O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
Words by Mr Lemonis

Words by Mr Lemonis

Read below a report of our head coach’s post-match interview after the end of the match against Barcelona.

-If Olympiacos is to go to Lisbon to play their own “final”: “When I originally joined the club, I expected that both last matchdays will be crucial for a UEFA Europa League. My feeling is that, in Turin, we lost a good chance to clinch a good result. Tonight, I am happy because Barcelona is the best team in the world; however, I have this feeling we could have earned something more. Such chance are unlikely to present themselves to us again. The Lisbon match would be a “final” for us even if we were defeated tonight. One may assume that by the last matchday Juventus will have already secured a place through. Tonight, we had too many reasons to long for something good. A draw is a fine result, but I’s rather we won”.

-What does tonight result against Barcelona mean to you: “There was people along Piraeus Avanue, the way they received us and that thousand of fans at the Karaiskakis entrance, this was something unique. It’s been 3 days after our derby defeat and nobody can easily swallow it in. the crowd gave us this enormous boost; I am not talking about the fans at the stadium. But it was also the players who played that made the fans stand on their feet all the time. We didn’t set foot on the pitch so as only to massively defend our goal. We tried to build up and have our share of chances, the ones we rightly deserve when playing against Barcelona. As for the meaning of this 0-0 draw, it doesn’t mean much. When I entered the locker room, I said that “ok, it was an important evening” but we’’ see the final outcome in the end. I have spent no more than 1 month with the squad, a period of plenty and consecutive matches. The style of play I want is close to what you just saw. It’s the team driving the fans to come and see us. For God’s sake, we haven’t done a thing yet. We are in a bad situation with respect to the championship and we need to work on specific areas. Let us not be fooled by tonight’s result. This will be a crime”.

-Whether his side tried, since kick-off, to secure this 0-0 scoreline: “When one plays aganst Barcelona, one is mainly focused on his defense. Our defense was targeted to intercept the ball and rush into counter-attack. This means a serious difference”

-On the passion displayed by his players against Barcelona and on the viewpoint that it wasn’t the same passions as against Panathinaikos in Leoforos: “Have you seen the match again? I have seen it two or three times and I fully disagree with the criticism targeted to the squad. The team was passionate enough in the first half and reacted well after the conceded goal. We reached their penalty area 8-9 times, but we had an issue with our final assists. I may disagree, yet I am obliged to accept criticism. If we go through that match’s key points in the first half, you may change your mind as well. Often, a match ends, then we go home and have a certain impression of it in our minds. If we decide to watch it again and focus on specific issues, then… I personally found no flaccid team. It’s a fact that we created no chances. I saw however that there was a single opportunity due to a proper Panathinaikos build-up. So, we accept criticism, and I am obliged to. I will analyze the match into pieces with the players and currently highlight specific john get me teeth on our issues. Olympiacos had been in no way hypotonic and soulless. So, this is the way I see things. This is how I see things in life as well, it’s my job after all. I would like to watch the match with you again. I agree that when one identifies that there is no final try, what happens””.

-What is domestically-performing Olympiacos missing compared to our side in Europe?: “it would be a crime –without other watching- to close our eyes before issues that concern me a lot. We have to work hard on our creative qualities. This is a fact and there is no question about it. In Europe, it is easier to play with counter-attacks. Mind you, we have spent 30 days working with the guys. It is hard to change many things. In football, defensive football is easier to master “.

-On the discussion the players had amongst them after the derby match against Panathinaikos: «This happened right after my speech. Of course, not everyone may have the same opinion with others. I talked exclusively on the tactics. I won’t try to convince you about something else. I live with the players every day. There is no point in talking more about that match. I’d like to say things about the Barcelona match”.

-Why does he think the players stayed in the locker room to discuss amongst them: “Whenever we play against Panathinaikos, there is always some degree of commotion? This is quite reasonable. Nobody likes losing in a derby. I don’t think the players solely discussed that. In my original interview, I had said that there are many things we have to fix, and we have to stand united. And these are the things we will improve”.

-Whether he will continue using Tachtsidis as a second striker and his comment on Botia and Tachtsidis: “I like the character of both guys. Panayotis, following his injury, is left a bit behind. His body is tough to bring to a state of good fitness. What I have seen in these 15 days is nothing less than on-going desire. He is doing extraordinary training sessions, he is very careful and I think that not only did he get his chance, but he also grabbed it really well. Botia is a player with leadership skills. Certainly, I like talking about the team as a whole. So, the rest of the team did a fine job as well”.

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