Panathinaikos in need of rapid changes
The easy away defeat against Lazio was just another sign of the bad state of Panathinaikos. This article will be more like a comment this season’s performances by the Greens rather than a match report. After all a score like 3-0 against the second line up of a team who was coming from a humiliating away defeat (4-0 against Catania) is more than enough to understand what happened.
After the home draw against Tottenham I had decided not to publish any more previews for Panathinaikos in Europa League. I was so surprised to see the same team that struggles to win Greek low budget clubs the one day, standing up against a team that managed to win Manchester Utd at home just four days earlier. In fact I was stunned. I even thought at that moment that this win should boost the morale of the players. I was so wrong…
The matches that followed for the Super League and the Europa League showed no signs of improvement for the Greens. The next draw at OAKA against Lazio (1-1) was another hopeful result. Like the match against Tottenham, Panathinaikos had only 20’ minutes of average performance but managed to avoid the defeat once again.
As a punter I must admit I am not fond of Panathinaikos lately in my bets. They have shown in the past they are capable of winning anyone on a European match. Olympiakos may be the boss in the domestic league for more than a decade, but Panathinaikos has managed some extraordinary performances in Europe. They started to decline over the last seasons because of the cutbacks but even at that point they had some great achievements convincing many people (including myself) that they are one of the clubs that transforms in UEFA matches.
I guess most teams that faced Barcelona, Real Madrid or any other “monster” club more than twice, have an embarrassing away defeat to their record. Panathinaikos is surely one of them after competing in the European cups for so many seasons. I just have one question…How many of those teams have one embarrassing defeat against Maribor? I do not mean to underestimate Maribor or their roster, so let me rephrase…
How many of the clubs with a long history like Panathinaikos’ in European Cups, have a 3-0 defeat against an inexperienced club to these competitions? And when you manage to answer this, continue with my next question. From the ones you may think how many of them have 2/2 away defeats with the same score (3-0).
Let’s proceed to the last but most important question of all. How many coaches of the teams you may think, tried to excuse every goal of a second consecutive 3-0 defeat to the press conference that followed? I will not even bother to reproduce the sayings of Mr. Ferreira after the match although I encourage you to find them if you are interested to find out how a team can level a match up after receiving a third goal.
Panathinaiki Alliance and Mr. Alafouzos have been receiving strong signs that Panathinaikos is sick and in need of medication since the beginning of the season (if not the end of the last). When they seemed to understand that something was wrong, their main moves was to get rid two of the most recognized athletes of Greek soccer, Karagounis and Katsouranis. I am sure they had their reasons; after all they should know better than anyone what goes on with their team. My only problem is that nothing has changed; Panathinaikos is still performing below average.
I have been watching soccer since I was a kid and I honestly cannot remember Panathinaikos having so poor performances. It is a shame for their supporters who still attend the matches despite the economic crisis but most importantly for the history of the club. The Greens may have almost half of the domestic titles of their rival Olympiakos, but they have managed to be recognizable club from almost every soccer fan in the world. In case the officials of Panathinaikos, Mr. Ferreira or even some of the players need a reminder of the history of their club the easiest available place to find it is Wikipedia. The link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panathinaikos_F.C.
I rarely use so strong comments for a club but I have got so bored of reading the press releases of Panathinaiki Symmahia and Mr. Alafouzos against Olympiakos or anyone who they think that keeps them away from winning. I will agree that things could be better and more vivid in Greek soccer. However, I have on suggestion to make. Instead of issuing the one press release (or tweet) after the other, Mr. Alafouzos should first try prove that Panathinaikos is a competitive team. When he will make the changes needed and the team will start getting some consecutive wins, he may start to complain if Panathinaikos is kept away from one because of a referee or anything else.
So far, they are doing a great job on not winning anyway…