Special feature: Super League Interwetten 2021-22
Μετά από αρκετές περιπέτειες η Super League Interwetten 2021-22 ξεκινάει και το ενδιαφέρον είναι στα ύψη. Ο ΠΑΟΚ κι οι υπόλοιποι 13 μονομάχοι μπαίνουν στο γήπεδο για να παλέψουν για τους στόχους τους. Το paokfc.gr όπως κάθε χρόνο κάνει μία πρώτη ανάγνωση των αντιπάλων του Δικεφάλου στην κούρσα του πρωταθλήματος.
After an admittedly problematic season in which AEK failed to achieve its goals the club proceeded with major structural changes in order to try and strengthen for the new season. The first and most important step was the recruitment of Vladan Milojevic as head coach, which was accompanied by a complete restructuring of the backroom and playing staff with several additions and departures.
The start of the new season was not ideal with elimination from the qualifiers of the Europa Conference League by Velez, and now the focus falls solely on the domestic competitions, where the goal is to win titles.
A coach to change the playing philosophy
After Jimenez last season, AEK hired Vladan Milojevic with the aim of combining good football with results and claiming titles. The Serbian became known here in Greece from his transfer to the bench of Panionios, before returning to his homeland.
With Red Star Belgrade he won three consecutive championships in Serbia, and brought them back into the Champions League group stage, while his record also includes a Serbian Cup win in the 2014-15 season with Tsukariski.
He works mainly with a 4-2-3-1 system.
New faces, new-look AEK
AEK are expected to present a completely different team after a flurry of summer transfer activity. This year’s squad, after all, is expected to have Stankovic as the main goalkeeper, Michelin at right-back, Hajsafi as left-back, and Vranjes and Tzavella in the center of the defence. Then there’s Le Tallec, Jevtic in the center of midfield, Amrabat and Zuber on the flanks, and Araujo up front. Mitoglou and Rota are the young stars that offer hope for both the present and the future.
Looking for more than just a comfortable stay in the to flight
One of the most historic clubs in Greek football, Apollon Smyrnis, managed to remain in the Super League relatively comfortably last season. They finished ninth, far enough away from the danger zone as they would have liked, and it is this performance that is their guide in view of the new season. That, after all, is the main goal. To quickly secure their top flight status and produce some good football along the way. And this was the main reason for a change of coach, with Giannis Petrakis returning to the Greek championship.
Safety in Petrakis
The experienced coach, who did a great job at PAS Giannina (2014-2019), is making a comeback in the Super League after two years in Cyprus. One of the most experienced coaches in the league, the 62-year-old wants to raise the level of Apollon, and at the same time prove his worth in the «football stock market» again. He has worked at Asteras Perama, PANOM, Herodotus, Asteras Tripolis, Asteras Rethymno, Ionikos, Ethnikos Asteras, AO Chania, OFI, Ergotelis, PAS Giannina, Olympiakos Nicosia and Apollon Limassol.
The brilliance of Bruno Alves
Like many clubs, Apollon has had a busy summer in the transfer market. A total of 11 new faces have joined the club to wear the blue and white jersey. The name of European champion with the Portuguese national team Bruno Alves stands out among them. He may be 39, but he comes to the club on the back of a full year in Serie A, and with his unquestionable quality he is expected to be a point of reference in the Apollon defence. Additionally, Pamlidis was signed from PAS Giannina, as well as Castro from the same club, but they have also signed Argentine midfielder Nikolas Martinez. Sahli, Matei, Toutouarima, Dentakis and Papageorgiou are also expected to provide good options, while the acquisition of left winger La Parra was also a fine piece of transfer business.
Raising the bar
Those in Charilaou definitely wanted their European adventure to last much longer, but in reality their goal was and remains the championship. Last year’s good season has whetted the appetite for even higher aspirations, as evidenced by the transfer moves and the general optimism in the environment of the club.
Aris wants to repeat a similar performance, to maintain the acquisition of third place and to aim higher, but also to return to the titles through the Cup.
The pressure of expectations
After one complete season in charge, Akis Mantzios now has the experience, and he has a more complete squad at his disposal. He has had the opportunity to shaepe the team as he wants and this is his strongest point, but at the same time he has raised the difficulty index. The demands and expectations are now sky high after the summer transfer activity, and now he needs to show good management in a stressful environment to put his plans into action.
An increased budget and quality
The appetite for success is there, the signs are clear. You just have to look at the arrival of Aboubakar Kamara, who joins with the title of the most expensive transfer in the history of the club, the CV of Juan Iturbe, and the experience of the Brabec and Ndiaye to see that the Thessaloniki club mean business. At the back theres Lumor, and on the wing the experienced Izet Hajrovic, central defender Fabiano and Brazilian goalkeeper Denis Matos who have alll joined this summer, while the young Iraqi forward, Mohanad Ali, is an interesting prospect.
Cooking up the same successful recipe
Asteras Tripolis were one of last season’s pleasant surprises of the championship, as they managed to enter the Play Offs and finish in sixth place in the standings. The team from Arcadia with Milan Rastavac at the helm showed they can mix it with the big boys, while some new protagonists among the squad emerged. They are looking to continue the same positive course this year, aiming of course to make the top six. Their performances in pre-season seems to indicate that they may be even better and more competitive compared to last season.
Third year at the helm
Milan Rastavac took over Asteras in December 2019 and since then the Arcadians have been on a continuous upward trend. This will be his third season as coach of Asteras, and so far he has managed to imprint his own identity on the club and create a team that is very well organized and efficient.
The 48-year-old coach started his career in Radniski, continued in the Serbian national team, and in the summer of 2017 he moved to Greece with Xanthi, where he remained until the end of the 2018-2019 season.
A few good [and new] men
Asteras Tripolis’ chemistry as a squad is such that they did not need a plethora of new additions this summer. The Arcadians acquired five new players, mainly from the market they know very well – the Spanish one. The Peloponnese team have signed Pichu Atienza, David Carmon, Kevin Soni, Asier Benito and Dani Santafe.
Aiming to return to Europe
The return of Damir Canadi did not bring the expected success, and the team’s overall poor performance led to several changes at all levels. In the dugout now is the young Spanish coach, Angel Lopez, whom we previously know from the very good work he did as coach of Volos.
At the same time, the Peristeri club have been strengthened with several new players who seem capable of raising the level of the team and achieving the club’s goals. Which are? To return to the Play Offs, and the European places that come with that. All these years, after all, Atromitos have been one of the most competitive teams, a club that with steady and stable steps forward is considered every year as a contender for a place in the top six.
A coach of the rise
Volos was one of the better teams in last year’s championship, and this is largely credited to Angel Lopez. Lopez presented a competitive team and his work was vidicated by Atromitos coming calling for him. The 38-year-old Spaniard is a fan of possession football; he is keen to build from the back and create a competitive and attractive Atromitos side that will also act as his own passport for further development. Before coming to Greece, Lopez worked as an assistant coach at Recreativo Huelva, Guinea and Delphi in Ecuador.
Strong summer moves
In the transfer market, Atromitos made some impressive moves, producing a mini flashback to their recent, successful past. Efthymis Koulouris was released from Toulouse and returns to the club where he had the best season of his career. On the returns lits is also the name of Dimitris Hatziisaias.
From there on, Marios Tzavidas from Panathinaikos is an important prospet, while Kartalis from PAS Giannis, Bedinelli from Apollon Smyrnis, Vasilantonopoulos from AEK, and Klonaridis and Spiridonovic, who played well for Panionios, have all come in, while the Peristeriotes have also brought in Kyriakos Papadopoulos on a free transfer.
Back in the Super League 14 years later!
The 2020-21 season will forever be engraved in the hearts and minds of the fans of Ionikos. The Nikaia club are back in the big time for the first time in 14 years after a dream campaign in Super League 2 last season.
The goal of the club’s management is, of course, to stay in the top tier and to establish Ionikos as a Super League club, so that the team can try to revive the glorious moments of the past, when they played in Europe and in a Greek Cup final.
A coach who deserves his opportunity
Dimitris Spanos will continue to lead the team as head coach. The experienced coach led Ionikos to the Super League and thus got a vote of confidence from the executive board and the opportunity to lead the Nikaians in the top flight.
Spanos is considered one of the experts of the lower divisions. His coaching career began in 2005, when he took over the technical leadership of Anagennisi Arta, and from there he started a long career with many stops along the way. He worked at: Aianta Salamina, Rhodes, Panachaiki, Panagialio, Aeoliko Mytilene, Union Ermionida, Lamia, Apollon Smyrni, Panagialio, Aris and Kerkyra. In fact, with Aris, he celebrated promotion to the the Super League.
A brand new team
The coach remained, but the logic of the next steps of last year’s team have not applied to the squad planning. Only a few players remained as it was preferred to make moves in the transfer market to acquire more experienced players with the quality and experience of the Super League to give impetus to Ionikos to achieve their goals. A total of 17 players have signed for the blue and whites. The additions of Romao, who has played at Marseille and Olympiakos, the international Albanian midfielder Basha, and our old acquaintances Jose Canas and Dimitris Konstantinidis, bring experience and quality. Then there’s also Valerianos, Thuram, Dalsio, Bueno and Vafeas, who all stand out. Shortly before the big kick-off, Ionikos saved the best for last, pulling off a major coup by bringing in former AEK defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy.
More of the same, please
Lamia begins a new campaign in the Super League for the fifth consecutive season, and this in itself is a success. After head coach Michalis Grigoriou came in mid-way through last season, the Fthiotida club had an amazing run of form and aspires to continue in this vein, with their foot firmly on the accelerator in order to have another comfortable stay in the top flight, and who knows, even possibly go one step above 10th place.
The savior remains
Grigoriou could not do anything else accept remain in charge. Following his appointment, Lamia were simply a more productive and competritive club. The 48-year-old coach has plenty of experience in the top divsion, having coached Atromitos, Corfu, Panionios and Larissa in the past, and now he has the opportunity to continue making a name for himself.
Manousos and Gentsoglou among the standout outsignings
The «blue and whites» have made several moves in the transfer market to bolster the squad, with nine newcomers arriving. The transfer of Giorgos Manousos from Atromitos certainly stands out, with the Greek forward coming off the back of several good seasons in Peristeri. Another important addition is that of Savvas Gentsoglou, who returns to the Greek championship after six years abroad.
Pentarakis, Saranov, Nunez, Manousakis, Mazoulouchis, Eleftheriadis and Garavelis are the other incoming players joining Lamia, who have invested mainly in Greek talent.
Aiming to walk the same path
Volos not only managed to secure their top flight status early last season, but they were also one of the pleasant surprises of the league, as in their second season in the Super League the Magnesia club finished in seventh place, and played some excellent football. The Thessaly club are aiming to continue walking on the same path, and why not take a step further?
A 32-year-old at the wheel
Angel Lopez, who did a great job, left in the final part of the season to join Atromitos. But Volos decided to stick with the Spanish connection. His successor is Guillermo Abascal. The 32-year-old Iberian coach took a career in coaching from an early age, first as an analyst and then as a coach in the Seville academy teams. He worked in Switzerland at Chiasso and Lugano, while his last job was at Ascoli. He is obviously a fan of the Latin school of football, with his strategy following the constant movement of the ball and intense pressure high up the pitch.
Oroz and Regattin the highlights
Volos was particularly active in the transfer market, bringing in 13 players. Among them, the Argentine midfielder Nicolas Oroz stands out. He arrives on the back of a very good season at Al Wasl, while there’s also Adrian Regattin of Morocco. Kotnik, Fernandes, Rhyner, van Weert, Rosero, Purita, Gulen, Romero, Kuzdra, Soares and Wojtkowski compose the rest of the Magnesia team’s squad, which may have changed many faces but is looking to maintain the same philosophy.
To preserve the status quo
For Olympiacos, things are quite specific in what the club is called on to do as far as their goals are concerned. The Piraeus club is coming into the season on the back of two consecutive league titles, and they want to stay at the top for a third consecutive season, betting on Pedro Martins and the homogeneity of the squad, since the main core is the same.
The last feature, of course, is under discussion as Olympiacos acquired many new players in the transfer window with many of them with ambitions to become key members of the team, a fact that requires special management by the coaching staff in order not to disrupt the team’s overall identity.
The season, however, did not start in the best way, as the Red and Whites were eliminated by Ludogorets in the Champions League qualifiers and will play in the Europa League groups, after overcoming the obstacle of Slovan Bratislava.
Stamped with Martins’ philosophy
After a difficult first year in Piraeus (2018-19), his work has paid off and he already has two consecutive championships and a Greek Cup. The Portuguese coach will be in the dugout for a fourth season. He has stamped his own unique identity and philosophy on the team and is his is one of the most important chapters of Olympiacos in recent years. The successes of recent years have his signature and this year he is aspiring to become the longest-serving coach in the history of the club, a feat that would leave Dusan Bajevic in second place.
El Arabi remained in Piraeus, and Valbuena continues to play a leading role at the age of 37, but Olympiacos needed a significant reinforcement, especially on the flanks, but also between the posts after the transfer of Sa to Wolves. Two wingers with significant careers and skills, Rony Lopes and Henry Onyekuru, have arrived in Pireaus. Vaclik will be the first-choice goalkeeper after a good Euro with the Czech national team, Karbownik has been brought in to give the team options on the right side of defence.
In the center of midfield, the transfer of Pierre Kunde to the club stands out, as well as that of Tiquinho in attack. At the same time, Olympiacos have also invested in the future with the additions of Aguibu Camara, Étienne Youte Kinkoue, Kenny Lala and Ousseynu Ba.
Trust the new process
Stability and confidence in the process of development of the club at all levels has been the motto of OFI in recent years. In the season finale, of course, an adjustment had to be made to preserve their top flight status.
This was a fact that certainly shook the people of the club, but it did not deprive them of their ambitions. It was just a very good lesson that ended up not costing the club. The return of Nikos Nioplias to the bench brought stability, and now the club are looking ahead to walk down the right path once more.
Turning to experience
Nioplias is synonymous with OFI, both as a player and as a coach. This is his second term at the helm (2016-2017 was the first), and his presence gives a sense of security in view of the new season.
In 2010 he won the double with Panathinaikos, and he did a great job in the Greek youth teams in the past, while he has also been in charge of the senior national team of Cyprus, and has worked as head coach at Atromitos. He knows the environment very well and is aiming to lead his team to some of the glorious moments of the past.
The summer moves
OFI needed some quality reinforcements and they proceeded with eight transfers, bolstering all positions. They brought in the well-known Devi Epassy in goal, Lazaros Lamprou on loan from PAOK, Fiorin Durmishajas as a free agent, and the defender Triantaphyllos Pasalidis from Asteras Tripolis. The Chilean, Felipe Gallegos, and the Spaniard, John Toral, have arrived to strengthen the midfield. Bruce Kamau was acquired to make a difference on hte wings, while the Dutchman, Mike van Duinen has been brought in to provide the goals.
Να γίνει «Ευρωπαϊος» ξανά
Η σεζόν που ολοκληρώθηκε είχε ένα μεγάλο ψυχολογικό κόστος για τον Παναθηναϊκό. Αυτή τη φορά η συμμετοχή στην Ευρώπη δεν χάθηκε λόγω τιμωρίας, αλλά για καθαρά αγωνιστικούς λόγους. Είναι η πρώτη φορά που συμβαίνει κάτι ανάλογο μετά το 1996-97.
Η πέμπτη θέση σε συνδυασμό με τον αποκλεισμό στο Κύπελλο από τον ΠΑΣ Γιάννινα έφεραν αλλαγές στους Πράσινους. Ο στόχος δεν μπορεί παρά να είναι η επιστροφή στην Ευρώπη έπειτα από τέσσερα χρόνια απουσίας και η γενικότερη άνοδος του status του συλλόγου στα επίπεδα του παρελθόντος.
Τα κλειδιά στον Γιοβάνοβιτς
Η πρώτη ουσιαστική διαφοροποίηση στον Παναθηναϊκό αφορούσε τη θέση του προπονητή. Ο εκλεκτός της διοίκησης ήταν ο Ιβάν Γιοβάνοβιτς. Ο Σέρβος τεχνικός με μεγάλη ποδοσφαιρική καριέρα στον Ηρακλή και σπουδαίες επιτυχίες στον πάγκο του ΑΠΟΕΛ, ανέλαβε να υλοποιήσει και τον μεταγραφικό σχεδιασμό της ομάδας, όντας το απόλυτο αφεντικό. Ο 59χρονος, θέλει να δημιουργήσει ένα σύνολο που θα κυριαρχεί στο γήπεδο, θα παίζει επιθετικό ποδόσφαιρο και θα είναι σε θέση να διεκδικήσει τίτλους.
Κινήσεις για να ανέβει επίπεδο
Στο μεταγραφικό πεδίο ο Παναθηναϊκός είχε κάνει μόλις τρεις προσθήκες μέχρι το τέλος Αυγούστου. Σε εκείνο το σημείο πάτησε… γκάζι και μάλιστα ολοκλήρωσε την πιο ακριβή του μεταγραφή της τελευταίας δεκαετίας. Ο λόγος για τον Σεμπάστιαν Παλάσιος, ο οποίος αποκτήθηκε από την Ιντεπεντιέντε.
Από εκεί και πέρα, στα πράσινα ντύθηκε ο Γιάννης Κότσιρας που αποκτήθηκε από τον Αστέρα Τρίπολης, ο Ρούμπεν Πέρεθ που έπαιζε στην Λεγανιές, ο Σβόνιμιρ Σάρλια που έμεινε ελεύθερος από την Ανκαραγκουτσού, οι Λούντκβιστ και Βιτάλ με τη μορφή δανεισμού κι ο τερματοφύλακας Μπρινιόλι, ενώ επέστρεψε κι ο Βαγιαννίδης από την Ίντερ με ελεύθερη μεταγραφή.
Νέα αρχή. Ξανά…
Η διοικητική σταθερότητα κι οργάνωση που χαρακτηρίζει τον Παναιτωλικό δεν έχουν ακόμα αποτελέσει εχέγγυο αγωνιστικής επιτυχίας με αποτέλεσμα η ομάδα να πηγαίνει από restart σε restart για να βρει το μοντέλο λειτουργίας που της ταιριάζει στο γήπεδο. Κάπως, έτσι ο Παναιτωλικός θέλει ν’ αφήσει πίσω του την περσινή χρονιά ή οποία σώθηκε στο 90’, στα μπαράζ με την Ξάνθη.
Η ομάδα του Αγρινίου τις τελευταίες σεζόν δεν έχει καταφέρει να ξεκολλήσει από τα χαμηλά στρώματα της βαθμολογίας και ψάχνει ξανά μια νέα αρχή η οποία θα τον βοηθήσει να διεκδικήσει περισσότερα πράγματα στο μέλλον.
Επένδυση σε Αναστασίου
Η πρώτη αλλαγή στον Παναιτωλικό είχε να κάνει με την θέση του προπονητή. Ο Τραϊανός Δέλλας αποτέλεσε παρελθόν κι ο Γιάννης Αναστασίου είναι ο νέος τεχνικός της ομάδας. Ο Αναστασίου είναι ο μόνος Έλληνας προπονητής που έχει προπονήσει ομάδες σε Ολλανδία (Ρόντα) και Βέλγιο (Κορτράικ) ενώ το 2014 κατέκτησε το Κύπελλο Ελλάδος ως προπονητής του Παναθηναϊκού.
Μετά τα μικρά σε διάρκεια περάσματα από Ομόνοια και Ατρόμητο, ο «Ολλανδός» ψάχνει κι αυτός με τη σειρά του ένα restart και σταθερότητα για να δείξει έργο. Ο Αναστασίου είναι οπαδός του επιθετικού ποδοσφαίρου και θέλει οι ομάδες του να παίζουν με την μπάλα χαμηλά και να πρεσάρουν τον αντίπαλο ψηλά.
Κάθε restart απαιτεί και… φρέσκο υλικό. Έτσι, ο Παναιτωλικός προχώρησε σε 13 κινήσεις προκειμένου να διαμορφώσει το ρόστερ του. Κορνέλιους, Λούι, Ροντρίγκες, Χουχούμης, Φλόρες, Βργκοτς, Μπακαδήμας, Μόρσεϊ, Μπελεβώνης και Αποστολάκης ήταν οι επιλογές του τεχνικού τιμ στην αρχή του μεταγραφικού «παζαριού» και οι Αγρινιώτες, συνέχισαν με «μπαμ» στην επίθεση με τον Ζεστέντ, πήραν τον Βαρόνε από την Ρετζιάνα και στο φινάλε απέκτησαν και τον Αντούνες, μετά τον τραυματισμό του Περέιρα.
Μετά Γιαννίκη εποχή
Ο Αργύρης Γιαννίκης έπειτα από δύο απόλυτα επιτυχημένες χρονιές στον πάγκο του ΠΑΣ Γιάννινα αποτέλεσε παρελθόν και στους Ζωσιμάδες κοιτάζουν μπροστά επιλέγοντας ν’ ακολουθήσουν τη συνταγή και να φέρουν τον επίσης… Γερμανό, Ηρακλή Μεταξά. Ο «Άγιαξ της Ηπείρου» στην περσινή επιστροφή του στην Super League τερμάτισε στην ένατη θέση, ενώ έκανε σπουδαία πορεία στο Κύπελλο φτάνοντας μέχρι τους «4» του θεσμού όπου και αποκλείστηκε από τον Ολυμπιακό.
Ο ΠΑΣ έχασε σημαντικούς παίκτες ενδεκάδας, όπως ο Κάστρο, ο Καρτάλης, ο Ελευθεριάδης κι ο Παμλίδης και καλείται να διαχειριστεί τις απώλειες σ’ αυτό το νέο ξεκίνημα. .
Το τιμόνι στον Μεταξά
Ο Ηρακλής Μεταξάς έχει πολυετή εμπειρία στα γήπεδα της Bundesliga καθώς έχει εργαστεί στην Augsburg, τη Darmstadt, τη Bochum, τη Leverkusen, τη Freiburg, την Εθνική Γερμανίας και την Εθνική Ελλάδας ως βοηθός. Το προφίλ του θυμίζει αρκετά εκείνο του Γιαννίκη με τη διαφορά ότι ο Μεταξάς λογίζεται ως πιο έμπειρος. Εκεί ποντάρουν στον ΠΑΣ για μια επιτυχημένη και ομαλή μετάβαση.
H μεγάλη επιστροφή του Κόντε
Μετά τις σημαντικές αποχωρήσεις των Παμλίδη, Καρτάλη, Eλευθεριάδη και Κάστρο, ο ΠΑΣ έκανε σχεδόν μια ριζική ανανέωση στο ρόστερ του με εννιά προσθήκες. Ξεχωρίζει αυτή ενός παλιού γνώριμου, του Πέδρο Κόντε. Ο Ισπανός σκόρερ επέστρεψε στους Ζωσιμάδες, έτοιμος να κάνει την διαφορά στην κορυφή της επίθεσης της ομάδας.
Από εκεί και πέρα, Περέα, Τριάδης, Καραγιάννης, Μορέιρα, Σνάιντερ, Σούλης, Γκαρντάφσκι και Καραχάλιος είναι οι υπόλοιπες μεταγραφές της ομάδας.