What To Expect From New Look 2018 Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos is fast approaching one of its most important transfer windows with key players set to depart in a bid to bring about a much needed boost in the club’s finances. Fans got a taste of what is potentially ahead in terms of team selection last weekend at Peristeri against a high-flying Atromitos side.
Lucas Villafanez and captain Dimitris Kourbelis were missing from midfield, whilst Moledo, Coulibaly and Johansson were missing from defence. This enabled Ouzounidis to field a experimental starting 11. It is worth noting that Vlachodimos could depart as early as January for Benfica, the future of influential centre back Moledo is still up in the air, Lod has received interest from Belgium, and England and it is believed Kourbelis can bring in a relatively large fee, so this could very well be the type of lineup we could be seeing more often.
In addition to all of this, the club has until the last day of November to pay the October installments of funds due to certain players. If this is not done, any player owed money has the ability to lodge an appeal and become a free agent.
Sokratis Dioudis was brought in for Vlachodimos between the sticks for his first taste of league action for the Greens after 2 starts in the cup and he did not disappoint. The former Aris and Panionios keeper showed glimpses as to why he was rated so highly early in his career. He produced an array of fine saves to keep the scores level. If he can continue this form heading into the New Year, the Greens will have a reliable shot stopper.
Tasos Avlonitis also received his first taste of league action in a Green shirt with his starting debut in the heart of defence. The early signs were worrying but he grew into the game as time progressed which is understandable given he has barely featured. This could be extremely significant with the possible departure of Moledo. The same can be said of Emanuel Insua who came in for Hult.
Ouzounidis also handed rare starts to summer signings Mounier and Cabezas in further signs pointing to using them more often in the future to provide a spark in attack. Mounier has so far failed to live up to the hype surrounding his arrival. Another in the same category is Argentine striker Andres Chavez who arrived in Athens to much fanfare. He made a substitute appearance at Peristeri on the weekend but again it was clearly evident he is way off the pace with some poor touches and a lack of movement. This comes as news surfaces he has travelled to his native Argentina without anyone knowing. Consequently, rumours have surfaced that his contract may be terminated but a heavy fine looks more realistic. The player’s attitude will continually be questioned if this continues, especially after he did not seem extremely keen on a move to Greece in the first place. He needs to start playing and scoring as the excuses are running out.
The man playing up front deserves huge credit for the way he has carried himself so far this season. Originally brought in as cover to Berg, Molins may not be the most exciting player and he does have his limitations, but he has always turned up with the right attitude and his effort cannot be questioned. He may not have had his best game against Atromitos but he will remain an important source of goals.
In conclusion, it was evident several players were not up to speed on the weekend, but there were many positives to take away as the Greens produced their best away performance of the season to date and can consider themselves hard done by with a penalty not given late in the first half to Altman. This demonstrates that the immediate short-term future on the pitch may not be as bleak as some fear but time will tell.