Yiannis Seretis writes about the new norms in the daily life of Panathinaikos, the reasons for the second successive failure and the next – the hardest of all – path.
In Nice, he lost two points due to his proverbial failure and lack of bona fide “fear” of a possible equalizer, which also leads to a lack of concentration in the opponent’s sporadic counterattacks. yesterday, however, Panathinaikos He did not “leave” two points. He just won one, saving his undefeated streak.
There are many commonalities between the two matches, for example Palacios cross from four meters (in Nice 0-2, two minutes after Bernard’s goal, And yesterday in the 51st minute, in a really good Trifillios period, from 46′ to 0-1 Larson at 58′). Such as the sum of five clear stages of goals, four of which were scored by the Argentine, who did not score in the last five matches, after his account in Volos. Like the loneliness of the striker’s heart – at Nice Ioannidis, yesterday at Sporar – for a long time. Such as Bernard’s good performance in a second consecutive game. Like the few actual net time delays indicated at the end by the referee who played no part whatsoever in shaping the outcome.
But let’s not laugh: yesterday’s game is no joke for Panathinaikos. It’s something much bigger than that: evidence that it’s in danger of losing its minerality, hardness, and tenacity. He hasn’t lost them yet, at 90′ + 7′ he equalizes with massive pressure and one goal in the last 15 minutes! But the danger is obvious because he has already “damaged” his mind.
It was only in the 37th minute, when Cosmote TV’s correspondent Elena Papadopoulou relayed Ivan Jovanović’s despondent words to his partners: “What happened to them and do they all play like this today?” The coach is not responsible for this rush, for this pressure after Yoho was sent off in the eighth minute. He has spoken many times to players about officiating matches. But players are people, not bots to give commands that are executed automatically. And their reaction is wrong, but normal! They “cleared” their minds at the break, and entered the second half methodically, organizedly and with pressure. But they didn’t care about the potential danger, only “how to build the right attacks to find the target”. As if the opponent has a contract with “zero”! And they paid for it in the counterattack and Larson’s final executionAs a result of successive mistakes, the most important of which were Corbelis in the midfield (beginning of the stage) and Brignoli in the goal (end of the stage with a bad position and a late reaction). They also paid for it with Ionikos: something is wrong here…
Jovanovic got it right again. He did not hide, did not look for excuses, did not say a word about the completely reasonable (albeit spherically unacceptable) delays of OFI players, he spoke in detail about what Panathinaikos did not have yesterday. If there was an advertising league he would have already lifted the trophy and the way he speaks publicly after every game is a beacon to many of his team mates! Yesterday, however, the coach was also disfigured by him and his team.
It was clear from the 25th minute how the game was going. Panathinaikos didn’t need Robben and Korbelis on the field after Yoho was sent off. He needed a winger or Fotis Ioannidis, who had a permanent star after the derby match against Olympiacos. If Verbic is not ready for more than 30 minutes, one of two things must happen: a) Ioannidis and 4-4-2 b) Vaganidis on the right and Palacios or Bernhard behind Sporar and close to play on the other. left at 4-2-3-1. Nothing of the two happened, Ionides was the first change at 60′, not even at 46! “programmer”. Regardless of 0-1 at 58′. But when special circumstances and situations arise in a game, you “cancel the program”! You are reprogramming. You are converting. Koojam Deschamps did it in the World Cup final with a double substitution in 40 minutes and lost the trophy to… Kolo Mwani and a penalty shootout, the coach can’t do that in a match… Premier League 1? Could. It just needs to be determined!
And Jovanovic, who has a thousand goodies, “doesn’t have” that good one. Generally. In changes during the match, in transfers, in a lot. He can make a change 30 or even 40 minutes after he first gets the idea to do it! After all, never do that! Sometimes it is justified, not yesterday. Yesterday he didn’t help Panathinaikos train as much as he could. Yet, at the same time, if there is one person at Panathinaikos who one can believe will get the ship back on track…for a nickname, it’s him. Only he!
It’s hard, incredibly hard! Not only because of his “short” and poor quality in midfield and at the attacking end of the list. But also because Panathinaikos is a team that last experienced such pressure 12 years ago! When he last took it, it started as a favourite. Now… worse! He started as an underdog, fourth in the Cup odds and with an impressive run in the first round, became a must-see from November onwards.
Jovanovic has experienced that pressure, but not… just like that. Its champions, APOEL, have never started as high as fourth in the Cypriot league. It’s also something new for him to “all this” in terms of mentally and physically preparing for the group. Last year his work was honored, thanks to everyone’s patience and perseverance. This year Panathinaikos’ “upgrade” is already huge, given their summer reinforcements and MVP Aitor’s plight. The coach is also called upon to make his own breakthrough, greater than he has already achieved (He lost 4 points in seven days, but still +4 from AEK and +10 from Olympiakos and PAOK, incredible!).
To do this, he needs reinforcements and absolute, clear and clear thinking: no one will “blame” these players and this coaching staff if Panathinaikos from the fourth budget does not win the championship. Otherwise, everyone will forever remember how Panathinaiko won the championship “out of nowhere”. The last time he celebrated this title, “out of nowhere”, was in 1984. With Jasek Ghomoush and “The Crab”: 38, almost three times in football. And it would be a shame for those who have worked and improved so much in 18 months to lose the opportunity built by those same players and the same coaching staff day in and day out, match after match, minute by minute.
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