Archive for Nsaliwa

And we are brought back down to reality..

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by alexaek

So, after our incredible win only five days earlier people were expecting similar things from last nights game. We thought we were going to get it also after building a healthy 3-1 lead with plenty of time left. The final score? 3-3

One thing was to blame for this result more than anything else. Our midfield. Kafes was out injured and Jahic was out due to cards. That left Makos, Nsaliwa, and Gentzoglou as our options for central midfield. Who did Bajevic (the hero from our derby win who is now being held as someone responsible for our result) decide to go with? Makos and Gentzoglou… big mistake.

Makos was terrible, or worse than that if it is possible. I feel bad for the guy. He tries hard, shows the passion, and clearly cares for AEK like he says, but he must not play another game for AEK. Our midfield was non-existent yesterday. At least we know Nsaliwa can handle the position good enough even though he may not be a star player. Whenever Makos got the ball he would loose it by either loosing possession or giving away the ball with lazy passing. I hate to say it  but the guy is not for AEK. He was good at Panionios but he killed us yesterday.

Gentzoglou wasn’t as bad, and at least he scored a goal. But he was not enough to make a huge impact on our midfield. Without Kafes we were clearly hurting. He isn’t the greatest midfielder Greece has ever produced but he holds the ball well and can control it until he sees a good time to get it up. He’s also a fine defender and can stop the counter attacks early, something which our midfield failed to do on many occasions.

Its a shame our midfield was so poor yesterday since our attack really was quite good. They created chances whenever they did manage to get the ball (normally due either to Scocco playing the ball up or a long ball from Manduca) and were very dangerous. Blanco stayed behind during the week to practise finishing and it payed off after he nailed in a sitter which he may actually have missed a few weeks ago. Scocco again was superb and Djebbour showed promise but I think he needs one or two more games with the team. He gets the ball alot but holds on to it too long and instead of taking the chances he gets he tries to make things harder for himself. With a couple more games we should start to see him finishing off those chances on his own.

Our defense was alright but it wasn’t as tight as we needed. Atromitos deserves credit, they do have a good offense. That 3-0 home loss to Aris would have been different had Sifakis not pulled off some incredible saves. Karabelas and Araujo both had good games and Geraldo was solid, but Majstorovic was back to his old games of passing the ball back to the keeper and waiting until the last possible second to do so. The whole defence started the passing the ball at the back for a minute before getting it up tactic which we saw so many times last year. The fans were not impressed, neither was I, but I guess that’s largely due to the fact that we didn’t have that midfield that we so badly needed in order to get the ball up.

Atromitos scored first in the game but thankfully, probably because of the win on Wednesday, the fans only started singing louder rather than booing. We scored soon after to tie things up and Scocco gave us the lead just before half time. Blanco gave us the nice 3-1 lead during the second thanks to a perfect pass from Scocco (this guy really is incredible). However, things changed quickly after that.

Firstly, check out the video below of the goals.

If you had time to watch the video you would have noticed that Atromitos were awarded a penalty. Was it a deserved call? Absolutely not! However, they were given the penalty, Atromitos scored, we lost our momentum and Atromitos scored another one a minute later. Could this all have been avoided? Easily, if the ref hadn’t awarded them a fake penalty. Funny thing is, the ref wasn’t even sure if he was awarding the penalty for Makos or Majstorovic. When asked why he gave the penalty he first he said Makos, ten minutes later he said Majstorovic. Ah, you gotta love refs in Greece.

Anyways, by this point, the damage was done. We had trouble getting back in the game, something which was certainly by Atromitos’ dirty tactics of a player falling every minute complaining of a cramp. Around seven players must have fallen resulting in breaking up our momentum and wasting time. Every substitution they made also wasted another minute as the Atromitos players took five minutes to walk off the pitch at a leisurely pace while stopping to say hello to everyone on their way out.

One other problem which seriously affected us today was our weakness in the air. Every free kick and corner we had the Atromitos defenders got their heads to the ball first, even Majstorovic couldn’t do anything. Lately that’s where we were stronger, but not yesterday, and it really hurt us since we had many chances to score from corners or free kicks just outside the box.

There was some tension between the fans and Donis. Donis didn’t understand why the AEK fans were treating him so poorly (mmm, maybe because we saw some of the worst football in the history of the club and if it wasn’t for Dusan we wouldn’t have ended up where we did last season?) and he was saying beer cans were being thrown at him. The reporter on the radio, however, said there wasn’t one can thrown on the pitch.

Despite all that was mentioned above, AEK got what they deserved. Atromitos hit the post and had that went in things would have been different. At the end of they day though, we didn’t play our greatest game possible. I don’t know if the players were too cocky after our last match, or the midfield was really our weakness but its a shame, no matter what the reason was. The fans showed up, 15,000 of them. Not a huge crowd but much better than it normally would have been. It was a cold night yet the atmosphere from the AEK fans was still great, the best I remember since last season. 15,00 fans sounded like 40,000. They supported the team well but in the end we left with memories of why this is our worst season yet, rather than memories of the remarkable victory they pulled off five days earlier.

Advertisements

AEK 2-2 BATE

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by alexaek

So, one point from a game where it won’t really do much to help us. In reality though, we could have come away with all three points had we managed to score one more of our chances, or had Saja not made a terrible mistake that the goalkeeper on my own amateur team would likely avoid.

Well, AEKBaltimore will watch the match on TV soon, since I believe he recorded it, and I’m not sure if AEKMAN74 watched as well. I watched from the stadium and have yet to see a highlights show so I can only comment on what I saw from my seats.

We got off to a dream start, literally. Actually, I didn’t imagine we would get a better start, I thought it was too good to be true. We scored the opener in the 15th second. Yes, thats rights, 15th second, not minute! A record for a Greek team in European competitions, and perhaps a record in the new Europa League.

We got off to a great start, but the game was quickly back in the balance with both teams having a few chances if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, we conceded next, after a mistake from Nsaliwa I believe (remember, we had Majstorovic out for this one), and we were again next to conceed after a poor clearance from Saja was controlled by a BATE player who scored an open net shot from 45 meters out.

The Originals starting singing chants against the players, but I was glad to see the rest of the stadium boo them, telling them to get out. Our players were trying, and Saja’s mistake was one that could happen to any keeper. We had no coach for this one, players were out, they were still holding in.

Second half came on and it was clear our players were going for nothing less than three points. By full time we had three posts but no goals from them.

Manduca scored before the half time mark. Other than that, I cant remember any other facts, hopefully one of our other two posters will have some more news to say, but I cant remember much else. My heart was going crazy with all the chances we missed, I couldnt keep track of what was happening.

BATE 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by alexaek

Well, our night went from good to about as bad as it could get. As you can see from the post below we were up 1-0 at half time.

The second half started and early on Majstorovic gets his second yellow and is sent off and Bate tie the game. So, one of our key players is sent off, the pitch condition is deteriorating (and it was disgusting to begin with) and we were loosing the control over the game we had before.

We managed to continue fighting (at this point one point really wouldn’t have been bad at all) however we also continued to concede corners. Bate started pressuring and we couldn’t get good control over the game. Blanco was taken off and replaced with Makos. Makos had to cover right back as Jahic had to move to the center to cover the void left by Majstorovic.

Nemeth was left up front and had chance after chance, however the ref seemed determined to call him offside any time he had the ball (fine some of the calls were fair, but there were a few where there was no offsides at all) and refused to call any of the many fouls committed against him.

Eventually, Juanfran had to come off due to injury and was replaced by Karabelas.

As for the game in general, we saw some good things but lost control of the game as it went on, especially with Majstorovic being expelled. The team was clearly being frustrated by the ref, as well as Bajevic, who was eventually sent off.

We saw some good things from our players, especially Nsaliwa, but this is still not the AEK we all want. Bate were an average team at best. At one point in our beautiful history AEK was a team that was able to come back from 2-0 down, in Madrid and end up tying the game 2-2 (becoming the first team to ever do so), now we are struggling to beat poor quality sides from Belarus. Some things must change, especially our luck. Week in, week out, every year, luck does all it can to go against us. I dont exactly believe very much in luck and superstitions, but anyone who has been following AEK at all these past years would notice it must somehow play a part. To illustrate this point, consider the following:

-Had Everton won today, AEK would have still had decent chances of advancing. Instead, Benfica beat Everton 5-0, leaving us further behind.

-Our two centre backs today both got red cards, meaning they are suspended for one match. Our other centre backs are injured (Geraldo) or have just recovered from injury (Alexopoulos) and will not be ready to play anytime soon.

-Araujo is still suspended for a match, Georgeas is injured, and Koutromanos is severely injured and is out for the entire season. So, all three of our main right backs are unavailable for the next match.

-Juanfran received an injury today and might not be able to play next match.

Sp, essentially, we have no defence to field and will instead have to rely on other players from other positions. Of course, add to this the fact that nothing but wins will leave us with any chance of advancing and our future in Europa League this year looks grim. Not good news considering we already have no chance of winning the championship, or at least finishing high.

Not much else I can say right now, I just can’t believe what has happened to our club. I guess all we can do is continue supporting AEK and hope management (this new owner couldn’t come at a better time if he does) and the players do what they can.

Half Time BATE 0-1 AEK !!!!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by alexaek

45 minutes in and we’re leading this one 1-0! Blanco scored a penalty (certainly the correct call) to put us up and we now are in a great position and the win is definately possible.

Conditions are terrible in Minsk. It is extremely cold (near zero degrees celcius) and the pitch is extremely wet. Our players are sliding all over the place, which doesnt help players like Scocco.

We’re playing a very good game, compared to what we saw over the weekend. Our players are fighting hard, winning every ball, and are clearly in this for the win and nothing less. We’re working well together as a whole with pretty much everyone playing a role.

Our starting lineup was Saja, Jahic, Arce, Majstorovic, Juanfran, Kafes, Nsaliwa, Scocco, Nemeth, Blanco, and Manduca. Everyone is playing quite well, including Juanfran, but I really must point out Nsaliwa in particular. He hasn’t played in a while but he is playing extremely well at the moment. His tackles are incredible, ball control, through balls, he’s playing great generally. Nemeth is also playing well and had some great chances.

We are dominating possession and had many good chances. We have been caught on the counter attacks a couple of times and have given up some dangerous free kicks at times, but we’re holding on.

Now, time for the second half!

Iraklis Pre Game

Posted in AEK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by alexaek

So, our first home game of the season (after the match against Olympiakos was cancelled), and it could prove to be a fairly difficult one. Iraklis have a strong squad and I believe they have the potential to cause trouble to any team in the league.

Nonetheless, our squad is also strong as well now so I believe we can take the win. It will probably be a difficult win but I dont see a repeat of two years ago happening again (when we lost to Iraklis 2-1 at home). Hopefully the fan attendance will high and the support strong.

The squad will be: Arabatzis, Saja, Georgeas, Kafes, Makos, Pavlis, Araujo, Nsaliwa, Geraldo, Juanfran, Majstorovic, Jahic, Guerrero, Scocco, Blanco, Manduca, Leonardo, Iordache, Nemeth, and Yahaya.

The most likely starting lineup will in my opinion be Saja, Araujo, Majstorovic, Jahic (although perhaps Geraldo will play),Juanfran, Kafes, Makos, Scocco, Blanco, Leonardo, and Nemeth. I am not sure if Nemeth will start but I believe he should after the promising performance by him last match.

In other Superleague news, Olympiakos drew 0-0 at Karaiskaki with newly promoted Kavala. Promising news for us, devastating for Olympiakos. Their coach’s future is in more doubt now than ever, and huge pressure is on him for Olympiakos to win their upcoming Champions League match. If this does not happen I would not be surprised to see the coach gone, which would mean either the assistant would take over or they would have to find a replacement only a week before they play us in OAKA.

Olympiakos’ performance yesterday was very poor, and Kavala could have won the game at times.

In other AEK news, a huge clean up took place today at the location of our now none existent stadium in Nea Filadelfia. Hundreds of AEK supporters, as well as myself and my father, went to clean debris and cut away trees and bushes in order to make the location more presentable. There is still alot more work which needs to be done, but we made a little progress.

PAE AEK will make one more attempt for a stadium in Nea Filadelfia. While it may not be the most practical option, I think that if it is possible to make a stadium there with at least 35,000 capacity, it should be done.

AEK 3-0 Vaslui

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, UEFA Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by alexaek

First off, enjoy the video.

Well I posted my review in the comments section of the previous post by AEKBaltimore, but here it is again.

I was nervous about this one before it started but still I had the feeling we would get the win. And we did.

Firstly, as for the game, the team played wonderful football, especially compared to what we were seeing just last week. Things really turned around.

Our defence did a fine job, and our centre backs had no trouble even without Kyrgiakos. Their defending was almost solid throughout the match.
Our newest right back, Araujo, played fantastic football. His defending capabilities are incredible, and hardly anyone could get past him. He won every challenge. His ball control was also good and he managed to carry the ball up quite far.
Juanfran played fine. Not fantastic, but it was not a poor display at all. He was solid, but a little reluctant to move the ball up at times.

I was not pleased at how our defence kept playing the ball back. However, Vaslui were playing with almost every player playing back before AEK scored making it almost impossible for us to penetrate deeper into their territory.

From our midfield, Leonardo stood out most. He chased the ball and had a decent game, but at times he lost the ball and wasted some passes. None the less, he didnt give up and was dangerous throughout.

Kafes juts got back from an injury and so was not in top form. Makos was also not in top form and in fact he still hasnt shown very much yet. However, they both still played an alright game and were not dissapointing. I just hope Makos shows more and contributes more to the game as he begins playing more with us.

Scocco was incredible. There is nothing else that can be said. And this was just after coming back from an injury. He was so dangerous with the ball, nobody could stop him when he wanted to move up. He was always running, always moving the ball around and he scored two goals.
We must hold on to Scocco, no matter what. He will be one of the best players in the superleague this season.

Manduca also had a fantastic game. He made many strong and fast runs, scored the opening goal, and was overall a threat to the opposition. Hopefully we will continue to see good things from him.

Blanco could have played better, and still hasnt shown much so far this summer. Hopefully things will start to turn around for him. I must say that overall he was the most dissapointing player today. He played alright but I always expect more from him, at least a goal. He tends to pass too much rather than taking a chance every now and then. Im not saying hold the ball like Djebbour until you loose it, but its alright to take some shots or threaten a bit rather than pass all the time. Despite that though, he set up some nice chances for Scocco and Manduca.

Tachtsidis was one of out substitutes. He played well and showed how his huge form gives him a huge advantage. He also made some nice passes. I really think we should hold on to him, but use him as a sub, rather than a starter.

Nsaliwa came on as a sub and also played a good game, especially defensively. Karabelas was our third sub and played midfield, just to add more defensive security once we had three goals.

I was glad to see that Bajevic didnt wait untill the 89th minute to make changes.

Saja saved us a couple of times, and as for almost every game he’s played, he was solid.

Overall, we played some nice football. Now bearing this in mind, I can only imagine how strong we will be once we get a few more singings. Roger Guerreiro has singed for us officially. Unfortunately though, since he played for his previous team already in Europe this season he cannot play for us in Europa League. Nonetheless, he is a great player who should offer alot to our club.

We are looking at a couple more signings, including Oleguer, who would be a fantastic singing. We are also looking at Jonas. If these two last signings happen we will be looking at a very strong team. And with Bajevic at the helm, the future is bright.

20,000 attendance tonight. Not bad for a week night, and still many people are away on holidays. I believe we will see some good home attendances this season, definately an improvement over last season.

For now, I dont know what else to say. I’m still really happy and pleased. I know it was only a qualifier for Europa League but still, this is a huge win for us and we all needed it desperately.

The players at the end of the match went to throw their shirts to the fans today. The fan support really was fantastic.

I must say that Vaslui played dirty football. They tackled and hacked at our players throughout the entire match. I just hope we dont read the news tomorrow and find out someone valuable is injured.

If I think of more to say (and Im sure there is more) I will pst it in the comments section. As for now, I think thats all.

Over all a great win allowing AEK fans to sleep well and relaxed tonight. Now, our first Superleague game this weekend, against Atromitos. Hopefully our good form will continue and we will get a strong result against Donis’ team.

First match review available here.

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.