No one is above this jersey
AGONAsport’s Olympiacos contributor, Theo Bouras, talks about Marcus Berg’s hesitation to join Olympiacos while also discussing the EPO’s wrong doings with the Ethniki and Karaiskaki Stadium.
We are in the midst of the off-season which means that transfer rumors are going viral. One name that has been heavily linked with the Erythrolefki is Marcus Berg. The Swedish international had a successful spell at Al Ain where he scored 35 goals in 41 matches over two seasons. The former Panathinaikos striker is looking for the next stage of his career and Olympiacos have shown interest. Despite receiving his best offer from the Piraeus-based club, Berg has been showing signs of hesitation.
His past allegiance to the Greens might have made the decision difficult for him. As rumor has it, Olympiacos are rightfully moving on. The last thing you want is a player who joins a club half-heartedly. Berg should have recognized that at 33-years-old, his best days might already be behind him and a chance at Champions League football might be an impossibility if he doesn’t join the Legend.
The prospect of playing for Olympiacos should excite anyone; the board and Pedro Martins will look at alternatives for the striker position. The Legend has made a name for itself in Europe and will certainly motivate anyone who wants to play European football and compete for domestic championships on a yearly basis.
Seeing how the week was a bit slow on the Olympiacos front due to National Team obligations, I feel somewhat compelled to mention the Greek National Team. Looking at the national team, it’s sad to see the direction it has taken in the last couple of years. On the forefront of this mess is the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) and the questionable decisions that have been taken since 2017.
First off, Federation President Evangelos Grammenos took the team out of the Karaiskaki Stadium and moved them to OAKA Spyros Louis. Grammenos’ connections to PAOK boss Ivan Savvidis have been well documented and his distaste of Olympiacos is Greece’s worst kept secret. Historically, OAKA has been a disaster for Greece; their last big win was in 1993 against Russia to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Karaiskakis is the country’s soccer jewel, but the people running the show at EPO don’t feel this way.
A good portion of the blame should also land on team coach Angelos Anastasiadis. The former PAOK and Panathinaikos bench boss is in over his head. His personal feud with Vasilis Torosidis had him starting Carlos Zeca to fill the right-back position against Italy. His inconsistent Starting XI and tactics have led to Greece regressing throughout the Euro Qualifiers.
In a theoretically easier game against Armenia, Anastasiadis once again raised eyebrows by benching center-back Kostas Manolas for a slower Dimitris Siovas who got burned on Armenia`s first goal. The situation got very nasty after the game; captain Sokratis Papastathopoulos ripped his manager and his future with the National team is in jeopardy. Again, Anastasiadis was put in this position by Grammenos so the EPO gets another fail on that call.
While EPO’s main priority was to overload the schedule in January and February to ensure Olympiacos get no breathing room before the big derbies, the flip side has most of the Greek players playing only one (or two if you count the Greek Cup final) competitive matches since April 21st! The Greek League ended much earlier than all other European championships and this led to the National team looking out of form, and without consistent pace against the Italians and the Armenians.
Let Marcus Berg find a better alternative than Olympiacos if he doesn’t want to be here. He’ll be the one looking back with regrets in a year or two. Like the old saying goes and much like the Ethniki found out about their home turf; you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.