Ethniki’s revolving door

Ethniki’s revolving door

A whopping 89 players have received call ups into the #Ethniki squad over the past five years which has resulted in a revolving door situation

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From the summer of 2014, ever since the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup and the departure of Fernando Santos from the helm, the Ethniki has become a revolving door as a whopping 89 players have been called up by the various coaches until today.

The retirements of key leaders such as Giorgos Karagounis play a role, but it begs the question, how can team chemistry be built? Especially in the context of international football where coaches have a limited time with their players. The constant chopping and changing of players stems from new coaches, but not many have put their hands up and grabbed their opportunities. Fans want to see in-form players and a defined identity, but this makes it virtually impossible.

It is crazy to fathom that Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ goal against Costa Rica on the 29th of June, 2014 was almost five years ago. The Ethniki came within a whisker of a quarter-final berth in Brazil 2014. However, from the moment Theofanis Gekas missed ‘that’ penalty, it all changed for the worse. The Ethniki lost its identity.

The nosedive in the FIFA Rankings reinforces the sharp demise - back then the Ethniki was firmly entrenched in the top 15, but fast forward five years and the team now sits in a disappointing 52nd spot, with no signs of a revival. The revolving door has not stopped in terms of playing personnel - an incredible five coaches have sat in the Ethniki hot seat over this five-year period. Claudio Ranieri, Kostas Tsanas, Sergio Markarian and Michael Skibbe have all come and gone. Now the axe is expected to be wielded yet again, this time on Angelos Anastasiadis.

The Ethniki have played 46 official matches (World Cup and Euro qualifiers, as well as friendlies) since the penalty shoot-out loss to Costa Rica, and have lost 21 of these. On top of this, an array of losses have come against minnows. The only wins have come against the likes of Gibraltar (twice), Cyprus (twice), Hungary (twice), Estonia (twice), Finland, and Liechtenstein. Simply tragic!

The departure of Santos also brought to light other issues that have hampered Greek football for years, they were simply covered up due to the team achieving results. These issues such as corruption and incompetence are also evident in walks of life in Greece.

Some of these players selected never expected a call-up in their wildest dreams, others ended their time in the squad on their own accord, others did not even have a club team at the time they were called up.

Here is a list of all 89 players that have received a call up over the past 5 years in the Ethniki “kafeneio”:

Thanasis Androutsos

Giannis Anestis

Christos Aravidis

Stefanos Athanasiadis

Giorgos Valerianos

Markos Vellidis

Apostolos Vellios

Odisseas Vlachodimos

Loukas Vyntra

Kostas Galanopoulos

Kostas Giannoulis

Dimitris Giannoulis

Apostolos Giannou

Andreas Gianniotis

Giannis Gianniotas

Panagiotis Glykos

Theofanis Gekas

Giorgos Diamantakos

Tasos Donis

Carlos Zeca

Stefanos Kapino

Nikos Karabelas

Nikos Karelis

Orestis Karnezis

Kostas Katsouranis

Stelios Kitsiou

Dimitris Kolovos

Dimitris Kolovetsios

Panagiotis Kone

Giannis Kotsiras

Leonardo Koutris

Giorgos Koutroubis

Dimitris Kourbelis

Efthimis Koulouris

Dimitris Kyriakidis

Tasos Lagos

Vasilis Lambropoulos

Dimitris Limnios

Charalambos Lykogiannis

Michalis Manias

Giannis Maniatis

Petros Mantalos

Kostas Manolas

Giorgos Masouras

Charis Mavrias

Kostas Mitroglou

Vangelis Moras

Vasilis Barkas

Michalis Bakakis

Tasos Bakasetas

Michalis Boukouvalas

Andreas Bouchalakis

Dimitris Nikolaou

Sotiris Ninis

Thanasis Dinas

Fiorin Durmishaj

Marios Oikonomou

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Avraam Papadopoulos

Kyriakos Papadopoulos

Thanasis Papazoglou

Triantafyllos Pasalidis

Alexandros Paschalakis

Dimitris Pelkas

Thanos Petsos

Vangelis Platellas

Panagiotis Retsos

Spyros Risvanis

Dimitris Salpingidis

Andreas Samaris

Georgios Samaras

Dimitris Siovas

Manolis Siopis

Giannis Skondras

Kostas Stafylidis

Stathis Tavlaridis

Panagiotis Tachtsidis

Christos Tasoulis

Adam Tzanetopoulos

Giorgos Tzavellas

Alexandros Tziolis

Vasilis Torosidis

Kostas Tsimikas

Giannis Fetfatzidis

Kostas Fortounis

Taxiarchis Fountas

Dimitris Chatziisaias

Jose Holebas

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos



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