Reality CheckBy: Chris Paraskevas | September 18th, 2009
When an out-of-sorts Olympiakos for the first time ever opened their UEFA Champions League campaign proper with a home win against Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar, one might have been excused for momentarily thinking Greek fortunes might be on the up on the continent this season.
Cue two rather embarrassing losses to the remaining Greek giants on the European stage, Panathinaikos crashing to a 3-1 home defeat against Galatasaray and AEK thrashed 4-0 at Goodison Park by a struggling, understrength Everton outfit.
While Panathinaikos fans will question their club’s grandiose spending in the transfer market during the off-season, with so many, many millions of euros yielding not one proven centre-back – a crucial ingredient in any top side, in any league, domestic or continental – AEK fans will simply need to accept that they are reflecting of the comparatively poor standard and pedestrian nature of the Greek domestic game.
An ordinary English Premier League side playing largely in 2nd or 3rd gear brushed one of Greece’s ‘Big Three’ aside with little effort, while a competent but unspectacular Turkish side exposed defensive frailties with worrying ease (though the Greens at least looked impressive going forward).
It’s been yet another reality check for the Greek Super League and all concerned this week…