Olympiacos vs. Volos FC Analysis: Wading through the Bullshit and Enjoying Victory
What a weekend in Greek football. PAOK lost to Aris at home for the first time in over a decade all while a chunk of fans from Gate 4 made Greece look like a third world country. Add to that Beos and his posse of clowns pretending like they were going to walk away from our match only to try and ice El Arabi on his penalty kick. There is never any shortage of drama in the Greek Super League, but there also is never a shortage of idiocy.
Today’s analysis is going to be a little bit different. Instead of my normal rundown of our matches, I’m going to be analyzing this match under different context. We’re going to examine the data while addressing the usual lazy bullshit our rivals will throw our way. Let’s look at some of the myths we hear parroted from other fanbases game after game, but this time from a logical and factual perspective.
The Penalty was a gift.
For those of you that watch the premier league, this penalty may have appeared pretty soft. Under Law 12 of Fifa’s rules of the game, a direct free kick can be awarded when a player deliberately pushes another player. Add to that the fact that Oleg was denied a clear opportunity after beating Romero, the Volos defender.
Contact clearly is made once Oleg gets around Romero and there is no one to stop him from getting an opportunity on goal. Soft penalty or not, the call was fair.
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the hilarious moment that Volos president Beos and his head coach Abascal gave us. As if anyone believed they would abandon the match, risk a point deduction and a fine, and take a loss anyway. Just the threat of the fine would be enough for me to know Beos would not go through with it, let alone the fact that neither one of them have the balls to go through with it.
The Refs always give Olympiacos Penalties and Gift them the Title
One of the biggest fallacies is that Olympiacos is awarded penalties more than any other team in the league.
If we look at how the season has gone so far as well as last season, we see that Olympiacos is in the bottom third of penalties awarded. The fans that seem to complain about our penalties the most (Paok and Panathinaikos) have been awarded more penalties than us so far in both seasons.
It’s yet another adage that the complexikoi like to use but has zero basis in fact. Unfortunately, I could post REAL facts until I’m blue in the face and it will not make a difference. It is always more comforting at night if you believe that there is a sinister force preventing your team from success. It is harder to admit that your own institution is terrible and the sole reason for your failure.
Olympiacos did not deserve to win against Volos
This has been one of my favorites since our victory on Sunday. The belief that somehow this Volos team was better than us over the course of 90 minutes. Although I still do not think Olympiacos is playing at its best, I certainly was not overly impressed by this Volos team.
Only complex Greek fans can look at a game where the losing team barely completes 200 passes and says they deserved to win the game. If we remove the xG from penalties, the game’s expected score comes to Olympiacos, 0.99-0.68. Volos only had 1 shot on target the entire game outside of the penalty. The pressing intensity we have come to expect from Olympiacos after 4 years of Martins at the helm was back against Volos. An average PPDA of 6.3 resulting in a Volos team passing accuracy of 77% drastically reduced their pure possession and match tempo. How can anyone realistically say that Volos deserved to win that? The answer is someone not clearly grounded in reality.
Enjoy the Victory but Heed the Warnings
What makes Olympiacos the best club in Greece is that we do not succumb to the small team mentality. We do not blame other clubs for misgivings; we look inward and seek to improve. My red and white friends, I promise you there is a lot we can improve on. Not just the fact that our open play has drastically regressed this year, our press has been incredibly inconsistent, and that we rely on the counter to be our strongest threat. There is also the fact that since the international break 4 of our last seven goals have come off of set pieces.
This team may be the best in Greece, but it has a long way to go to be one of the best even in the Europa League.