Show them no mercy
AGONAsport’s Olympiacos contributor, Theo Bouras, talks about how Olympiacos should show no mercy to their eternal rivals, Panathinaikos, on Sunday.
It might come off sounding mean or even ill-spirited, but I need to be honest and admit I have no sympathy for the poor state Panathinaikos FC is in right now. The Greens have been more than arch-rivals to Olympiacos throughout the course of time, and seeing their struggles has put a smile to my face.
Many of you reading this will probably call me a sore sport but the truth is, if the shoe was on the other foot, all Trifylli fans would feel the same way (see the whole basketball fiasco). Since their financial struggles in 2011, Panathinaikos have not quite been the same – their results have been inconsistent and although they’ve been competitive in derby matches, they haven’t been able to really contend for a League title.
Even with the Erythrolefki having a far better roster this past decade, the games played between both teams have been intensely tight affairs. It’s almost a rule of thumb nowadays that when a team is expected to trounce another, it never happens. Many times Olympiacos have gone into a derby with PAO having more momentum but often enough the results have been marginal victories, occasional ties or even worse, the odd crushing defeat.
There is no question that the 2019-20 edition of Olympiacos FC is levels ahead of their eternal rivals. It does not change the fact, however, that Pedro Martins needs to ensure his men treat this game with utmost focus and respect. It is expected that Martins will not make more than one or two changes to the Starting XI that started against Tottenham in the Champions League. The Legend has had the luxury of already playing ten competitive games and looks to be in fantastic form.
So think what you want about my lack of remorse for Panathinaikos but understand that I will not feel bad for a team that dedicated an entire channel to create propaganda against Olympiacos and their president Evangelos Marinakis. I will not feel bad for a team that, in my opinion, has a strong hand in the demise of Greek basketball. I will not feel bad for a team that doesn’t properly securitize their stadium during derby games which leads to fan violence, and ultimate postponement of the game. Lastly, I will not feel bad for a team that deserves, and in all likelihood will, get a trouncing at OAKA Spyros Louis this Sunday.