Thomas Von Heesen: Personally, I've had enough with this arrogant bastard. He talks and behaves like he's fucking Mourinho while all he's done in his managerial career is managing Arminia Bielefeld and Nurnberg, two relegation struggling sides. After the game against AEL he told the reporters we played like shit and left. Agreed, we did play like shit. But who's fault was it Mr Von? Mine? You're the fuckin manager! In his apology later on he admitted he said that to "protect" his players! WHAT??That's your way of protecting the players? Even that other little traitor cunt Dumitrescu knew that in order to protect the players you need to accept full responsibility as a manager!
Before the analysis of Mr Von's tactics in last night's derby let's take a glance at what this guy has done for our team so far.
- He took over the team in September 2008, after Toza Sapuric was violently kicked off with just one!! official game in charge of the team after horribly losing from city rivals AEL in the opening game of the season. He went on to finish 5th, after getting kicked out of the cup from AEL with two shit performances in the semi finals. That's the worst scenario for Apollon Fans, still the chairman said he would get his chance to build his team and try again next year.(Plus he has a chunky clause for gettin the sack,around 400,000EUR, plus he is Mr Schoeller's pet project and under his payroll(word has it) so in fact nothing could be done to kick him out)
- Building the team: Let's take a look at the transfers Mr Von has achieved for making Apollon FC the dominant force in Cypriot football. Here some may argue that a certain number of the transfers were decided by the suits in the chairs and not the manager himself. In any case, I know for a fact that some of them were a result of his excellent judgment!! Let's see the chosen ones!
- January 2009: Haraldur Freyr Gudmundsson-Center Back. We had the honour of watching this fantastic,solid center back play for our team for six months. He arrived carrying a CV that would be envied by the great Christian Vieri himself, having already played for clubs like European giants Keflavik and Aalesund. Seriously now,the guy wasn't a football player. Please note that after some games (2 or 3) he was dropped and the great George Merkis was reinstalled as a starting centre back. Haraldur was crap. He could only head the ball. His positioning was tragic, his marking was abysmal and his tackling non-existent. I would rate him with a generous 1/10.
- January 2009: Luis Diogo-Left Back. I get miserable only by remembering this loser. Slow as fuck, could not pass a ball, could not mark, no personality whatsoever. A shit version of Paulo Ferreira (picture this!!). 1/10, only because I can't go any lower.
- January 2009: Mauricio Pinilla-Striker. A good striker but a real nutter. The guy was shagging Luis Jimenez's missus and when the little Inter man tried to complain he beat him up as well!! Having played for Inter, Sporting Lisbon and the Chile National team, it was clear there was something wrong with Mauricio, given that he decided to come to Cyprus only being 24 years of age. He was training to regain fitness for 3 months, played something like 5 games, scored 1-2 goals and fucked off in June. Turns out little Mauricio was more interested in Limassol nightlife than kicking a ball. 3/10
- January 2009: My personal favourite case: Ioannis Masmanidis-Position remains a mystery-presumed somewhere in midfield. Mr Von may claim that the first 3 transfers were not decided by him. THIS is a different story. The German/Greek midfielder was playing under Von in Armenia Bielefeld. So he actually knew his nonexistent ability! Ioannis is only good at celebrating with the fans. As a matter of fact he is the only one of the 4 January transfers still in the team as Von was convinced!! He can't mark, he has the control of Titfuck Bramble, he doesn't know what a dribble is and he is terribly slow. His passing abilities were kind of praised at (few) times but I wonder if there is still anybody supporting him after last night. A generous 2/10
- Nico Pellatz-Goalkeeper. This guy claimed to be playing for Werder Bremen. Okay, the under-23 side. Shaky as fuck, Nico failed to impress and finally Von got wiser and reinstalled Ales Chvalovsky. I remember watching some YouTube videos of Pellatz performances when the transfer was announced and I also remember wondering....WHAT THE FUCK!!! Apollon didn't need a Goalkeeper Von, especially a dodgy one. We have a fantastic Goalkeeper , Ales the Great Chvalovsky, who seemed to be off form last year but he's back. And we also had the National team Goalkeeker Sofronis Kattos Avgousti(Team Captain and renowned Apollon Fan) who is no Casillas but still better than Pellatz and we were forced to offload him to Aris. 2/10
- Jovaldir Ferreira: The fat (1.69cm, 78 kg) Brazilian left back came from Bulgarian side Cherno More. Not a bad player as I could make from the 2 games I actually watched him playing as he was injured in the other 4. He can pass, he has passion and he can attack well. His defensive duties are often neglected but after all he's a Brazilian wing back. The major problem in his case is the suspicion of being injury-prone. Plus the fact that Von decided not to buy a backup left back, ending up wasting a gifted player(Avraam) as a defender.5/10
- Antonio Lopes-Right Back. The Portugeezer arrived from Achna in the summer. I had watched him playing for Ethnikos before coming to Limassol and I'm convinced he's a good player. I get the feeling though that he lost some of his confidence since he arriced. Maybe the pressure of expectancy that derives from playing for a big club got to him. Anyway I'm prepared to wait for him to get his head in place and prove why there was a transfer battle in the summer between Apollon and Anorthosis for his signature. 6/10
- Thiago Sales-Center Back. On loan from Flamengo. Allegedly a first team regualr in the Brazilian side, Thiago came on loan with a purchase clause of 1.8m USD!!!(WHAT!!) to bolster the team's bid for the title.He got a red card for a casual foul against Aris and he was banned for 3 games!! Fuck knows who took this decision and on what criteria. Most likely the established hostile environment between the FA and the team did!! Anyway this tall lad cannot be heavily criticised having only played 2 games for the team. What we can say though is that he's a classic Brazilian defender, trying to attack without being able to and leaving the defence unprotected. And a distinctive lack of passion too. The weirdly high purchase clause forbids any thoughts on future potential. 4/10
- Giannis Sfakianakis-Center Back. From Cup Winner Apop Kinyras/Pegias. The Greek defender impressed everyone last year with his performances for Pegia. Being 33 years old though makes him a bit prone to injury. In any case, he is strong, tall, passionate and commited. A good move from Von, will be more accurately judged later in the season. And a wise decision to let him rest against Omonia. Well in Von.. 6/10
- Samuel Neva-Center Back. This is fucked up!!"Sam" was snapped up as a free transferred LEFT back to provide cover for Ferreira. Instead, he's been used only as a center back by His Vonness till now. And quite frankly, he's a SHIT center back. His dodginess can be underlined by the incredible back pass to Chvalovsky in the local derby against Ael. If combined with Eddie Oseni at center back you have the most stupid and dodgy backline of the planet (Yesterday's game against Omonia). A disappointment, 2/10
- Moshe Mishaelov-Defensive Midfielder. The Israeli lad didn't get enough games to be seriously judged. However, I'm not impressed. Hardworking he may be, but I'm not sure he's the man Apollon needed in the midfield. An ok solution for the team's bench. 4/10
- Miroslav Matusovic-Left Midfielder. The 28-yar old ex-Panathinaikos target arrived from AC Sparta Prague with great expectations to become the new midfield star. He flopped it. Featuring in the starting lineup for 5 games he was so disappointing he wasn't even on the bench against Omonia. A delicate player with no passion, no dribbling skills, boringly slow, no defensive abilities whatsoever who can only give the right pass IF he's in a good position. Seriously past it. 4/10
- Aldo Adorno-Right Midfielder-Another weird transfer. The Paraguyayan was impressive for Paralimni. BUT that was 3 years ago. Joined from AEK Larnaca, failed to impress during training and was not even on the bench in the team's 5 first games. All of a sudden, Von decides to use him to turn the game against Omonia. Very wise Von, very wise indeed...2/10
- Miljan Mrdakovic-Striker-The Misfit. The star of Chinese side Shandong Luneng Taishan FC(!!) belongs in the team but is nowhere to be found. The excuses are fitness problems, nightlife etc. All sorts of bullshit to provide cover for yet another stupid transfer.1/10
- Junior Agogo-The Beast-More of a wrestler than of a footballer really, Junior is good at bullying defenders about but that's that. He's heavy and he finds it unbelievably difficult to sprint. He can pass but what the fuck. I prefer Ignacio Risso.4/10
- Antonio Nunez-Right Midfielder-Ex Champion of Europe but the most boring player to watch. Having played for Real Madrid and Liverpool and fluking himself a decent career, Nunez came to Cyprus to be a good benchwarmer. Because when he starts games he's awful. Like yesterday. I'm sick of non-passionate players in my team.4/10
- Mustapha Bangura-Second Striker,Attacking Midfielder-A gift from Omonia. Von fluked himself a diamond here, as Omonia agreed to loan out the 20-year old from Sierra Leone. The guy can hold the ball and pass like few. And he's lethal, having scored 3 times already. Again he decides not to use the diamond against Omonia. And why?To use Masmanidis!!Decisions Von,think harder man..8/10
- Klodian Duro-Midfielder. The Albanian International who joined from Omonia is a decent player. He can pass, hold pace, and tackle. He can shoot as well. He hasn't reached his performance level yet and I'm worried Von. I expect a lot more from him.6/10
- So overall Von got himself 3-4 good players out of 18. Then he had to blend them with the likes of Sangoy,Avraam,Quinteros etc. and find a suitable formation for the team. He's still trying. With Omonia we played a weird 4-1-4-1. In other games we played 4-4-2,4-5-1,4-3-3 etc. Can we please stick to a fuckin formation so that the players will learn each other and where they play?Star striker Sangoy has been lost all season. He has no clue where he's playing. We saw him as a striker and second striker, we saw him as right winger, right midfielder, left winger and left midfielder. Wasting the potential of a guy like Sangoy is the ultimate crime for a manager. Put him up front please Mr Von and stop fucking about.
- Undoudebtly, in his Apollon spell Mr Von has achieved 1 or 2 steps that helped the team a lot. First by giving Avraam the chances he deserved. Andreas is a fantastic quality player who is always committed to the team. Still, before the arrival of Von he wasn't trusted by his previous managers who claimed he was too young. The other achievement of Mr Von was to offload a lot of crap players, some of them sold!!(Anorthosis anyone?)for good money. Garpozis and Marangos made me really happy with their decisions to fuck off along with Maghradze, Djurisic and Solomou. Finally he also realised that Merkis is shit and left him watching the games from the comfort of his home.
- So far with the achievements. On to team motivation. We are all well aware of the vast array of talent laying around in the Apollon FC dressing room. The question is why is this talent off the window every time the team enter a pitch. The players look out of inspiration and desire. No passion at all. No commitment to the fans or their manager. The No.1 manager skill Mr Von is to get 100% from your players. Not 5%. Since the players are paid, the fans are following the team around Cyprus then what the fuck is wrong?YOU Mr Von..
Team tactics: Von started with Chvalovsky, Lopes, Oseni, Neva, Avraam, Quinteros, Duro, Masmanidis(!!?WTF?!), Nunez, Sangoy, Agogo. Von's divine inspiration to exclude Bangura and start with Masmanidis paid off big time. Masma was the worst player on the pitch, in fact he has been the worst player Ive seen in a loooong time. We were trapped by Omonia. They had much better tactics as they let us have ball possession but they counter attacked mercilessly. Aloneftis was too good for Lopes, Efraim had Avraam marking him who is not a defender, even Michalakis was partying against Oseni and the useless Neva. In the end we lost with a deflected shot but Omonia could and should have scored more. Von also amazed everybody with his substitutions to turn the game. Adorno having played zero minutes in league games was brought on as the messiah. Of course he didn't even touch the ball by the end of the game. Bangura was then introduced with 20 minutes left but he also failed to influence the match. As a last move, Mr Von decided to use youngster Stavrou in the place of Agogo who wasn't happy.
Mr Von's rating: Tactics: 2/10
Team preparation: 3/10
Concluding, Mr Von's relationship with Mr Schoeller, (president of Columbia and for decades the main Apollon FC sponsor and shareholder) is what seems to be keeping him at the team. In general I'm a big supporter of long-lasting contracts between managers and clubs, like Sir Alex, Wenger etc. For Apollon though, it's a different story. We've had a manager like Bernd Stange, who had class, knowledge and won the championship and we kicked him out easily. Yes Mr Von, the championship. With half your budget. And player quality. With players fighting for him though, for the fans, in Nicosia and everywhere else. Have you ever thought of winning points in Nicosia against Apoel?Omonia? Make the fans proud? I don't think you have. The players haven't,that's for sure. So what seems to be different with Mr Von who is nowhere near the level of Stage? Please Mr Schoeller, be sensible and kick him out before it's too late.
How the players rated:
Ales Chvalovsky:8/10. An impressive performance by Ales, no mistakes, no shakiness. He stopped a number of shots to prove his one-on-one and shot stopping abilities. The best player of the team.
Andreas Avraam:5/10. Used as a left back again, Avraam was nowhere near his full potential. Still, one of the few who performed decently.
Antonio Lopes:4/10: I wasn't really impressed with Lopes. He could not attack and defensively he suffered under the skill and pace of Stathis Aloneftis.
Eddie Oseni:3/10. Not good at all Eddie. I could not trust the team's defence for a single moment. Seemed lost and couldn't cope with such an important game.
Samuel Neva:2/10 Abysmal. Another lousy performance from the Frenchman.
Daniel Quinteros: 3/10. Too low for a player of his caliber, Quinteros seems to be off form since he returned from injury. Real disappointment from the passionate midfielder.
Klodian Duro:3/10. Could not help the team find the right tempo, Duro was bossed around by Omonia's midfield along with Quinteros.
Antonio Nunez: 3/10. I remember a decent shot. Nothing else from the Spaniard who desperately needs to work on his passion levels...and his passing levels.
Ioannis Masmanidis:1/10. I get sick only by writing his name. Every touch on the ball was an error. The worst player ever on a football pitch.
Gaston Sangoy:6/10. The Argentinian skipper tried..he deployed his passion for yet another game but he was lonely up front. Plus, I can't say it was his day. His rating goes up for the passion and commitment he continues to show every single game for our team. I wish we had more characters like him.
Junior Agogo: 4/10. The Beast was involved in numerous battles but he couldn't produce the goods. He couldn't play with Sangoy and he only had one good shot on target.
Aldo Adorno: 2/10. Nothing, as expected from a player who hasn't played all season Mr Von.
Mustapha Bangura: 3/10. He was nowhere near his level of recent performances. Was lost for the 25 minutes he played.
Andreas Stavrou: 3/10. The teenager played for 15 minutes but he was not ready for such a big game.
See you around Mr Von
A humiliated and disgusted 2006 champion