Archive for Majstorovic

Catching Up…

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2017 by alexaek

Its been a few weeks since my last post and as is often the case early on in a season, lots has happened. Luckily for us, things have been going pretty well so most of what I have to talk about is good news.

PAS Giannena 0-0 AEK

We’ve played three games since my last post, the first of which was a disappointing draw away against Giannena. I was only able to follow this game from the radio but in the end I think I was glad I didn’t watch it on TV. It wasn’t an awful game… after all, we didn’t lose. The game did leave a lot to be desired though with neither team managing to really make much happen. The good news though is that we weren’t really outplayed that much.

To be fair the game was only three days after our match against Club Brugge so I could see fatigue playing a part. On top of that there was probably a lot of pressure on the team to put in another good performance as they did against Brugge and perhaps they struggled to deal with those expectations. Its early in the season and we’re still figuring things out so I’m not too worried about the result.

AEK 4-0 Larissa

Our next game was a home game against Larissa, the third Superleague game of the season for us. The score was impressive but our performance was anything but. We seemed uninspired and the tempo of the match was more like what would be expected from a training session.

Thankfully we were rewarded with some goals, a couple of which were particularly impressive. I don’t know if its the fact that we were playing against a team that was clearly not going to be hard to beat, or if it was the empty stands for yet another game (I believe we have one more game with no fans before we are allowed to let them watch again), but there didn’t seem to be much urgency within the team. Thankfully though they managed to get the job done at least since we needed to make up for the points dropped from the previous match. Whats worth noticing with this game is that this is the first time since the 2007-2008 season that we have started the league and have not conceded in our first three games. The 2007-2008 season was also the season when we should have won the championship, so thats promising.

 

Rijeka 1-2 AEK

Our Europa League group stages campaign got off to an excellent start after 2-1 away win in Croatia. As the score suggests, the game wasn’t a blow out and both sides had there chances to add to their tallies. Ultimately though it sounds like AEK were the stronger team. One thing worth mentioning is Lazaros’ goal was a beauty. It sounds like Lazaros wasn’t even supposed to take the free kick that resulted in the goal but he stepped up and took it anyways, silencing anyone who was not expecting him to be able to score it.

Its still very early as there are another five  games to play but the talk is that AEK is looking likely to finish second in the group. I don’t want to jinx anything but I’d say our chances look pretty good. Having already won an away game and considering we’re in pretty good form, I’d say the home games against Austria Wien and Rijeka will quite likely result in wins and the away game to Wien is also one that could very well result in a win for AEK as well.

Looking Forward

We play tomorrow against Lamia in a game which I’d say we have a pretty good chance of winning. Doing so would put us comfortably in 1st place as Olympiakos only managed a 1-1 draw against Tripolis today (in their own stadium!) so a win would see us 1st on 10 points, two ahead of Olympiakos and PAOK. We’ll certainly face a boost as though we are playing “away” against Lamia, the game will be played in Athens and AEK supporters will be allowed in the stands effectively making it a home game for AEK. This will be the first time this season that our players have played against our fans so I’m sure its something the team is looking forward to.

Personnel Changes

We have seen some personnel changes both on and off the pitch since my last post. I’ll start with the behind the scenes chances: Majstorovic has left his post as director to take up a similar role with Wolverhampton. It sounds like Majstorovic and the team parted ways under good terms and its worth noting that I believe Majstorovic waited until his contract with AEK was over before he switched to a different team. Its a good opportunity for him so I don’t blame him for taking it, but its also a good opportunity for us since it means a place has opened up for Limberopoulos again. I’m glad to see Limbe back with AEK again since hes the kind of person who everyone expects. Its a good time for him to be at AEK, so hopefully his second stint in the position brings some memorable success.

We also saw some more changes on the pitch was. Firstly, Almeida has left the team and joined Hajduk Split. I’m glad he found another team since he definitely still has something to offer, but I dont think AEK or even Almeida himself would have been happy with his output while with us. Its a good move from the team since it frees up some space and budget which means the long awaited news we’ve wanted to hear all summer could become reality. Thats right, Araujo has rejoined AEK on a year long loan from Las Palmas. I know AEK wanted to sign him outright rather than keep him on another loan, but its a great move regardless as he was clearly a good fit for AEK under Jimenez. He got off to a great start scoring in his first game back with the club and while he hasn’t played as a starter yet, its only a matter of time until he is fully integrated back into the team again.

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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.