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The haters are groaning....

F*** the haters! Do you know why the hate us? Because we are a small country with a mediocre team that always punches above its weight. They hate us because we make this all happen with an undying elliniki psixi, a big heart and balls of steel. :gr:

As for the game itself, it was amazing. Everyone showed so much heart. I think we've finally found a formation for us (3-4-3, we should also try 3-5-2 too).

As for the players themselves:

Tzorvas - 6 - Made the saves in difficult conditions but personally i thought he was a liability. They had a couple of free kicks that he was expected to save but he parried them straight into the path of their players. Sheva and Milevskyi could have both scored from that. I'm still not keen on him.

Kyrgiakos - 8 - Very solid and aerially dominant. Looked alot more like the Kyrgiakos will know and love.

Vintra - 8 - Excellent performance. Defensively flawless and passionate too.

Moras - 8 - A couple of quality challenges and always well positioned.

Papasta - 6.5 - A little difficult to judge because he went off injured but was pretty comfortable.

Spyropoulos - 7.5 - Flawless defensively and provided an outlet on the left.

Karagounis - 7.5 - Quality in possession. Every time they tried to press him he always moved excellently to maintain possession.

Katsouranis - 7 - Provided a brilliant screen in front of the defence.

Samaras - 8 - I thought Samaras was excellent. Always positive and showed excellent skill to hold up the ball and beat players. Great outlet and great assist.

Salpigidis - 8 - Worked his arse off and scored a lovely goal. He was also neat in possession.

Haristeas - 6 - Worked hard but was isolated for much of the game. Wasn't great in possession though.

SUBS/

Pliatsikas - 7 - Showed some great glimpses but was beaten way too easily on a couple of occasions, nonetheless he did very well under the circumstances.

Gekas - 6 - Like Haristeas was anonymous, but should have done better with his late chance.

Tziolis - 6.5 - Filled the holes well in the last 20 mins.

As for the ideal group,

S.Africa (or if we're not THAT lucky, then Italy)

Greece

Algeria

N.Korea

(we don't want New Zealand because they are a big team that might handle our aerial game. Whereas the N.Koreans would struggle with it ;) )

As for the worst case scenario:

England (they always batter Greek teams)

Greece

Ivory Coast

USA

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :gr:

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As for the ideal group,

S.Africa (or if we're not THAT lucky, then Italy)

Greece

Algeria

N.Korea

(we don't want New Zealand because they are a big team that might handle our aerial game. Whereas the N.Koreans would struggle with it ;) )

As for the worst case scenario:

England (they always batter Greek teams)

Greece

Ivory Coast

USA

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :gr:

You make some good points on preferred groups...but let's be honest, every team deep down will wish Greece in their group.

Also couldn't agree with you more about England...they'll do another Croatia on us I think, mind you I secretly want them to be in our group...time for some ekdikisi!

However where I have to respectively disagree with you is with New Zealand. They do have some height, but technically they are the weakest side going to the tourney. PAO_OR_DEATH might disagree and even though I cheered more for NZ qualifying more than I did Australia....but in my opnion they are a very very poor side. All the Asian teams going to the WC are superior to NZ. Whoever draws them will be pencilling in 3 points before the tournament.

North Korea will be quick and skillful and if you recall we don't do well under Otto playing these nippy sides.

anyway...draw is 2 weeks away and whatever it throws up I don't care.

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There were 100,000 people in the stadium and 55,000 were Greek and the ethniki under Otto served up slop!

It was a game for PR, and for the fans.

I'm quite sure the players could care less having to travel 24 hrs to go sign autographs in australia and play amidst their busy season/vacation.

Don't count it too much...

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Euro2004:

Of course you thought Tzorvas was a liability......you always do even when hes making saves and keeping clean sheets way too much, and if a goal does go in, its somehow his fault alone.

Hes been playing well, admit it already.

And he is WAY, WAY less of a liability than Nikopolidis...

Tzorvas strength is shot stopping. He had one questionable parry which I knew instantly youd be all over, but you've clearly got limited experience as a keeper, it forced a reflex save and the shot was not visible in the open...Its normal. When coming out of his box he's still a bit shaky.

The only other keeper to consider would be Sifakis. If Tzorvas performs at the level to keep the #1 spot at PAO all season long, then he'll be our WC keeper, and our starting #1 of this generation (as I predicted last year ;) )

As for Gkekas, don't compare him to Xaristeas. The guy played better than a 6, I mean seriously, he came on with 20 mins and we were playing concentrated on nothing but defense......What on earth can you expect, honeslty? He got one half-break but didnt get a great shot off.

What Gkekas was doing well was keeping pressure and coming back to help on the defensive task which was #1 , which he did quite well....

Moras was awesome yesterday....

Moras-Papastathopoulos-Kyrgiakos is a nice back line.

Those guys are definitley better than Avraam Papadopoulos too, so lets hope Otto graps this, but its doubtful.

I like this 5-2-3 to be honest. Its not at all amazing, but it does put the strengths where we have got them.

We've got some strong CBs, decent wings (pliatsikas filled in great, I'm all for him taking that RB over Seitaridis at the moment)

Weak midfield depth (hence 2 midfielders)

and a strong aray of strikers

Gkekas-Samaras-Salpiggidis (Mitroglou, Amanatidis, maybe even Koutsianikoulis)

Edited by drakos13
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I think Otto was scripting a win on a set piece header and that's why he put Haristeas in. The guy hustles a lot so it's not hard to see the logic there: tall guy will be a nuisance and allow us to have the height advantage on set pieces.

Otto just drives me nuts. He played these two games in a way none of us could have imagined and he came out on top. I tip my hat to him because he doesn't sweat about much and does whatever the heck he wants.

Mind you, Ukraine lost in their heads. All teams in the world know by now not to underestimate Greece and not to get too excited about opening up their game. The way to beat Greece is to be patient and not over-commit forward, especially when Greece needs the result. Greece has shown signs of self-imploding when opponents just wait and don't give them space to move forward. Despite a couple of players of world-class pedigree, Ukraine proved that they are a very mediocre team who doesn't have the nerve for important games.

It wasn't our football prowess that won this one. It was the nerve, concentration, and above all that sense of "destiny" that we seem to have as a nation. A little luck never hurt anyone either even it smacked them over the head like it has with Otto.

This team can go past the group stage in S. Africa but I am happy we are there and the whole tournament is going to be so meaningful now. I am going to be in Greece and I am looking forward to the 4-million strong exuberance of the Athenian night when we score a goal. But I don't expect much. This is only our second trip to the World Cup and we have yet to score a goal, so playing with heart, scoring a couple of goals, and hopefully winning one would be enough for me.

Speaking of the second time, wasn't the second time we made the EURO CUP in 04? :unsure:

Edited by cyberfish
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Tzorvas made 4 great stops and his rebound control except for ONE shot was very very good..

Especially since it was in the rain and the pitch was like a hookers vagina...

Wet and dirty.. for those who didnt get it

A "great" stop cannot be one that you'd expect him to save. They were all routine saves yesterday and twice he parried straight into the path of a Ukranian. What if they had gone in? Chalkias and Chiotis are certainly better. Sifakis is also debatable.

As for Gekas he was largely anonymous and giving him higher than an average rating is silly

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geok & others,

well said....my only point is more you get excited and about games you SHOULD win, the smaller theam stays...if greece is to stop being looked at as the preffered opponent, its these types of games they MUST win..you thiink italy would consider this type of win epic? (not picking on your choiceof words, just usin it to make a point)....i know - we are not italy - but why not get cose to that level? CONSISTENCY is what strikes fear in the opponent...the fact that you can win most of the time....greece is woefully incomsistent....u never know what team will show up....1-1 moldova and the jews, no winds against an average swiss side...we are now ana above average team, and to make the next jump is much more difficult....

the answer to me is pretty clear - our team as currently confugured needs to bring their A game all the time....the intangibles are the difference for us....and frankly, its alot to expect to bring the type of passion and hart we saw yesterday to every game....so, what do good eleite teams do when their effort is not maxed out? well THEY can rely on tangible talent to make up for the lack of max effort (dribbling, speed, etc) and this fall back mode still gets them the results.....we dont have that luxury....or margin for error is small...our team has talent - but if we dont max out that talent with effort, we get inconsistent results....

now one can argue, rising to the occassion is itself a talent....like who is better? a team that wins many more games during the year and loses to a team in the playoffs ? it seems the grrek mentality is "its not who is better, its who is bette rON TAHT DAY when you need to be better....

i think it has alot to do with confidence...the team has to become alittle for arrogant, that they are good, and they can beat anyone, anytime if they play their game....they need to EXPECT to win, not HOPE to win....eleite teams go on the pitch EXPECTING to WIN and nothing else will do....we go in hoping, and parying, and looking to gods for help and all that nonsense....

after the athens tie i thought we had a good shot to go through....i amde the msitake of comparing results to form my judgment - and now iknow 100% you cant do that in soccer, especially in derbies that count goals diffenetly etc etc.....every game is different, has its own dynamics, and themes..alot of what goes on we dont see on tv.....the camera always follows the ball, but all teh action really is happening away form teh ball.....so we cant zero in on the subtle difference - how deep guys are playing, what zeones are empty, etc.etc.- every game is unique.....thats why you never know what can happen based on the result that needs ot be produced....

bottom line: now the work begins....lets see if otto learned anything form 2008 and see how he unfuses fresh legs and some more skill into the team....

i ran over, thanks for indulging me

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Hi everybody, what a great day it was yesterday. Greece are going to the World Cup for the first time in 16 years! I am in Athens watching this match with some friends of mine at a local resturant and many crazy Greek fans around Omonia. After the goal was scored by Salpigidis, the whole place just exploded hahahaha. Celebrations we're started after the goal, and at the end where Greece held on to win, they partyed like as if we won the World Cup. LOL

This is one of the greatest day of my life, if you guys we're in Athens you would have enjoyed this every moment of it. :tup:

HELLAS OLE OLEEEEEEEEEEEEE HELLAS OLE OLEEEEEEEEEEE DEN STAMATO NA TRAGOUDO POTE OOOOOOEEEEEEEE !!!!

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The build up to the finals is going to be brilliant but once the world cup games start I'm going to be a nervous wreck. I dont want euro 2008 again!

Listening to the likes of Linekar and shearer on british tv slagging off Greece again will give me ulcers.

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The goal you can see by going back to page nine of this thread. The first post of that page contains a video of the goal.

The full game you will probably find on a Greek bittorrent site, but I didn't tell you that :D ...

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I don't come here much these days but I just wanted to send my congratulations to you boys.

I knew you were gonna make it.

Well done and I shall be watching your games with close attention as I will be based in Cape Town durint the WC!

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How is a foul a routine save? When the positioning is correct, only does it seem simple.. You havent played as a Keeper have u?

Too bad you didnt watch me when i was in my teens.. I kicked ass..

Tzorvas, at his age, is better then both those keepers u mentioned when they were his age.

Chalkias is horrible... U must have seen him in Portsmouth...

And Chiotis is having a good run... But I would never say he is better then anything Tzorvas...

You are entitled to ur opinion...

Lets agree to disagree then :P

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100 games too many.

Otto may have been very disapointing in recent years with a ups and downs, but he's the single greatest manager the team has ever seen, and deserves a frikkin statue.

If you think things are bad on this team, does ANYBODY remember what it was like BEFORE Rehagel?

We had in our entire history, 2 tournament participations, both combined we had 1 point earned, and one single goal.

Rehagel in 8 years has taken us to 2 tournaments, with one WC Qualifyers finishing top 3, and made a playoff round for one of the WC. and took home Euro 2004.

His time is up, that is about it. He has changed the team forever, for the better.

100 games too many? Oh maybe you prefer Daniil and Iordanescu took us through these periods?

Anyways, I'm for giving Stratos Apostolakis a chance at the senior team when Rehagel steps down this week. If we get a foreigner, we need a GOOD one. Not some random reject.

So Otto is stepping down this week? Thats news to me!
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The attendence at the game in Athens is depressing when you see 33,000 fans turning up to see england under 21s play portugal.

Or the crowd that turned up to support ireland against france.

I have a feeling Greece are going to win this game. After reading several posts from people who had seen the game in Athens the impression I got was that Ukraine had been the more skillful side and had caused a lot of problems on the counter attack.

I managed to see extended highlights on eurosport and although Greece were set up to play defensively by Otto and did not play like the home side. (Samaras spent most of the time in the midfield) they were the better side and I only saw one proper counter attack from the Ukraine.

I see a narrow win.

You know you are PSYCHIC!
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I think Otto was scripting a win on a set piece header and that's why he put Haristeas in. The guy hustles a lot so it's not hard to see the logic there: tall guy will be a nuisance and allow us to have the height advantage on set pieces.

I don't reallly buy that old 'reputation' of Charisteas enough to justify him starting.

If we needed set peice men - we had them

Kyrgiakos is way more dangerous on set peices

Samaras is a big guy too...

Gkekas is better in the air anyways. He scores more with his head than Xaristeas scores at all....

Edited by drakos13
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