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Greece vs Belgium (3 September 2017- World Cup Qualifier- Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus)

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Athens4    34

Bosnia will beat Estonia. Do not mistake our inability to beat them with their improvement.

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MItsaras9    2

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. 

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Ellada2004    21

Skibbe screwed it up again today, Tziolis starting & playing 90 minutes. He puts in Vellios & bakasetas,  just ridiculous. If they would have scored in 1st half with Staf's shot we would have had them. 

Bosnia as I have said is a very average side I think Belgium even with a few back ups in will eat them alive, but we should have taken care of business from Thursday and we would have it locked up 2nd.

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Boxou    27

that's what i think too. today greece started with a defensive scheme although we didn't play that defensively as i thought. but in any game that any team would go all out attact like bosnia will have to do vs them, they're going to be abused defensively. if i had to predict i'd say 1-1 or 1-2 simply because of the lack of interest belgium might show. but surely it's not logical to expect that bosnia will beat with easily. 

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MItsaras9    2

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.

 

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Molon Lave    147

Greece must win the final 2 matches, it's that simple and hope for 2 points to be dropped by Bosnia. I'm not buying into the fact Belgium will give the match to Bosnia. They will field a young squad and will have players to play hard to earn a starting job. That's just my opinion. 

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Dean97    154

I thought Maniatis did fine. Tziolis is Tziolis. His slowness kills the team and wobbles around looking like he will fall all the time. Samaris did fine aswell. Bakasetas and Vellios are not good enough to play against teams like Belgium. Tzavellas looks very reliable. I also think Karnezis can do better. He did well in the last minute. Zeca ran all day and so did Maniatis. We have no strikers apart from Mitroglou. Karelis has been injured for a while. I also think we played well. We always show up against the better teams, I just don't know why we can beat the lesser teams.

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Boxou    27

we'll have both mitroglou and karelis for the last 2 games unless some injury happens. what i'd like to see in these games

karnezis

torosidis sokratis manolas tzavellas/stafylidis

samaris zeca/tachtsidis

stafylidis/karelis fortounis donis

mitroglou

 

and hopefully we'll see some of lazaros in the squad.

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MItsaras9    2

 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

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As I said in my previous post. 

Skibbe's only mistake is not tiring a few key players like Samaris Stafylidis , even Maniatis against Estonia.

Can' blame nothing on Skibbe today. He made Belgium look like a mediocre team.

 

Everyone was so easy to blame Retsos Tzavellas Zeca Mantalos so far in the campaign but noone has thrown the blame on Sokratis who not once but twice has cost us a total ofl 4 points vs Belgium. 

Sokratis is one of the best in the world dont get me wrong, but it took literally two bad moments of him to cost us 3 points vs Belgium away and 1 point today. But noone likes to point it out because he is really our best and beyond critiscism, right ? Wrong. He is the pillar of the NT and he should perform a bit better, at least today. After the goal we scored he slept.

Zeca literally everywhere. Left midfielder , Left winger, second forward out of nowhere, and a goal.

Tzavellas with the assist.

Donis will be big one day if he works and doesnt get lost like Fetfatzidis or Ninis. To be fair having met his dad in real life when he coached Atromitos, I believe he will do everything he can to not let that happen. 

a 4-4-2 with Fortounis behind to create and Donis as a striker behind Mitroglou can actually be a good combination next year, if we qualify. It will be a shame if we don't.

I believe Belgiums B side will again stomp Bosnia, because they re thirsty to prove themselves that they deserve a starting spot.  Maybe, maybe maybe, so many maybes. Not to mention that Belgium is currently 9th in the rankings and will definatly need a sweet top 7 before the World Cup draws are made. I mean if you have a strong side aiming to win the thing, Im sure its not the first thing that matters after you qualify, but maybe in a month from now it does?

This match wasnt bad. Even the score 1-2 isnt bad. Friendly reminder that in 180 minutes against Belgium , not 90, one game is lucky , two games cant talk about luck , we conceded 3 and scored 2. After this match its proven that Greece can actually stand in big tournaments against some better opponents, and will not ridicule itself if the team qualifies.

Bosnia - Belgium with current standings and hte fact that Bosnians play their matchday before us means they have to push for the win to make sure they re above us. I cant think of Belgium, who scored two goals in one of the best defences in this campaign 5 goals in 8 matches, 3 of which from the best offence in the campaign, I doubt their literally MEME TIER defence of benchwarmers can stop the likes of even B Belgium team: Benteke , Carrasco , Chadli , Nainngolan, Tielemans. Even if Belgium somehow does make it, Estonia is really on fire lately. 

Bosnia loses to Belgium - Greece draws to Cyprus -> we still have a chance based on goalscoring/goals Bosnia concedes from Belgium

Bosnia loses to Belgium/draws Belgium - Greece wins Cyprus -> we re secured second spot and contender for a play off spot based on the other second teams.

Bosnia wins Belgium - we re by 90% out.

Edited by Rockafeller Skank

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58 minutes ago, Athens4 said:

Bosnia will beat Estonia. Do not mistake our inability to beat them with their improvement.

Last 5 matches of Estonia:

Friendly win over Croatia (b team obviously) 3-0

draw with Cyprus away

defeat to this 33 goals Belgium by only 0-2 home

draw against Greece away

Win over Cyprus

The team changed from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1-1 and they have had results. Im not saying this on our favor but they have obviously improved and changed mentality.

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52 minutes ago, Ellada2004 said:

Skibbe screwed it up again today, Tziolis starting & playing 90 minutes. He puts in Vellios & bakasetas,  just ridiculous. If they would have scored in 1st half with Staf's shot we would have had them. 

Bosnia as I have said is a very average side I think Belgium even with a few back ups in will eat them alive, but we should have taken care of business from Thursday and we would have it locked up 2nd.

clueless poster.

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J1078    301

I just don't see Bosnia screwing up this gift we gave them by not beating Estonia.. I think they will beat Belgium B side and they will beat Estonia. 

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Boxou    27

it doesn't make sense to claim they will beat belgium because belgium will not be motivated. they need to be seeded in the world cup so they will not go out to lose. as mentioned before even their b side is actually better than more than half on national teams in the world, let alone europe. it's not going to be easy for bosnia. they will have to play offensive football which definitely doesn't help them. i can see belgium beating a team that conceded 3 goals to cyprus and which also scored 4 against them in the first round. if not a win then a draw is still working. 

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Ellada2004    21

We have gifted Bosnia for sure, but as Boxou said Belgiums B side can get a result vs Bosnia, if Cyprus can score 3 goals on them in a half I believe the Belgiums will get a few themselves.

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nick    16

The way fortounis has been playing i would play donis in behind mitroglou and keep stafylidis on the left. We can't afford to have slow lazy players on the field. Tziolis should never wear the shirt again. 

Maniatis gets ragged on but all he does he bust his ass for the team. I thought he played good. 

Zeca played good as well but I prefer him in the middle. Our weak spot is right wing. Gianniotas isn't good enough, mantalos isn't fast enough for a wing spot, and bakasetas is garbage. Not sure who else could fill that spot. I'd like to see fetfatzidis called him and given a shot

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16 minutes ago, Boxou said:

it doesn't make sense to claim they will beat belgium because belgium will not be motivated. they need to be seeded in the world cup so they will not go out to lose. as mentioned before even their b side is actually better than more than half on national teams in the world, let alone europe. it's not going to be easy for bosnia. they will have to play offensive football which definitely doesn't help them. i can see belgium beating a team that conceded 3 goals to cyprus and which also scored 4 against them in the first round. if not a win then a draw is still working. 

win or draw works since beating cyprus means we go through with any result bosnians bring. And then we let them fight with Estonians and Cypriots for 3rd-4th. 

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georgelaz    381

still think its more likely that we'll grab 2nd than not.

since when in the history of football do NT's gift other teams games? Doesn't happen, athletes always play to win.

We still have Gilbratar too with Karelis and Mitroglou possibly coming back we can beef up our goal ratio.

zeca plays so hard. We should have had tachtsi in there instead of tzioli. also unfortunate to not have any in form striker.

tzavella also turns it up for the NT.

I don't get the hate with fortounis, he's not the fastest player but he's not slow either. Yes we're extremely fortunate to have Donis in the mix now as he's been a class above but who would rather in there besides Fortounis?

I think Manolas would do a better job marking Lukaku rather than Sokratis. Manolas is stronger in the air.

 

Edited by georgelaz

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PaoOle    8

Overall very good performance from our team. A couple of observations:

Donis has quality not seen in NT in years. He can take one-one other players and not look lost. Donis & Mitroglou (when fit) should start up front no matter what.

Stafilidis is a great player. He should also start (LB or MF).

When playing a better team, Zeka should always start; he is the one other than stafilidis that can play the whole side; plus he is our faster and best one-one defender (see Carasco in this match).

Fortounis >>> Manralos; showed quality.

Mandalos as RF/RM does not cut it.

For all of you blaming Tsiolis, name a player that can play (in this system) better DM. Siopis is too short (for what Skibe wants). Kourbelis (that I like) on a good day would play about the same; Zeka & Samaris are not pure 6; what are the alternatives. May be Tatchisidis? 

 

Edited by PaoOle

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MItsaras9    2

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.

 

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Ellada2004    21

1. The team played with lots of heart and spirit today vs a real pot 1 team loaded with playmakers, nothing compared to crappy England, Romania or Wales. Was unfair they did not get a draw at the very least.

2. Zeca was the MOM and Donis showed great pace and taking on the Belgiums 1 v 1

3. Vertonghen hit a nice goal but Samaris did not close his space.

4. Unlucky that Stafs rocket hit the post if that goes in and we get the lead things are     completely different.

5. Tziolis can't be a starter for our side and Vellios after the game with Estonia should not be recalled.

6. Bosnia are AVERAGE and can't defend so Belgium will draw them at the very least. Better if they start some Bench players who will be motivated even more, that said Witzel, and Nainngohlan should be back. Better if De Bruynne sits on the bench he was worse than Tziolis today.

7. To bad we did not see this performance vs Estonia where they only generated what  2 good chances in a listless performance. If they played with the same intensity Greece would be sitting in 2nd place right now.

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Dean97    154
1 hour ago, nick said:

The way fortounis has been playing i would play donis in behind mitroglou and keep stafylidis on the left. We can't afford to have slow lazy players on the field. Tziolis should never wear the shirt again. 

Maniatis gets ragged on but all he does he bust his ass for the team. I thought he played good. 

Zeca played good as well but I prefer him in the middle. Our weak spot is right wing. Gianniotas isn't good enough, mantalos isn't fast enough for a wing spot, and bakasetas is garbage. Not sure who else could fill that spot. I'd like to see fetfatzidis called him and given a shot

Maybe Lazaros or Pelkas can fill that right wing spot. Bakasetas has more of a role in this team, more than Vellios and Diamantakos. Maybe Skibbe might call one of them up and call-up a more deserving player eg. Fetfatzidis, Pelkas and Lazaros.

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