Almost a sixth of the current campaign gone and, with Anorthosis sitting at the top of the Cyprus League table –albeit on goal difference from Apoel and Aek–, and given the break this weekend because of international games, this is a good chance to reflect on how each of our players has performed in the first five league games of the season:

.

.

.

.

.

.

Mathieu Valverde

The French custodian was thrown into the thick of things from the start due to the Blazic fiasco and has played the full 90 minutes in all 5 games so far. Because of the club’s failure to find a top quality keeper in the past four seasons, many fans doubted Valverde would be any good, citing also the fact that he was only third-choice keeper at Lyon for so long. But he seems to be a safe pair of hands, growing in confidence with every game, with the last one against Apollon being the one in which he was tested most, pulling a couple of great saves to keep us in the lead.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Marko Andjic

The rugged Serb is not the sort of full-back who bombs up and down the flank throughout a game. Maybe because of Levy’s instructions he sticks mostly to his defensive duties, rarely foraying into attack to help Calvo on the right. Defensively he may offer dynamism and resilience, but he’s often caught napping and is worryingly error-prone, perhaps because he has no credible rival for his position.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Valentinos Shelis

Another one who’s been thrown right into the deep end. Despite having only played a couple of times at left-back in the past, jack-of-all-trades Shelis –nominally a defensive midfielder- has been given the massive task of filling in Boa’s shoes. Seemed too nervous against Alki but did much better against Apollon. Needs to become more astute tactically and improve his passing. His occasional Gerard-esque runs down the field with the ball are a sight to behold, even if they seldom lead to anything. This is his big chance to finally establish himself.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Paulo Jorge

After a string of great performances in the Champions League last year for Apoel, his transfer was seen by many fans as a major coup. The tough, uncompromising Portuguese is a no-frills defender who offers leadership and security at the back and can come up with the odd goal at set-pieces. Seems to have a much better chemistry with Ilic than with Colin. We all keep our fingers crossed he’ll overcome his injury and be ready against Omonia.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Branko Ilic

The revelation of the season so far. The Slovenian international did not convince as a right-back in the European matches and did not feature at all in the first two games in the league. Since he was given the chance to partner Jorge at the centre of defence against Doxa in the third game, however, he has been completely transformed, at times performing as if he’s a one-man defence, keeping his cool when others seem to lose their heads. The stylish Ilič plays with a confidence that at times defies belief, dribbling his way out of trouble to turn defence into attack in an instant.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Jurgen Colin

The Dutchman, off-form and error-prone since the second half of last season, has lost his place in the starting line-up to Ilič in the last three games. Came in for the injured Jorge against Apollon and did well to help keep the hosts at bay.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Dan Alexa

The Romanian hardman has started all five games so far and has already been booked three times, his hold-no-prisoners style coming to the fore once too often. Not the fastest of players but a commanding figure in midfield nonetheless. Able to initiate quick counter-attacks with his long-range passing as well; it was his long, diagonal ball to Laborde that led to the first goal against Alki. He and Jorge need to be more dominant when defending set-pieces.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Giannis Skopelitis

It’s as if he’d never left. ‘Skope’ has returned after two years (one out injured, the other playing for AEK) and his lung-busting running has earned him a starting place in the last three games. Not the most polished of players –his passing is often found wanting–, this midfield enforcer is a fans’ favourite due to his never-say-die spirit and tireless work. Having him and Alexa playing together means we’re harder to crack, but we suffer in keeping possession as a result.

 .

.

.

.

.

.

Vincent Laban

The team’s most consistent performer in recent years has lost his place in the starting line-up in the last two games as Levy prefers the Alexa-Skope partnership in midfield. The Frenchman –now a naturalised Cypriot playing for the national team– is a box-to-box midfielder who always displays total commitment but lacks that extra bit of quality to win games on his own.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Juliano Spadacio

The team’s top scorer so far with five goals seems to be just what we were missing last year. At his best playing in the ‘hole’ behind the striker, the Brazilian links midfield with attack and specialises in arriving late in the box to score. The former PAOK midfielder tends to go missing sometimes, often marked out in a crowded midfield, as evidenced in the draw against ENP and the win over Apollon. His lack of pace and on-the-turn dribble do not allow him to get out of tight spaces easily, so he often drifts out to the flanks to find space. Possesses a mean left-foot and is the team’s main set-piece taker.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Toni Calvo

The diminutive Spaniard has faded away since his brilliant showing in the first game against AEP. The former Spain U-20 international is an exciting winger who crosses and shoots equally well but lacks physical strength. Not receiving enough support from Andjic may be the reason he’s ineffective lately, though he seems to have returned the ‘favour’ in the last game by often failing to track back Apollon’s marauding left-back Miguelito.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ricardo Laborde

The team’s undisputed star, the Colombian winger missed the first two games due to injury and only made a cameo appearance in the third. His game-winning performances in the last two games simply emphasised his importance to the team. His aborted big-money transfer in August may have done the club’s nearly empty coffers no good, but it may prove to be the single most important factor that lands us the league title in May. On his day, Laborde is unstoppable, simply too good for any defence in our league.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Jan Rezek

If there’s one positive thing coming out as a result of Yitzhaki’s dismissal against ENP and subsequent three-game ban, it’s the Czech international’s rise to the occasion. Having scored four goals in five games –two of them absolute beauties– Rezek seems like a man reborn, taking full advantage of the starting place he’s been given leading our attack. Mobile and tactically-aware, the Czech may not be the most technically-gifted of players, but his hard-running and current scoring form make him indispensable to the team. 

.

.

.

.

.

.

Giannis Okkas

Class, as they say, is eternal. Despite turning 36 next February, ‘Okkaldo’ remains the team’s natural leader, the only player besides Laborde able to win games single-handedly. Though it seems he’ll mostly start on the bench this year, the club captain will be called upon when the going gets tough, the recent game against Doxa (in which he created the goal that broke the deadlock just seconds after coming on as a sub) being a case in point.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Moshe Ohayon

Appeared four times as a sub. Has a powerful left foot and often ghosts into the box in search of a goal. Has not made an impact yet despite the exceptional form he shows in training. Will surely be given the chance to start some games in such a long season.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Emil Jula

The gangly striker last appeared as a sub in the second game against ENP, when we bombarded the visitors’ box with long balls in a desperate search for the winner. Lumbesome and seemingly unfit, the Romanian seems out of his depth, and it appears he will even struggle to make the bench in the future with so many other available forwards in the squad.

.

 

.

.

.

.

Barak Yitzhaki

Came on as a sub against ENP but was unfairly sent off by the ridiculous Trattos after just four minutes. He hadn’t even touched the ball. Having served a three-game ban as a result, he’s now available for the next game against Omonia, a return which is eagerly awaited.

.

.

.

.

.

.

William Boaventura

Started the first three games at left back and was his usual combative self, even managing to score with a header against ENP. Unfortunately, he has had to retire after his heart episode, but the truth is the Brazilian is lucky to be alive. Has left a big void at left-back.

.

Not used:

Evandro Roncatto, Giorgos Shelis, Pedro Almeida, Demetris Economou, Christos Mastrou (GK)

Follow me on Twitter:


ΚΑΝΕΝΑ ΣΧΟΛΙΟ

Tο anorthosis24.net δημοσιεύει κάθε σχόλιο το οποίο είναι σχετικό με το θέμα στο οποίο αναφέρεται το άρθρο. Ο καθένας έχει το δικαίωμα να εκφράζει ελεύθερα τις απόψεις του. Ωστόσο, αυτό δεν σημαίνει ότι υιοθετούμε τις απόψεις αυτές και διατηρούμε το δικαίωμα να μην δημοσιεύουμε ή/και να διαγράφουμε συκοφαντικά ή υβριστικά σχόλια όπου τα εντοπίζουμε. Σε κάθε περίπτωση ο καθένας φέρει την ευθύνη των όσων γράφει και το anorthosis24.net ουδεμία νομική ή άλλη ευθύνη φέρει.

ΑΦΗΣΤΕ ΜΙΑ ΑΠΑΝΤΗΣΗ

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.