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who will lift the UEFA Cup?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. who will lift the UEFA Cup?

    • Glasgow Rangers
      2
    • Zenit St. Petersburg
      9
    • You think I care?
      0


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Two outsiders have made it to the final of the UEFA Cup: Glasgow Rangers and Zenit St. Petersburg (erstwhile Leningrad).

Which of the two cinderellas will lift the Cup?

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Not to take anything away from Rangers i think Zenit will win this one. They have looked good all year and after the 4-0 against Bayern there spirit is really high. Good final game.

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i watched both legs and rangers has absolutely no business in the final.

the calls of 'just like greece in 2004' are off base. greece, at least created chances in it's matches and it's defense was superior to rangers'.

if i remember correctly, i think some scottish publications demeaned greece's accomplishments at the 2004 euro with such headlines as 'to HELLas and back"...etc. for those same publications to currently claim that rangers made the uefa final by being clever and cagey, that would be ridiculous. rangers were plain lucky.

zenit are such a good side, advocaat has his players playing to their individual strengths, which only behoove the side's overall preformance. even with a makeshit defensive line, zenit schooled bayern on what exactly is counter-attacking football. the wide players are fast and good crossers, the center mids play their roles to perfection.

- podolski & schweinsteiger have been crap for 2 years. they deserve alot of blame...they seem to save their best football for training.

it's only 1 match and anything could happen.

I dont think Rangers are crap, or were lucky. In the CL they failed to qualify in the very last game of the group stages.

Against Panathinaikos at home, they dominated at home but failed to beat an inspired Galinovic. Away, PAO were better but failed to take their chances and Rangers attacked when necessary and got their away goal.

Against Weder, they won 2-0 at home because of some ridiculous goalkeeping, and away they defended resolutely.

Against Sporting the game was dull at Ibrox and deserved to finish goaless. In Lisborn however Rangers defended excellently and were always dangerous on counter, winning 0-2.

Against Fiorentina they were completely outplayed in both legs, but they defended well and held on for penalties. They used physical (in most cases dirty) football. They employed a typical British approach and it worked. They can't be criticised for that. Our teams should a page out of their book.

The final will be a very quick, well oiled team in Zenit, versus a physical battering ram in Rangers. The fact that it's in England (Manchester) gives Rangers a big advantage imo.

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I am wondering:

1. what the biggest score has been so far in an UEFA Cup final

2. if we'll see that broken this year

I am also wondering how our PAO fans must feel. It could've easily been THEM in the final match...

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well its the second scottish team in 5 years to reach the uefa cup final(celtic 2003) and zenit have reached the final just a few years after CSKA moscow won this competition in 2005. my question is are the scottish and russian teams that much better than greek teams or is it sheer luck ??

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Rangers were beyond sheer luck. They are really poor quality, and poor sportsman. Celtic something else....

as for the Russian league, yes its better than the Greek league, its definitly one of Europes most underrated leagues IMO.

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well its the second scottish team in 5 years to reach the uefa cup final(celtic 2003) and zenit have reached the final just a few years after CSKA moscow won this competition in 2005. my question is are the scottish and russian teams that much better than greek teams or is it sheer luck ??

My opinion is not that they are better leagues, but their mentality/philosophy is better. When Greek teams play foreign teams there is an inferiority complex. So when AEK played Fiorentina in Greece, Greek fans & the media were going on about how great Fiorentina are this year and a draw would be a good result. A DRAW, A GOOD RESULT IN GREECE???? (Needless to say AEK lost). If Fiorentina go to Moscow or Glasgow though the media and fans of those countries expect wins.

When Olympiakos played Chelsea at home, Olympiakos were marginally the better side until the last 15 mins. Then Olympiakos sat back to keep a clean sheet. Why? Because the mentality was: "if we concede an away goal and lose 0-1 the tie is over". Other similar-level foreign teams like Celtic, Rangers, Zenit, Fener, Benfica, etc. would say "we have to really attack them in these last 15 mins because our real chance of progressing is by getting an advantage at home". Let's say that Oly won at home 1-0. Even if Chelsea took their 3 goal lead at the Bridge, if Bellushi's shot had then gone in instead of hitting the bar, Chelsea would have had to have dealt with 30 mins of uncertainty. Do they push for a 4th or sit back and close the game out? Either way, Olympiakos would have needed only one more after that. Of course there are a lot of "ifs" in this scenario but I'm trying to demonstrate that the mentality is incorrect in Greece.

Torosidis got subbed in that game when Olympiakos were already 3-0 down, along with the Turkey game away, this was the biggest game of his career thus far. What was his reaction? To joke with his teammates in the dug-out. Then you compare that to the reaction of the Celtic players when they messed up away at Shakhter and you'll see the difference between "Belief" and "hope", bewteen "fire" and "apathy", etc.

In Greece the fans are more content with winning derbies and leagues than making an impression in Europe. Olympiakos fans would rather be the second worst team in Europe, as long as Panathinaikos are slightly worse. And if you don't believe me, just go and ask any Olympiakos fan if they would accept being the 2nd best team in Europe on the condition that PAO are the best. They'll all say no. (This applies to fans from all the teams in Greece).

Today, if the rumours I've heard are correct, Kokkalis fired Ivic from his post as technical director. So he's fired Lemonis (a coach that may have won the league and taken them to the last 16 of the CL) and Ivic (a man that brought in Kovacevic, Belluschi, Lua Lua, Ledesma, and Leonardo). He also stated in an interview that the new manager will not do as he pleases. In other words he wants to control on-field activities too. The man is a megalomaniac and Vardinoyianni is only slightly lesser of the 2 evils.

And too prove that this "mentality" is a major problem, the Greek NT has been successful because Otto has instilled that belief and fire in the team, but old habits die-hard and on a few occassions the inferiority-complex popped it's ugly head up again. Against Brazil the players were talking as if it was an honour to be on the same pitch as the Brazilians, same with England. Den katalava, tous fovaste malakes?

Aek66 has spoken frequently about the lack of facilities in Greek football as the reason that Greece doesn't develop talent. This may be true to an extent, i.e. as a general rule, but not with all the clubs. Graeme Souness, a man that's managed in the Premiership, Scotland and Turkey; and Ray Wilkins, a man with close ties to Chelsea and various Serie A teams, have both said that Olympiakos' facilities are in the elite of world football. Souness just before the Chelsea game in Greece said "You won't find better facilities anywhere in the world, I tell you that." So although I agree with Aek66 about a need to improve facilities and pump money into grassroots/youth football more generally in Greece, even at a team like Olympiakos where the facilities do exist, top youngsters are not being produced. Why? It's the mentality. It's about heart, belief, spirit, pride... and unfortunately these are things which are not only lacking from Greek football, but it pains me to say that are lacking in Greek society too.

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My opinion is not that they are better leagues, but their mentality/philosophy is better. When Greek teams play foreign teams there is an inferiority complex. So when AEK played Fiorentina in Greece, Greek fans & the media were going on about how great Fiorentina are this year and a draw would be a good result. A DRAW, A GOOD RESULT IN GREECE???? (Needless to say AEK lost). If Fiorentina go to Moscow or Glasgow though the media and fans of those countries expect wins.

When Olympiakos played Chelsea at home, Olympiakos were marginally the better side until the last 15 mins. Then Olympiakos sat back to keep a clean sheet. Why? Because the mentality was: "if we concede an away goal and lose 0-1 the tie is over". Other similar-level foreign teams like Celtic, Rangers, Zenit, Fener, Benfica, etc. would say "we have to really attack them in these last 15 mins because our real chance of progressing is by getting an advantage at home". Let's say that Oly won at home 1-0. Even if Chelsea took their 3 goal lead at the Bridge, if Bellushi's shot had then gone in instead of hitting the bar, Chelsea would have had to have dealt with 30 mins of uncertainty. Do they push for a 4th or sit back and close the game out? Either way, Olympiakos would have needed only one more after that. Of course there are a lot of "ifs" in this scenario but I'm trying to demonstrate that the mentality is incorrect in Greece.

Torosidis got subbed in that game when Olympiakos were already 3-0 down, along with the Turkey game away, this was the biggest game of his career thus far. What was his reaction? To joke with his teammates in the dug-out. Then you compare that to the reaction of the Celtic players when they messed up away at Shakhter and you'll see the difference between "Belief" and "hope", bewteen "fire" and "apathy", etc.

In Greece the fans are more content with winning derbies and leagues than making an impression in Europe. Olympiakos fans would rather be the second worst team in Europe, as long as Panathinaikos are slightly worse. And if you don't believe me, just go and ask any Olympiakos fan if they would accept being the 2nd best team in Europe on the condition that PAO are the best. They'll all say no. (This applies to fans from all the teams in Greece).

Today, if the rumours I've heard are correct, Kokkalis fired Ivic from his post as technical director. So he's fired Lemonis (a coach that may have won the league and taken them to the last 16 of the CL) and Ivic (a man that brought in Kovacevic, Belluschi, Lua Lua, Ledesma, and Leonardo). He also stated in an interview that the new manager will not do as he pleases. In other words he wants to control on-field activities too. The man is a megalomaniac and Vardinoyianni is only slightly lesser of the 2 evils.

And too prove that this "mentality" is a major problem, the Greek NT has been successful because Otto has instilled that belief and fire in the team, but old habits die-hard and on a few occassions the inferiority-complex popped it's ugly head up again. Against Brazil the players were talking as if it was an honour to be on the same pitch as the Brazilians, same with England. Den katalava, tous fovaste malakes?

Aek66 has spoken frequently about the lack of facilities in Greek football as the reason that Greece doesn't develop talent. This may be true to an extent, i.e. as a general rule, but not with all the clubs. Graeme Souness, a man that's managed in the Premiership, Scotland and Turkey; and Ray Wilkins, a man with close ties to Chelsea and various Serie A teams, have both said that Olympiakos' facilities are in the elite of world football. Souness just before the Chelsea game in Greece said "You won't find better facilities anywhere in the world, I tell you that."

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excellent input guys.

do you think things will change in the near future ?

@dude regarding the greek mentality i remember watching the second leg of the european cup semi-final in 1996 panathinaikos vs ajax with pao 1-0 up from the first leg after a great result in amsterdam and i remember just as the players were kicking off the greek commentator saying nothing is expected of this evening and what a great achievement it was for pao to get this far, needless to say the players looked nervous and could not string a pass together they played as though they had no right to beat ajax(defending champions) pao ended up losing 0-3 at home in athens, still feel gutted now when i think of that night and if i appear to sometimes be critical of the greek league or greek football its because no greek side has reached that far in the european or uefa cup. even some posters here have stated that our sides did well in the uefa cup this season :angry:

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excellent input guys.

do you think things will change in the near future ?

@dude regarding the greek mentality i remember watching the second leg of the european cup semi-final in 1996 panathinaikos vs ajax with pao 1-0 up from the first leg after a great result in amsterdam and i remember just as the players were kicking off the greek commentator saying nothing is expected of this evening and what a great achievement it was for pao to get this far, needless to say the players looked nervous and could not string a pass together they played as though they had no right to beat ajax(defending champions) pao ended up losing 0-3 at home in athens, still feel gutted now when i think of that night and if i appear to sometimes be critical of the greek league or greek football its because no greek side has reached that far in the european or uefa cup. even some posters here have stated that our sides did well in the uefa cup this season :angry:

That Ajax-PAO example is probably the best of them all!

As for the Greek leagues in the UEFA Cup. I think there's a bit of a general misunderstanding by everyone. Our smaller clubs did very, very well.

Larisa KO'd Blackburn and were amazing in general play in the group stages. They may have lost 2-3 but they outplayed Zenit and now we know how great a performance that was. They were fantastic against AZ in Holland (lost 1-0) and until a scrappy AZ goal it was all AEL. Against Everton away they were slightly disappointing, but having pulled a goal back after being 2-0 down they were pressuring Everton until the last couple of mins when they conceded the 3rd. The point is, they showed heart and put in some very good performances. For a team that doesn't have the quality of it's opponents they did very, very well.

Panionios also did well overall, and was it not for some shocking refereeing they probably would have beaten Galatasary as they were dominating. At the very least they'd have had a draw. The disappointment was losing to a Bordeaux team that had nothing to play for :tdown: But maybe that's down to inexperience, poor handling of pressure, etc. But generally Panionios played well.

Aris we the most impressive. Knocked out Zaragoza, were very unlucky against Bolton, should have beaten Braga (although they weren't at their best in that game), and despite getting hammered by Bayern they didn't do that badly. If you look at the goals every single one was a catastrophic mistake by Halkias, everyone! That's down to having a weak link in the team, but in general the performances were brilliant.

All those teams performed above what was expected.

The disappointment came with the big-boys.

PAO won their first 3 games against pub-teams, bravo. Then played Atletico Madrid away, took the lead through a superb solo-effort by Salpi, Atletico went down to 10 THEN THEY WENT AND LOST! When I was watching that game PAO seemed so comfortable, but it was down to mentality. If Atletico went down to 10 men against any of the other teams we've been talking about (Celtic, Rangers, Fener, etc) they would have gone searching to kill the game off. PAO sat back to hold the lead. So again I'll ask them what I asked the Greek players earlier... tous fovaste? That cost them a shot against Bolton and instead played Rangers, a much tougher tie. Nonetheless, it must be said, PAO was unlucky against Rangers. Still though, no one can call this a successful UEFA Cup campaign for PAO, a team that could have been in the final now.

AEK have been shocking in Europe this season. Completely capitulated against Sevilla, and in the group stages were shocking. Losing to Getafe at home is ridiculous (and I don't want to hear s%$#! about there performance against Bayern). They are a mid-table team in Spain, we saw Greek opposition against a similar-level team in Zaragoza and against a superior team in Atletico. So they were the biggest disappointments.

So imo you have to seperate between the smaller teams who were brilliant, and the bigger teams who were a complete bourdello.

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excellent input guys.

do you think things will change in the near future ?

@dude regarding the greek mentality i remember watching the second leg of the european cup semi-final in 1996 panathinaikos vs ajax with pao 1-0 up from the first leg after a great result in amsterdam and i remember just as the players were kicking off the greek commentator saying nothing is expected of this evening and what a great achievement it was for pao to get this far, needless to say the players looked nervous and could not string a pass together they played as though they had no right to beat ajax(defending champions) pao ended up losing 0-3 at home in athens, still feel gutted now when i think of that night and if i appear to sometimes be critical of the greek league or greek football its because no greek side has reached that far in the european or uefa cup. even some posters here have stated that our sides did well in the uefa cup this season :angry:

overall they DID do well....

they all went to the group stage which was big...

and AEL beat Blackburn, Panionios beat Sochaux, Aris beat Zaragoza.....

Granted these arent powerhouses, but for a combo of Greek teams to be eliminating Spanish, EPL, and French League teams was pretty big and a very good job! Normally wed expect to be finished off easily by those teams and only real expectation to go through was for PAO and AEK.

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It would be nice to see Zenit take this one, I personally think Rangers we're very lucky to get this far. Most of the players from Zenit do play on the Russian NT and they play very inspiring football.

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man, it should have been 3-0 by now..

i would really feel for Zenit if they can't get this one..

Tekke has been absolute s%$#! so far.. From what i see of his hairstyle, i can say he is hanging out with the ghetto drinkers in Petersburg :LOL: :LOL:

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Zenit wins this game 2-0....... comfortable win, very deserved all the way through.

This team is awesome........im worried about Russia this summer......if they play like Zenit, then were in serious trouble - Russia might give us more problems than Spain :o

Novo........ :LOL: loser!!!

Edited by drakos13
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This is great to see. What a cinderella run for Zenit. But they always had a better team than they were given credit for

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Drakos, did you see the rioting by the Rangers fans? They stabbed a Russian too. And do you know why?... trouble started after there was a techinical problem with one of the big-screens in Manchester city centre a little while before kick-off. I told you they're a bunch of arseholes! And the BBC has attempted to portray it as a "minority", yeah right... there were thousands involved! I wonder if any action will be taken by UEFA?
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Drakos, did you see the rioting by the Rangers fans? They stabbed a Russian too. And do you know why?... trouble started after there was a techinical problem with one of the big-screens in Manchester city centre a little while before kick-off. I told you they're a bunch of arseholes! And the BBC has attempted to portray it as a "minority", yeah right... there were thousands involved! I wonder if any action will be taken by UEFA?

dont get me started. I really really really hate Rangers.

Let it be known - Rangers did not deserve to be in the UEFA Final. They are dirty they cheaters, and they were way too lucky.

they were fortunate that PAO, Werder, Fiorentina couldnt finish their billions of chances...they were clealry the worse side in each of those matchups! PAO were a minute within burying them, and Rangers on their first shot of the game got a lucky goal while we were slamming the posts and couldnt beleive our missed chances... Not to mention Fernando Novo should have been suspended as he had about a dozen clear yellows, cheapshot tackles, cheapshot elbows...I dare anybody who opposes that to watch the PAO game at Ibrox...Disgusting, absolutley disgusting.

Rangers rioting why......because THEYRE TERRIBLE ?

Honestly did those idiots WATCH the final? They lost to THE BEST TEAM IN UEFA - PERIOD..... Zenit were so lethal, so good..theres no way Rangers were going to win that, they had 1-2 chances that were close but they should have lost 4-0.

Zenit fans were great, they were WAY more chill than Gayngers fans, but also dominated the stands too....even though the whole stadium was Rangers it was all ZENIT...

Zenit had a brilliant team. They will be very exciting to see in the group stages of the CL next year.

As for "gers"

Go Celtic.

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yes rangers were lucky, yes they were dirty particularly ferguson. however zenit were lucky to get out of the group stages. after losing to everton they only qualified because everton (who had already won the group) won in alkmaar in their last game.

1 Everton 4 4 0 0 9 3 6 12

2 Nuremburg 4 2 1 1 7 6 1 7

3 Zenit St Petersburg 4 1 2 1 6 6 0 5

4 AZ Alkmaar 4 1 1 2 5 6 -1 4

5 Larissa 4 0 0 4 4 10 -6 0

zenit improved as the competition progressed, but they beat both marseille and villareal on away goals, they were hanging on vs villareal.

congratulations to them though i'm glad russian teams are beginning to do well now in europe.

hope they win the super cup now vs man u or chelsea :tup:

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FC Zenit vs. Rangers FC 2:0 (Denisov 73', Zyrianov 90'+)

--------------------------Alexander---------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Broadfoot-------Weir--------------Cuellar------------Papac

-----------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------Hemdani------------------------------

--------------Ferguson--------------Thompson---------------

----Davis------------------------------------------Whittaker---

-----------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------Darcheville---------------------------

====================================

---------------------------Tekke-------------------------------

--------Arshavin------------------------Fayzulin--------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------

------------Denisov-----------------Zyrianov-----------------

-----------------------Tymoschuk-----------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Širl-----------Križanac-----------Shirokov----------Anyukov

------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------Malafeev------------------------------

Yellow cards : Malafeev 90'+

Yet played as subs:

Rangers: Nacho Novo 77' (Papac), McCulloch 80' (Hemdani), Boyd 86' (Whittaker)

Zenit : K.D. Jin 90+ (Fayzulin)

Great win :tup: True football over joy-destroying defensive philosophy and you know who won this time. Zenit are soo good that they remind me of Barcelona 3 years ago. And Rangers 'till they conceded first goal showed top class perfect defending that I have never seen in any team this season, but you can't defend perfectly for 90 minutes against super attackingly potent team as Zenit are this season who score against any opposition. And also add the fact how this Zenit are also physical as a great and killing combination with their attacking potential: 11 men on the field playing top in the first what in the last minute without subs (still attacking after taking 1:0 lead). Amazing.

And what to tell you about that Walter Smith who drowned himself in his own tactical stuff finally. He was a waaaaaay too late with his subs (although I can justify it as with these final games when extra times are potentially in the mix, you need to be careful plus coaches very rarely make their subs at a tied result closing in to the end. But he had a negative result after 73th and here I stress the K. Boyd entrance in specific) especially playing Boyd only the last 5 minutes when he already had a negative result much before and the man still kept taking his notes in the papers constantly, never getting his head up 15 minutes, 10 minutes...before the end. :LOL:

And D.Advocaat positively surprised me this season. I had never rated him high before.

Edited by REY
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man, it should have been 3-0 by now..

i would really feel for Zenit if they can't get this one..

Tekke has been absolute s%$#! so far.. From what i see of his hairstyle, i can say he is hanging out with the ghetto drinkers in Petersburg :LOL: :LOL:

well well well...

Tekke has disappointed me overall with his game but he's made the assist to the second goal and made the initial header down (the pass before the first goal's assist) for the 1st goal..

Strangely enough, Russian papers rated him as one of the best players on the pitch. Arshavin was surely the star, but along with Anjukov and Denissov, Russians rated him highly for the final..

What a disappointment Rangers have been for the final. Even in that 0-4 Boro v Sevilla final the losing side haven't been outplayed so much..

Even if it was "Watenaccio" that brought them to the final, somehow, Rangers played the final with third-rate Spaniards, second-rate French and technique-lacking Scots while teams like PAO, PSV, Galatasaray, Spurs who all had superior players failed to make it even close... I'm not talking about teams like Marseille, Bayern, Villarreal who have all been eliminated by the best team in the Cup..

Strange game, this football!! ;)

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