FC Lahti 2 – 1 AC Oulu
Honka 2 – 0 IFK Mariehamn
Tampere United 2 – 1 Inter Turku
Viikingit 1 – 1 HJK Helsinki
VPS Vaasa 1 – 2 FF Jaro
Poor Henri Myynti. Everyone knows the lad is prone to daydreaming and can create a lot of chances for the other team, but he was still picked by Ari ‘Zico’ Hjelm. The guy is about 7 foot tall and nobody knows what he’s going to do next, least of all him, I suspect. He seems like a nice lad, assured on the ball and can pass it, but when he has time to think he gets into trouble.
That happened today. I forget whether the Inter goal was Myynti’s fault, but they were carving through the defence at will in the first half. Wave after wave of attacks, awful defending and terrible passing from the back through midfield from Tampere.
On 32 minutes Hjelm took off Myynti and brought on Jussi Kujala, a midfielder. He’s been at Ajax and had a decent season last year, but it was a surprise to see him line up in the back four rather than go into a midfield 5. Things tightened up though, and after the break tampere improved massively. I get the feeling Myynti is looking at a long spell on the sidelines. A similar thing happened to Vasilis Marchis last season when he had a nightmare against VPS in the 3-2 home defeat. He wasn’t seen again and Tampere won the league. Zico knows best, but I do feel for Myynti.
The other player to go off dejected today was Jari Niemi. He’s under a bit of pressure with Nwoke’s arrivel, and when he went down injured with 3 minutes till half time there was no hesitation. Hjelm sent on Tomi Petrescu and once again a player who would walk into other teams in veikkausliiga was on the pitch with something to prove.
Tampere’s budget is about 50% bigger than Inter’s, and that is the practical, immediate difference.
Nwoke played pretty well but doesn’t yet have the understanding he’ll need with the midfielders. He looked isolated at times, and Tampere will have to adjust to making different runs. Still, he’s a very good prospect.
I watched the game with Chesterfield FC’s head scout, and his view on the standard was that it was about on a par with second tier in England (ie ‘Championship’). I told him that these two teams both try to play football and have some quality players, and not all Veikkausliiga games are as good, but in general I think English second tier is about right.
This is my last post before heading off to sunnier climes, so y’know. Take care and that. The results and highlights will be posted after each round, and hopefully some other stuff too.
I just found out the Greek league hasn’t finished as scheduled, and as a result I will be able to see the crucial relegation decider between Aiolikos and Appollon Smirnis next Sunday. It’s going to be great. My girlfriend isn’t quite as excited as I am, but I’m sure she’ll come round. What sane person doesn’t want to see a relegation six-pointer in the Greek regional third division?