Martins making himself at home in Piraeus

Martins making himself at home in Piraeus

After officially being named new Olympiacos boss for the 2018/2019 campaign, Pedro Martins immediately started preparing for his Greek odyssey in Piraeus.

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Following Oscar Garcia’s dismissal from the Olympiacos hot-seat in early April, 47-year old Portuguese manager Pedro Martins was gifted the job as Thrylos head coach, signing a two-year contract with the reigning Greek champions which will come into effect for the 2018/2019 campaign. Christos Kontis is the caretaker coach until the current season ends.

Displaying his enthusiasm for the job, Martins travelled to Piraeus within 24 hours of his appointment and is working tirelessly to get the foundations in place ahead of next season. In particular, Martins was witnessed at the Karaiskakis Stadium during Olympiacos’ recent Super League match against AOK Kerkyra, a game which the hosts convincingly won 5:1.

Shortly after making the trip to Greece, Martins met with Kontis and manager of the scouting department Francois Modesto to understand the workings of Olympiacos, asking plenty of questions and showing his willingness to get to grips with the major task at hand. Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis is dismayed with the team’s poor performances in this year’s Super League, eager for his beloved Thrylos to make a huge improvement and overhaul the squad in the summer.

It remains to be seen whether Martins is given the required freedom to rebuild a faltering Olympiacos roster, but he is lining up possible transfer targets. One aspect that stands out to Martins is the shaky, unreliable defence. Focused on strengthening the defensive line, Martins would be keen on signing 30-year old FC Porto defender Ivan Marcano, who actually used to play for Olympiacos in the 2011/2012 season. Possessing the ability to play either in the middle of defence or on the left, Marcano is an ideal option for Martins.

On the other hand, more players are certain to leave Olympiacos in the near future. Experienced defender Alberto Botia and midfielder Guillaume Gillet, players which weren’t included in the team to play Kerkyra on Monday, are reported to not be a part of Martins’ plans and can leave Piraeus. Botia’s contract expires in the summer and won’t be renewed, while Olympiacos are waiting to receive offers for Gillet.

by Shaun Nicolaides
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