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Olympiakos vs Antwerp: Player Ratings and Coach's Grade



Player Ratings


Vaclík


Antwerp had 17 shots on goal but only one on target, which ended up in the back of the net. Shoddy defending was more to blame than the keeper for Samatta’s equaliser. Otherwise he did not have a lot to do. Looked a bit hesitant coming for some crosses and looks to still be establishing the right communication with his defence, which is normal given that there has been some chopping and changing in defence recently.


6/10


Karbownik


Still very early to judge him as this is only his second official game with the club and he “barely knows his teammates’ names” yet. You can see that he has a good touch, pace, and desire to get forward. Didn’t do too badly defensively either until the goal where he and Mady Camara were caught looking at each other instead of marking Samatta. Besides that, some promising signs from Karbownik. We want to see him more.


6/10


Oleg


Man of the match. Hands down. Oleg came to the rescue today. The look on his face as he goes to celebrate following the winner says it all. He deserved the goal more than the team deserved the win today. It’s his reward for all the effort he has been putting in consistently. We know he is currently stronger on the defensive side and that his end-product/delivery can still improve massively. He is the recipient of a lot of criticism from time to time because his attacking play does not come close to what we have been used to over the past years (notably Tsimikas). But we can see the improvement and the desire has always been there, every game. Hats off.


8.5/10


Cissé


Pretty solid Cissé performance today. Good in the air. Could have even had a couple of goals from set pieces today: one from an Aguibou free kick and another from a corner. He and Sokratis kept Antwerp dangerman Frei fairly quiet. Some of his passing, particularly his attempts at 30-40 yard balls, continue to frustrate. Otherwise, a typical performance from “The Rock”.


6.5/10


Sokratis


Together with Cissé, they kept Frei at bay. Like with Pape, also another fairly typical performance from the stalwart Greek centre-back. A few good blocks, particularly one with the score at 1-1 and tensions mounting. He tried to get involved in some of the build-up but it’s not ever really been his strongest suit. He did have one lovely quarterback pass from the back over the top into the feet of Aguibou in the first half.

Our team definitely misses a ball-playing centre back…


6.5/10


M’vila


There were reports that Yann has been struggling with a niggly injury the past few weeks and there were even some doubts about him playing today. Not at his best today; we could see that from some misplaced passes, a rarity for Yann. The fact that we are also lacking a ball playing centre back means that he has to tuck back to come and get the ball more often, becoming like a 3rd centre back. This impacts our entire offensive strategy and build up. He has been more effective a little bit further up the park, near the circle. It looks like an instruction from the Coach to begin the build-up from the back but he should not be playing that far back ideally. We're a different team when Yann is fully fit.


6/10


Bouchalakis


90 minutes for Boucha today. Some good moments today and some not so great. In the first half, he managed to keep the ball in play with some nifty skills before setting up El Arabi for his first shot of the game. He is a rhythm player and like most of the team, he has been struggling to find it.


6/10


Mady Camara


Not one of Mady’s best performances in midfield after the ordeal he suffered in Guinea with teammate Aguibou. But even on a night like this where he wasn’t at his best, he showed why he is such a key player at this time and how he is that “make the difference” type of player. It was his cross from the right-hand side that set up El Arabi for the opening goal of the game. He could have had two assists but El Arabi’s toenail was offside for the goal that was chalked off by VAR on 37 minutes. Lovely bit of skill to throw off the defender before a darting ball into the box for that one. It’s good to have you back, Mady.


7/10


Onyekuru


Quiet night for Henry on his full debut, starting an official match for the first time in Red & White. He was in and out of the game. We knew when we signed him that he would be a player that would be more useful in games when we have spaces to run into, and that his participation in build-up can leave a lot to be desired at times. He didn’t find those spaces today but it is still early days for him. He still needs more time to gel with the team as with all new recruits.


5.5/10


Aguibou ‘Baby’ Camara


Plunged into the deep end very early into his time at Olympiakos, the 20-year-old Guinean has bags of potential. He can be a nightmare for defenders with his movement. He offered the team some width in place of Valbuena, who likes to roam all over the park. One of the few players trying to create an opening in the first half. Always positive. Needs to improve his decision making. He tried a few times to link up with Karbownik on the right-hand side. Sometimes they connected but most of the time they didn’t. That’s normal given it was the first time they’ve ever played together in a match. ‘Baby’ Camara is certainly one to watch this season. A player that can play in all positions behind the striker.


6.5/10


El Arabi


Much like last year, it’s been a slow start for Youssef but he got his goal(s) today. Some nice touches and some moments when you want him to release the ball and spread the play faster. He dropped deep a few times and came outside the penalty area to get involved in build-up. For the goal, great leap to get up for the header and connect with Mady’s cross for the opener in the second half. The goal that was disallowed was also an incredible instinctive shot across the face of goal with the ball coming across his body. The confidence is coming back. We need El Arabi fit and firing on all cylinders.


7/10


Vrousai


Bagged an assist with good hold up play and a nice lay off to Reabciuk for the winner. Generally very positive for the little time that he was on. Hopefully he can return to his form before his injury. Would be great to have that player back. He’s been missing for a while. Hopefully today gives him (like others) more confidence.


(No rating as he didn’t play enough)


Valbuena


First substitution tonight. He won a few free kicks otherwise did not really feature much in the game since coming on.


(No rating as he didn’t play enough)


Kunde


Injected pace into the midfield, direct running, and “legs”. He also managed to get a player from the other team sent off. We want to see more of him in midfield.


(No rating as he didn’t play enough)


Tiquinho


His entry into the game meant a change to 4-4-2. The Antwerp defenders felt his presence on 1 or 2 occasions. It won’t be long until Tiquinho becomes more of a reference point for our attack.


(No rating as he didn’t play enough)


COACH’S GRADE


Coach Martins went for his ever-reliable 4-3-3 today but it’s clear Coach is still figuring things out. He doesn’t have his best 11 in his mind yet and he looks like he really wants to make the 4-4-2 work with Tiquinho and El Arabi upfront. His decision to start Aguibou Camara instead of Valbuena today came with some risk, which I applauded. I think Coach knows that we are not at our best right now and he set up the team in a rather conservative manner today to ensure that we do not lose. That meant we needed a team that would maintain shape. That cannot happen with Valbuena on the wing.


In terms of his changes, the game seemed to be screaming for him to bring Kunde on earlier and inject some more energy and dynamism into the midfield. His first change was Valbuena instead, who came in for Yann M’vila. His triple change at the end of Kunde, Vrousai and Tiquinho did contribute to getting us what we so desperately wanted and needed: the win.


It’s been a difficult and complicated start to his 4th season at Olympiakos. Let’s hope that after today’s win, we can build up the momentum and Martins can get on with his job under more positive circumstances and present to us, the fans, the Olympiakos of Martins that we know and have grown to love over the past years.


B


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