Sunday, November 25, 2007

This week's league: Elite tactics vs. mediocre dog fighting

The league in a nutshell: Copenhagen barely clinch victory in tactical top flight encounter with Odense while Brøndby suffer loss to league run-of-the-mill Esbjerg fB despite hard fought come back. Both Copenhagen teams scored twice but that must be the only similarity.

FC København - Odense Boldklub 2-1

This Saturday I witnessed from the sideline FC København registering another home win. By half time I was wondering why I hadn't put a bet on 0-0 because this was at least as defensive a game as anyone could have predicted. Before this weekend Odense only allowed 0.6 goals against on average and hadn't been beaten for seven games straight. We used five or six defenders in total and played the first hour with only one really dedicated striker. But with half an hour to go Marcus Allbäck made it 1-0 only minutes after entering the pitch. That man only scores important goals.

Now the game opened up a bit and we got two more goals to enjoy before leaving for post-game beers and games of billiard at the Copenhagen bars. A typical set piece header by Brede Hangeland and another sharp striker type finish by former FC København player David Nielsen. 2-1, 3 points and in place at the league pole position while Odense stay 4th.

Esbjerg fB - Brøndby IF 3-2

The contrast to Brøndby IF's away game against Esbjerg fB couldn't have been sharper. For one thing, I witnessed it getting drenched in hails and rain from the warm comfort of my couch. Brøndby have declared their crisis is over and talked of silverware in the pre-game interviews. Only to allow Esbjerg's Njogu Demba-Nyren to score after just 32 seconds.

Esbjerg continued dominating the game by excellent short passing, technical details and optimist attacking. Jesper Mikkelsen and Demba-Nyren made it 3-0. But before Brøndby collapsed Chris Katongo was brought on and managed to make it 3-1 by a resolute cannon ball finish from close distance. Then Stefan Gislason, Martin Ericsson and the strong wind collaborated on turning a corner kick into another goal.

Pressing for the equalizer Brøndby also allowed a couple of Esbjerg counter attacks. One of these ended in Niki Zimling - who otherwise had a great day at the job - wasting the opportunity of taking a penalty kick. Esbjerg fB are now placed 8th two points ahead of Brøndby.

Youth team midfielder survives shooting

17 years old youth team talent Jamal Bhuyan survives taking two bullets when he became the innocent victim of a gang related shooting outside Christiania in Copenhagen last week.

Jamal was in his father's shop at Prinsessegade 29 when he was hit by one bullet in a hand and another in the torso. The latter shot went through his stomach, liver and an artery. Two operations and a stay at the hospital later, Jamal will be back at Peter Bangs Vej training pitches soon enough.

The bullets were intended for a customer leaving the shop. Police says the incident was related to a conflict in a Pakistani gang.

Sources (in Danish): Tipsbladet / KB-talent såret af skud, / 17-årig overlever nedskydning.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Seitaridis set for surgery at Atlético

Club Atlético de Madrid defender Giourkas Seitaridis will undergo surgery on Monday on his troublesome achilles tendon, ruling him out for up to six weeks.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lokomotiv dismiss coach Byshovets

Anatoli Byshovets has been dismissed as coach of FC Lokomotiv Moskva the day after they ended the Russian season in a lowest-ever position of seventh.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Panathinaikos is a better team

Well at least they were yesterday when I saw them win 0-1 in Copenhagen. And their fans are better supporters than we are.

Granted: Players like Morten Nordstrand (not ready for this level), Rasmus Würtz (scratching his buttocks while opponent scores) and Niclas Jensen (missing corners like that disqualifies you buddy) looked outright silly in many situations. But that is no excuse for acting like teenagers with behavioral problems like many FC København fans did pretty much from the minute the Greeks scored. Support the team or stop pretending to be a fan, please. I felt like punching several of the fans around me in their faces but in stead enjoyed listening to the Greek fans going crazy.

The problems yesterday were rooted much deeper than in any individual player. Team organization looked like rubbish - which is of course always an observation relative to that of the opponent. And Panathinaikos were excellently organized, spoiling the Copenhagen play all over the pitch showing off occasional short passing and technical plays that we are not going to see FC København perform in years to come if ever.

And compare their starting line-up to my wild guess at what it would be: I got five players right. Either my guess was even more sloppy than I said it was or they used half their 2nd team. Never mind the fact Panathinaikos' seeding coefficient is three times ours - you buy a plastic FCK-hat and it's your God given right to shout insults for 90 minutes.

Our Swedish striker, Marcus Allbäck, is furious with us. At he says (quickie translation of Allbäck raser mod FCK-fans):
When we went to the sideline after the game to thank for the support all we got was a fuck-finger. I don't understand how the fans could do that. That's lack of respect. I think it's an embarrassment our own fans starts booing after half an hour. They should be our 12th man but are the opposite.

To whoever gave Allbäck the finger: fuck you too.

PS: Yada, yada, yada the ref was bad yada, yada, yada. Yes, he managed quite a few blatant miscalls right in front of my eyes but please remember he also invented a penalty for us and shut up. Thanks.

Elsewhere: / Ndoye goal perfect for Panathinaikos, / FC Copenhagen 0 Panathinaikos 1, / Panathinaikos Almost Through After Copenhagen Victory.

The visitors were better throughout the game; on the strength of the first half showing alone they deserved perhaps something more than just a narrow advantage.

It was not FCK's night. -

Friday, November 02, 2007

Intelligence: Panathinaikos FC

With just six days to go here is a look at Greek Panathinaikos FC.

After six league games this season, Panathinaikos FC is placed 2nd in Greece with 13 points and a solid goal score of 9-1. Saturday they play Levadiakos - 2nd from the bottom of the table - away, most likely another three points. Opening the group on the 25th October they beat Aberdeen 3-0 ( / Ivanschitz inspires Panathinaikos win).

Panathinaikos FC is ranked #32 at the UEFA Team Ranking 2007. Last season their European campaign came to an end at the hands of... RC Lens who beat them 3-1 ( / Lens advance after Athens shut-out). But the club is 99 years old, lost the European Cup final 0-2 to Ajax in 1971 and has a long pedigree of impressive results. Little reason for optimism.

D Salpingidis - D Papadopoulos

A Ivanschitz - S Ninis - E González - G Karagounis

A Seric - J Sarriegi - N Morris - L Vyntra

A Malarz

A quite unreliable guess made from browsing the roster, and recent news on their games. In particular, they seem to have several options for their midfield: Marcelo Mattos and Alexandros Tziolis may well take the place of Sotiris Ninis and Ezequiel Gonzalez. The defense may look very different too, but the Panathinaikos defenders generally doesn't carry as impressive price tags as the midfielders does.

Central defender Josu Sarriegui Zumárraga is a recent signing from Athletic Club Bilbao ( / Panathinaikos strengthen defence), defensive midfielder Marcelo Mattos was bought in Corinthians in July ( / Brazilian prodigy joins Panathinaikos) while Karagounis is a veteran returning home ( / Karagounis returns to Panathinaikos). Austrian playmaker Andreas Ivanschitz has returned from injury only recently but is fit. Sotiris Ninis is a lad 17 years of age, still a ball boy a year ago ( / From ball boy to star, / Ninis comes of age at Panathinaikos).

In Scotland, they are now licking their wounds:
[...] struggled to deal with the pace and trickery of Pana front pair Dame N'Doye and Dimitris Salpigidis [...] the talent of Ivanschitz, who provided the assists from two free-kicks and the killer pass for Dimitris Papadopoulos' goal which sandwiched strikes from Goumas and Dimitris Salpigidis. [...] "I think Dnipro [the team Aberdeen played in the first round] were a better footballing team but Panathinaikos got the goals and that's what mattered.

Dnipro a better team? Set-piece situations? Baaah! Now the Scots count on beating us at home...



Copenhagen Files

I love football and I love the Internet. Copenhagen Files is a playground of mine for the latter and a billboard of the former. The focus is on FC København - the #1 club in Copenhagen and Denmark.

I watch every single FC København game - aways usually on the Danish TV, home games currently from my season ticket seat at Parken Stadium. Every now and then a report from the nearby training pitches are to be expected. Or perhaps just from the supporter environment at local parks or bars ;-)

I also like to bet on games which usually takes place online these days. Therefore, I gather numbers and look at them; I analyze, twist, turn and play with them. And some of them ends up here as my probability assessments. But this blog is not about betting.

In the right hand column I collect every single relevant link you can think of. I actually use it for bookmarks often - perhaps they will prove handy to you too? They should easily guide you to the latest info on injuries, club economy, squad value etc.