Atromitos Owner – Newcastle Strong – From A Much Higher Level

It’s not surprising that Newcastle’s opponents in the 4th qualifying round of the Europa League, Greek side Atromitos, are already holding their hands up and saying they have no chance against such a big name club like Newcastle United, who play on such a famous ground as  St James’ Park.

Giorgos Spanos – Atromitos owner

But that’s the kind of stuff we would expect from our opponents as the mind games have begun, and on the other side of things Alan Pardew has already said it will be a difficult couple of games for Newcastle, because after all we will be playing largely our second eleven in those games.

Of course if the lads play like they did at Gateshead on Tuesday night, we should have no worries at all.

The Greek side’s owner, Giorgos Spanos, has said he would have preferred to play any other side in their section than Newcastle, who of course finished 5th in the Premier League last season and above current European Champions Chelsea and five times European Champions Liverpool.

Atromitos have played in Europe only once before – six years ago – which interestingly enough is the last time Newcastle were in Europe – and they lost to Seville in the then UEFA Cup in the their very first tie.

Spanos bought the Athens-based club in 2005, and thinks it’s going to be very tough for his side:

“I think we would have had a better chance against Hapoel Tel Aviv, AZ Alkmaar or even Partizan Belgrade. This is going to be very difficult for us against a team from a much higher level.”

“I suppose it is a big chance for our team to see what we can do against a very big name, but we are not expecting too much. Newcastle are strong and would expect to go through.”

“I see this as a great opportunity for our players, who are still learning about football, to experience the atmosphere of such a famous ground like St James’ Park.”

As we reported yesterday the Peristeri Stadium has a capacity of 10,200, and the club have trouble filling their stadium for the home games, and it will be interesting to see how many Newcastle fans will travel for the game, since it’s a great location.

It’s the first time since the 2006-2007 season that Newcastle fans will be able to travel to support Newcastle in European competition, and we have a feeling there will be another good turn out to support the lads.

The Greek club’s coach Dusan Bajevic, shown above, also thinks it will be a tough draw for the small Greek club:

“It’s a tough draw.”  “English football is very popular worldwide and has its own characteristics.”  “We will try with all our might.”

And Alan Pardew is not one to underestimate any club Newcastle play, whichever level they are at.

And the Magpies manager will have his coaches quickly doing their homework on the Greek side, as  the Londoner prepares to launch Newcastle back into European competition for the first time in six seasons.

Sounds good to us.

Comments welcome.

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14 comments so far

  • st0r3z

    Aug 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #1

    Lets hope the screw the nut n dont make things hard in the first leg

  • studsy

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #2

    Seen Atromitos’ coach’s record? He is like a Greek Sir Alex!

    Bajevic won the Greek title with AEK Athens in 1989, 1992, 1993 and 1994, while he also led Olympiacos to the crown in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2005. He has won four Greek Cups, one with AEK Athens, two with Olympiacos and one with PAOK Salonika.

    This is the record of someone who knows what he is doing.

    And all that while having eggs and mopeds thrown at him and being punched in the face! lol

  • kilcline

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #3

    Abeid and Bigi will do the business.

  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #4

    Mind games?
    Maybe it is a little mind game but it’s certainly true that we play on a bigger stage in the Pl but they’ll be no pushover at all.
    We drew with Olympiacos but it was a friendly type game in pre season.
    We can’t go by that result.
    As in all Euro games it’ll be important to try keep a clean sheet away or at least a draw and the home support should get us over the line at St.James’s
    Heading to Greece a few days later than the games planned date,wondering if the wife would mind changing our plans a little lol

  • Expat MAG

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #5

    When will they decide which day the game will be played or is it already established as a Thursday night game?

    I can’t see the opposition wanting to do us any favours and changing the date for the game……

  • outsidethebox

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #6

    marty – toon ..expat magpie…could be switched to play home leg first ..i think that may be what they are looking at ..

  • studsy

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #7

    In reply to:
    fkthemackems // Aug 11, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Study’s, ah well we might as well just send the second string out as you have already resigned to us being knocked out,,,,, ffk sk man it’s Greek football you pr@k,,,, not a chance of us not progressing you manc cu@t

    Firstly, try spelling my name right, secondly try spelling correctly full stop…oh and punctuation too. At no point have i resigned newcastle to getting knocked out, nor saying we dont have a chance of progressing. I was simply shocked at the record their manager has.

    Get yourself back to your needles fkthemackems – your smack is awaiting

  • studsy

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #9

    Ah and just to sink you a bit lower on your downer fkthemackems…we WILL be sending a second string to greece 🙂

  • nico

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #10

    Expat Mag
    I’m pretty sure they can’t cange thetie to a home gme, however if the other side agree we ould play on a Wednesday.

  • Oldgit1

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #11

    Wolves have told the scum to cough up 20mil for fletcher,. thats all the money they got off liverfool for henderson.
    Appears they are going after defoe on loan. mon is really struggling to get the owners to finance any deal.

  • studsy

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Thats what I thought too nico.

    From July:

    A UEFA spokesman told Press Association Sport: “In principle, UEFA is not in a position to change the requested fixture from Thursday to Wednesday or Tuesday.
    “However, after the draw ceremony for the play-offs, if the opponent agrees to re-schedule the match date to the Tuesday, August 21 before 1830 CET, the UEFA Administration will be open to consider the request.
    “Written approval is required from the opponent club as well as the respective national associations of both teams.
    “Please note that should Newcastle United FC be drawn to play the match on August 23 and the opponent does not agree to change the match date, the match will be maintained as such.”

  • ilovetoon8788

    Aug 11, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #13

    So many games coming up and our management still thinks not adding any defenders is fine. Lol.

  • numba9

    Aug 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #14

    yes we certainly need defenders id say 2 proven quality ones not young boys, experience is much needed not just potential, otherwise one injury at the back to a collo or tayls and we will be shuffling around again and letting more goals in. READ THIS PARDS we need defenders before this window ends !


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