The Return of “The Legend”…By: Peter Katsiris | November 3rd, 2010
A recent wall post on my Facebook page, one that surely sparked fears of homosexuality amongst my peers (thanks, Chris), has prompted me to step out of the closet. No, it’s not the same closet that the likes of Gerard Pique and Zlatan Ibrahimovic might have explored, but rather the same one that you’ll find Narnia and the title hopes of Panathinaikos year-after-year.
But wait, you might suggest – for those of you keen enough to watch the Super League this past weekend – that the winning tradition at Olympiacos is reaching its end. It’s true that Olympiacos lost the Eternal Derby this past weekend: blowing a 1-0 half-time lead to ultimately fall 2-1 to their arch-rivals. But let me just clarify, that’s exactly what happened: Olympiacos lost. It wasn’t a matter of Panathinaikos winning; rather a matter of Olympiacos taking a page out of AC Milan’s historic book of how to blow a lead that, generally speaking, should be enough to win in these kind of situations. Furthermore, an indecisiveness to pursue the all-important second goal can take most of the fault for the disappointing finish at OAKA on Saturday.
Now, I’m not going to bore you with some Olympiacos propaganda; I won’t sink to that level. What I will do is note the significance of the result as nothing more than a blemish on a soon to be golden record. It’s true the season is still young, granted we’re just getting settled into November, but the relatively insignificant results in the Eternal Derby in recent years suggests that the winner of the Greek Super League won’t be dependent of points stemming from the Eternal Derby.
For example, last year’s editions were very one-sided in that Olympiacos won both matches: keeping two clean sheets, scoring some great goals and keeping Djibril Cisse off the score-sheet in his first two appearances against Olympiacos. Factor in the difference between the teams was just one point following the second defeat of Panathinaikos last winter (the situation was inverse of today’s reflection: Panathinaikos ahead by just a point after Matt Derbyshire’s winner at OAKA) and you can quite rightly see it’s not this match that matters the most in the long run.
Add to the fact that this year’s result comes courtesy of a spot-kick winner – a margin of victory that holds a double-standard in the Panathinaikos Handbook to Super League Success (Amazon, $19.08 + S&H) and you have no more than a “fluke” (as the survey has said on the notorious forums at Greeksoccer.com in the past).