Archive for Olympiakos

Iraklis 2-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Jimenez with tags , , , on February 14, 2017 by alexaek

Important points dropped in Thessaloniki

Well, the good news is that we remain unbeaten under Jimenez. Bad news, though, is that we desperately needed all three points from yesterday’s game. Unfortunately, we only came away with one which keeps us three points away from a playoff spot.

Possibly the worst part about the result yesterday would have to be the fact that we could have come away with a win had our goaltending been tighter. The first goal was a tough one, and I could see any keeper missing that from time to time. The second goal for Iraklis though should never have happened and with some more careful goaltending Iraklis never even would have had a chance on the play. I find it even more frustrating that Barkas would commit such an awful mistake after almost conceeding on an earlier mistake.

The way I look at all this though is that I’d rather see it happen against Iraklis than against Olympiakos this weekend. Hopefully Barkas would have learned some valuable lessons from yesterday, as I’m sure he will, so that we have every chance we can of getting a good result on sunday.

 

Olympiakos 3-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Dellas, Greek Football, Greek Super League with tags , , , , on October 2, 2016 by alexaek

So, that was painful. Not really able to write out a longer post at the moment, but if you would like to see some of the painful highlights, you can see them at the link below  (scroll through the videos to see the different goals. I’ll try to post a full highlight video when I find one afterwards.

http://www.novasports.gr/match-center/match-center-agonas/match/1282/olumpiakos-aek/#.V_G1qjRrge0

Just a few brief points about the game:

-This game could have been won by us. Olympiakos deserved the win, but we simply didn’t show up to play. Had we came with a different mentality and game plan, we would have seen a completely different result.

-Ketsbaia lost this game for us from the first minute with his choice of playing Lambropoulos in Simoes’ place (again). I know its not Lambropoulos’ fault, midfield just really isn’t his position. Dellas tried it before and it failed terribly, and now Ketsbaia seems fixed on the idea as well. He simply doesn’t have what it takes at the moment to exert any sort of influence in the middle of the pitch, especially not in a match of this caliber.

-We were far too passive defensively and going forward. There was no attempt to get in Olympiakos’ way, no idea of how to stop them and break up their play, and no idea of how to get our own plays going.

-For once in quite a while, we can at least finally say that we alone lost a game, rather than any influence from the refs or other factors. Like our derby in Karaiskaki last year, its an eye opening match that shows we still are nowhere near the level we seem to think we are at. Olympiakos lost to Larissa last week, and APOEL (at home) earlier this week, why the team wouldn’t be able to give Olympiakos a run for their money today is beyond me.

 

Anyways, thats all from me for now. Going from potentially being alone in 1st last week to now being 5th behind Panionios and Platanias isn’t really where I expected us to be at this point this season, but its still early. I’m curious to see how we rebound from this next game in two week’s time. Won’t be easy as we’re playing Larissa away, but it will be a good test at least to see if we’ve managed to change some things from our performances against Iraklis and Olympiakos.

AEK 0-0 Iraklis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2016 by alexaek

A massive opportunity for AEK to make a statement was wasted earlier today when we failed to even sneak a win past Iraklis. Why was one game such an opportunity? Well if you haven’t seen the other results from the league yet, something pretty spectacular happened this weekend. It started when PAOK’s home game with Xanthi ending in a 0-0 draw before PAO saw a similar fate after their game against Panaitolikos also ended 0-0. Then, even more surprising than both those results, Olympiakos lost 1-0 in Larissa. Could the situation have become any better for us? We had the perfect chance to go alone in first place, all we had to do was beat Iraklis at home.

Ah but this is AEK we’re talking about, the team that has made a habit of making the easy tasks difficult. To be fair the absence of Mantalos and Almeida really hurt us, but to not even manage a goal when we needed one so badly really doesn’t sit well with me. Its still very early in the season and we’re still ahead of both PAOK and Olympiakos, but I really felt going into this season that we had a team that wouldn’t drop points in games like these. Don’t get me wrong, Iraklis is never a team that can be taken lightly, but we should be winning these games, especially when they matter so much. With the derby in Karaiskaki coming up this weekend, the three points from today would have helped us immensely. I know its asking a lot, but can you imagine if we won today and managed to sneak a win in Karaiskaki also, causing the reds to drop six points in two games? That would have felt pretty good if you ask me.

As for today’s game, I didn’t get to watch it since I was at work. It seemed to have followed a similar pattern to what I expected though: AEK controlling most of the game, creating some decent chances but not being able to put anything in the back of the net, with an Iraklis who was happy to sit back and take the occasional counter attack. It was an unfortunate result, but it gives Ketsbaia some food for thought. First of all, it sounds like Pekhart showed exactly why he isn’t considered a starter on the team. It also shows that somethings needs to be re-worked if we are to be more effective in front of goal. I know we really missed Mantalos and Almeida, but we should have some composure and creativity in and around the 18 yard box than we seemed to have today. The way Vargas and Bakasetas were linking up today at the front of our midfield just wasn’t working and its definitely a part of the pitch Ketsbaia will have to work out if Mantalos isn’t back in time for the derby this weekend.

An unfortunate result and a disappointing performance, but its still early. If anything this weekend showed that this seasons might at least be a little less predictable than usual. Olympiakos are clearly beatable with the right game plan (promising for us this weekend) and the other two still aren’t at their best yet either. Could it be close all the way to the end of the league? I certainly wouldn’t mind that for a change.

Highlights can be seen at Novasport’s site.

Catching Up…

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball, Greek Cup, Transfer Rumor with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2016 by alexaek

There was a mix up with our new internet provider here at home and so I had no connection to the web from about Friday morning until now. I am happy to report though that everything is up and running very smoothly, but this now means I have some catching up to do on the AEK news. For starters, heres a brief summary:

-We won our game against Panionios, 1-0 courtesy of Mantalos

-We also won our second game against Aris for third place in the basketball league by a score of 89-84

-Reports are suggesting that we’re very close to singing Olympiakos target Tasos Bakasetas (would be a great signing if this is true)

So, I didn’t get to watch the game against Panionios since I was working (though I should get to watch our game tomorrow), but it seems like we played pretty well from what I saw during the highlights. We had a few players out such as Barbosa and Vargas, but it sounded like Platellas made a great impression, despite having not played for a while now. Particularly good news since we could really use him in some of the upcoming games.

Seemed like a pretty good game with chances on both sides, as was to be expected since Panionios have been a pretty strong side lately. Worth noting that the officiating was pretty terrible with two clear penalties not awarded to us (not to mention the fact that Panionios should have recieved a red card as well). Its too bad the officiating was once again a talking point, since it was generally pretty good in the cup final. Thankfully we still got away with the win, as I’m sure the complaints would have been even worse had the missed penalty calls cost us a point or three.

The win puts us back in control of our own destiny after Panathinaikos and PAOK tied 1-1 in Athens. With our win, we are now first with 5 points, followed by Panathinaikos and PAOK on 4, and Panionios on 1.

 

Our basketball game against Aris seemed like it was a pretty exciting one. We started off well, going ahead early on, but something I’ve gotten very used to over the seasons started to happen. That’s right, I started to see our lead slowly but surely shrink until Aris managed to tie up the game. Luckily for us we managed to keep Aris at bay while also managing to sink a good number of our own shots but the excitement didn’t end there. Towards the end of the match there were some scuffles on the court, likely a result of nerves since Aris realised they were about to find themseleves down 2-0 in the series. To add to the drama, the officials ultimately decided to eject the benches of both teams as well as two players who were on the court at the time of the events, leading to only three players per team being on the court for the final moments of the game. To be honest, I don’t really know myself what happened; who hit who, who started what. The highlights below are unfortunately a bit inconclusive.

 

So as I also mentioned above, AEK365 is reporting that we are very close to agreeing with both Panionios and Bakasetas. They’ve even gone ahead and made the claim that the singing will be happening on the 1st of June. He’s had a fantastic season, and was also a target of Olympiakos so if this does go through, it will be a victory for us in more ways than one. Like someone commented on AEK365, with Olympiakos losing the cup final and facing a tough challenge of overcoming PAO for the basketball title, losing the singing of Bakasetas to AEK would only help to make this week even worse for Olympiakos supporters. I certainly hope it happens for that reason alone. Plus, hes a pretty decent player…

The Cup Is Ours!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , on May 17, 2016 by alexaek

I try to look at things rationally most of the time. I like to take things for what they are and not take from them something that simply isn’t there since doing so usually just leads to disappointment. Tonight though, I have to make an exception.

I’ll have to start off by saying that I didn’t get the chance to watch the match live since I had things booked from a while back that I couldn’t change at all. At first I wasn’t as upset as I normally would have been about missing the game; afterall, with how long the whole fiasco had been dragged out I was more just hoping it would all be over. Knowing we wouldn’t have any fans in the stands also didn’t help and on top of that, I figured one way or another, someone or something, would have made sure we didn’t get the chance to win.

I knew we already beat Olympiakos once this season, but part of me figured certain influential factors would be at play to make sure Olympiakos getting the double would just be a formality. As we saw when they played Tripolis last year, things seem to happen to make sure games like these go their way.

I guess I didn’t realise that it was possible to have a Cup final in Greece where refereeing didn’t interfere with the game at all. I guess I also didn’t realise that we do in fact have a better team than them. Obviously the rational side of me would still be saying that no, Olympiakos still has a stronger team than us. But tonight, I can’t help but look back at what we did and feel that we are absolutely the stronger team. Twice this season we took them on, shut them out of the game, and took our chances to come away with the win. Maybe we didn’t get the humiliating wins we all would have liked, but we got the job done and that in itself is an accomplishment considering the different budgets involved between the two sides.

I saw the highlights and I must say that we did really well to finish the chances we had. Both of our goals were solid plays, not goals scored through flukes or good luck, which is always nice to see. They might complain that we beat them off a penalty last game, but they can’t say a thing about the goals we scored today, even if certain players and staff might have the nerve to do just that.

 

More importantly than how we played though, is what this game meant for the team, the supporters (including all of us), and Greece in general. Firstly, I can’t imagine a better way of ending our first season back. Sure, the championship would have been nice but that was obviously never an option. To win the Cup though, with players who were not too long ago playing with AEK in the third and second divisions of Greece, is an incredible accomplishment. And not only is it an accomplishment for the team, but it shows that AEK is finally back. Work still needs to be done, we’re nowhere near the level we can be, but the team we all know and love is finally back.

The win also means so much for us supporters of the teams, those of who love the team through the good times and the bad times, through all the wins and all the losses. Supporting AEK isn’t always easy, especially not in a country where everything seems stacked against you but we have no choice since this team means so much to us. We’ve supported this team through all the times we all hoped we would never see and so I have to say that, though this Cup is for the players, I feel like its also ours in a way. We don’t support this team looking for recognition since the support we give is unconditional, or at least I like to think that it is. Still, its nice to see some reward for all that we give whether its going to stadium every week, travelling to away games, waking up at ridiculous hours to watch the games in places like Australia, or just simply being a supporter even when first division football is still two years away.

For those of who had to follow the game away from Greece like I did, the videos in the links below are well worth a watch. They give just a tiny sample of what the atmosphere was like at Nea Filadelfeia tonight as the team bus carried the players through a sea of supporters. I remember being there after we won in 2011 and I would have given anything to have been there again tonight.

http://www.aek365.com/a-458635/kolash-sth-filadelfeia.htm

http://www.aek365.com/a-458654/magike-stigme-apo-th-nea-filadelfeia-fwto.htm

http://www.aek365.com/a-458653/to-epiko-video-tou-soiledh-panw-apo-to-poulman.htm

Greek Cup winners for the 15th time in our history. Take a moment if you can to let that sink in. It seems like just yesterday we were playing in the third division, slowly making our way back to where we belong. Now, after three years, we are finally back with the biggest statement we could have hoped for. Hopefully we’ll have plenty more Cups to celebrate in the years to come. Maybe even a championship or two.

Cup Is Canceled… Again

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball, Derby, EPO with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2016 by alexaek

So it looks like the Cup has been canceled for the second time this season. Really never expected something like this to happen, to have a Cup final canceled twice in season, but I guess its not that surprising at all given the way things are run in Greece at the moment.

The official reason for the cancellation was that the police were concerned about safety, even though the only people in the stadium would have been the players and the 300 or so friends and family members of the players. Does that sound like much of a threat to you? I didn’t think so. The police did also mention that there was a general strike in Athens and all their resources were being used up as the article below mentions. But even so, is it really not possible to gather up enough police for a game being played behind closed doors?

I guess they’re also worried about the potential for clashes between supporters after the game, especially considering people would have only been more roused up by the accusatory statements put out by both clubs recently, but that seems like an awfully desperate and unconvincing reason for canceling the game.

It doesn’t seem like the issues regarding the assistant refs was worked out at all, so maybe the police excuse was a way for Kontonis to get some cover? I obviously have no idea who was behind what, but in the end I maybe this will work out for the better. I mean, even if we had won, how can a cup final without supporters in the stands ever go down well in history? It would have been an embarrassment to future generations who would have watched the highlights of the game, just as I have with highlights from previous cup finals. Some of the best moments for me were watching the team lift the Cup in 2011 in front of a sea of yellow jerseys. I couldn’t imagine watching the team parade the trophy around an empty OAKA…

Greek Cup final postponed at request of police

In other AEK news, we played our second playoff game against Olympiakos and while we still didn’t manage a win, we at least managed to keep the game considerably closer than the last time around. We managed to get a decent run going in the fourth quarter and I even thought we might have had a chance of mounting a memorable come back but simply wasn’t enough in the end as the game ended 80-67.

Despite the improved performance, it wasn’t all good news. I’m not sure what happened, or what caused it, but Zdovc and Green had a bit of a “argument” so to speak, one which seems to have led to the end of Green’s time with AEK. AEK seems to place the blame on Green but I’m not convinced. I haven’t been too pleased with how Zdovc acts during games sometimes, its certainly not conducive to creating an environment where the players want to interact in any sort of positive way with the coach and some of the comments he has made in the past have suggested that he doesn’t really trust his players. I can’t speak for them, but I imagine it doesn’t inspire them all that much and I wouldn’t be surprised if thats part of the reason we’ve seen so many ups and downs with this team so far.


Thats all for now from me. Of course I’ll post some news as soon as I can if I hear anything else about a new date for the final but I’m really not holding my breath at this point. Theres also talk of the playoffs being canceled (which would result in Panathinaikos finishing 2nd automatically), but I don’t think there has been anything official regarding that yet.

Ah Greece…

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by alexaek

What would we do without all the excitement that comes out of the country on an almost daily basis. I have to admit, it can be entertaining at times but more often than not, it leads to disappointment and anger from those of us who just want to see our club succeed.

Why do I say all this now? Well for those who haven’t heard the news today, it turns out the Cup may not go on after all. That’s right. It was scheduled to go on, and then got canceled… and then was scheduled to go on again, and now might be canceled again. So what is causing the hold up this time you might ask? Well its all very convoluted, as these things often are, but from what I understand the issue stems from the fact that EPO is insisting that the game be played with assistant referees that it has chosen for the game (and questionable ones at that). Why this is an issue is because that AEK, and minister Kontonis had said that the game would be played with Sidiropoulos’ usual assistant referees for when he officiates foreign games. Again, I have to stress that I could be getting some facts mixed up, but this is what I’ve understood until now.

To be honest, I support AEK and Kontonis on this issue. AEK has also put out an announcement saying they wont show up for the game unless the originally agreed upon assistants are used, a statement which I also support. The way I see it is this is just another way EPO has abused its power to force questionable decisions like this on other teams, and I personally wouldn’t mind seeing AEK show some resistance. We already PAOK protest earlier in the season, now with AEK taking a stand, maybe we’ll see some other teams not be so afraid to come forward and question these choices by EPO. Of course, I don’t want to see us get to the point where we refuse to play every time we don’t like something, but the league has come to the point where teams need to stand up. If they don’t, and if the status quo remains the same, we’ll just see more and more of what we’ve seen for the past fifteen plus years: one team winning the league, one team getting all the bonus money from winning the league and playing in Europe, one team benefiting while every other team never stands a chance.

Its worth pointing out that Olympiakos was quiet throughout all of this, until they came out with some statements of their own attacking AEK and Kontonis. I have to wonder why they have so much interest in seeing EPO’s choice for assistant refs being used…

Anyways, I won’t go into too many details because up until now, its been one attack from each team after another. Whether the game will be played, canceled, or postponed I couldn’t say.  We’re less than 48 hours away at this point, I’d imagine that an agreement has to be reached very soon.

 

Unfortunately for us AEK supporters, the bad news doesn’t end there. Remember how we made it past PAOK and through to the next round of the Basketball playoffs? Remember how I thought we had a chance of giving Olympiakos a run for their money? Well if you saw the score from yesterday’s game, you would have noticed that I was terribly mistaken. What happened I couldn’t say since I didn’t get the chance to watch the game, but from what I was reading as I was following the commentary was that we quite simply didn’t show up to play. There’s no other way to explain losing by a score of 93-58.

Of course Olympiakos is a strong team and I knew even one win against them was wishful thinking. But when we can barely score simple three pointers and hardly even create chances for two pointers, something is very wrong. Was it just a bad day? I’m hoping so, because otherwise it will just confirm what many of us have been thinking about the team for a while now: we might be okay for anywhere between 6th and 3rd place, but any higher than that and we are very far off. To be honest, at times I thought we were getting there. I really thought we were capable of challenging the top two. But they’re simply too strong, and we are still lacking in too many positions. What makes all this even worse is the fact that the Panathinaikos and Olympiakos teams of this season are shadows of what the teams have been in the past, and probably will be in the future. Yep, we have a while to go.