Sokratis, Manolas to EPO about Anastasiadis: “Us or him”
Chaos in the Greek national team continues to unfold as both Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Kostas Manolas told officials of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) that the Ethniki will continue on with either them or coach Angelos Anastasiadis.
On Tuesday, Greece fell to an embarrassing 2:3 defeat to Armenia in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying and dropped further behind in the Group J standings. After the match, Greece captain, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, called for changes across the board in the national team and said if changes are not made, Greece will not qualify for the upcoming European championships.
Hearing these comments from a reporter, an angry Angelos Anastasiadis rebutalled in the official postgame press conference, stating anyone that does not believe in qualifying for the Euros has no place in this team.
According to SportFM.gr, two of Greece’s most experienced players, Papastathopoulos and Kostas Manolas, approached EPO president, Evangelos Grammenos, and other officials from the federation, after Tuesday’s loss. The two clearly stated, both individually and together, that they will stop playing for the national team if immediate changes are not made and if the Ethniki’s downward spiral situation is not overturned. In other words, for the good of the national team there must be a change in the coaching staff.
Vasilis Torosidis, who was not called up for the past two qualifiers due to a reported spat with the Greek coach, is also in the same boat as Manolas and Papastathopoulos. The three players are of the most experienced at the international level and consist of a few players in the Greek current squad that experienced the Ethniki in its ‘golden days.’
According to the same report, the majority of the EPO’s Board of Directors are in favor of a coaching change, especially after the message received from Manolas and Papastathopoulos.
More developments with the national team are expected tomorrow. For now, it seems a house divided into two and one of either Papastathopoulos/Manolas/Torosidis or Anastasiadis and his staff will not be present for Greece’s next qualifier in Finland on September 5th.