What’s brewing… coffee or a storm?

first_imgAfter an indifferent campaign by their standards last season, I had expected that for Apoel normal service would have been resumed and that it would have been Apollon who struggled this season after coming so close and failing to win the Championship or the Cup in 2017/18.How wrong I was in my thinking! Firstly congratulations to Apollon who took a brave decision not to sack their manager Sofronis Augousti and they have been rewarded with a fine start to the season both in the domestic league and the Europa League. I must admit that I don’t always agree with their decisions as I considered Ton Caanen to be a quality coach who should have been given more than six games as manager.Anyway back to Apoel. Although they scrambled to the title last season, this season has been a very different story as they have all too quickly dropped out of the Champions League and the Europa League and a fortunate scoreline against Nea Salamina was then followed by a totally unexpected and inexplicable 5–2 loss to Doxa and a Super Cup loss on penalties to AEK.Clearly Apoel will never be an easy club for anyone to coach as not only will they be expected to win from the off but also to play in a style dictated by the directors and supporters and consequently the manager will only ever be three games from the sack. Could Apoel be suffering from the recent Liverpool ‘Steven Gerrard syndrome’? Players like Stathis Aloneftis, George Efrem and George Merkis have been top performers in recent years for Apoel and in particular the very influential Nuno Morais. When Morais and the others decide to step down there will be big boots to fill.At present AEL sit proudly at the top of the league under the guidance of new manager Dusan Kerkez who can do no wrong for the moment. I guess though after a few good results the pressure and expectation is about to increase dramatically for Kerkez as AEL face first Alki at the weekend before a trip to Nicosia to face Apoel.I am reminded of a conspiracy theory held amongst AEL supporters that when Christakis Christoforou was manager he was still on the payroll of Apollon, which seemed to be the only logical conclusion to explain the dismal performances and the departure of Esteban Sachetti.Afterwards came Bruno Baltazar who was another AEL manager to woefully underachieve, with his tactics and substitutions resembling the National Lottery as he appeared to pull numbers at random out of a hat. So what on earth possessed Apoel take him?Apollon, AEK, AEL and Omonia have shown signs of improvement in early-season matches so could they now pose the main threat to Apoel? OK a couple of results can change everything but many questions will be asked and answered in the coming weeks. Will competing in the Europa League group stage have a detrimental effect on the league fortunes of Apollon and AEK? Can AEL and Omon ia sustain their promising starts in the league? Can teams like Doxa, Nea Salamina, Ermis and Paphos take points from the bigger clubs?On a sour note, spare a thought for Ronny Levy who dragged Anorthosis from mediocrity into Europe with skills more akin to a magician than a manager, only to be sacked after four games. Surely he deserved better.last_img read more

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