Greece’s national football team lost to Finland 2-0 in Tampere Stadium on Monday night and coach Michael Skibbe finds himself just a step before seeking another job. Local media speak of “national humiliation,” blame the German coach for it and demand his replacement …yesterday.
“Unfortunately we were not in the position to stop Finland’s transition,” Skibbe said in a press conference after the game. “we were not lucky with Sokratis’ replacement because we received a goal in the first place. Towards the end of the game we were not given a penalty and the result was a second goal.”
Stressing that the next game against Finland will be in Athens in November, Skibbe said “we have to beat Finland with at least two goals and I hope by then to have more basic players who were missing ” on Monday.
“Donis, Retsos and Mantalos who are quick players were missing and it is not easy to replace them with equivalent players,” the coach said underlining “we have another chance we have to make good use of it.”
However, soccer officials and fans do not share Skibbe’s optimism after Finland cemented its top position at the UEFA’s Nations League group C2.
Media put the main blame on the 53-year-old coach even if they also point out at “gaffes” and “grave mistakes” committed by the players. The speak of a “ghost” team at the Tampere pitch, and of clear a dominance of Finland.
“Greece has practically lost every interest of the UEFA Nations League,” notes a sports newspaper.
The Greek national players are returning home Tuesday noon, and sports newspapers write that Skibbe’s replacement is imminent, even before the games against Finland and Estonia on 15. and 18. November respectively.
One of Greece’s oldest sports newspapers Fos wrote “Cowards die twice, auf wierdershen, Herr Skibbe.” the daily writes that Skibbe committed “crimes” in Finland, the national football team was “humiliated” and that “he has to go too.”
Other local sports media blame next to the German coach also the fact that the Greek national team is lacking of at least 2 to 3 strong players.