How does this international break find Olympiacos?
International Coffee Break
It feels like yesterday I was typing out my latest international break blog post, but alas, the sands of time have seemingly sped up and we find ourselves in the middle of November.
Where has the time gone? Much has happened.
Since the last international break, the club has gone through the rigorous paces in both the Super League and Europe. Still early days of the resurgence project, I have felt the uneasy existence that hangs slightly over our heads as Olympiacos fans at this time. A combination of uncertainty at the back, out wide and up front collectively haunt my mind.
Throughout all competitions from the previous international break to today, the team posted a 3-0-3 record and leave us for a few weeks having scored 6 goals-for and allowing 8 goal-against. Of course, we must note that three of these goals-against were awarded to Panathinaikos after the fiasco on Matchday 8. Even with the awarded goals-against, the team has been somewhat toothless on the attack and the reliance on a few players is very clear and worrisome.
Fortounis to the Rescue
If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out how Kostas Fortounis performed at Asteras Tripolis on Matchday 11, please do yourself a favour and seek out the highlights.
His injection into the fray on 63 minutes (along with Giorgos Masouras) was the turning point of the match and his actions after his arrival onto the pitch were nothing short of outstanding.
While this is a bright spot for the club, it can also feel uneasy putting this much pressure on one player to carry out all the goalscoring duties.
September 27, 2023
It should be noted that Ayoub El Kaabi has not scored for the club since his two-goal performance on Matchday 6 against Aris. For those keeping score at home, El Kaabi has not found the net since September 27. Worrisome to say the very least.
Solbakken, Scarpa, Biel
Ola Solbakken, Gustavo Scarpa and Pep Biel were granted a place in the starting line-up against Asteras Tripolis. In some ways, at least to me, it appeared as though manager Diego Martinez was giving these players “one last chance” to inject some sort of vigor and life into the Olympiacos attack and prove themselves worthy of earning a selection in the starting lineup.
Notice how I said "granted" in the first sentence and not "earned". To me, there is a massive difference between the two words.
International Break Posts and Trusting a Process
Over the international break I will produce a few more short opinion pieces like this one. There is much to talk about as I’m sure Olympiacos sporting director Antonio Cordon and Martinez are aware of.
The need for better football IQ at the back is something on my list of wants. A few more creative and witty midfielders would be nice. A striker who can tickle the twine on a more consistent basis wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I will keep on dreaming, thank you very much.
Some of these wishes are best sought after during the summer transfer window instead of the January market so perhaps the wait for me (and you) is lengthy.
Trusting in a process means being all in from start to finish and everything (good or bad) in between, right? Well my friends, we are certainly in the mix of the in between.