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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 October 2019
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER 2019 winners& sinners by alex anyfantis DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 Ah, these crazy Greek fans. Definitely winners! Van’t Schip and Valkanis win over Greek public In his weekly column, Alex Anyfantis takes a look at the Winners and Sinners of Greek and Australian sports WINNERS JOHN VAN’T SCHIP/ MICHALIS VALKANIS The new management team of the Greek national team was met with high scepticism when it was first announced that it would be taking over. Criticism only increased when the team made the daring decision to leave out some of the most highprofile figures from the team (including captain Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Manolas, Kostas Mitroglou and Andreas Samaris) in favour of some younger players who could potentially bring more enthusiasm and energy to the team. Yet Greece’s recent performances against Italy and Bosnia are a first small victory for the new technical staff, with the team impressing the crowd with their showing. The appearance against the Bosnians more specifically had the Greek crowd on their feet supporting their team with all their heart, an image that hadn’t been seen in many years. SOCCEROOS The argument could be made that they were up against teams of lower potential, yet Graham Arnold’s men were still dominant in their displays. It’s been a while since an Australian team has scored more than five times in a single game, yet this team managed to do that twice in a matter of just a few days. The team seems to be in a good place right now, having made a fresh start and the manager has carefully selected this group of players through a very thorough process. Their next opponent, Jordan, should pro- vide a bit more of a challenge in order to test the qualities of this new Australian team that seems to have a quality player in every position. Read more on Page 27. THE FANS Their enthusiasm is what motivates and drives the players. Greek fans could be considered among the most passionate in the world. When it comes to their favourite club, they make sacrifices, they don’t care about the costs and they even go beyond what might be considered as normal behaviour to show their support. Over the years, they have resorted to creating several nicknames in order to taunt the opposition. These are the most popular among them. Read our TOP 10 of Greek sports fans on Page 20. SINNERS HELLENIC CRICKET FEDERATION Late in the week, the Greek Sports Minister Lefteris Avgenakis demanded that all Cricket Championships in the country seize functioning immediately and until further notice. This came after an extended investigation that was held by the Sports Administration that revealed the league was in complete violation of the rules and regulations of the sport. Several players will be removed from the board thus being ineligible to play from there on, as the investigation also revealed that they used underhanded methods to acclaim their player’s license. SOKRATIS PAPASTATHOPOULOS In a time when the Greek national team is entering a new era and is attempting to make a fresh start, it’s assumed that everyone would be willing to show their support. That doesn’t seem to be the case though, as Arsenal defender and former captain of the team Sokratis Papastathopoulos was quick to distance himself from the situation, perhaps revealing a sense of bitterness to John Van’t Schip for excluding him from Greece’s games. The 31-year-old took to social media a few hours after the win against Bosnia, congratulating “the team and its manager”. The post could easily be taken out of context to mean that he no longer considers himself part of the Greek national squad. A-LEAGUE The first round of the 2019/2020 A-League season took place last week, yet even its timing was misplaced (right when the Australian national team was in the middle of some very crucial qualifiers.) It was welcomed with mixed emotions, as some grounds failed to fill (the newly established Bankwest stadium was only half full in the Western Sydney Wanderers first ever game in Paramatta), and even those that did (Marvel) were left regretting their decision as they were treated to lower quality football with few thrills. The forecast reveals that it’s going to be a very troubling season for football in Australia and it remains to be seen how they will make it through the oncoming storm. Read more on Page 27.
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