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Greece - Luxembourg


dark_horse

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Our final qualifyer of the year. Should be an easy one right till the end. It appears that Greece could be settling for the UEFA playoff unless if our Jewish friends can lend us a helping hand to beating Switzerland, than Greece would get top spot in the group and a round ticket trip to South Africa 2010. :)

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I would like a 5 nil win.

It's academic. No guarantees we'll get top spot, most likely we will get 2nd as Switzerland only needs a draw against Israel.

Anyway we'll see what happens.

I would love for Otto to resign after this match. We should never have been in this position. We should have beaten the Swiss in Greece and if we were to drop points at all I was happy for a draw in Israel and a draw in Switzerland.

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All Greek sports media outlets are today reporting that Otto has lost control of the team...the players apparently took matters into their own hands at half time versus Latvia...and turned things around...there are rumours circulating he may even quit Greece after this game on Wednesday....interesting

Did anyone else read the interview Pliatsikas gave to contra.gr?

In Greek:

http://www.contra.gr/Soccer/World/WorldCup...ece/252237.html

Very damming comments regarding Greek football and its future...

Sorry about the negatives people...

we are all behind the Ethniki 100%!!!

Lets hope all issues get ironed out...its a positive that players are expressing their thoughts

:box:

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considering we put 5 past latvia we should have no problems putting 5 past luxembourg.. however we cannot take this game easy, as luxmbourg beat the swiss in switzerland so lets make sure we kill this game early and hope for the best that israel can beat the swiss. they still have a slight hope of finishing second if we lose so hopefully they go there thinking they can do that

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we'll take top spot, i have a feeling this group will go down to the wire.

The Jews will win and i see us puting at least 4 on luxembourg.

Otto lost the plot a LONG time ago, I too would be happy if he "man-ed" up for once and quit. He gave us all memories we will share untill we die...."where were you when dellas scored that header against the chzeks, how high did you jump??? etc....." but his time with us is and has been over for a LONG time....

so for that reason a sort of "fare well", we'll win 4-0 and The Jews will win 2-1 (off a 88' penalty), a dramatic end to a ludacris group

Edited by PAO_OR_DEATH
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Otto is going nowhere cause Otto ain't the problem.

The simple fact is that we've lost experience players who can't be replaced, players who led the way... Zagorakis (120 caps), Nikopolidis (90), Basinas (100), Dellas the list goes on.

You don't just bring in Tzorvas, Tziolis or Moras and expect things to be fixed.

We need three things.

- New Goalkeeper. Chalkias and Tzorvas are not the answer

- Captain who the players respect (see Zagorakis)

- Katsouranis has to pull his finger out. Plays like it's his right to be there.

------------------------GK

-------------Kyriakos------Papastathopoulos

Seitaridis--------------------------------Spyropoulos

-------------Katsouranis------Karagounis

Torosidis------------Ninis------------Samaras

------------------------Gekas

Bench

Tzorvas

K. Papadopoulos

Patsatzoglou

Pliatsikas

Salpigidis

Amanatidis

Charisteas

The above won't happen - suspensions and yellow cards means numerous players will be rested.

Edited by RogueTrader
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Akritis if we lose and Israeal win (or Latvia win by a high score) we are out, so it's not quite academic. We have to take this seriously and finish the game by half time. Let's race to 3 goal lead in the first 45 mins and then we can relax and see if Benayoun and co. can do us a favour.

Samaras is suspended for the game

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Could someone please translate the general gist of that interview? Thanks

Pretty much this:

*Many Greeks talented players are lost in the system b/c teams prefer to pay foreigners thinking that the "name" is better. He is a defensive midfielder, but he consistently gets used as a back in Greece. Kind of like Torosidis. Torosidis should be playing midefield not back.

*Greece is no longer producing players like they should. Coaches are too concerned about being fired that they go for the result, even in developmental ages.

*Teams in Greece have no clue how to "deal" with players in the selling, bying market. He cannot believe AEK only got 300,000 Euro for him. If he did not leave AEK, he would be worried about playing as a loan player for the rest of his life.

*The fans kill for their teams in Greece. In Germany, fans might disagree, but they do it civily. He blaims the teams and the state for not improving the conditon or lack of hooliganism.

*He never wants to go back to play in Greece after what great conditions he experienced in Germany. The team supprts the player and the fans support their national team.

*He used Ninis as an example of how teams mess up talent in Greece.

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i have been hearing what wrong with grek football for the last 35 years.....same shti over and over...it's similar to the other big riddle - everyone complains in greece they have no money yet the cafes are always packed, people wearing designer everything, etc. etc.

i say this to make and illustrate a point....it ALL STARTS FROM THE HEAD...a simple mentality shift in the general consciousness of the people is needed and, then it can filter down all aspects of life in greece........the same reasons tha make us passionate, impulsive, reactive, free spirited, etc. etc. are teh same reasons that make us difficlut, insecure, jealous, hold gridges etc.etc... not everyone but from my experience, most....

so, you can forget about fixing what is wrong with greek soccer....the leadership and b*lls required to make those changes wont even get to first base because everyone around will sandbag ghtat person....its a fact, and has happened time after time....

otto brought unity, sense of purpose, selflessness to the team and thats why the won the euro....but the moment things go bad everybody starts calling for hius head....even on this forum, how may of you showed patience, tolerance, and benefit of the doubt to otto during these difficult periods? when things go well, everyone kisses his ass and the MOMENT things go bad, everyone is quick to kick his ass....

go back and look....so for the very same reason greek soccer is "broken" is the very same reson this forum sounds thte way it does....

THE FACT is he is the MOST successful coach the team ahs ever had....and lasted the longest in what is normally referred to as "the graveyard for coaches"

i am not an otto fan, because i believe he has some deficiencies that he has ignored for along time.....i am a fan of the TRUTH, and the truth is he is the best coach the NT has had to date....now is it time to go? dont know, and remeber, there is a lot of crap tha goes on behind the scenes that none of us knows anything about.....

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i am not an otto fan, because i believe he has some deficiencies that he has ignored for along time.....i am a fan of the TRUTH, and the truth is he is the best coach the NT has had to date....now is it time to go? dont know, and remeber, there is a lot of crap tha goes on behind the scenes that none of us knows anything about.....

I think he should stay, it is just that he needs to bring in some young players as well
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I think Rehhagel has to stay for the time being, but should retire. To me he's very tired and if those rumors are true about a player revolt it would be a real pity. I think we have to take three points of of Lux, they are not as easy as we think. We have very little margin for error and they have no pressure, remember Greece versus England, we would have won by several goals were it not for that joke of a referee Dick Johl.

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players....players....players.........moldova should have been 5-1 if if if if the players were good enough to finish.....true the coach puts the player sin the best position to suceed based on their skill level, abilities and opposition.....but what more could he have done in moldoava game? and, even so, with those misses, a bonehead maneuver from avram in the 90th minute is the difference between us having first place in our hands to snatch or playing for a playoff.......one bad, bone head move....is it fair to criticize the coach for that? well. if your repsonse is "he chose him" then i guess you can.....but that is not fair...

i find he waited toooo long to inject youing legs into the team...alos, i think by constantly stressing D he convinced the team they CANT play more offensively.....when someonne constantly tells you u stink, you start to believe it.....and you know what, look at our indiviual skill level on teh offensive side.....we dont have creativty, and our midfield play is average AT best....

you want proof? how do you explain gekas leading the german leauge GERMAN league (not some mickey mouse league) in scoring? machlas in holland....a nd few others....why? simple....they had talent behind them to feed the ball and create chances....we play donkey ball....maybe thats what the coach thinks is best given the talent he sees EVERYDAY - not on tv once a month.....

but in the end its about the players..............

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(from UEFA.com)

GEKAS RACING ROONEY

His four goals in Greece's 5-2 win against Latvia moved Fanis Gekas alongside Wayne Rooney as joint top scorer in European FIFA World Cup qualifying, but the striker said afterwards that "I could have done better".

Team first

The 29-year-old helped Greece maintain their hopes of reaching South Africa as Group 2 winners after defeating opponents who went into Saturday's game level on points with their hosts. "It was a good match for me, but what matters most is not my performance," said the Bayer 04 Leverkusen marksman after the encounter in Athens. "I don't care about goals and records as long as the team wins."

Play-off target

Latvia had good reason to fear Gekas, who had scored twice for Greece in a 2-0 win in Riga 13 months earlier, but they proved powerless to stop him despite ending the first half 2-1 up. "In the dressing room at half-time, we tried to encourage one another and we vowed to do everything in our power to turn the game around and get a play-off spot for the 2010 World Cup," said Gekas, whose side will be sure of at least finishing second in their section if they beat Luxembourg on Wednesday and will qualify automatically if Switzerland also lose against Israel.

Bad morale

The Larissa native's goals in Athens were a welcome lift during a season in which he has only appeared sporadically for his club. Thus far, he has contested merely four Bundesliga matches – three as a substitute – and two more in the German Cup, coming off to bench to fire his only domestic goal of the season against 1. FC Kaiserslautern. "It's very complicated for me and bad for my morale to be on the bench all the time at Leverkusen," he said. "Not playing regular club football makes me give my all for the national team."

Impressive figures

The striker continues to be grateful to coach Otto Rehhagel for keeping faith in him despite his club situation, but that decision has been more than vindicated. Gekas has scored 13 of Greece's 22 goals since UEFA EURO 2008™, and with 19 goals in 42 international games is closing in on Nikos Anastopoulos's national record of 29. His nine Group 2 efforts, meanwhile, mean he is level with Wayne Rooney as joint top scorer in European qualifying for South Africa, and since the Manchester United FC striker will miss England's final qualifier against Belarus through injury, Gekas can make the title his own when Luxembourg come calling in midweek.

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theres a bit of a dilema coming up i believe, if we race out of the blocks against luxem and we are winning 3-0 before halftime, the jews will no doubt hear bout this and know they cannot make the world cup, if there game is tight they may just forget bout it and not care bout the result.. they could very easy let the swiss win and thats that. last time we played israel there was a very unsportsmanlike issue that occured.. during our penalty a green laser was put into the keepers eyes... now if we are wining by a good margin and they are drawing, they wont try to go for the win...

this prob sounds really stupid but thats what im thinking rtight now

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AEK Adelaide...this may be true

If I am not mistaken, the game between swiss and israel starts 1 hour earlier to the Greece game...?

Greece should not score for first 30-40 minutes...hehehe

Re AEK Adelaide....your not a Nick by any chance?

I live in Adelaide also filarako :tup:

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We NEED foreign players that are undiscovered talents.

And who is to say an undiscovered talent HAS to come from Buenos Aires, Rosario or Mendoza? Why can't this undiscovered talent come from Ptolemaida, Rethymno or Kokkinia?

There is not enough investment in local talent and far too much in "talent" abroad!

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“For me, I think I’d prefer if it is Greece,” said Ireland’s assistant manager in Malahide yesterday. “They are a little like us, they are very passionate and a little less technical. They won the European Championships and showed us all that in football anything is possible but I think now they are the team for us.

continuing lack of respect for the NT..........seems like nobody is afraid of playing Greece...

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theres a bit of a dilema coming up i believe,  if we race out of the blocks against luxem and we are winning 3-0 before halftime, the jews will no doubt hear bout this and know they cannot make the world cup, if there game is tight they may just forget bout it and not care bout the result..    they could very easy let the swiss win and thats that.  last time we played israel there was a very unsportsmanlike issue that occured.. during our penalty a green laser was put into the keepers eyes... now if we are wining by a good margin and they are drawing, they wont try to go for the win...   

this prob sounds really stupid but thats what im thinking rtight now

Greece does have a bit of a dilemma tomorrow. Greece's only chance to win the group rests with the Israelis. Israel is capable of beating the Swiss, as the first game between Israel and the Swiss ended 2-2 in Israel. It is very likely to be a close game at the half.

AEK_ADELAIDE, I believe both matches tomorrow start at the same time since it is the final qualifying match. Israel will push hard for the win if Luxembourg is within one goal at the half hoping that Luxembourg can capture at least draw in Athens. If Israel were to beat the Swiss, Greece would not be able to move through to the playoff with a loss OR a draw. A draw vs Luxembourg and an Israel win, Israel would push through to the playoff based on goal differential. The only way Latvia can advance to playoff is with a Greece loss. (a draw would still push Greece through when compared to Latvia) Israel is a greater threat to Greece than Latvia for the playoff spot because a draw against Luxembourg will not be enough for Greece if Israel wins.

Israel does remember the blinding lasers that resulted in the two point lead Greece currently has in qualifying points standings on the penalty kick. Without the lasers, it is possible that that the second Greece - Israel match would have ended 1-1 and Israel would have 16 points now and Greece only 15 points. The penalty foul itself could have been not called because both teams were playing level and Israel had just equalized. In that second Greece - Israel match, both teams could have been called for penalties at various points in that match.

A draw between Greece and Luxembourg would eliminate Latvia from the playoff, and there is no guarantee that Israel will beat the Swiss, so a draw could be enough to move Greece through to the playoff. Latvia is likely to beat bottom feeders Moldova and end up with 17 points. A draw would push Greece up to 18 points, which would be enough to move through to the playoff unless Israel finds a winner against the Swiss.

The other thing in play is Luxembourg's performance on the road in this group so far. Aside from the 7 nil defeat at Israel, Luxembourg has been very competitive on the road so far. Luxembourg is 1-1-1 versus non-Israeli group opponents on the road in the group. Luxembourg beat group leaders Switzerland 2-1 in spectacular fashion to the amazement of many, drew nil - nil in Moldova (did not concede a goal), and did not allow Latvia to score until the 44th minute at Latvia in a 2 nil defeat. (a very tough place to play) The fact that Luxembourg at Latvia almost went into the half nil nil is not something to look past.

Jeff Strasser and Alphonse Leweck are capable strikers who both scored off of set pieces at Switzerland. Strasser scored on a direct set piece and Leweck found the winner off of a pass from a free kick late in the match at Switzerland.

Luxembourg has been gunshy at home, but on the road they have shown to be a dangerous team. Even at home this past weekend, after giving up 3 early goals to Switzerland, they held the Swiss scoreless over the final 65 minutes of the match and had some scoring chances of their own, gaining some confidence going into the Greece match.

Greece has also shown to be up and down, drawing 1-1 with bottom feeder Moldova last month in a match that they could have won and put themselves in better position.

AEK_ADELAIDE, in summary, tomorrow most Greece fans would love to get out early and rout Luxembourg and assure themselves into the playoff. But the best chance Greece has to win the group is to actually play even with Luxembourg in the first half, allow Israel to believe that they have a chance at moving into the playoff at halftime of their match with the Swiss, and turn it on against Luxembourg in the 2nd half, and hope Israel finds a 2nd half winner against the Swiss not knowing the score of Greece - Luxembourg, which could happen if Israel is motivated at thinking they have a chance at the playoff themselves coming out of the halftime locker room.

As you said, if it's 3-0 Greece at the half, and Israel hears that score, they may not try for the winner against the Swiss remembering the laser incident, allowing the more sportsmanlike Swiss to win the group and get to 21 points with another draw versus Israel, even if Greece beats Luxembourg and finishes with 20 points.

Luxembourg is good on set pieces. Strasser has a strong foot and given the chance, will let one ride towards the back of the net. Whether Strasser will get set piece chances in Athens is not an easy conclusion. It depends what strategy Greece will play against Luxembourg knowing the scenarios. It may also depend on the referee's style and if he believes Luxembourg is deserving of fouls.

Greece is dreading a two leg playoff against such quality teams as some playoff teams don't seem to fear Greece. They'd much rather qualify automatically with Israel's help. But if they play even to Luxembourg they run the risk of Luxembourg spoiling the party on the road as they did at Switzerland.

Either way, it should be exciting football for all involved tomorrow. If Luxembourg shows up in Athens like they did in Switzerland and in Latvia early, this could be a very interesting final stage of qualifying. How will Greece follow up such an emotional win over Latvia? Will they come out sharp or will they take Luxembourg lightly? We will soon find out.

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