Hasi On The Brink At Olympiacos?

Hasi On The Brink At Olympiacos?

After a week that has plunged the club from happy and hopeful to one in crisis, Olympiacos are trying to bounce back this week with two massive matches. First comes Asteras Tripolis in the Greek Cup on Tuesday and then the derby against AEK on Sunday for Matchday 5 of the Greek Super League.

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Add to those two matches a date with Juventus next week in the Champions’ League and it’s clear to see that whatever is wrong at Olympiacos needs to be figured out immediately.

And many observers believe that head coach Besnik Hasi could be out of a job by the end of this crucial week. The Kosovo-born manager has been targeted as the reason behind the club’s poor performances and results in their last three matches. A 1-1 away draw in Xanthi was initially considered okay, however that was followed by a terrible performance in the Champions’ League opener last week in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Lisbon. Two late Felipe Pardo goals added a real gloss to that scoreline and in truth Olympiacos should have suffered a bigger defeat.

Then came the 1-1 draw with Asteras Tripolis at home this past Saturday. Yet again, Olympiacos were well below-par and only saved by an injury-time penalty converted by Uros Djurdjevic. However, even claiming a point could not paper over the cracks that have already appeared at the start of this season.

After successfully navigating the club through the Champions’ League qualifiers and into the Group Stage of the competition, Hasi had seemed to win over the skeptics. The new boss had bought himself time and earned credibility in Piraeus with the run in Europe. 

However, now the tide has swiftly turned against the former Anderlecht and Legia Warsaw manager. Hasi has been blamed for getting his team selections wrong over the last 10 days and also accused of tactical naivete, especially against Sporting Lisbon in Europe and against Asteras in the league. 

Some reports suggest that without two victories by week’s end, Hasi will undoubtedly be removed from his position. Certainly there is enormous pressure to perform at a club like Olympiacos who is used to dominating the domestic game. Still, with AEK looking like the real deal as far as credible title challengers go, patience around the club with Hasi appears to wearing thin.

It will be interested viewing this week as to how the manager and players respond. Two victories along with committed performances will more than likely buy Hasi more time, but anything less could see him on the way out. 

by George Tsitsonis
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