Archive for superleague

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.

 

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Panaitolikos 1-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Panathinaikos, PAOK, Playoffs with tags , , , on March 20, 2016 by alexaek

For what I believe was the first time in Panaitolikos’ history, the small team from Agrinio managed a well deserved victory against AEK. I hate to say it, but at times we were actually outclassed today and even though we weren’t exactly the worst team on the pitch, we certainly didn’t deserve a win with only a draw or a loss being the fair results.

If our performance today is any indication of whats to come during the playoffs, then we won’t have any easy time at all when our time to play PAOK and Panathinaikos comes around. Its still early at this point and I’m hoping what we saw today was just a fluke, but I am a bit worried considering we also had a hard time to make anything happen when we played Tripolis two games back.

Today’s match wasn’t one of those games where just a few key players were having an off day. Instead it seemed like the whole team just couldn’t make anything happen. We had a few half chances but we never really managed to take control, get any sort of a rhythm going and every attack seemed unorganized, as if our players had never played together before. We still managed to create a couple decent opportunities and came very close to scoring once or twice, but even when we looked like scoring the play was wasted through what seemed like a lack of concentration really.

Our offense was not the only part of our team that was having a hard time as our defense also struggled to handle almost everything Panaitolikos threw at us today. Thankfully Baroja had a pretty solid game because he was the only who seemed capable of preventing Panaitolikos from scoring.

Not a good game at all, but its not the end of the road for us quite yet. We still have a decent five point lead ahead of Panathinaikos, although they looked pretty good in their 4-0 win yesterday. Our lead over PAOK is also pretty much untouchable from this point on, but what worries me more than anything is the fact that both PAOK and Panathinaikos seem to be finding some form. If this keeps up, we’ll definitely have to see better from AEK in the remaining three games with our match against Panionios likely being our best indicator of where we stand going into the playoffs.

Highlights:

http://aek365.novasports.gr

AEK 5-1 Iraklis

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup, Manager, Superleague with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by alexaek

Despite all the events of the past week, AEK managed to rebound in the best possible way. Not only did we manage to get the three points from the win, but we did it by playing some great football and scoring the most goals we’ve scored in one game for many years now.

I was somewhat nervous about the game for a few reasons. First of all, regardless of the fact that Iraklis also just came up from the second division, they are a team that can never be taken lightly. Plus, having just lost our coach, I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction the players were going to have. I’m very happy to see they were able to respond positively since I feel that it shows that the team definitely has some character. To come back from a heavy loss to our rivals and having your coach resign two days later, to come back from all that and play some of the best football they’ve played yet this season shows that there is definitely something good to build on with this team.

I only managed to have a working stream for part of the second half so I unfortunately missed all of our goals as they happened. I was able to follow the commentary online and on the radio though, and while it certainly helped that Iraklis were clearly not having a great day, there was no doubt that our attacking play was quite good. We seemed to have a lot of players who all found their form at once such as Barbosa and Vargas, but the key to this game was Mantalos. He didn’t manage to score a goal himself (though he did come close on a nice shot from far out), but he was heavily involved in almost all of the goals we scored. The game showed us just how important a role he can play when he is fit and in form and while it gives me some relief knowing we can make and finish chances, I also feel like we have such a wasted opportunity. With a player like Mantalos, who is able to read and set up plays so well, its such a shame that we did not invest a little more in some solid strikers, people who could latch on to the balls he sends in and finish consistently.

I’m not too sure how we looked defensively, partly because Iraklis had so few opportunities to create anything dangerous in our own ends. Kolovetsios played instead of Tzanetopoulos for the game, so I’ll be interested to see if Manolas sticks with Kolovetsios for the cup game this week as well.

Our next two games are a cup game away to Xanthi, and PAO away. Two tough games, but I’m actually confident we can get anywhere from four to six points of the two games. Xanthi will be tough but I feel like something special clicked last game and I certainly hope we can carry the momentum through to that game too. We’ve already played Xanthi away this season and while we didn’t end up scoring, we weren’t exactly outplayed either. With Mantalos on form, I’m sure we can get the win.

I’m without a doubt worried about the PAO game away, but PAO lost 3-1 today to PAOK, and derbies can always go either way. PAO’s form is nothing exceptional, and I actually don’t think they have a particularly great team this season. They’ll have  the advantage of playing at home, and they definitely have a few solid players, but I think if we play well then we can definitely compete pretty evenly with them.

For those who haven’t been following the news lately regarding our coaching situation, we are supposedly pretty close to signing Gus Poyet as our next manager. I’m not entirely familiar with him, but I know he has some experience in the Premier League which can’t be a bad thing. I know some people were hoping for a manager with more experience, but perhaps having someone younger with some Premier League experience might benefit us more in the end, especially as far as attracting new players is concerned. I’m hoping something will be wrapped up in the next few days, but on the other hand I like what Manolas did for our game against Iraklis (even though it was quite similar to the team Dellas was fielding) so I wouldn’t mind seeing him continue until just past the PAO game. I’m a bit worried that having a new coach come in now before such important games might affect the players a bit.

http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/sport/football/sunderland-afc/sunderland-ex-manager-gus-poyet-wanted-by-aek-athens-1-7533800

Dellas Quits

Posted in Dellas, Jimenez with tags , , on October 20, 2015 by alexaek

It was a really strange moment when earlier today, just before I opened AEK365 to read the headlines, I imagined in my head reading about Dellas leaving. Sure enough, I open AEK365 and see the headline saying “End of Dellas at AEK”…

Kind of surprised, but also not surprised on the other hand. I could see it coming, teams in Greece are never very patient when it comes to coaches and poor performances and AEK has certainly proven to be no exception to this in the past. But I also thought things would be different with Dellas, I thought he would be given more of a chance than other coaches we’ve had in the past. Sure he’s made some mistakes so far this season, but its his first season as a manager in the first division, and he hasn’t exactly had the best team to work with. Regardless of tactical choices in our games against Olympiakos and PAOK, it was clear to me that far more was needed from our players, and not our manager.

From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like it was Dellas who resigned, rather than management getting rid of him, but I cant help but feel the pressure has piled up on him following our disappointing performances lately. I personally find it a bit unfair that he received the criticism that he’s had so far, but I suppose in a way its better he leaves now before things get even worse. I would have been truly disappointed to have seen him stay on all season only to endure more poor results, bad press, and complaints from the supporters. At the end of the day, and regardless of what results we’ve had under his leadership, he really is an AEK legend, one of the best players we’ve had in recent years, and I’d much rather he be remembered for his wonderful contributions as a player than a few bad results as manager. He stuck with the team, as player and manager, through some of our worst seasons, always giving everything he could without ever causing any trouble. He clearly loved the team, and I hope all of our supporters realize what a privilege it was to have someone like him be involved with our team the way he has been. We’ve had a lot of centre backs come and go over the years, but he will always be one of the few that I really remember bringing a sense of calm and organization to our defense whenever he was involved.

What our next step will be I couldn’t say. Rumours have it that we’re looking at bringing back Manolo Jimenez. Not sure if this is the best option for us, but its certainly not the worse. He was the last coach we won a title with afterall, and if he makes it until next season, and we actually sign a strong squad, I think he can be a very good person to have in charge. Hes familiar with the country and the league which would help considering things are pretty urgent.

Aside from Jimenez, I’m not really sure what other options are available. And I’m not even sure if we’d be better off with a Greek or foreign coach. At least Jimenez would be good with our Spanish speaking players, but I’m sure having Dellas around was a boost to our Greek players and I would hate to see them lose the experience they were getting so far.

Regardless of what happens, all I can say is thank you for everything Dellas. A lot of players come and go, but its the guys like Dellas, Georgeas, Libe, and Zikos that you really remember. Players who play for AEK because they understand the history and what it means to play for a team like AEK.

I’ll try to post any updates as soon as I can.

AEK 3-1 PAS Giannena

Posted in AEK, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by alexaek

Second win in three games for us, enough to sneak us into second place after PAO lost over the weekend. A bit of a rough start to the game as PAS went up 1-0 around the 20th due to a tricky shot that Baroja couldn’t get his hands on to. We managed to pick ourselves up quickly enough though due to some wonderful football from Buonnanote and by time half time came around, we found ourselves in front 2-1.

Aside from the standout performance from Buonannote, the highlight of the match was Mantalos’ return from injury. After almost half a year absence, the return of our “maestro” was a relief to see. We haven’t been really lacking in terms of attacking creativity without him around, but he added a calming element to our attack which we could benefit from, being able to slow things down a bit just until the right moment to create something.

Overall the performance from our team was pretty promising with noteworthy performances from Buonnanote, Simoes, Galo, and Barbosa. Chrisantus on the other hand was a huge letdown yet again. Chance after chance right in front of the net and he can’t finish. I don’t really know what it is, but we’re going to have start looking elsewhere for our attack if this is all we have. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt since he tends to do everything else right, but its always that last touch that he so painfully misses.

Attendance was pretty good, around 25,000. Hopefully a win against PAOK next week will lead to even larger attendance when we return to OAKA to play Atromitos in a few weeks time. Speaking of the PAOK match, I’m feeling quite confident if I may say so myself. As tough a stadium as Toumba is to play in, we never seem to have too hard a time there provided we’re in good form. To add to that, PAOK actually lost 3-1 to PAS Giannena just which is promising to say the least. Not sure if we’ll see Mantalos start the match, but I would personally love to see that.

http://aek365.novasports.gr/

AEK – Platanias To Be First Home Match

Posted in AEK, Draw, Greek Super League with tags , , on July 14, 2015 by alexaek

The draw for this year’s superleague took place today in Athens and I really can’t find too much to complain about how it ended up. I was worried we’d have two derbies one after the other but we’ve managed to avoid that this year. This matches will be the following:

AEK-Platanias
Xanthi-AEK
AEK-Giannena
PAOK-AEK
Team B-AEK
AEK-Atromitos
Olympiakos-AEK
AEK-Iraklis
Panathinaikos-AEK
AEK-Asteras Tripolis
Panthrakikos-AEK
AEK-Panaitolikos
AEK-Kalloni
Panionios-AEK
AEK-Team A

I’m still not sure about dates for the matches, as far as I know they have not yet been posted. I’m also not sure who will be taking the places of teams A and B, Im assuming that will be know fairly soon.

As much as I don’t want AEK to be involved with the typical Superleague nonesense anymore, I’m really looking forward to seeing us play some big matches again. Its been far too long since I experienced that indescribable feeling that we get when we beat a team like PAO or Oly.

Dellas For Another Year

Posted in AEK, Playoffs, Transfers with tags , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2015 by alexaek

Big news yesterday following a meeting with Bajevic, Mellisanidis, and Dellas, news that I’m quite relieved to hear. I know its a bit early to make significant judgments on Dellas’ ability as a coach considering we’ve yet to consistently face tough opposition, but he really deserves the chance to prove himself as far as I’m concerned. He’s done well with the team and budget hes had until now and I can’t help but appreciate his dedication to the team. Not only did he come in at a time when not many people were willing to, but he also stuck with the team through what have been the two most difficult years since AEK was formed ninety one years ago.

It wont be easy for him next year when he will face more difficult opposition both on and off the pitch, but I think its important we not have our expectations too high. Do I want us to win the championship? Of course I do, but I have to remember that we’re still building the team and as of now, we certainly don’t have a team that is ready to win it all yet. Perhaps that could change as the summer goes on, but that all depends on what kind of players we go for, and how much management is willing to spend.

As most of you will by now have learned, the playoffs are now officially over, and it didn’t really end as well as we all would have liked. Our final two results were a 1-1 draw against Larissa and a 1-0 loss to Oly Volou and while I’m not exactly happy about the scores, at this point all I want to do is forget the past two years even happened. From here on things can only get better, and they certainly will.

Transfer talk has been the usual throwing around of names, but we are apparently close to singing Ronald Vargas (I believe its just a matter of receiving the signed contract, but I really couldn’t say for sure). I haven’t seen Vargas play personally but judging from youtube clips, I think he would definitely be a great addition to the team. We’ve also signed Stavros Vasilantonopoulos, a 23 year old from Apollon Smyrnis. I haven’t seen much of him either but he was apparently Apollon’s best player this season, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do during the preseason.