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ECL-QR2-L2: Beitar Jerusalem - PAOK (03.08.23, 20:30 EEST)


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I watched the game on mute on my phone while attending meetings all day, so I couldn't hear the commentators or anything. But I thought this was hilarious:

  • amazing that two own goals happened
  • I had to do a triple take when the sprinklers kept starting up
  • I'm liking Ekong
  • I'm also liking Tsiggaras
  • Beautiful "assist" by Konstantelias
  • I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I am SOOOO over Augusto

Tsiggaras + the possible Russki buy should be more than enough to cover Augusto. We'll likely come out ahead on the deal, both in terms of transfer fee costs and salary.

I think we still need another attacking midfielder. I don't think Taison is it; someone needs to push Konstantelias. Do we need another winger as well? I think probably.

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Ideally, what we'll see is Samatta crush it and Tzimas challenge him. Brandon hopefully will end up riding the bench for most of the season (fingers crossed).

I do think he looked pretty decent out there - the strong target man that Lucescu loves and that Oliveira wasn't. I don't think he'll have much trouble taking Brandon's spot.

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This was a classic PAOK away performance. Start off average, step it up a bit then just as things are looking good we go and make a tragic error which puts all of us fans on the verge of a heart attack for 60 minutes. Then out of nowhere comes a bit of magic and we are home and dry.

Our defence is shocking (except for Baba). I have no idea how Kedziora is a national team player. One foul throw is bad enough, two in a row is just embarrassing. Ekong is slower than a sloth in treacle. Michailidis cannot mark to save his life. Unfortunately I think that injury may have ruined him (I hope I am wrong). Against a proper team, we would have been slaughtered today.

Where do I start with the midfield? Schwab will unfortunately be the new Biseswar this season. He is a huge liability out there and I have no idea what he was thinking with the pass backward. I sincerely hope that was Augusto's last game in a PAOK jersey. I am so bored of watching him commit unnecessary fouls and picking up cards all the time. Hopefully the French are still interested in picking him up. Tsingaras was average (by all means better than Schwab and Augusto) and should have scored that chance. I would say our wingers are the only saving grace. Zivkovic was decent and Narey was alright. Konstantelias is like an oasis in the desert.

Up top, although Brandon scored, we need to be honest with ourselves - he isn't good enough. Apart from the goal he did nothing. Samatta looks sharp but we still don't really have a clear picture of him. It will be a crime if Tzimas gets no playing time because of these two though.

Beitar reminded me of the old PAOK. A stupid own goal. Throwing things at the opposition players. Missing a penalty. The sprinklers coming on during the game. Missed chances. Another own goal. For some reason when the camera showed the owners face at the end, I knew exactly how he was feeling.

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On 8/4/2023 at 9:13 AM, Athens4 said:

Michailidis cannot mark to save his life. Unfortunately I think that injury may have ruined him (I hope I am wrong). Against a proper team, we would have been slaughtered today.

You are right and wrong. He cannot mark. But he was like that before the injury. He is the same player now he was then, only now he has missed 18 months of development. Maybe he can progress because as we know defenders tend to hit their peak later than mids or forwards.

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TBH I have never seen anything that gets me excited about either Michalidis or Koulierakis for that matter. Now Koulierakis is only 19, so he has a lot of development in him and it's not easy to play consistent senior football at 18-19 as he did last season. He can and may well improve into a quality player, he has some good tools that he is developing. 

Michalidis at 23, I think we can a bit more of a judgement on. Yes he missed a whole season with the ACL injury but as NB points out, pre-injury I too thought he was average. Not overly pacey or a good reader of the play, would dive in and make challenges when there is no need, giving away silly fouls and picking up unnecessary cards. The one thing he has going for him is his passing ability as a defender, he's more than capable of playing a 40-50 yard ball to a teammate. 

I hope he proves me wrong this year, but I don't see Michalidis ever being nailed on starter for PAOK. 

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