Alright boys I thought we’d get a recap of events and our situation going here.
The Gibraltar game was very exciting in my opinion and is a manifestation of the progress the team has made under Poyet. Time and time again we have lost or drawn against these minnows and hurt our qualifying chances. We have always fought the higher level teams much harder compared to the lesser teams in our groups and it’s been these lesser teams that have been what truely have held us back from qualifying the last 10 years. Look at our last campaign we start with a shock draw against Spain only to then draw with Kosovo and Georgia. We even beat Sweden our first match against them but these two draws were too much to overcome.
Under Poyet we are treating the minnows like minnows. We attack attack attack and not let a team like Kosovo boss us all over the field. The nations league last year was a great example of how far we have come. I know these teams all suck but that’s not the point. The point is we are finally starting to beat the teams we are supposed to beat, and when it comes to qualifying for an expanded Euro competition ( excluding our difficult group this year since we are pot c) we have no excuse not to qualify if we beat the teams we are supposed to beat.
The Lithuania game was a mix bag. It’s a friendly but I still would have like to have us win bcuz it’s LITHUANIA. However, the way we played was positive. We were attacking non stop and yes we did get unlucky at times. Overall I think even that game was a step in the right direction. If we fail to qualify from the group and the NL playoff for a 24 team euro will be a massive embarrassment, but we’ve been nothing short of embarrassing for the last 9 years. We have to beat Ireland both times and it is as simply as that.
The Dutch are historically an extremely inconsistent team. We can 100% catch them on an off day on one of our games with them. The optimist in me and our history against big teams leads me to quietly believe that we will shock France and tie one of our games. They just lost a World Cup final. That has to be emotionally draining and while they got up for their game against the Netherlands, I could definitely see them on cruise control during their second game against us. BUT AND I STRESS BUT none of this matters if we don’t beat Ireland. Plain and simple. They will play more open against us than they did against the Dutch in their 0-1 loss. We have to capitalize on that.
I will cry tears of joy if I can watch my beloved Ethniki play a World Cup game here in the states in 2026, and qualifying for this euro and boosting our ranking and confidence is the first step in this goal getting realized. I am starving for us to be in major tournaments again. I remember screaming on the couch crying with my dad when Samaras scored that penalty against Ivory Coast. I desperately wish to feel that again and I cautiously believe that we have a chance at that with the direction we are going. PAME HELLAS