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About MItsaras9

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  1. Suggested Call Ups, Starting 11

    Among the players on the "wish list" to bring back into the Greek squad, Fetfatzidis is among the highest talked about player. However that said I will recognize that he is gifted, but if he is AS good as people are saying.......why is he not playing on a big club somewhere. Or even in Europe. He plays in Saudi Arabia? I saw a super skills video of him scoring and passing...it looked great but It's a Saudi league. As well it seemed there were 14 people in the stands in each highlight. Again, I think he is good. But all the armchair managers are trying to select their squad. here is an article on Fetfatzidis from 2012, that is titled the Greek Messi. http://www.newstalk.com/The-Scouting-Report--The-Greek-Messi-Ioannis-Fetfatzidis Had I wish list, I think one player that would have been great to have had this campaign was Holebas. He was a very unique weapon to have in the toolbox. As far as new players, Donis stood out and was impressive. In regards to the other new players, there is work to do. Greece never takes the easy path, it's always the hard way & we claw and fight. As for the coach, and his selections and tactics....on the whole I really like this coach when you look at the big picture. Did he make mistakes-yes, did he do some very good things too-yes, and we must keep in mind injuries/suspensions. I noted what Papastathopoulos and Samaris mentioned in an interview...after a dark period of the National team....The team has become a family again. I said this in a previous post. It's like having all the Greeksters playing FIFA 18 and picking the Greek team, everyone is going to select differently. But outside of the few players ranked 75-82, the Greek depth reality is you are taking out a 73 for a 74 rated player. We need more Greeks playing proper fundamental soccer from an early age, boys and girls...period
  2. Post game comments from agonasport.com (p.s I watched the Greece game online in HD off their site for $7.95. well worth it. better deal via monthly.) “WE DESERVED BETTER” - SKIBBE Greece coach Michael Skibbe believes Greece did not deserve to lose 2-1 to Belgium in Sunday’s crucial World Cup qualifier and is optimistic that his players can still make it to the 2018 finals in Russia. WATCH Greek Sports and much more from any device with LIVE GREEK TV from AGONAsport! Details and purchase here... Greece lost out narrowly to group favorites Belgium in a tightly-contested Group H encounter at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Athens, a result which secured the Belgians a place at nxt summer’s showpiece while jeopardizing the hosts’ hopes of qualifying in the process. “First of all I would like to congratulate Belgium on the win and reaching the World Cup,” said Skibbe. The German added: “From my point of view though, we played an excellent match today and showed that when we are on our game we can compete at a very high level and take on the best teams in the world. This is something that I’m very proud of a coach.” “Over the 90 minutes I think we were the better team and we deserved to win this match. Belgium’s first goal came from nothing, and although the second goal was excellent, we had more chances overall.” The result means Greece surrendered second spot – which gives Greece a shot at making the playoffs - to Bosnia and Herzegovina, who ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against section strugglers Gibraltar. That is a slender margin, however, and there are still two rounds of fixtures to play, so Greece still have time to turn things around and claim second spot which leads to a two-legged playoff for the place at the World Cup. Only one points separates the two teams, though, and Greece must now turn their attention to getting a win against Cyprus away from home in the next round of matches on October 7, and hope that Belgian can do them a favor when they travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on the same night. “Of course we are in a difficult position right now but it’s not impossible,” added Skibbe. “We simply have to win the last two matches and hope results can also go in our favor. We have to believe that Belgium will continue to try and win their matches.” “I spoke with the players after the game and we agreed that we will have to repeat this performance in the final two matches and if we do that we know we will be in with a shot of reclaiming second place – and that’s what matters.” ‘OUR INDIVIDUAL QUALITY WAS THE DIFFERENCE’ - COURTOIS Goals from Gert Vertongen and Romelu Lukaku proved enough to seal a vital win for Roberto Martinez’s Belgian team on the night, with Zeca momentarily levelling matters for Greece, as they became the first European team apart from hosts Russia to book a place at the 2018 finals. While Greece were on top for long spells, Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois pointed to the individual quality of his team-mates as the deciding factor in explaining how the visitors came away with the three points. “We are all very happy with making it to Russia 2018,” said the Chelsea custodian. He added: “We knew it would be tough here but we came here to win and although Greece gave us a very difficult time we showed that we are the better team and are delighted with our well-deserved place at the World Cup.” “We showed a lot of quality and character. If you look at it closely, we have players who are playing at some of the best clubs in the world and I think the individual quality of our players in the one-on-one battles all over the pitch was what proved the key in helping us win.”
  3. Forgive me, but I have not followed Kone's recent play. I know he resigned with Aek. I am not at all implying he is call up worthy based on I have no clue his fitness and recent form. What I will say I did like the spark, and style of play he displayed in the past. But we all know the past is the past. Has his form been good? Or is he winding down?
  4. would some of you "squad selection" experts be so quick to criticize the performance of individuals today had the go ahead goal (which was a truly unfortunate lapse in concentration) be questioning all the selections. As a team, I am proud of how everyone played in this big game. like Rockafella said 2 games vs Belgium the combined scoreline was 3-2 Belgium. In my opinion, in Belgium the team deserved a win for that performance based on the make up of the squad. This game could have ended 1-1. With a little luck finally our way, would it not have been amazing for a 2-1 win. We had a post, we had some chances, we looked them in the eye and played extremely well. Defensively 2 misplays led to goals, but Belgium who really wanted to qualify today, were kept under control and it was an even match. These players that people want back from other years......maybe they are nominally better. But what we don't know what are they like in the dressing room. Some here, don't know as much as they think they know. We are currently ranked 38th in the world in Fifa rankings. Belgium is currently ranked 9th. Here is the 23 man squad from the last world cup in Brazil. Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos) Defenders: Kostas Manolas, Jose Holebas (both Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Vangelis Moras (Verona), Giorgos Tzavellas (PAOK), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma) Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Andreas Samaris, Giannis Maniatis (both Olympiakos), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Giannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Panagiotis Kone (both Bologna) Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Fanis Gekas (Konyaspor). All the players in red as most of you realize are no longer on the team* I think if I am not mistaken Ranieri tried out/looked at 51 players. (I tried to find the exact number but to no avail, that is the number I recall). So that said since the end of the last world cup. Its been a long a bumpy road to say the least. All things said given what Skibbe inherited, it's not that bad. In fact i think all things considered it's ok. We all would like the team to be performing better, but we must accept the reality. The coach is working with what we have, and the players that are part of the squad are in the hunt.
  5. Despite not having a star-studded line-up, the Greek team won the championship, conceding no goals in the knockout stage. Rehhagel adopted a defensive approach in playing his Greek side, using energetic midfielders to wear down the opponents and the policy of defending in numbers to numb the opposition's attacks. When charged with boring play, he said, "No one should forget that a coach adapts the tactics to the characteristics of the available players." His time at Werder Bremen, in contrast, saw play described as flashy and spectacular attacking football.[cit
  6. Perhaps this player over that player....a lot of forum members talk about this... But we lack depth. Here's the best example. Play FIFA against a team like Belgium. Put in on computer vs computer. Hardest level, etc. Take out all the injured players. Use all the glorious depth Greece has on it's roster, and see what the result will be. Who are these head and shoulder superstars that Greece has that many pine over, that were not included in line ups. Oh, I see the FIFA example I mentioned.....take out the 72 rated player and use the 74 rated player. Then that 69 rated player take him out and put in the 70 rated player. IN the meantime regard Belgium's starting lineup, and note that their subs are rated higher than most of our starting players. The Greek team plays defence and can only succeed with a team pack approach.
  7. On the whole i thought that the team played well against a strong Belgian side that is firing on all cylinders. Early on I thought that Stafylidis was for sure going to score, then it hit the post. Had that gone in the stadium would have erupted. That said, I liked the start of the game and I really was impressed with Donis and the trouble his speed was causing. The first Belgian goal was among the few times the shooter was not pressed by a defender. When you give a talented player that has a strong shot that much space...it can never be a good thing. Zeca's goal was a beauty and the incoming cross was a delight and the stadium was buzzing. Unfortunately Lukaku again victimized Papadopoulos to quickly regain the lead. I must say the Greek defence had him pretty quiet and contained all night up until that point. I would like to note an observation on Karnezis tonight. There were 3-4 times at least when he was so deep in his net, and should have challenged a bit more for the ball in his 18. I could be mistaken but perhaps even on Lukaku's goal he should have even come out and punched it out. Easier said than done. He did however make a few fantastic saves. With the absence of key players I wanted to mention that I thought that Maniatis played very well. Of course as everyone has an opinion on the selection of the Greek squad, you cannot please every armchair manager/coach. Our National team is what it is, and we have a limited pool of talent in comparison to the super powers of the world (for example Brazil could create 3 full squads that would be impressive). All said, I was proud of the team. I thought they played well. The coach Skibbe prepared his team properly for such a momentum clash. In the end we were not embarrassed by this FIFA power in Belgium. With the players that were available, the coach assembled a squad that gave their best. However, ended up short. With the remaining games, I concern myself not with what others team will do, hypothetically are capable of, play master predictor, and so on. What I would like to see is nothing more than the return to health/fitness of our players. A level headed, positive, and methodical approach to the final qualifiers. I stress again, that compared to our last qualifying campaign with Ranieri. I am pleased that even with the hiccups, and adversity that the Ethniki can continue to improve. Greece rarely has had easy qualifying campaigns, we like it the hard way.....always have, always will.
  8. Papastathopoulos & Samaris were quoted at some point after the last game versus Belgium that this team was trying to foster a "family" unity that the Ethniki had lost. Papastathopoulos went on to say that given the nature of the make up of the personal on the Greek squad....Greece can play solid defensively, then must look for an opportunity be it as set play or on the counter. So as much as it would be a gift and luxury to be ladened with a stronger midfield and multiple snipers up front. The reality we are not this team. Defense, gritty performances, solid collective team efforts are the only way we can look to get points and results. Greece, like I have said before have never had many campaigns where success came easily. Many many matches and campaigns I, like many of you been on the edge of my seat. So here Greece is, and tomorrow we face a titan. On paper and according to the experts and betting line Belgium should win handily. However, often time the national team has had some memorable strong performances with it's back against the wall. It should be an interesting match, I want to see a smart street fight. Should I ask the Ethniki for 2 things tomorrow...1 would be to give the same effort as it did in the match in Belgium. Secondly is to play with heart and empty the tank on the field. I think any thing anything is possible and I hope a win for Greece over an overconfident Belgium. Why not
  9. When the circumstances are properly look at, all the information is correct verified and understood, "we" the arm chair manager/coaches all sound fantastic. Unless, someone is hiding some "uber" Greek players underneath their Yiayia's bed....like talented creative playmakers, as well as a couple of goal scorers ( to assist Mitroglou) then we have to accept that we do not have the depth of some other NT in Europe. Some of these top level NT teams can actually sit out 2-3,4 of their best and put new faces in the lineup and cruise to a win. Heads up to some in the forum, last I checked that is not the Ethniki as it stands. We have 7 very good players that have what else we have available to field. You can say but this guy, or that guy and it can be debated. But at some point it must be accepted that anyway you shuffle the deck our options are limited, and we are exposed when injuries/suspensions to our backbone 7 occurs. Also when you have Skibbe putting new bodies in, or even when we debate as to which other new bodies could be inserted...remember most of the candidates are new/have not played together, etc. So after the Ranieri campaign which both coach and players s%$#! the bed. This campaign all said, has not been so bad as the really super negative few are pouting about. As the last world cup a nice looking Ethniki team, with more depth, more experience, and a solid chemistry.........went into a nose dive that was simply a nightmare. I am impressed with Lazaros in the little i have seen this season. But I just want to say in my own opinion which others may disagree. Lazaros selfish play in our last world cup game in Brazil, ultimately led to our loss in that match. For those who don't remember the break out, he had 3 options of passes and he went for the glory. Our team, until that time comes when simultaneously Greek mothers are bearing without our knowledge 23 babies that are going to be the best Greek soccer players ever............The Greek team needs to build of the principles, discipline, team work, heart, and effort that led the Ethniki to its finest hour. My final thought to all of you, if you have relatives or friends in Cyprus during all of the Greek festivals in North America, and the world....if you see them face to face give them a huge hug and thank them, or call/text/write a letter in the mail and thank them too.
  10. Let's remember who played, who did not. Who has experience, who does not. Who had experience but normally does not play as much. A lot of things one cannot control ended up the Ethniki with a water down and inexperienced lineup. BUT all teams miss key players vs Injuries or otherwise and such is life. I saw highlights, but not the whole game. I was pleasantly surprised that Cyprus upset Bosnia down 2-0 to guns a blazing to win 3-2. Some exceptional goals I must say. So thank God for Cyprus today. That said players that were miss hopefully most are back for Sunday. The big question mark is Mitroglou. I have said a few times, when the Greek team has performed well it has been a TEAM effort. We DO NOT have a the spoils 4-5-6-7 superstars. Our trademark is defence and timely scoring, but it usually is 1-2 goals not victories of 3,4,5 goals or so. Since Euro 2004 We are usually sporting a lone striker, and it drops off from there calibre wise. As for the negativity in this forum about the next match(es), qualifying for the world cup in Russia. I beg the question, which of our campaigns where we did qualify were we just breezing along? Remind me, because I recall there were some campaigns stronger than others.....but for the most part. I recall close matches, sometimes a stumble, and most often we qualified at the very end. Greek drama. In regards to Sunday, with strong experienced players back, with it on the line...I expect a battle. If we do not match Belgiums battle level then we are in trouble. But if the leaders of this squad, with a hostile crowd, bring their best then in a card filled match Greece has to lay it on the line.
  11. I think that Estonia will definitely come to play. Skibbe has to prepare the players that are available to battle hard, and pay attention to detail. It seems the consensus that that we do not have 3,4,5 ACE superstars like a select few National teams in Europe do. However, there are plenty of opportunities for the fresh faces to show us what they have. My hope is that the Ethniki will come to play at home, and that our collective questions are answered with play that reflects a team that is in the hunt for the path to Russia. Estonia is not to be taken lightly, let's put past "soft" performances (namely the dreaded Ranieri campaign which is on the players as much as the coach) and battle fiercely. As for Belgium....as others have said, let's put first things first. Should Greece play hard with heart, and follow the game plan Skibbe we should be alright. We can play arm chair managers/coaches for the Belgium match once Estonia is completed. I have confidence that Greece after our disastrous last campaign is looking up.
  12. with torosidis out vs Estonia looks like Retsos should get capped. Lots of key injuries/suspensions. Hope the new squad members play smart and strong.
  13. Estonia are going to play hard. As we have injuries and absences, I hope the replacement players can step up and give their best. This match really will show the character of this squad and see how Skibbe can prepare them for a scrappy yet vital match. I agree, Estonia cannot be taken lightly.
  14. Although at times I would like to see some different squad selections. However, I must give to credit to Skibbe on working with the players to return Greece to respectability. Not every coach is a fit for every team and the squad that makes up that team. Greece has never been flashy, we lack the crazy over the top superstar power. But our best campaigns (beginning with Euro 2004) have been based on solid defensive play, timely goal keeping, smart set pieces, ability to absorb and capitalizing on the counter. In order for success, the Ethniki must have a good chemistry, heart, a team first mentality, and play for each other. I realize there is plenty of work to do beginning with Estonia. I know that we have some injuries & suspensions, but we have to put our big boy pants on .....as other teams miss key players through injuries etc. The Greek squads that have battled best, took each game 1 at a time. I hope that Skibbe and the players will keep evolving. Let's see the Greek team play smart, and leave it all on the field.
  15. after a run of terrible luck and circumstances....i would like to see smart soccer against a cagey estonian team that we beat. F*** belgium, we could have won the last game if not for a last minute mistake. if we play hard, lets earn our luck and get two victories. why not