February 6, 2023

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What the first round showed us after the end of the first half… | Blog – Michalis Tsochos

Michalis Tsouchos wonders if anything has really changed after the resumption of the tournament between Panathinaikos, AEK, PAOK, Olympiacos and Ari.

After nearly 40 days of inactivity in the Hellenic League, it is true that no one can estimate with certainty how the teams at the top of the league and those at the top of the standings will return to their competitive duties.

Moreover, this year’s season, due to this great specificity of the suspension of the World Cup, is difficult for everyone and especially to predict its development, not only in Greece, but in all European countries.

Staying with us and in the Premier League, the truth is that regardless of the results, teams are more or less back to the picture they were in before the league break.

Panathinaikos may have squandered two points in Nice against Ionian, but in reality and given the absences they had, their image was no different than it was before the break. One will rightly note that there was a difference in efficiency. But if this is a problem that Panathinaikos will face after the break, or if it is a pure coincidence, we will need 4-5 games to find out. If you want my opinion in Neapolis, we had a random event and not a problem with Panathinaikos’ performance. On the contrary, the problem of the lack of solutions and the need to transfer Panathinaikos reinforcements, was confirmed in Neapolis, but we knew this even before the suspension of the tournament, specifically after the serious injuries of Aitor and Troy.

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AEK won, but it was the only one that had changed in its image, or even for the worse. However, the differentiation was completely expected and natural. Predictable because AEK is now missing all the wingers (Eliasson, Jasinovic, Zuber, Amrabat and Fernandez who are still not eligible to participate) and normal because AEK is the Greek team that relies more than any other on the pace of its game, in energy, intensity, running, and after 40 A day of abstinence, it is only natural that not all of these things are to a satisfactory degree.

Olympiacos continues its difficult season even after the break and perhaps in this case we have the most worrying sign. (Returning) players, no matter how good they are (like Fortunis), can’t solve the problem themselves. If Olympiacos does not turn into a team, no matter who plays, no matter how good or bad they play, the problem will not be solved. Olympiacos is not a team, it has no balance in its game, it has no automation and continuity, and therefore, even within the same match, it can show completely different faces, as happened in Zosimades.

PAOK, now in third place in the standings, picked up exactly where they left off. Not flashy, but serious, disciplined and efficient. Again in Agrinho (fifth consecutive league match), not only did he get a win, but he didn’t concede a single goal either. Whether you watched the last league game before half-time, or the first game after the break, it didn’t change anything at all. PAOK made five weeks of abstinence look like five days between games. Lucescu and his players have found a way and are following it faithfully and the results are coming.

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The same certainly applies to Mars, but in reverse. Also featured in Livadia is the problematic image of Ares, which dominates the entire season. Ares has no stability as a team. He doesn’t even have it during the season because it can look so different from game to game and he doesn’t even have it during games. The 55′ to 80′ Aris in the Livadia might be the best Aris this year. But he was miserable in the first half and anemic in the latter part of the game, allowing two extra points. In general, Aris has not found an identity in his game and this is his biggest problem. You don’t know what to expect and what he will try to do in matches…