Rival Analysis: Panetolikos profile
Paokfc.gr’s Rival Analysis column puts the magnifying glass on our mid-week opponents Panetolikos, giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the Agrinio club ahead of our Super League Interwetten contest in Agrinio.
Top flight status was secured in the nail-biting process that is the end of season Play Offs and Play Outs. That in itself tells the story that something went wrong. Or rather that mistakes were made. This is something that Panetolikos seem to recognize and that is why they decided to go for another ‘restart’.
We may be only at Matchday 3 and any solid conclusions can not be drawn just yet, however the Agrinio club have already outdone themselves in one important area. Their away performances. Last season, they did not chalk up even one away victory in the regular season, while it was the same story in the season before that.
In 13 matches before the Play Outs, Panetolikos had zero victories and only two goals, both of which came from penalties. In their last match this season in Peristeri against Atromitos, an away victory finally came, and it was achieved with two goals.
Despite their good performance in Peristeri, however, the Agrinio know that what is required is consistency and they have two very difficult games ahead of them this week against PAOK and Lamia.
It seems, however, that this season, Panetolikos can hope that the club will not have the risk of relegation over their heads. From day one they have shown character, determination, and concentration. The change of mentality in combination with the desire of the players and the inspiration of Anastasiou can lead the team higher.
The Anastasiou era
The first and important change for the Agrinio club concerns the coach. Traianos Dellas passed the «baton» to Giannis Anastasiou. The «Dutchman», as he is also known, had a successful playing career in Greece (Preveza, Ethnikos P., OFI) and also abroad (Anderlecht, Roda, Ajax, Sparta Rotterdam). He won the Dutch championship and cup, and the Belgian championship, while in 2014 as a coach he lifted the Greek Cup with Panathinaikos.
After enjoying stints as a coach also in the Netherlands (Ronda), Belgium (Kortrijk), Cyprus (Omonia) and Atromitos, Anastasiou is now looking for his own personnel restart, and he wants to create a strong team that plays good football.
Panetolikos had a busy summer. Players like Mazzola, Konstantopoulos and Mazurek left and 12 new players were brought in.
Cornelius, Lluy, Rodriguez, Chouchoumis, Flores, Vrgoc, Bakadimas, Morsay and Apostolakis were the first arrivlas at the beginning of the transfer window. They were followed by the acquisitions of Gestede up front, Varone from Reggiana, in central midfield and Antunes to cover defensive midfield following an injury to Pereira.