Football's Unwritten Rule
AGONAsport’s Olympiacos contributor, Theo Bouras, talks about Olympiacos’ unjustly defeat to PAOK and the positive takeaways from Sunday’s derby.
The entire Olympiakos squad is standing in front of Gate 7. It has been eons since the team has received a standing ovation from the crowd after a lost derby. The disappointment in the players’ faces is clear - they lost the one game they did not want to lose this season.
There’s no question that something special is being built this year in Piraeus. The bond between the fans, the players and the management has never been stronger. A trophyless 2017-18 season has given new meaning to the proverb “you don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone” for Red fans.
Sentimental moments aside, this loss to PAOK hurts. It doesn’t hurt because we were outplayed, outclassed, outcoached, outworked; it hurts because we had it. Razvan Lucescu came to Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium with the sole purpose of trying to squeeze a draw, and instead his men walked away with three points. If PAOK would have played 10 straight hours of football yesterday, they wouldn’t have scored. Instead, one unfortunate play by Andreas Gianniotis and Jagos Vukovic cost the Erythrolefki a game they had no business losing.
Unfortunately for Pedro Martins, the striker position is the team’s Achilles heel. The team’s scoring struggles began showing in the season opener against Levadiakos and continued against Real Betis and Panionios. Even if two goals were scored against Asteras Tripolis, one could argue that Mady Camara’s strike was an incredible solo effort, while Bibras Natkho’s goal in stoppage time came off a desperate play. The team is screaming that it is in dire need of someone who can put the ball in the net.
Camara, Yassine Meriah, Ahmed Hassan, Kostas Fortounis and Miguel Angel Guerrero all missed glorious opportunities to score. The soccer Gods don’t sleep though, and PAOK, on one of their only visits to Giannioti’s box, fluked out a goal.
There are many positives that Martins can take from this game. The team showed passion, they controlled the game and they created opportunities. PAOK threatened the Reds less than Asteras Tripolis did two weeks prior in Faliro. The team’s biggest win though, might be the crowd reaction. The fans have shown genuine love and appreciate for the product Evangelos Marinakis has put on display this year. This loss may or may not have repercussions come season’s end. Ultimately it can be spinned as a turning point in the season.
On one hand, it can give Martins’ men a boost and make them stronger. PAOK are only two points ahead and the season just began. On the contrary, a loss to Milan on Thursday in the Europa League and a second consecutive derby loss this Sunday to AEK might spell trouble for the Portuguese coach. After all, this is Greece; if we have learned one thing from Marinakis and from the majority of supporters, it’s that you’re only really judged from what you have done for me lately.
by Theo Bouras
Image Source: to10.gr