July 14, 2024

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No one was eligible, and no one was excluded Blogger – Vassilis Samprakos

No one was eligible, and no one was excluded Blogger – Vassilis Samprakos

Vassilis Samprakos writes about the theoretical chances of Greek teams to qualify after the draw for the Europa League and Conference League.

All my thinking is based on the saying, “December hears September’s words and laughs,” because the draw does not bring qualification or exclusion to any of the teams participating in European competitions. Draws only create an ‘atmosphere’ and affect the psychology of the teams as it affects the psychology of the environment – the football fans.

AEK was “eliminated” from the draw, and no one knows today if and to what extent Matias Almeida’s team will present themselves in the next European match. The three teams that will stand in their way today obviously look like pretty high hurdles. But no one can know today how the new project of Ajax, completely revamped with the new roster and new coach, will develop. The same applies to Marseille Marthelino. How can we predict what the opponent AIK will face when these teams are still in the first stage of their changes?

In the draw, PAOK appears to be the most likely candidate to qualify. Helsinki and Aberdeen do not look like teams that are likely to ‘grow’ over the season. But how can one try to predict when he has not followed these teams in order to identify them and find out their strengths and weaknesses? And where does our right to consider the Greek teams as favorites and put this pressure on them come from?

The draw allows Olympiacos to have realistic expectations of continuing in Europe. Not only did he put Topola “under”, he also tagged Freiburg. But how could we so easily make the mental leap to “ask” Olympiacos to drop a German team that has been developing for years with the same coach and has a roster with a trade value of around €60 million more than Olympiacos has to date?

The equalizer left Panathinaikos feeling capable. But for him, it is unreasonable to face the demand for success, especially against the first two teams in his group, Villarreal and Rennes, who participate in the major European leagues and have a much greater market value compared to that of Jovanovic’s team?

We Greeks are in a hurry, and in football, as in many other areas of life, to draw advanced conclusions. We are quick to add and subtract chances from teams before we see them develop in the new season and before we really get to know the potential of their opponents. We stick to labels and come to a conclusion. It is clear that a draw result does not give teams the same percentage of chances of qualifying. But we said that the September draw will not lead to qualification or elimination.