defending, it was so clear in this game, as it was the next, and especially today’s match with Panionios, that we lack creativity. Despite his attitude and on-and-off performances, I would give anything to have someone like Scocco, and even Manduca, back in our squad. Roger can certainly create, but he isn’t enough, we need someone who can get the ball forward on his own, someone who can pull defenders out and then ease past them, and someone who can score after doing all this work. Scocco was someone who could do this, and even when he didn’t score, he was a nightmare for defenders.

Sure, Leonardo has played great this season, but he isn’t nearly the same level. Jose Carlos has the potential, but I havent seen too much from him yet. Sialmas wont get us anywhere. Belleck works hard and has some speed, but still cannot move with the ball the way Scocco could. Gudjonsen is way too old, and has done nothing in my opinion to warrant the money we pay him.

We have nobody going forward that can open up defenders, create plays and opportunities, someone who will get the ball up there, and will get it in the net. Its quite sad really to see how low AEK has fallen, considering even last year we had a player Like Scocco. Before then we had a Blanco who could score anything, and a young Libe, with Rivaldo pulling the strings. Go further back and we had players like Nikolaidis, Tsiartas, Mavros, Papaioannou. Sure, these players all play different positions, but the point Im trying to make is AEK has always been blessed with great attacking talent… these days, we simply dont have that. Yes, Leonardo is a fine player, Belleck has potential, but aside from these guys, we have nobody. Libe is too old, and can only be used a sub these days, Gudjonsen can’t really do too much.

No matter who we have as coach, until we have a team that can be dangerous up front, we wont be getting the results we want. Sure, Manolo is to blame for our poor results this season and last, more so maybe than our players. But I think it was especially obvious from our game today against Panionios, that this AEK team cannot go far. We have a good group of players with young talents like Leo and Manolas, experience in Dellas and Libe, but we need more. Desperately.

So, I’ve gotten a bit off topic by now. Maybe its because I dont quite feel like talking about our match against Sturm, but I guess I will.

First game of the season with fans in oaka. We didn’t get a good result against PAOK a few days earlier, but we were hoping for something here, and with Carlos’ goal early in the second half, we thought we’d clinched the three points. But, thanks to a pointless red card for Dellas, we let our lead slip away as well as all three points. I’m not going to talk too much about the game, but I would like to say that its incredibly disappointing to lose a game like this, in this way. We were the better team, we dominated throughout the first half. I would even go as far as saying that Sturm was the worst European team Ive seen AEK play in a while. They were nowhere, they could not create a chance, their defending was terrible. A stronger AEK team, such as our team of 07-08, would have taken this game with a 3-0 scoreline. And thats what disappoints me the most. AEK should not be losing these games, these games should be a fairly easy three points. Even the away match to Anderlecht. A previous AEK team with a better defense could have comfortably gotten at least a draw.

So, I wont say anymore about that match. We’re pretty much out of Europe already and its only the second day of October. Wonderful…

And finally, Ill mention our game today against Panionios. Poor match, terrible match rather, but the result was great. Panionios has given us a hard time lately, especially in Nea Smyrni. And to get a win like this, in the 92nd minute, feels just wonderful. We played terribly (Ive heard people mention it was the worst game from AEK they can recall seeing), only created one or two chances, but we got the three points away from home. And thanks to Oly beating PAOK today, we’re tied for first (though Oly have played a game less). I know its still early and I can’t see us staying first for much longer, but hey, at least its something.


Xanthi 3-4 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2011 by alexaek

Yep, 2 for 2 in the championship already. Who would have thought? Certainly not me (if I read correctly, we had 2 points by this time last season). And really, THESE are the games we must be winning. Take the 07-08 season for example, where easily avoidable home losses to teams like Iraklis and Panionios cost us the championship. Sure, derbies can go either way, but its beating the weaker opponents that counts most to ensuring success in the championship. And we’ve certainly done that so far, against two teams (Ergotelis and Xanthi) who have been known to give us a hard time when they wanted to.

Just by reading the score, two things are obvious. Our offense? Excellent! Our defense? Not so much.

We were brilliant going forward from midfield up. Vargas had a stand out game and is really making a tremendous impression on all of us. He’s technical, knows the game, and, as was evident from the game, can certainly finish.

Guerreiro, who we haven’t seen play in a while, also had a phenomenal game, with two assists. Sure, he is still a slow player, but his vision is excellent, and so were his set pieces (though the wind did help on some occasions). Lets face it, were stuck with him, and are still paying him, we might as well get some game time from him. Im not getting my hopes too high just yet though, this wouldn’t be the first time he impressed only to have a poor performance in the next game. But if he keeps this up, he can definitely be a useful player this season.

Belleck? Impressive once again. Fast, plays well with the team, had a great chance to score, and also got an assist (to add to his other from the Ergotelis game). Fantastic singing for us (Im gonna say he’s the best signing of the season along with Vargas).

Libe, Eidur, overall we were brilliantly going forward. 4 goals away to Xanthi is never easy but they managed it (its always great to see AEK score 4, especially in an away game). Afterall, this is the same Xanthi team that only barely lost to Olympiakos in Karaiskaki the week before. And that was only after they received a red card and had 5 minutes of extra time added to the game (of course Oly went on to score the winning goal in the 4th minute of extra time… convenient isn’t it?). So well done to our attackers.

Unfortunately, our defending was scary at times. It seems there is little communication going on these days, especially with the back four. Manolas had a poor game, and overall we were not effective at defending at all. Let too much slip by, sloppy and poor judgement from our defenders. I’m not sure what its gonna take, but they really must tighten up. The goals we conceeded could have been avoided, and when you’re up by two with so little time left, you really shouldn’t be letting goals in like that. Its worrisome that they managed to let Xanthi back in the game so many times.

Thankfully, Arabatzis played between the posts. Slightly at fault for the first goal, but he saved us a few times, notably on a one on one in the second half. Unfortunately, he had a tough game with the wind up north (Ive never seen wind like that at a football match). On more than one occasion after taking a goal kick, the ball would simply hover in the air and then slowly drift back toward the goal it came from.

SO. 2 for 2. Well done to Manolo for lining us up well finally and making the right subs at the right time. Defending needs work though, and urgently. Still, we’re in a great position so far, and confidence should be high. We’ll need it afterall, as we face PAOK in Toumba this weekend. A win here and things will be looking very good for us.

Oh, and of course, the goals from the match (Vargas’ goal was phenomenal):



And one final note. Once again, well done to our supporters. Amazing away support yet again (not long after the fantastic support they offered our team in Belgium). Nobody beats AEK supporters.



Transfer Updates

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by alexaek

Really not sure where to start this one, but I guess Ill begin with Scocco transfer (though I’m sure most of you have heard by now). Yep, Nacho Scocco is no longer a player of AEK. And I really don’t know what to say about this… literally.

Three seasons he’s been with us and in during those three seasons he has left us with so many great memories: his two goals in the 4-4 Cup Final, his two goals against Oly to give us the win in Karaiskaki, his two goals (one of them being an outrageously beautiful shot, as were most of his goals) against Aris, his two goals against Vaslui, his fantastic shot against Panionios, a number of goals against PAO… some of his goals, a majority of them even, were game winners for us. To be honest, and I’m not simply saying this because he played for AEK, I think he was the best player in the league the past few seasons when he wanted to be. Unbelievable skills and technique, his fair share of assists, beautiful goals, he was a joy to watch. But, again, WHEN HE WANTED TO BE.

I’ve seen many AEK fans on the internet claim he was simply inconsistent as most footballers are. That, however, I cannot agree with. I loved the guy for everything he did for us, but to me, it is a fact that when there were no scouts watching or when the game wasn’t high profile, he simply didn’t show any motivation. There were so many games where he completely disappeared, where he simply refused to put any effort into the match, where he refused to assist his teamates on the pitch. And this is coming from someone who saw him live at every home game for his first two seasons with AEK. His body language for the majority of the matches he played for us suggest that he simply didn’t care about putting effort in that was required of him to help the team.

His off the pitch attitude was not much better at times, with him being extremely difficult to negotiate with whenever it came time to agreeing to new contracts. Fortunately he did agree to a “decent” contract (with a rather low sellout price) however I was never once convinced that a move to one of our rivals was ruled out of his mind.

So, I don’t know what to say about this transfer. I’m confident in saying we will not find a player like him no matter how hard we look (at least nobody within our budget or anything near it). He will not be replaced anytime soon. However, if it was up to me, I’d rather we have the team we had in the 2007-2008 season with Ribo, Zikos, Dellas, Libe, Papastathopoulos and co, a team that worked effectively as a unit, and give up Scocco, than have things the other way around. Obviously, this will never happen, but the point I’m trying to make is there have been better AEK teams before Scocco and there will certainly be better AEK teams after Scocco. Having said that though, after the departure of Djebbour (good riddance), then Blanco, and now Scocco… what attacking creativity will we have? Fine, Libe might be around for another year. But who else? Baha was a joke, and we don’t have one decent striker or attacker who is AEK material. Roger might have a good game occasionally, and Michel was solid though we probably wont even keep him. Scocco was without a doubt our most dangerous weapon, a weapon any superleague defense would fear, and now we have lost him and have no chance of replacing him. I’m not saying AEK will be far worse off without him, but without any immediate plans to boost our attack somewhat, we will only continue heading downhill as we have been for the past few seasons.

Having said that, this transfer was not something management could simply pass off. The nearly three million euros we gained from the transfer will certainly help things financially, at least for the time being.

Anyways, like I said, I don’t know what to say. Sure I would have liked to keep him, but I can’t imagine management passing up any offer near or over three million euros (though I think we deserve much more for him). He did say that if he ever returned to Greece, it would only be for AEK, so who knows what the future will bring… but really, who knows what the future will bring for AEK in general. Will we just end up like our basketball team? Its possible…

As of so far this summer, we have made three singings. A young centreback from Aris who is supposed to be very promising (we’ll see), Kontoes from Panionios (I’m happy with this, always liked him, and he even accepted lower wages at AEK than he was offered at Panionios, which is a nice slap to the face for Panionios and its supporters), and an attacker from Giannina, Salmas (haven’t seen much of him at all, but his goal, a fabulous one with an even better assist, his one of the possible votes for European goal of the season, so vote for it here!)

Decent singings for the future, or as possible bench players, but nothing to get excited about at all. They are Greek however, so they will likely respect the shirt they’re wearing a little more than a foreigner, but still… we need some better signings than this if we want to see an AEK that has a chance of making a difference in the league this season.

To end this post, I’d like to post some Scocco videos. I might have some negative opinions of him at times, but he has left me with some memories that I will simply never forget!


Another Season Finished…

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2011 by alexaek

So, I know its a bit late, but I figured I’d get a short review of the season up (even though its a season, one of many, that I would ultimately like to forget about)..

I guess it would be most appropriate to start from the beginning though in all honesty, I can barely remember much from the first half of the season! Pre-season started well for us, with a trip to Australia where we took part in a small football tournament. The friendly tournament consisted of AEK, Rangers (Scotland), Blackburn (England), and Sydney FC (Australia), three respectable opponents. I must admit that, after the positive results of the tournament (AEK scored five goals in her first match and ultimately ended up winning the tournament after beating all three teams), I had very high expectations of the team. Despite having  very little time to adjust to the jet lag, AEK played some very impressive attacking football at times (I remember Libe, Leo, and Burns all standing out for me in those games) and things were looking good early on. The team was clearly gelling well together.

Unfortunately, it was not long after that  until we were brought back down to earth with the reality of Greek football. At a friendly in Athens some time in August, Bajevic was attacked by a bunch of AEK supporters (though there were thankfully just as many, if not more, defending him).

It was not long after the events in Athens that AEK traveled to Scotland to take on Dundee in the first leg of the Europa League Qualifiers. Our record against Scottish opposition before the game was fantastic (two victories against both Hearts and Rangers, both in official European games) and Dundee did not seem to pose much of a threat to us. Thankfully, we left Scotland with a 0-1 away win, putting us in a fantastic position for the return leg.

Things were not looking good for AEK, however. Repair work going on at OAKA meant the stadium was not available for us to use. After looking for other solutions, the team decided the match would be played in Panionios’ stadium. Of course, with this being Greece, and AEK, things did not work out as smoothly as we would have liked. The Panionios supporters seemed to have a problem with AEK playing the match in their stadium (pity for them, as I can hardly see their scum team playing another European match in that stadium for a very long time…) and they thought it would be a good idea to vandalize the stadium to the point where it would not be usable for the match. After damaging goal posts, spraying graffiti, and tearing up half the grass on the pitch, the stadium was in fact deemed not usable and AEK were again forced to find another location to host the match.

Again, as I mentioned before, things are never easy for AEK. Eventually, we managed to secure Karaiskaki stadium for the match. However, due to the location of the stadium, right in the heart of enemy territory, AEK fans were not allowed to attend the match (so yes, Dundee ultimately ended up playing two home matches as only their supporters were allowed in). The match ended 1-1, which meant AEK were through thanks to our away goal in Scotland.

So, thats all I can remember from the pre-season, but feel free to add whatever I may have missed in the comments section below.

I could go through the entire season, but it was a rather depressing one to be honest. Sure, we had some good results (derby wins against PAO and Oly, as well as a fantastic 0-4 away win against Aris) but it also saw us end up with some of our worst results in history. A 0-4 home loss to Olympiakos Volou, and a 6-0 away loss against Olympiakos (both matches were with Jimenez as coach) showed that the situation with our club and the current team we have are clearly not up to the standards they need to be. I didn’t watch the 0-4 loss, but I certainly will put some of the blame for our 6-0 loss on the ref, and other circumstances, however, it was clear in that match that we were badly outplayed at times.

Overall, it was a dreadful championship for us. After the playoffs, we ended up fourth in the league. Throughout the championship, whether we had Bajevic or Jimenez as coach, we struggled against teams which AEK should NEVER struggle against, teams such as Kerkyra, Olympiakos Volou, Panionios, etc… We were painfully inconsistent, playing beautiful football one match, sloppy the next… as a supporter I must say that this AEK team was the most difficult to follow that I can remember. Especially when I compare the current team to the Championship winning team we had four years ago (lets face it, a team like we have right now will never compare to a team with Papastathopoulos, a younger Dellas and Libe, Zikos and Ribo controlling the midfield, a Blanco who could score anything). Sure, this past season we had some hard working Greeks like Georgeas, Kafes, and Makos, as well as Dellas and Libe. And sure, we had a solid keeper in Saja, and a fantastic player in Scocco, but overall as a team, we have been lacking greatly these past couple of years.

Anyways, as dreadful as the championship was, the Cup did manage to bring us some happiness. We knocked out some tough opposition on the way to the final including PAO (thanks to a wonder goal from Michel), and PAOK (thanks to the one and only Traianos Dellas), and we ended up winning the final 3-0 against Atromitos. Above all, the greatest moment of this season for me was seeing Libe raise the trophy. Its a pity that great men and players like Libe can end up going their entire career without ever raising a trophy, while teams like Oly end up buying their way to Championship after Championship… thats the reality of Greek football, and to be honest, I don’t ever see it changing, as it is also the reality of Greek life in general. However, for us, AEK is a sickness, something we can never leave, never abandon, and despite all the obstacles she will face in the future, we will always support her. I really do not see next season being any better than the last one. If anything, it will only be worse (I simply can no longer see the hope that others might see). Our management is slowly abandoning us, and like our basketball club, things will only get worse if something does not change. The supporters club has a good idea set up with its current plan. How long it will last, and what difference it will make, only time will tell. Until then, we will all still forever support our club.

And before I end this post, I want to once more bring our attention to the handball club, and team of guys who have all but dedicated their lives to AEK. The results in the championship, cup, and European tournaments, all show what a team can do when they put all their energy into playing for the love of your club rather than simply awaiting the next paycheck… MANY players from our football club could learn a thing or two from them.