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Well, we havent discussed the Greek National team for a while. Lets take it line by line (gks, defenders, midfielders, strikers). First, lets see the goalkeepers. I'll list the players who can be considered (whether they are good enough or not is another case) and we can discuss who should be and who shouldnt be in the team. :)

Greece always had talented goalkeeper. Our youth ranks are filled with promising talents. However, none of them proves to be a REALLY good goalkeeper. Confidence problems, not working enough or not playing enough, and most of all a worrying ability to make crucial mistakes keep them back and condemn the NT to a weak selection. Here are the "candidates":

Dimitris Eleftheropoulos, Olympiakos, 24 years old

In my opinion, Ele has stalled. He used to be a great young and talented goalkeeper but the last two years not only he has not been anything special, but he has also started becoming worryingly erroneous. He hasnt improved one bit on the sectors of his game where he lacked like dealing with crosses and he still hasnt go the ability to "command" his defence neither inspire trust. He is still a great reflex goalkeeper, but he needs to works hard if he wants to live up to the expectations everyone once had from him. He has also become quite injury prone and this doesnt help.

His chances: If he improves yes, but right now... not really.

Antonis Nikopolidis, Panathinaikos, 31 years old

Nikopolidis is currently our starter and his latest performances have been spectacular, especially against England at Old Trafford he was terrific. However, he has some major weaknesses. His reflexes are not the best and whenever a cross is launched in our area my heart jumps to my teath. He is not particularly prone to mistakes but when he does mistakes, he makes sure they are BIG and important-not what I would call good. Due to experience, he knows to command his defence and his presence does give some sort of confidence.

His chances: Yes, we are not spoiled for choices...

Fanis Katergiannakis, Aris, 24 years old

Katergiannakis has always been a good goalkeeper. He used to be great actually even the best in Greece. Towards the end of last season however he had a VERY bad period with constant mistakes which costed him his place. He lost his starting shirt at Aris from Delios, a situation which continues also this season, something that obviusly has affected his chances for the NT. If he wants to have any future with the NT he should either move on or win his place back.

His chances: If he starts playing and finds form, probably

Kostas Halkias, Iraklis, 27 years old

Halkias is the best greek goalkeeper. In fact, he has been the best for about 4 years now but at Panathinaikos he never really got a fair chance due to the "status quo" of Nikopolidis. Every time Nikopolidis was injured Halkias stepped up and did great but as soon as Nikopolidis was back Halkias was going to the bench. Now at Iraklis Halkias is just proving what everyone should have realised for a long time now: He is the best. And he should start for the National Team. On top of that even at that age Halkias is improving all the time!

His chances: The best we have.

Kiriakos Tochouroglou, PAOK, 30 years old

Tochouroglou is the best when it comes to reflex saves and also great on one-on-one situations because of his speed. He plays a lot out of his goal posts and can cover for some defencive mistakes. But he isnt good enough. He is too short and not commanding and trustable. On top of that he has a lame season. Not a chance.

His chances: No way.

Ilias Atmatzidis, AEK, 32 years old

Sigh... A goalkeeper who used to be regularly tracked and requested from sides like Liverpool and Leverkusen has become the last three years the laughing stock of the league. He isnt any good anymore. He is not brave enough and he hardly bothers to dive. How many times have we see him take a goal standing and just watching the ball being stambed on his net? Way over the hill and in a deep, deep confidence crisis. On top of that his behaviur gets worse all the time. No Thanks. Someone please relieve him from his misery and send him to play at Trikala.

His chances: You've got to be kidding!

Aggelos Georgiou, Olympiakos, 30 years old

A typical case of "good, but not good enough" goalkeeper. Georgiou is not a bad goallie. He doesnt have many weak spots and he doesnt make mistakes. However, he is just not special enough to force his way in the NT.

His chances: In his dreams.

Vaggelis Pourliotopoulos, PAOK, 32 years old

Last season at Panionios he was easily and by far the best goalkeper in the league. He single-handlely kept his team away from goals many-may times. He is really a fine goalkeeper and deserved to have his chance in the NT. He returned to PAOK this season, and he became #2 behind Tochouroglou (not fairly in my opinion but Bajevic... :rolleyes: ). Considering his age, unless something changes in a spectacular way Pourliotopoulos will never play for Greece.

His chances: Difficult...

Alekos Dellios, Aris, 31 years old

Another dark horse for a call up, Dellios is really a good goalkeeper. Touted as the next starter of the National Team once he moved to a bigger club when he was at Veria, Dellios moved rather late. He managed to win his place at Aris after almost two years behind Katergiannakis and noone can say he didnt deserve it. If he raises his game a bit he should be in the selection picture in my opinion, although I would prefer if Katergiannakis played at Aris since he is younger and better.

His chances: Just might...

Christoforos Michailidis, Ethnikos Asteras, 22 years old

Definitely not ready for the National Team, Michailidis has this season been SPECTACULAR and AEK must definitely bang their head against the wall for letting him go ON A FREE transfer! :wallbang:. He obviusly needs to improve but this guy can make it big time!

His chances: One for the future.

Nikos Michopoulos, Burnley (England), 32 years old

Remember him? Michopoulos used to be the best greek goalkeeper. He flopped in a spectacular way his last two seasons at PAOK and he got heaps of fair and unfair critisism. He became the scape goat for everything that was wrong with PAOK, he was victimised by the media and literally everyone was having a go at him- let alone all the jokes about "dancing" etc etc. As it was expected, this affected his performances and he became even worse: a joke. Bajevic got rid of him as soon as he came at PAOK and Michopoulos moved to the English first division with Burnley- and found the calmness and form. He is the best goalkeeper in the first division, regularly asked by PL clubs and he is one of the main reasons his team could be in the Premiership this season. Talks of a return to the NT is a bit premature but next season, if he continues playing as good in the PL as he has been in the First division dont be surprised if Rehhagel gives him a chance. Having said that, Michopoulos is completely unable to play out of his posts, this may work in England but on international level, doubtfull...

His chances: Who knows? Very Unlikely though...

So my choices right now are as following:

Starter: Halkias
Back up: Nikopolidis
Third: Eleftheropoulos

Lookking forward to your opionios/selections/comments... I hope I didnt forget anyone. :hopefull: :)
 

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wow good stuff amo :)


I agree completely with your choices first 2 choices

Halkias is obviously the form keeper, Nikopolidis back-up (although he'll probably keep the starters cap for a while due to his blinding performances) and ele shouldnt even be 3rd choice, hes completely lost the plot, hes lost his way, no doubt if he can find form again he'll be in calculations


I want to say abt Nikopolidis, I never really feared him as a keeper in the opposition in the past and he has a tendency to nake some colossla errors, but hes really matured and found his centre lately IMO, hes in complete control of himself and I for one felt very comfortable seeing him between the posts against England, he has that intangible quality that only the better keepers do, and thats an aura of stability to calm the backline and keep everyone cool........and what he may lack in outright raw reflex talent he makes upo for in reading of the ball when hes abt to save

But yeah the depth of qualty is good
 

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Nice AMO. ;) Well done, and I agree with your choices. I didn;t know Halkia was that old though...I thought he was about 24. But I have seen him play only about 3 times, and 2 out of the 3 I was REALLY impressed. (especially vs Deportivo in the CL) I think under Rehaggel he will get some playing time, espcially now he can get recognized being a starter in HRAKLIS. Hasn't Rehaggel capped him already a few times? I hope he does in these upcoming friendlies.


Nikopolidis-I never liked the guy. He is calm yes, but when he messes up, he MESSES UP. I don't know how many times this guy has screwed up. BUt who else do we have? And he did impress vs England. #2 GK he is.


ELE-your right. As much as I hate to admit it, a few years ago I was raving about him. I had (we all did) very high expectations for him. But he has not improved. And I don't see him WANTING to improve. Instead he gets in fights with his defenders....(Bermudez) Still a good GK, just not great.
 

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Very good post AMO!!With such posts people who don't know about Greek football can learn a lot:):)

As for choices:First i would pick Halkias,he is in a tremendous form and able to show his talent in a team where he is the number one.Substitute would be Eleftheropoulos because the value is always a value...As for behind them is Nikopolidis who started late but can be very useful...
 

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Amoroso nice description of the pro keepers in greece.

I also agree with most of you that halkias has got the edge as presently the top goalkeeper.Although he has floundered lately i still rate ele high and would peg him at #2.Getting back to halkias.The trade sure hasn't worked out for panathanaikos and i beleive the big regrets are still to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Although I dont rate "golden-fingers" Nikopolidis much, I dont see how can anyone pick Eleftheropoulos over him right now. On ability I'd pick Ele every day of the week and twice on Sunday, but Nikopolidis not only is in better form (and has proved it in the CL where Ele ALWAYS chokes even though he makes terrific games as well), but he has the VERY, VERY important and essential for a good gk ability of controling his defence. Have you seen how Nikopolidis is giving orders and is calling the defenders to mark an attacker during the corner? or how he sets up the wall? On the other hand, how many times Ele messes up just because he is unable to co-operate with the people in front of him? see the game at Deportivo, that was Ele's ball and Bermudez rightly let it go, yet Ele just stayed between his posts and on top of that then blamed Bermudez! :wth: He is not a boy anymore, at 24-25 he should be more commanding. He is exactly the same as he was two years ago...
 
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