Olympiacos: I will criticize the players and I will not give them an alibi… | Blog – Kostas Nikolakopoulos


K. Nikolakopoulos comments on his Gazzetta blog about the image of the Olympiakos players in the heavy defeat by PAOK and thus explains why he does not give Martinez an alibi.

I wrote yesterday that Martinez could play with stopper Doe and not Poroso, choosing Ortega for the eleven. In such a case, of course, he should have included Biancone in the 20, because if one of the Retsu players was injured, Doi would play stopper o…fufutos, since Poroso would be out of the 20. H, Kinney would play experimental stopper.

by the way, Porozo had the guts in the delays of the first half and in the last attack of Olympiakos, at 45+2, he went on the attack and played center forward! In fact, in the turn made by Alexandropoulos, the ball would have reached the stopper from Ecuador, if a defender did not cut into the box. Porozzo has a great attitude, you can see this in the game, he has natural qualities, but he has not improved his weaknesses, mainly the better positioning when crosses come from the flanks and the decision of when and where to tackle so that not to turn into a boomerang.

Let’s accept, however, the absolutely footballing fact that it is not easy for two guys, Retsos and Porozo, to play only three games together and always have the right understanding, which indeed they did not have with PAOK on several occasions, both in crosses and and in verticals of the opponents, but also in the application of the offside. The positions of central defenders are the first in football that they need time to learn each other’s game and the two together become a duo. The same goes for Freire and Doe, of course.

There is no doubt that the better and more experienced a stopper is, the faster he can adapt and tie to a team, but in general the two central defenders of a team must match, and that is not possible without time. To a very large extent the same applies to the central midfielders, in the case of Olympiakos Ese and Mandi. The two of them have played more together, but this does not mean that they have already “stuck” as a duo, so that they complement each other and e.g. to cover each other’s weaknesses.

Ese he’s an overpriced central midfielder, but he’s not the fastest player. Thus, with Mandi having a very mediocre first 30 minutes, not to mention the first 45 minutes, the Argentine was forced to commit several fouls in order to stop PAOK’s attacks from the axis, covering Kamara’s inability to help in this part, in this particular game. It was logical for Ese to receive a yellow card for the fourth foul he committed in the first half, as a result of which he did not commit even half a foul during the entire second half, fearing his expulsion with a second yellow card – as a result, e.g. for PAOK to get out easily from the axis in the phase of the third goal.

So is football, chain. If one central midfielder doesn’t do the job properly, it automatically creates a problem for the other central midfielder. Mandi improved significantly from one point on, he turned and helped defensively, he pressed high, but the disadvantage he has cannot be eliminated: while Olympiacos steals balls and regains possession, too often what he does is a wrong pass, on an opponent, to whom he gives back the possession he has regained!

On the contrary, Ese has a much greater ability in the passing game. He, if you like, has another composure in the game, which allows him to pass the ball correctly, launching orthodox attacks and counter-attacks. Overall it’s a good tool. With his tackles, with stopping the opponent’s attacks, blocking shots as a third stopper, with quick passes and quite good reading of the game for a 22-year-old. Many times you see him in the game showing his teammates where the ball should go, reminding me a bit of Cambiaso. And despite his young age, he is not lazy.

I remember characteristically the first phase that PAOK had in the game and unfortunately it was from a set piece, a corner, phases that have cost Olympiacos badly and it has not improved as much as it should (see goals from PAO and Freiburg). By luck he escaped the goal from Koulierakis, who missed from a good position completely unmarked. If he scored, we would all be talking about bad organization of the defense, which was indeed not good. Except that the whole problem started because Podense in the initial pursuit of the defense, when the ball went high towards him, where Meite was also, not only did he not claim it, but also made… space for the PAOK player to get more comfortable header, giving it to Zifkovic, who crossed and the opportunity became.

Ese, so he immediately rushed to complain to his much more experienced teammate, something he has done to the same player the other day. Being right then. In general, Podense should start helping the team more at some point. And I won’t just say that the goals with OFI, PAS, Topola and Kifisia are good, but it would be good to see goals in more difficult games (AEK, PAO, PAOK) or, and assists in more difficult games (Freiburg, West Ham). I will focus on the fact that his areas of action are limited.

No he doubts that he gives good things to Olympiakos – even now with PAOK that didn’t go well, he had two or three good passes. We understand that he came into the team a little bit suddenly with his transfer in September, but he has been playing for almost two months and is still only giving moments in games. Sorry, but if a side hunter only gives moments, they should at least be more and at least enough in the most difficult and critical ones. The Portuguese easily loses the challenges, makes the wrong control easily and also needs to become more of a team. The shooting phase of the 35′, where he had the opportunity to pass to three of his teammates (Fortounis, Mandi, Kini) and chose a weak shot in the hands of the goalkeeper, is indicative.

Generally this was not a Podense picture for a derby. And when he plays like this, El Kaabi seems absent, Mandy wakes up after 30′-35′ and Rodney is more troubled (at least three times) by the opposing full-back, Baba, than he is troubled (once, twice ), how to overcome Olympiacos? The Brazilian full-back is a big weapon of the team and he may not have been bad creatively and fought it in his promotions, however the account is that in the end he did not make a phase. The other full-back, Kini (who was not safe defensively) did not make a move either, so what remained was the productivity of the class and mood of Fortounis, who unfortunately was not as good in execution and made the good shot in his third attempt, in the 86th and not in his other two moments earlier.


In this the game Fortunes was somehow “forced” to do too much, because he evidently saw that with Pontense and El Kaabi like this, there was no other way than to take the game himself. and when you constantly have the ball at your feet, you will inevitably be cut quite often, you will also make wrong passes, you will mark less – which already this problem exists in his game, as in Podense, probably to an even greater extent.

Could the situation would have been better if Rodiney and Mandi were in a better day and if Alexandropoulos helped more, who again had great appetite, but not efficiency. Kousuri carrying the ball more than he should doesn’t cut it, Kamara does the same and Olympiakos becomes slower in the center. The Greek international did indeed do some nice things, but e.g. when he should have seen Podense in a good position he didn’t, when he should have shot better he didn’t. Anyway, he has to learn to play more simply. There is no football, I take the ball and run forward alone, how will it be.

And…I’m sorry for criticizing the Olympiakos players and not going through…the coach, for whom I made the criticism that I think I should have made yesterday. But I will not be the one who will make the mistake of giving an alibi to the Olympiakos players. when of the 16 who play, only Fortounis is distinguished, only Ese is decent and (until 2-0, why then…) Retsos and only Scarpa is noteworthy as a substitute. With the goalkeeper not inspiring confidence this time. No, I won’t.

Irrelevant: Oh, what a surprise! The observer in Kifissia – AEK, Mandalos, who already appointed the referee (unless the Swede makes the appointments and we don’t know, if so let them tell us), refers him for a completely difficult phase, in which even the arbitration critics do not take the same position. Koutsiavtis, for example, did not see a penalty. But Demis, as I read, couldn’t figure out the phase either. By the way, everyone agrees that all the other critical decisions of the arbitration panel were correct. However, if you want my opinion, the target of the attack is not Tsaggarakis, but VAR Fotias.

Photo of the day:

The biggest one maybe yesterday’s interest in Rentis, from the coach-player conversation, had a statement from Ibora, who may be absent for a long time due to injury, but took the floor and also the parts of Martinez, saying that the team, having worked for four months, has significantly improved compared to its original image. Inviting everyone to compare how they were at the beginning of the preparation and how they are now.


From his sidethe coach of Olympiacos was very insistent that there should be no bowed heads in the dressing room despite the really heavy defeat by PAOK, reminding that it is the team’s first in this year’s championship and that normally Olympiacos should now be first together with Panathinaikos, if there was not the 3-0 in favor of PAO on paper and the deduction of one point from the “red and whites”.

The article is in Greek

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