Panathinaikos Season Review in Numbers

Panathinaikos Season Review in Numbers


Panathinaikos’ 2017-18 season has been broken down and analysed from pillar to post and the fact of the matter is the 11th placed finish on 32 points is the worst in the club’s 110 year history. Before this, 8th was the lowest ever finish. The reasons have been well-documented - financial off-field turmoil, 2 point deduction for crowd trouble last season and 6 points deducted from the Wemmer fiasco. Taking these matters into account, the Greens would have finished in 7th with Panionios, still well behind Asteras Tripolis and Xanthi.

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In terms of Europe, the team ended with a 2-0-2 record. Somewhat respectable, given disaster was avoided against Qabala and history was not repeated. In the first led against a quality Athletic Bilbao at home, things were looking great until 5 minutes of madness ended the Greens’ European campaign in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League.

The team only tasted 1 defeat in the Greek Cup, but it ultimately proved to be a costly one. That 4-1 loss away at Lamia in the snow made it virtually impossible to recover in the second leg. The record after 5 Cup games was 3-1-1.

In the League, the record was 10-10-10. This means that Panathinaikos only won a third of its games. Such a figure is unthinkable. Therefore, in a total of 39 games, the win percentage stood at a paltry 38%.

The sad reality is a tiny budget and several off-field issues means the season cannot be classed as a total failure as Marinos Ouzounidis and the players that stayed kept the club afloat, even during times when relegation was a real possibility.

Consequently, there were some positives. The unity between the playing group and the loyal fans reached new heights, the performances of numerous players caught the eye and the team did not lose to Olympiakos.

Another major reason for the stop-start season that often gets overlooked is the fact that a whopping 35 players were used. This makes continuity and fluidity impossible to achieve. The sale of then-club captain Zeca started the departure list. Luciano received a horror injury, Andres Chavez proved to be a total bust returning to Argentina by November, meaning that the attacking stocks at Ouzounidis’ disposal were non-existent. The constant injuries of Guillermo Molins added to this. As a result, Christos Donis was often used as a striker. In January, Yacouba Sylla, Oscar Hiljemark, Rodrigo Moledo, Lucas Villafanez and Niklas Hult all left. Ousmane Coulibaly asked not to play at the back end of the season. Omri Altman received a nasty injury in the away derby against Olympiakos in the dying minutes, from a challenge as the game was coming to a close. This perfectly illustrated the desire and commitment to the cause the players that stayed at the club displayed. Anthony Mounier, Fanis Tzandaris and the previously mentioned Molins also spent time on the sidelines.

Dimitris Saravakos was of the opinion Robin Lod deserved to be crowned Player of the Season. Based on the pure numbers, it is hard to disagree. The Finnish international played the most amount of games and was equal top scorer with 5 goals. Additionally, his all-round game grew and he would have undoubtedly matured being a senior player in the team.

Odisseas Vlachodimos performed admirably well this season, given he had already tied up a move to Benfica. Villafanez was also a player that made the difference in the first half of the season, his absence was sorely felt after January. On top of this, he was equal top scorer in the League with Lod on 5 goals despite leaving halfway into the season. Ergys Kace and Tzandaris can also hold their heads’ high, adding more steel and bite in the middle of the park in the second half of the season. Finally, Donis deserves a lot of credit for sticking at it as a striker, when he is a centre midfielder.

The major disappointment is an obvious choice. Chavez was the highest profile signing but turned out to be exactly the type of player the club did not need due to his ego. His departure in November was a clear betrayal. Hiljemark had moments of brilliance but did not justify his hefty price tag.

Hult had zero goals and assists in the first half of the season, as did Coulibaly, who regressed from last season. Moledo had his sights set on a move to his native Brazil but he scored against AEK and played well against Olympiakos in the first half of the season. Tasos Chatzigiovannis had the chance to step up and grow on his early promise from last season but there was no standout performance. For a young player surrounded in off-field drama, it is perhaps understandable. The same applies to Sotiris-Pantelis Pispas who failed to score in 5 League appearances.

Bryan Cabezas was another major bust. Apart from his 2 goals against Qabala and Athletic Bilbao he showed he was not cut out for the fight during the tough times. Mattias Johansson barely played in the first half of the season but grew in the second, likewise Emanuel Insua. Vangelis Oikonomou underwhelmed following his acquisition, as did Sokratis Dioudis, who failed to dislodge Vlachodimos. Altman was simply unlucky given his injury, as was Luciano. The latter especially has undoubted talent. Giannis Mystakidis came with promise but injuries hampered him, Tasos Avlonitis barely played, and Nuno Reis was unwanted.

Here is a list of all 35 players that wore the Trifylli in the 2017-18 season with all their respective appearances:

Robin Lod - 37
Odisseas Vlachodimos - 31
Dimitris Kolovetsios - 31
Dimitris Kourbelis - 30
Omri Altman - 26
Christos Donis - 26
Guillermo Molins - 25
Mattias Johansson - 24
Tasos Chatzigiovannis - 24
Anthony Mounier - 23
Emanuel Insua - 20
Ousmane Coulibaly - 20
Oscar Hiljemark - 19
Fanis Tzandaris - 18
Niklas Hult- 16
Lucas Villafanez - 15
Luciano - 14
Bryan Cabezas - 14
Giorgos Koutroubis - 13
Rodrigo Moledo - 12
Vangelis Oikonomou - 12
Yacouba Sylla - 11
Ergys Kace - 10
Tasos Avlonitis - 10
Sotiris-Pantelis Pispas - 9
Sokratis Dioudis - 8
Nuno Reis - 8
Andres Chavez - 8
Paschalis Staikos - 7
Zeca - 6
Giannis Mystakidis - 6
Giannis Bouzoukis - 5
Stefanos Evangelou - 3
Christos Kountouriotis - 3
Dimitris Emmanouilidis - 2

by Nick Tsambouniaris
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