Archive for Majstorovic

The Colossus is back (and the new kit is “revealled”)

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Non-AEK Football/Soccer with tags , , , , , , , on July 2, 2010 by alexaek

Traianos Dellas has once again returned to AEK, and it’s official. I’m sure there will be many mixed opinions about this, and perhaps rightfully so, but as of right now I’m pleased with this (it is thankfully only a one year deal). I know its been repeated many times on here but guys like Dellas and Libe back in our change rooms will hopefully bring unity, calm, dedication, and many other desirable traits to the rest of the players. These players know the fans, they understand what the badge means and they know just how much a match against, say, Olympiakos means. Despite their age, they will (at least Libe) give 100% each match and hopefully some of that will wear off onto other players around.

Also, the singing of Dellas comes as news has gotten out that Majstorovic has been told to search for offers from other teams. Majstro is being payed more than most players on the team at the moment and normally I would not complain, but his performances this season on average were below average. He was careless, arrogant with the ball, and sloppy. I suppose I still like him and don’t exactly wish for him to leave yet but if he can bring in a good offer it really must be considered by the board (assuming we can find a suitable replacement because I don’t see Dellas playing 90 minutes each match). Shame we got rid of Papastathopoulos. Having him as well as Manolas and Dellas as our options for centre-back would have been extremely reassuring.

Below are some pictures from yesterday showing Dellas with our new tops which technically makes it “official”.

I personally like the kit, very sharp looking. No Eagle watermark on the shoulder as were hoping but all hope is not yet lost; as was pointed out on greeksoccer.com forums, the new Sporting Puma kit has a lion watermark so we shall see….

PAOK 1-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, Greek Football, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by alexaek

After all these years we finally lost to PAOK.

I left this game for so late because, well, I don’t really feel like talking about it. We played terrible, like a bunch of amateurs. It was obvious PAOK weren’t putting all their effort into the match yet they still out played us. We played with no direction, no passion. We had Scocco waste a penalty shot which was saved by their keeper.

Anyways, thats really enough about that match if you dont mind. Now, thankfully for us, Olympiakos drew to Aris, 0-0 in Karaiskaki. Fortunately for us Olympiakos also looked quite terrible. And, even better, they have fourteen (!) players out on injury. Nikopolidis, Derbyshire, Torosidis, Dudu, Lua Lua, Leonardo, and, unless things have changed recently, many others. Great news for us, it pretty much means Olympiakos will play their B- team. This means that if AEK play this match the way they did at the 4-2 with Aris I firmly believe we can get a very comfortable win. Of course, this is not a guarantee, but it’s quite likely in my opinion.

The winner of tomorrow’s match finishes second in the playoffs, which means more time to prepare for Europa League Qualifiers and easier qualifying groups. A draw however would mean Olympiakos would finish second. The ideal result after tomorrow for me would be a win for AEK (obviously) and a win for Aris which would mean Olympiakos finishes last in the playoffs. I cannot describe in words the joy I would have at seeing that happen (we all know, afterall, that playoffs were made for teams like Olympiakos and Pao).

Djebbour will not play tomorrow since the Algeria coach wanted the entire team to start World Cup preparations and would not let anybody be late. I believe Majstorovic will not be playing but Kafes should which will help things for us in the middle of the pitch.

THIS IS AEK!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2010 by alexaek

So, we drew to PAOK and Lost to Oly. Things were looking very bad and people were wondering “what’s wrong with the players???”. Well, I don’t know what was wrong with them but yesterday’s 4-2 win against Aris saw a completely different team on the pitch. Sure, a little late to start playing some football but better late than never and to be honest we still have a chance of getting something worthwhile out of these playoffs if we keep this up.

First of all, I want to say that in three years and over 60+ games that I’ve never missed at OAKA these past seasons I cannot remember even one game where I’ve experienced these many emotions in the span of 90 minutes. There were four red cards throughout the game, a number of yellows, questionable referring, AEK taking the lead, losing it, evening things up, and taking the lead once again. I’m telling you, it was fantastic.

Now enough of that, lets talk about the players. I cannot think of one game this season where we saw our guys go out there with so much passion, not even the win against Oly (though it is a different experience watching on TV and live). I don’t know what happened but these players have woken up, finally realized what shirt they’re wearing, finally realized what exactly is at stake here. We played with passion, we had direction to our play (something that we had sorely been missing the past few matches), we saw a dangerous offense and some phenomenal goal tending, we saw our players do everything they had to to win. Now, I must say Aris were nothing special. In fact, they were terrible, though they still managed to create some very dangerous counter attacks on a number of occasion. However, if AEK had played this way from the start of the playoffs without a doubt we would be in a much different situation right now.

So, the match itself. One could tell from the start it was going to be a rather exciting game. Aris created the first dangerous chance very early on however there was alot of back and forth play between the two teams from the get-go though AEK managed to take control of most of the passion with Aris looking quite weak on the ball. After a number of decent chances for AEK we finally went up with a superb shot from none other than Rafik Djebbour after Scocco’s pass deflected off an Aris defender. The crowd erupted after the goal (though it was a terribly small crowd at OAKA that night the atmosphere was fantastic for the most part) however cheering soon turned to booing after less than ten minutes later Jahic was kicked out for his second yellow. I’ll let you make your own decision from the video below. He is pushed, as he said he was, but it also looks like he intended on having his hand there so its a tricky decision.

Three minutes later the players were even again as Calvo received a red card as well. Again, some say the red was not required, so I personally don’t know. Either way, a yellow was needed since he kicked the ball for no reason. I just can’t remember if that was his second card.

So half time came and went and at the start of the second we were up 1-0. Things changed shortly later however as Saja received a red card for taking down Campora when in reality in was not necessary. Campora scored the penalty and the score was even once again. Regardless, our players never gave up their attack but failing to quickly restore the lead punished them as Aris’ American forward scored another for them to put them up 2-1. Well, by this point tension was building up again in the crowd but once again the fans were up and cheering  when Leonardo scored only three minutes later. Two more goals followed, a penalty by Scocco and a header by Leonardo, giving AEK three goals in nine minutes and a 4-2 lead.

So, a few players in particular deserve credit (actually, pretty much almost the whole team). Firstly, Gentzoglou! Wow, the kid is still young but, as is the case with Manolas (who didn’t play today because of an injury of some sort), he plays like someone with ten years experience at this level. He has a great vision, and holds up the ball expertly.

Saja and Arabatzis. Both of these guys had great games yesterday. Saja, until he got kicked out, was solid, but Arabatzis was just incredible! Made a number of critical and phenomenal saves to keep AEK in the game.

Leonardo. Now, I know this guy hasn’t been a star this season, but yesterday was a fantastic performance from him. Aside from his two goals he was fighting with passion and was dangerous when on the ball.

Scocco, who scored and had two assists yesterday, and Djebbour, both played very good games. I was surprised to see the level of passion coming from Scocco, but it seems even he wanted nothing less than a win. Djebbour scored a goal and played a killer pass for Kafes to set up Leonardo. The guy’s technical skills are among the best in the league and it would be a terrible loss if we got rid of him this summer. I hope management acknowledge this fact.

Aside from these select players, I want to give credit to the whole team for playing hard despite the heat and being down two players for quite a while. I also want to give Dusan credit since he clearly knew what he was doing when he put Leonardo in and I can’t complain about any of his choices yesterday considering the absence of Manolas and the number of cards the players received.

Okay, so we got a fantastic win and one much needed for the players and the fans. Will we keep up this level of play? I hope so, because of we do we can definately get second place in the playoffs and quite possibly first if we have a little luck and PAOK loses where they should.

As of right now the standings are PAOK with 10 points, Oly with 7, AEK with 5, and Aris with 3.

AEKARA!!!!

Olympiakos 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Europa League, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by alexaek

Well, I’ve calmed down since last night so I’ll attempt to explain in a clearer way what I saw last night.

Below is a video showing some of the main highlights of the match (it unfortunately misses the hit to Scocco’s chin so I’ll keep an eye out for that one).

Well, after the draw with PAOK many people were commenting on the lack of energy or passion from the team. It was obvious to all of us, but I had thought it was a one time thing. Unfortunately, yesterday’s match proved me wrong. Once again our players showed no interest in the game at all (except for Manolas and Saja). Remember in January when we got that famous win in Karaiskaki? AEK turned the pressure on that night and there was nothing Olympiakos could do. Fact of the matter is, this is the worst Olympiakos team in years. But when we’re sitting back, not marking, leaving so much space for them to maneuver, they end up looking ten times better than they actually are.

Its something I’ve experienced a number of times. Because of the poor organization in my school’s league we played many different opponents. Sometimes we would come up against a team that could not match us in any way. The final outcome of these games would normally be 5-0, 7-0. Our players had space and time, they were able to make themeselves look like mini Maradonas. Unfortunately, we would be violently brought down to reality when we came up against a tougher opponent. We would never have space, we could hardly win the ball and we would normally end up losing 2-0. This is how football is, and that is how it was last night. Olympiakos are a terrible team, and they’re defense is useless. We saw that last night the few times we pressured or whenever we had a set piece. We also saw that when they lost 2-0 to Aris. But it doesn’t matter if they have a superb defense or a below average one, if you aren’t putting any pressure on them it will never matter. We had the players on the pitch last night: Scocco, Djebbour, Manduca and Nemeth when they came on. These players, when playing to their full potential, can rip up any defense. Scocco showed that when we beat PAOK earlier in the season. Scocco was able to almost walk through what was considered one of the best defenses in Europe before setting up Manduca for a simple tap in. Had we applied that pressure last night we would have created numerous chances.

Our defense yesterday, like Olympiakos’, was terrible. However, ours was pressured, unlike theirs. Manolas deserves credit, even in a derby like this with all the pressure on him, he still remained calm and played like the experienced center back Majstorovic should be. Majstorovic on the other hand…. this guy needs to go! I appreciated him his first season here, alongside Kyrgiakos, but he is falling asleep out there on the pitch. Not only are his constant back passes to the keeper getting on my nerves, but he has failed to grasp the concept of man marking. Take a look at the first Oly chance in that vid, Majstro simply let Oscar walk right in. Alright, you may not get the ball each time, but at least make a challenge, pressure him, rather than give him so much space.

The first Oly goal, what was Majstorovic doing? I don’t know, gazing into space maybe? Thinking about what he had for dinner the night before? MARK YOUR MAN! Its a corner kick, you got a tall, powerful, experienced center back (Mellberg) going up, you don’t give him space because he will score! The first goal was easily avoidable, but Majstro didn’t even put in the required effort to at least try and prevent the ball reaching his fellow Swede.

The second Oly goal. What was Lagos thinking? I don’t know, I have no clue. But a four year old footballer would have marked that man better than he did. There is an Oly player making a run in the middle of the box, with nobody around him. What do you do? Get on him, pressure him, you dont let him walk through doing whatever he wants.

So, both goals could have been avoided with some simple defending. But aside from that, we were on pressure almost the entire night. We gave them space, we granted them possession by not pressuring them and winning the ball, obviously you will be pressured.  Thankfully, their finishing was poor, Saja was awake, and luck was on our side (Oly had four posts in the match).

Ok, the Kafes penalty. I’m not denying anything, it was a dive. I don’t see contact, maybe somebody else does, I dont know. But what I do know is that Oly get away with those calls every week, any other team in the world gets away with those calls and in the end of the day, its the result that counts, so why shouldn’t we try and get a few that way? I hate to say it, but if everyone else is doing it, we have to get an edge also if we want to be competitive. Kafes knew what he was doing, he isn’t stupid. Even from the replay it looks close, without a doubt, and considering the ref had only a matter of seconds to make a choice, more than likely Kafes knew he would give him the penalty.

Anyways, even if you do want to complain about the penalty, what about the ones that were not called for us? Like I said, I’ll look for a video showing them, but the hit to Scocco’s face was a sure penalty, and I have no doubt about that.

Alright, our second goal. Nobody on this planet would say there was a foul in that play. The goal should have stood (but we all know the ref would not be doing his job if he allowed it), the score would have probably ended 2-2, and, while we still probably wouldn’t have a chance for CL football, we would have at least held Oly back. Now, we sit in the final playoff spot. A win against Aris this wednesday will help us move up, but after that I don’t know how long we can stay up.

Half Time Olympiakos 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by alexaek

Well, the ref is not helping us (though he did give us a penalty which we scored). However, aside from that, our defense is terrible! We are letting every ball through, marking is non-existent. Both Oly goals could have easily been avoided had our defenders been marking their players.

Anyways, Olympiakos is playing pretty poor football, but our defense is helping them out. If we were to come out stronger and tighter in the second half we could easily grab a point if not all three, there is nothing stopping us.

Starting 11 were Saja, Araujo, Manolas, Majstorovic, Lagos, Kafes, Hersi, Jahic, Makos, Djebbour, and Scocco. I hope we see either Manduca or Nemeth on soon, if not both.

Levadeiakos 0-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by alexaek

We left Livadia last night with one point from a draw, enough to seal us fourth place as Aris fall 2-1 to Tripolis. Nothing spectacular really but a game worth commentating on regardless.

So, despite the 0-0 scoreline, both teams had some considerable chances to get a few in the net with the majority of them coming from Levadeiakos in the first half. The game has sort of left me now since its been a few days so I can’t remember too many specifics but I know that Saja stood out! Made some fantastic and critical saves to keep us in the game and had it not been for him (and some rather poor finishing from the Levadeiakos players) the score would have definately been in favor of Levadeiakos.

We lined up with Saja in nets, Georgeas, Majstorovic, Majstorovic, and Araujo in defense, Kafes, Gentzoglou, and Makos in the midfield and Manduca up front behind Nemeth and Djebbour (yes, no Blanco in the starting lineup!…. maybe resting him for the far more important playoffs). Majstorovic generally got poor ratings but I thought he had a decent game, though certainly nothing outstanding. Manolas and Araujo both had very good games though and Manolas seems to be getting better and better by the day.

Makos played alright compared to what we’ve seen at other times in the season. For the most part it seemed as if he was actually trying and while he didn’t do anything spectacular he at least didn’t mess up nearly as often as usual.

Nemeth looked good from what I saw and the chemistry between him and Djebbour seemed alright and should only improve (by the way, no new news with regards to Nemeth and next season).

Honestly not much more to say about this game, no point really in going on about it as we have the much more important playoffs coming up.

Anyways, week after week of games since the ban was put in place and the police finally decide they are going to actually enforce it this one game… when AEK are playing! I certainly agree they should enforce the ban if it is there (though I dont believe it should be there in the first place since AEK fans have caused no trouble at all this season) but they should enforce it at all games or none, rather than a select few (or in this case, a select one).

The saying “If there’s a will there’s a way” truly applies when talking about AEK supporters… an unfinished house looking right over the stadium was owned by AEK fans (from what I heard) and they invited in about 50 or 100 AEK supporters who set up banners on the balconies and started singing louder than the handful of Levadeiakos “Ultras”. Great to see them not give up when it comes to supporting AEK, but unfortunately a handful got arrested… even some who were watching the match at a cafe wearing AEK shirts.

An incident occurred after the match involving Georgeas and Levadeiakos owner Kobotis. Apparently, as Georgeas was giving an interview Kobotis walked by and asked “Where does AEK find the money to offer you bonuses?” (obviously bitter since his team will soon be playing 2nd division football). Georgeas replies with “Where do you find your money?” since its generally believed that Xanthi and Levadeiakos have been “involved” with Olympiakos. Kobotis replied with some very nasty language (too nasty to say on here)… to think that we want our league to advance when people like that are running the teams makes me laugh.

AEK 1-1 Panionios

Posted in AEK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by alexaek

Well, obviously not a favorable result for us yesterday. Sure, we aren’t exactly desperate for points right now (though they would help since Aris is only three behind us) but it’s still painful to see us drop two points at home to this Panionios team.

To be honest, this wasn’t our worst performance yet. We were all over Panionios for the first ten minutes and we had numerous chances throughout the match to put the ball in the net.

Arabatzis started this one and he did a fairly good job. He can’t really be blamed for the first goal, few keepers would have done anything there.

Jahic played right back since Araujo was out and he did a decent job. He certainly wasn’t the weakest link in our defense yesterday, that honor would have to go to Majstorovic. The Swede was sloppy throughout. I don’t know what it was, perhaps he was feeling a little too comfortable since the team had finally seen some good form, but he was slacking off far too much. Fortunately, Manolas was considerably tighter and more secure (he got the MVP award once again) and for the third game in a row the rookie showed what he is capable of. Honestly, I think Majstorovic should start following Manolas’ example and not the other way around.

Karabelas played left back and did a fairly good job at it. He was clearly giving it 100% out there (the same could not be said about other players) and marked well at times, but he had some trouble defending 1-on-1’s.

Our defense overall was very weak when it came to defending the counter attacks. We were caught off guard plenty of times and were rarely organized enough to halt Panionios’ attack. Hopefully this will be addressed though to be honest this hadn’t been our problem in a while as far as I can tell.

Our midfield was weak. Aside from Gentsoglou (who started off weak but eventually managed to pick things up a bit) we weren’t doing anything. Leonardo had a poor game and he gave away far too many balls. Kafes tried as far as I can tell but didn’t too much. However, there is only so much he can do when the others around him aren’t doing what they should be doing.

Scocco…. he was USELESS. Totally useless. I want him sitting on the bench until the season is over. Manduca could easily take his place, at least he has been contributing to the team whenever he plays. Either way I’m getting very tired of Scocco’s four year old mentality. He sits around the entire match, gives a couple of useless passes, doesn’t even bother trying to get the target on his free kicks, and yet still wants to move to a bigger club. Sure, he scored our only goal for us late in the match, but we would have been better off without him in the first place.

Djebbour and Blanco deserve some credit. They both had some great chances and both were clearly trying out there. I’m not going to be too critical of Blanco. He could have scored, but didn’t, however other than that he didn’t do too much wrong out there.

Djebbour also came close to scoring but he holds on to the ball far too much. Instead of shooting when he gets the chance or passing when he has nowhere to go he simply tries to dribble around as many defenders as possible. Of course, this may work occasionally such as at the Iraklis game or with PAOK but it’s not the way he should be doing things. Blanco is finally having some good form lately. PASS IT TO HIM. Or take a shot! Very simple things, yet he still chooses to go about things the hard way.

Nemeth, Roger, and Hersi were our subs. I didn’t see Hersi contribute too much but he didn’t have too much time to make an impact. Roger had a nice shot which if I remember correctly rebounded out for a corner. Nonetheless, this was Roger’s first game in a couple of months if I’m correct (he had a serious blood infection, or something along those lines) but it was still good to see him back. He is a player capable of good things so hopefully we’ll see more of him now.

Nemeth was fighting out there. He was going for as many goals as possible and there was no doubting that. I really feel the Bajevic should introduce him at half time at our next match (though he may be trying to rest him for the playoffs) but he made a considerable difference when he came on.

Ok, time for some rumours. Obviously, Scocco wants to leave this summer. IF he can bring in five million euros or more I will be more than happy to see him go (yes, I appreciate all that he did for us these past two seasons but clearly is no longer for us unless he matures a bit). Now, assuming he brings in a large sum of money many papers both here and in the UK are reporting that we have been talking with Brazilian star Geovanni (currently playing for Hull). Hull are near relegation and have told their players that if they are relegated they will have to accept significant cuts in their paychecks. Assuming we get the money from Scocco’s transfer, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Geovanni on our team. Sure, he’s almost 30 now, but he has huge talent and can easily be one of the best, if not THE BEST, players in our league. I say he’s easily got one or two more years left in him and he would be an ideal replacement for Scocco.

Now you wanna hear something funny? PAO are offering us 1.2 million plus Petropoulos (woo hoo!) in exchange for Scocco. Are these guys serious?!