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Vasilis Lakis (PAOK)


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Look what I found!

a comparison between Giannakopoulos and Lakis I wrotte for the Old Phantis Board back in September 2002!


Vasilis Lakis vs. Stelios Giannakopoulos

Posted: September 28, 2002 at 10:27 AM EST (15:27 PM GMT)

by The2ndMouse

Two of the greatest Greek teams Olympiakos and AEK trust their right wing to the two lads who share the same spot in the Hellenic National Team. Namely, Stelios Giannakopoulos and Vasilis Lakis. Football has definitely changed a lot. It is no more "you play right, you play left" by the coach. Nowadays each team's game is built around the individual skills of the players used. Therefore, making an effort to compare the two players styles and abilities can offer the grounds for a good discussion, if not for their teams, then certainly for the NT spot they contend for. Allow me to try and break down those ingredients which make up the complete player image on the pitch. Allow me to weight the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two internationals before I move into a comprehensive final opinion.

Acceleration: Vasilis seems to have a marginal lead over Stelios here. Acceleration, as a reaction, is made up mostly of the pure physical ability to have an explosive start and the ability to read the game effectively. While Giannakopoulos connects better with the surrounding action, Lakis makes up in pure skill.

Pace: God gifted both of them with the ability to be quite fast. Again, Vasilis seem to have the edge.

Short Passing: While Lakis is quite good at it, Stelios is excellent. And his fighting spirit makes this ability surface even better no matter how close he is being marked.

Long Passing / Crossing: Unfortunately, they both need to improve more in this area. They play in a position where irrespective of the style of play the team uses, good long balls and good crosses are essential. But they both have poor statistics and can easily turn a break by their team to a danger for their defense.

Running With the Ball: Lakis might be one of the best players Greece has to show in this area for years. Giannakopoulos is good when he changes direction or rotates to lose the opponent, but Lakis is simply the better man when it comes to keeping the ball at high speed and even leaving fast opponents behind.

Off the Ball: Stelios wins this one easily. His mobility in the pitch and the good positioning also explains his ability to score regularly when used by Takis Lemonis. Vasilis, on the other hand, is good too, but not at the same level.

Shooting / Finishing: Although Vasilis takes advantage of his speed to bring himself into good scoring positions he usually fails to convert them to goals. He is more comfortable with technical shots rather than direct shots to the goal, and for some strange reason he goes for the shot rather than the lobe! Statistics speak for Stelios, and they look really good when it comes to finishing. Sometimes a pure striker could not do better.

Heading: Giannakopoulos is better than Lakis, but both of them have a less than average performance in their high game. The better positioning of the shorter man (Stelios) is enough to win him this contest.

Tackling: Not one of their primary tasks, but an important ability in modern football. Again, the two wingers fail to show any impressive stats, with Giannakopoulos being the better of the two. Why? See the next part?

Determination: I believe that this is the quality that offers Giannakopoulos what speed offers to Lakis. This, and his fighting spirit is what makes Stelios a good player and covers for any of his shortcomings. Lakis is a pretty determined lad also. His face emits the tranquility of his character but he is fighting hard in his own way. Just a look at Stelios' eyes during the fight is enough to understand who is more convincing.

Teamwork: Lakis is fast and good at what he is doing and has taken the correct approach to his role when pieced together with those of his teammates. He will be rarely accused for individualism. Giannakopoulos may be good in all the separate ingredients that would make him the perfect team player but he tends to believe the world revolves around him too often. Vasilis definitely deserves to win this category.

Versatility: I will give this one to Stelios with not much thought. Both lads can undertake defensive duties quite effectively when asked to, despite their attacking nature. They will not go for any man of the match awards, but they will get the job done. However, Giannakopoulos can easily switch sides and have a very good left side game. He can also move to the middle where the aforementioned poor team play may cost him some points. Lakis can move into other positions less effectively.

Flair and Creativity: Both of them use different skills to reach to approximately the same result. They are good and creative players who could use a "flair injection". World class defenders should be able to deal with their inspirations most of the times, but not all teams have world class defenders.

Stamina: Both are more than good at staying fit and keeping their pace throughout the game. A precious ability for any hard working winger.

Injury Proneness: No serious problems ever plagued any part of their professional careers. They seem to be strong lads and even when injured they managed to recover fast without any follow up injuries that would uncover any particular body weaknesses.

After the long, yet necessary, analysis, I feel ready to say that in my opinion Stelios Giannakopoulos can be considered as the better player. I did not use any weird grading system in the categories above to reach to this conclusion. I believe that Lakis is more talented than Giannakopoulos. But talent can get you up to a certain point. Hard work and determination will keep you there and push you forward. And Stelios is full of fighting spirit. I believe that the man from the big port is rightfully the occupant of the place in the National Team where Lakis serves as a useful substitute. Here I want to say that having these two players at this position allows the NT coach to switch playing styles with just one substitution. Always a good option to have! One thing that Lakis has and Giannakopoulos is missing is good guidance by his coach! Let us see if Mr. Bajevic can push Lakis to a better overall game. Giannakopoulos is not doing bad under Lemonis either, but does he improve? Would he be able to make any finishing touches to his game under the guidance of a more experienced manager? I am sure that Mr. Rehhagel cannot help as much as he should due to the little time he spends with his players.


It also shows how wrong I was about Rehaggel! :whistle:

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  • 3 months later...

Greek media reports are suggesting that Crystal Palace midfielder Vassilis Lakis has decided to leave the London side.

Lakis is reportedly mulling over a return to AEK Athens after only leaving the Greek outfit to join Iain Dowie's side in September.

The Greek international has failed to hold down a regular place at Selhurst Park, and is being repeatedly linked with a move home at the end of the current campaign when his deal expires.

A two-year contract worth €800,000 has been slated, although Lakis has not yet put pen-to-paper as he is considering another offer from German outfit Arminia Bielefeld.

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