Archive for Vargas

Transfers So Far

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Jimenez with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2017 by alexaek

With the team having recently arrived in Poland for pre-season training, there have already been moves taken with the hopes of strengthening the squad for our return to the Champions League.

In my opinion the biggest move we’ve made so far was the re-singing of Jimenez. There was some uncertainty about a month or so ago regarding whether we’d hold onto Jimenez for at least another season but the team has cleared that up after a new deal was agreed. As far as I’m concerned this is exactly what we could have hoped for. We saw how quickly he managed to turn the team around last season after he re-joined us, I can only imagine what he could do with a full pre-season as well. It has been far too long since we had a serious and experienced coach for a pre-season so having him here from the start will really see us start in the right direction if we hope to progress at all in the Champions League.

As far as players are concerned, we have made a few singings so far with the first notable singing being that of Helder Lopes. The Portuguese left-back joins us from Las Palmas, the same Las Palmas which currently owns the rights to Sergio Araujo. Haven’t personally seen much of him so I can’t really comment on what he brings to the team, but we’ve had pretty decent luck lately with Portuguese players like Barbosa and Simoes so I can only hope that trend continues with Lopes.

 

We’ve also officially completed the deal to bring over Giakoumakis from Cretan club Platanias. A deal had already been agreed with the players last season but the deal was only able to be finalized this pre-season.  Hes a very promising player who is coming off a couple strong seasons with Platanias. Considering Aravidis was released from the club not too long ago, its a nice to see us strengthen our attack with another promising young Greek.

 

Arguably the biggest singing for the club this season so far though has been the re-signing of Klonaridis. Klonaridis, who became the first player to go from AEK, to PAO, and back to AEK, was picked up for a bargain of a price at a reported 800,000 Euros. Not bad for a player who has already proven himself in this league. Don’t get me wrong, hes not the greatest Greek to wear our jersey by any means, but especially for the price, hes a great addition to the club. He genuinely seems pretty excited to be back at AEK to which I like to see and I have a feeling he could play a big part in any success we have this season.

In addition to our recent singings, we’ve seen a few players released with the most recent being Vargas and Kolovetsios. Its unfortunate to see them both leave as they both brought a lot to the club. Kolovetsios had been with us for a few years by now and had been a great member of the club, causing very few issues along the way. He was always ready to be called upon when needed and though we have solidified our depth in the centre-back position, its too bad we couldn’t find a place for him in the team. Having said that, it was pretty clear his playing time would be limited this season and he still has many years ahead of him so from his point of view this was the right thing to do. On the right club, he could easily become a key player.

Vargas was also an unfortunate loss for us. I’m not sure why exactly his playing time dropped so much under Jimenez, if it was simply a matter of him not fitting the system or if there was something else behind the scenes, I couldn’t say. What I can say though is that I’ll never forget the many moments these past two seasons where he came up big when we needed it. Afterall, how can we forget the player who scored the game winner in our home derbies against PAO, PAOK, and Olympiakos all in one season.

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AEK 6-0 Levadeiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2017 by alexaek

Perfect start for Araujo

Just days after singing for us, Araujo not only managed to find himself in the starting XI, but he also managed to get his name on the scoreboard (twice). A great way to start his time with us, though credit must also go the rest of the team. They came out strong from the start of the match and carried their momentum through to the final whistle.

Aside from Araujo we also saw goals from Bakasetas, Kolovetsios, Vargas, and Galanopoulos, all players who contributed to AEK scoring six goals against a 1st division team for the first time since 2003. The win, of course, also books our spot in the next round where we will face Platanias.

Playing against Platanias certainly won’t be easy. They are, afterall, just one point behind us in the league. Having said that, I’m confident we can advance even further, especially considering that after four games with Manolo in charge, we have scored nine goals and conceded none.

Its worth noting that even though Mantalos didn’t play today, it didn’t seem as though he was missed at all. With both Bakasetas and Vargas having great games, we managed to get a number of good shots and crosses into the box. If they can both keep playing this way, part of me hopes that Manolo lets them continue playing where they played today (even if that means Mantalos occasionally playing a less prominent role).

 

Veria 0-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Temuri Ketsbaia with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2016 by alexaek

We got our second win today in Northern Greece as our good start to the season continued thanks to goals from Bakasetas and Vargas. To be honest the scoreline wasn’t as convincing as I was expecting it to be but at the end of the day the team were able to do what was needed to get the win.

My streams today were iffy at best, but I was able to get an idea of how we were playing for the most part and while there were some positives to take away from the match, I was still a bit worried at times with what I was seeing. We did well for long stretches of time to move the ball around and create very convincing opportunities but then we would sit back at other times and make no effort to take control of the match. From what I remember we did this especially after scoring our first goal and at the start of the second half, possibly the worst moments of the match to do so (especially if we were to do so against a stronger team). I’m not sure what it is that makes the team do that but I noticed something similar against Xanthi once we had a decent lead built up, as if the whole team collectively decides to relax a little too much.

Thankfully we were able to pick things up eventually and start creating some chances again though I was worried for a while that we weren’t going to score a second goal. Its not that we weren’t creating chances, because we were, but we struggled to get things to click right in front of the net. So many great opportunities were stopped by either the keeper or the post, but many others were let down by poor finishing (noteably some of the opportunities involving Bakasetas and Platellas). I’m really happy to see us creating these chances but if we struggle to put these many away, we’ll really be made to pay for that when the derbies come around.

Enough about the negatives though, lets talk about what worked well for us. Two players stood out for me: Patito and Bakasetas. Patito was a constant threat on the right side of the pitch, constantly working the ball further towards goal and sending in perfectly placed passes. Normally when I see a player with the ball near the box I’d rather they just got it in with a pass rather than try to dribble past some defenders but Patito doesn’t cause those same kind of worries with me. He, much like Scocco, has that tight ball control that enables him to seemingly effortlessly make his past one, two, or more defenders. Its beautiful and exciting stuff to watch and its only a matter of time until he scores a phenomenal goal himself (I’m thinking something along the lines of Scocco’s goal against Olympiakos back in that 4-4 cup final).

Bakasetas also had a great game which I was very happy to see. While the singings of Almeida, Lescott, and Patito were all great moves during the summer, it was Bakasetas’ singing that I was most excited about. Today proved why he was such a great catch by us and I can only hope that we’ll see more of him in games to come. He was a constant threat upfront, provided the assist for the second goal, and showed great awareness of what was going on around him on a few occasions. All too often a young Greek talent comes to one of the big teams and ultimately fails to make any significant impact but I genuinely feel that Bakasetas could be the exception to that.

Aside from those two players, the rest of the team did well too. Mantalos was dangerous, Almeida had some great chances before he had to be subbed off (hopefully his injury isn’t much worse this time around). We were sound defensively and while I feel Lescott still needs another game or two to really settle in, I feel like hes starting to get comfortable with what he has to do.

Ketsbaia did alright today, everyone seemed to know their roles well and though the starting lineup was predictable, it was the one that made the most sense to go with. One thing he did though which really confused me was taking off Patito and subbing on Platellas. Platellas ultimately did alright, but I really didn’t understand the logic behind the move. We were still looking for a goal, Patito didn’t show any sign of injury and was still contributing to the match. Why Ketsbaia decided to take him off for a player who plays a similar role I can’t quite figure out. But hey, we got the result in the end so I won’t question it too much yet. Whether his decisions will cost us in the derbies we’ll have to see.

As usual a round of applause is due for our supporters in Veria today. Though I was only able to watch from my computer a few thousand kilometres away from the stadium, it never once seemed like an away game. AEK supporters filled a curve at the end as well one of the main stands along the side of the pitch and if the reactions from some of the players and Ketsbaia is anything to go by, their support really made a difference throughout the match.

Highlights, though not in great quality, can be seen here:

And, if you have some extra time you can watch the whole match here:

 

AEK 2-0 Panionios

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2016 by alexaek

A pretty big result for us today against Panionios, and a decent performance as well. I was a bit worried going into this match since I knew Panionios  were coming off of a very big win and have one of the league’s most in form players with Bakasetas. I was also afraid that our poor form from the past few matches would carry through but it seemed the team was determined to put an end to that. In fact, I would have to say that the way we played today was some of the best football I’ve seen us play since we had that winning streak back in January.

There was nothing drastic with our starting lineup today, though the second start in a row for Buonanotte was a positive straight from the get go. Unfortunately, I don’t really think he played as well as AEK365 seems to think he did. I don’t think it really has to do with his ability as a player, but more to do with how he fits in to the formations and style of football we play. He was positioned towards the wing but more often than not ended up playing more centrally, a position on the pitch where he just doesn’t have the presence required to hold up the ball. I personally would like to see him lineup in a formation where we have two forwards with Buonanotte as one, and a larger player like Pekhart or Aravidis playing beside him so that we could still have a larger target man when needed. He definitely has the skill to make huge impacts the way Scocco was able to, but we need to see him playing in a position where his attacking instinct can come into play more easily. Especially when we already have strong players who can hold onto the ball well such as Simoes, Vargas, and Barbosa, I would love to see him play in a position where every first touch he takes is in a position where he can go straight for goal and take a shot or dribble the ball into a dangerous position.

AEK-Panionios

Image source: http://www.aekfc.gr

 

For the most part we played very well going forward. We managed to create some decent chances throughout the first half with Johansson even hitting the post and Aravidis barely missing what would have been a simple tap in. A lot of our effectiveness in attack arose from the fact that we managed to play the ball low and direct, avoiding pointless long balls in the air whenever we could. We managed to keep the ball down and moved it around efficiently with Mantalos, Vargas, and Johansson all linking up very well. Didac also made some fantastic contributions going forward, always providing an option down the wing and often getting the ball dangerously close to Panionios’ net. With some more in form attacking players, we could have gone up by a couple goals before the close of the first half.

Defensively we were okay, but shaky at times. Arzo specifically made what could have been a very costly mistake, one which could have also potentially given a penalty against us. For the most part though, our defense wasn’t quite as active as I thought they would be since Panionios ended up playing far less aggressively than I expected them to. They still managed to get up to our box on a few occasions but they were happy to soak up the pressure for the most part and when they did manage to venture forward, they never ended up looking too dangerous.

With the game still at 0-0 with twenty minutes left, Cordero got sent off for his second yellow of the match. I feared the worse at that point but luckily for us, Poyet made two fantastic changes just before then, bringing on Barbosa for Aravidis, and Pekhart for Vargas. Just two minutes after Cordero’s expulsion from the match, Barbosa and Pekhart linked up brilliantly and put us ahead 1-0 after Pekhart did well to finish a pass from Barbosa despite the angle being less than favourable.

The difference in the tempo of the match after Barbosa was brought on was noticed immediately, and having a new face to target going forward seemed to provide a boost to the team as not long after our first goal Barbosa and Pekhart again linked up very well, this time with Barbosa sending a wonderful long ball forward for Pekhart to latch on to. The shot took a lucky deflection for us, but Pekhart did well to get the ball quickly under control before taking the shot.

Despite only playing for twenty minutes, Pekhart more than deserved the MVP award for doing exactly what was needed when we needed it most. I’ve been a bit harsh on him from after previous games, but he really hasn’t had a great chance to really settle in with the team. Performances like today though really show that if he is in fact given the chance to really find his place in the team, I think he can be a critical player for us. His size and finishing skill make him a perfect target man up front, someone who is tough to defend and can play both high and low balls just as effectively.

All in a all a good performance from the team, and definitely a good sign that we can expect some decent games from the team during the playoffs, as long as they play like today and not like last week (or the week before that). I’m curious if Pekhart’s performance today will land him a position in the starting lineup next match, but I personally wouldn’t mind seeing him as an impact sub off the bench again.

I haven’t found a highlight video yet, but the two goals from today are on YouTube for those who would like to see them. In case you were wondering why the stadium was so quiet today, we were unfortunately playing the first of two home games without fans for our punishment due to the events of our game against Atromitos.

 

A quick note about our basketball team too, after their 87-74 win over Arkadikos over the weekend (a bittersweet win for me since its always disappointing to see a team from my region of the Peloponnese get relegated, as was the case for Arkadikos after their loss) . The win means we finish the league in fourth, setting us up to play PAOK in the playoffs. To be honest, I think we have a good chance of getting past PAOK and into the next round assuming we play well defensively. We beat them early in the season, and had the chance to beat them quite comfortably in Thessaloniki if we hadn’t let that game slip out of our hands due to error after error. With a focused performance in all the games, we can definitely make it through.

 

AEK 1-0 Panathinaikos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Greek Football with tags , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by alexaek

At the start of this season I wasn’t too sure we’d be able to compete too well when it came to the derbies. I figured with a mix of young players and players who had never experienced first division football in Greece, we’d struggle with the players and more experienced teams.

Our derby performances in the first half of the season seemed to comfirm what I was afraid of at first but I never expected things to turn around the way they have. Yetserday’s win against Panathinaikos has made it three derby wins in a row, something that both Poyet and the team should be immensely proud of. Of course it hasn’t been easy. There were some scares in the PAOK game, Olympiakos were certainly not easy to come up against, and Panathinaikos managed to give us quite the fright on more than one occasion yesterday. But the fact that we managed to score when we needed to in all three games and hold on for the wins shows the team really has developed some character and experience, qualities which we can really build on for next season.

As for our game yesterday, I unfortunately missed some of the first half and had a hard time finding a stream for the beginning of the second half but what I read and saw of our performance was certainly not all good news. To be honest, I thought we would have a pretty easy time with PAO. Afterall, we’ve had some good form recently and have played pretty well since the start of the new year (aside from the game against Iraklis but that was an exception as far as I’m concerned). Our confidence was high and we’ve just generally seemed a level above PAO in most regards. PAO on the other hand have had some terrible form, have looked poor in games that matter, and its safe to say their confidence was not the highest. All this, to me at least, pointed to what should have been a rather routine game for us.

Of course, football is never so straightforward, and especially not when it comes to derbies. Sometimes players have a bad day, sometimes a whole team can have a bad day, and that seems to be what happened to us yesterday. Was it over confidence? Was PAO just feeling the pressure and urgency more than us? Its hard to tell. It would have been one thing if PAO started strong and we fought back soon after, but it took almost the whole first period before we started to show some sort of urgency and motivation to get the ball forward. Our passing was sloppy, we lacked any sort of creativity, and our defense could hardly handle anything that PAO.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our least reliable player on the pitch was Arzo. Despite having a couple good games lately, he seemed to have returned to his usual self, making a number of potentially costly errors, and marking rather poorly to the point where a number of our other defenders would have to cover for him regularly. Defensively, the only player who really stood out for me was Didac while both Kolovetsios and Bakakis seemed to struggle to get comfortable. Bakakis unfortunately picked up an injury late in the game though thankfully for us, we’ll be able to have Galo back for the next game if I’m not mistaken.

As far as midfield and attack is concerned, nobody really stood out for me yesterday. It seemed like the entire team was too afraid to really get themselves forward and find the players providing the support for their passes. Thankfully we managed to pick up the pace a bit later in the game and get some numbers forward, but we still never really looked all that dangerous. As has been the case for the past three derbies though, we finally managed to get our lucky break and make it count with none other than Vargas being the one to score. I know I criticize him on a regular basis for not contributing enough to the team when hes on the pitch but he really deserves credit. When we really need to count on him most, hes always managed to get the ball in the net when players like Aravidis and Djebbour have struggled.

Overall, it was hardly a performance to be proud of. But the team did well to hold on and come away with the win and, more importantly, put ourselves comfortably ahead of PAO by seven points. The season is still far from over but at this point I’d be very surprised if PAO manage to come back and over take us for second (having said that, it could very well happen).

Some great clips from the atmosphere inside OAKA yesterday (I really love the yellow and black smoke bombs at the start of the second half):

A video taken from the stands the moment Vargas scored:

And of course, highlights from the game:

http://aek365.novasports.gr

And one last link, this time to an AEK365 page which has videos of ten fantastic goals we’ve scored from fouls against PAO:

http://www.aek365.com/a-445270/oi-10-gkolare-th-aek-apo-faoul-me-pao-video.htm

AEK 1-0 Olympiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2016 by alexaek

I’ve been staring at this page for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out what to write, but its always difficult explaining in words what I (and most AEK fans around the world today) feel after a win like this. Its hard to know where to start, what to talk about first, when so much happened during the match. On one hand I feel like talking about our performance would be the natural place to start, but its hard to talk about this match without first mentioning some of the rather unbelievable things that happened.

I really could not believe my eyes when I saw what I was seeing today. Who can remember the last time Olympiakos received a straight red, only to receive another red later in the game in addition to having a penalty called against them? And in a derby of all games? Of course we have to keep in mind that Olympiakos has practically won the championship already and things would have certainly been different had that not been the case. We should also keep in mind though that until now Olympiakos had been pretty close to setting some records for penalties awarded and red cars given (to their opposition of course). The fact that that was all turned on its head and in a derby of all games is pretty noteworthy.

Aside from wondering what led to this change, the main questions that will be asked were whether the cards and penalty were the right calls. Judging by the reactions of the Olympiakos players and staff, they were some of the most atrocious calls ever awarded. I guess they just aren’t used to the feeling of having so many calls go against you? It makes sense considering for a team who is so used to having things go their way, they must have been in a rather uncomfortable position when all of a sudden they weren’t able to get away with everything and continue on playing as though nothing ever happened.

In my honest opinion, each of the calls involving red card and the penalties were more than fair calls by the referee. The only play I am uncertain about at the moment was the first red for the tackle on Aravidis since I haven’t seen a clear angle yet that clearly shows what happened. However, I really can’t imagine Aravidis would go down like that when he was the last man and left one on one with the keeper. Do people really expect Aravidis to go for the dive when he has the chance to score against Olympiakos in front of over 40,000 supporters and be the hero of the day? I certainly don’t.

As for the other calls, the hand ball that led to the second red card for Olympiakos and the penalty, I really don’t know how anyone can complain about it. Not only does Milivojevic clearly make contact with his arm, but he even lifts his arm up in the direction the ball was headed. The ref was right in front of him and in perfect sight of everything that happened, and well done to him for making the call. That’s not to say that the referee was perfect all game, but I know I personally would not want to be the one to make that call against olympiakos. It wouldn’t be the first time that a ref experienced some sort of violence after making a call against Olympiakos.

That’s enough from me now for the refereeing. Not only were the calls fair, but I really have no pity for Olympiakos to finally experience what every other team in the league has experienced every week for the past decade or more when playing against that team. I think its only fair that I talk about our players too since they are, afterall, the ones who deserve credit for giving me the first chance to talk about a win against in Olympiakos in years.

So how did we play? To be honest I had issues finding a good stream for the entire game but I managed to see enough to know that we did what we had to for the win. No, it was not a great performance and yes, I would like to see better. At no point however did we look like the weaker team. At no point did we look like the team that came from the second division while Olympiakos looked like the champions of Greece. At no point did we look like a team with maybe a quarter of the budget of Olympiakos, if not less. Our players came out to play and showed no fear against a team that has not lost in 22 league games.

Some players of course stood out over others. I felt that Mantalos did well to get involved in our attack whenever he could as well as making some good passes. I was also really grateful to see Simoes and Barbosa back in the starting XI as they’re presence really brings the team to a new level. Surprisingly I even felt like Arzo actually didn’t have a terrible game for once. That’s not to say he was phenomenal, but at least I didn’t see him make any critical errors (it is possible that I missed some plays though while my streams were down/unavailable).

On the other hand, Baroja felt a bit shaky, especially earlier in the game. There were a few times on set plays when he came out to clear the ball and missed entirely and he did not seem to be making his presence really felt in the box. Thankfully though he tightened up later in the game and ended up making some pretty good saves. I wonder though how Anestis would have done in the game. Its always nice to see Greeks playing in these games since they grew up understanding what they mean.

I know today’s result only means so much considering we have almost no chance of winning the league, but its still a noteworthy victory regardless. First of all, it shows we’re clearly at least headed in the right direction with Poyet with two derby wins in the second half of the season (and I see no reason why we can’t also win against PAO). Second, it gives me more confidence going into a possible cup semi-final, or even final, against them. We weren’t clearly the better side today, but at no point did we look like underdogs. Aside from maybe the first 15 minutes, at no point were Olympiakos the dominant team. If anything we seemed to be the more composed and focused team, even if we couldn’t create as many chances as we would have liked. With just a bit more composure and focus and possible some more confidence from today’s win, I really feel we can go into a Cup game against Olympiakos and come away with the win.

Highlights, as usual, can be found on the novasports page: http://aek365.novasports.gr/

A longer look at the goal:

Almost forgot. As if this day wasn’t already perfect, our basketball team also won today, 55-65 away against Kavala. A big win as every win is for us as it keeps us in third place, two points behind Olympiakos and PAO (though they both have a game less to play).

Atromitos 1-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Atromitos, Dellas, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Injuries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2016 by alexaek

Just like that, our winning streak comes to an end. It was an unfortunate way for us to lose but I’m hoping that the loss at least serves as a wake up call for the team, a wakeup call which we desperately need following our performance today.

So how did we play? Terribly. Did we deserve to lose? Absolutely. Its hard to find one person to blame the performance on since it seemed like there were very few players who came out today to win. Djebbour did absolutely nothing today, Mantalos seemed to have no imagination, Vargas was quieter and sloppier than Djebbour, and our defense had no idea how to handle any counter attack that was thrown at them.

The game started off slowly, but I was sure that it was just our players getting a feel for how Atromitos would be playing. I was sure that by about the 20th minute we’d start to see some life from our players but the whole first half ended up passing by without one solid chance being created.

Part of me wants to blame Atromitos for playing so defensively that we just couldn’t find a way through but I know that the blame falls on us entirely. Throughout the first half we had possession, we were able to keep Atromitos at bay, but could not find any way of getting a dangerous ball into their box. Even corners for us consistently lead to nothing at all with the corners we were taking more often than not landing right in the keeper’s gloves.

Games like this really make me wonder why Poyet refuses to give Buonanotte more of a chance. Could it be that he thinks he lacks the physicality to be able to hold his ground? Does he something at practice that we aren’t able to experience ourselves? Its possible, but could playing Buonanotte really be any worse than playing Djebbour and Vargas? On games like today’s, with Atromitos parking so many men in front of the net, we need players who can dribble a ball in to the box rather than relying on long balls which will always be defended with ease from one of Atromitos’ eight defenders. Playing Buonanotte from at least half time would have really given us far more options, options which we just did not have otherwise. Even the addition of Platellas in the second half added a bit of life to the team but it still wasn’t enough.

Aside from the awful performance by players such as Djebbour, Vargas, and Arzo, what hurt us most today was the absence of Simoes and Barbosa. Without Simoes today, Johansson was forced to do most of the hard work himself with Zuculini also providing support either beside or behind him. On top of that, the shaky performance from our defenders meant that Johansson and Zuculini had to stay back often to provide defensive support while not being able to contribute to creating any solid attacking plays. Unlike previous games where Johansson and Simoes were able to hold on to the ball and bring it into the half where they could distribute to one of our attacking players, we instead had to rely on Mantalos and Aravidis coming back to set up plays to Djebbour and Vargas (a set up which really did not work well).

Overall we seemed tired, unimaginative, and perhaps even a bit complacent. Of course we were on a good roll, but at no point can we take any match for granted. I hate to say it, but we are nowhere near the level where we can be considered clear favourites against any team in the league. Hopefully the players were reminded of that today because if they play the way they did today against Olympiakos next week, we’ll be in for quite the embarrassment.

Highlights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w62qG02W9s

By the way, the standings from AEK below are: AEK with 42, Panathinaikos with 38, and PAOK with 34. Both PAO and PAOK lost over the weekend meaning today’s game would have been a huge chance to go 7 points clear of PAO and 11 clear of PAOK… Unfortunate that we couldn’t take advantage of that. To make things worse, there was some trouble after the match involving our supporter’s after the match which means we possibly face bans for our fans, and even point deductions. Its unclear whether we’ll have fans in the stands for the game against Olympiakos next week, but it seems quite likely that we’ll be facing PAO in an empty OAKA…