Oly vs. Paok Post Match Analysis: We’ll Take the Win, Not the Heart Attack
This team certainly loves to keep us on our toes. In one half we look like a team that can make a push in Europe, and in the 2nd half of the same game we look like we are back in 2017 with Besnik Hasi. It is really a feat to behold when you see a coach make substitutions and the team seems to get worse off with each one (except Vrousai), which seems to be a recurring theme lately with Martins. Not only do we see subs made too late on many occasions, but against Paok most of the subs were just entirely wrong.
Some credit should be given to Paok. Their halftime adjustment of Kaddouri for Esiti, with Biseswar pivoting to the #10 and Douglas as a deeper midfielder threw us for a spin. No adjustment we made could help us win control back. Thankfully, we capitalized on two opportunities in the first half which got us through that slog of a second half.
This analysis is going to be a little bit different this time. Instead of taking you through a game breakdown that will show you pretty much exactly what most of you already know, we are going to compare our 2nd half performances through the years. Many of you on social media have been slamming our 2nd half performances this year. It is time to see once and for all if this team is really worse in the 2nd half than previous teams under Martins. Special thanks to loyal listener @zafeirop05 on Twitter for requesting this analysis.
Is This Team The Worst 2nd Half Performer of Martins’s Olympiacos Career?
There is a lot to digest here. The above graph shows our offensive statistics over the past 4 years averaged out on a per game basis. Comparing this current season to the past season, there are some stark differences in a few categories. First and foremost, we create less opportunities and less quality opportunities as indicated by xG. We also score less and concede more on a whole. We command less possession overall which is also why you see less overall passes. Counterattack volume is similar, but efficiency is way worse this season. One of the major differences that leads to our struggle to create more opportunities is the lack of smart passes. It is very noticeable how our off ball movement has been for and speed has been lacking. This has affected the number of through balls and passes that lead to major scoring opportunities. All in all, you are correct if you believe that our second half offensive product is worse this year than the last 3 years.
The Winger Situation
One of the major issues plaguing our production is the winger situation. Besides Masouras, we have not had another day-in, day-out winger to produce for us. There is hope that Garry Rodrigues, with his electric 1st half performance, can be that game changer for us. Even if he is, he will not be eligible for European competition until after the group stage is over. That leaves us with our unimpressive 5 million euro Nigerian Dennis Rodman, probably returning to Sevilla Rony Lopes, Marios Vrousai, and our impact sub appearances from Valbuena. This is hardly a depth chart that will move mountains in Europe.
Now that we seem to have found some stability with our fullbacks, it’s time for Martins to address the winger situation. If we cannot get Onyekuru to work in the context we brought him in for, we must move on to what will. Vrousai deserves to see more time on the field and Garry Rodrigues should start in Greece. Most importantly, PLEASE STOP PLAYING BABY CAMARA ON THE WING!!!!!