July 26, 2017 by notjustpumpkinbread
Of course we don’t really need to “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” but the literal translation could be seen as slightly better .
“I fear the Danaans, even those bearing gifts.“
Well the first part, at least.
Because our very own Danaan – Apostolos Vellios – is stepping up to the plate. And maybe a striker who appears to be approaching a rich vein of form is something to be feared.
“But hold on!” I hear you cry. “He’s only scored against lowly opposition.”
And of course you would be right. Mansfield and Notts County are in League 2 for a reason. But Girona FC are slightly different. They were good enough last season to finish 2nd on the Spanish second tier and will now be plying their trade alongside Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético et al.
But still, they’re only pre-season friendlies. How are we meant to judge anything?
Well, you’ve got to be in it to win it. And it seems to me that Apostolos Vellios is certainly in it. 5 goals in 3 games in it.
We could posit a couple of things that may be happening over at the City Ground.
- MW has told AV that this is his time to shine (post-Britt), so “…go out there and show us what kind of striker you are.”
- Or MW has got Daryl Murphy now and sees this as an opportunity to highlight AV’s goalscoring prowess in the shop window.
Yes, I know they’re not the only options and AV is not the kind of striker to lead the line throughout the season. He just doesn’t appear to fit with MW’s Plan A style of football. But what he does provide is an option. And a goalscoring option at that.
So I’d like to think that AV has decided to grasp this opportunity with both hands and force MW into thinking he has a genuine reason to keep his for this season at least. And let’s be fair, he didn’t really do much wrong last season either. Here’s the tale of the tape:
- 28 appearances throughout the season – 16 from the bench.
- 7 games of 90 minutes in which he scored 3 goals.
- 5 games of around 60 minutes in which he scored 2 goals.
- One goal as a substitute.
AV scored his first goal in only his 5th appearance as a Red. From there, he scored 5 goals in 7 appearances, but never really got the opportunity to kick on. A further 5 starts and 6 substitute appearances in the next 14 games before M. Montanier was sacked saw AV net one goal. Now, let’s be honest. A half-fit Britt was going to be given as many chances as necessary in a season that was spiralling towards the wrong end of the table. As a result, AV wasn’t going to get much of a look in.
Was he a viable Plan B? I would say yes. But when you have an ego the size of Nicklas Bendtner, I’d posit you’d be playing second fiddle to him too. This is borne out by AV only making 6 substitute appearances after M. Montanier was sacked, totally a paltry 62 minutes.
Look. I have no agenda, but I will admit to liking the cut of Apostolos’ jib. He’s still only 25, and appears to be hungry to make his career in the Garibaldi a success. Last season didn’t give him that opportunity, and in the times I saw him on the pitch I don’t recall ever thinking he was doing anything other than giving 100%.
The addition of Daryl Murphy can only be a good thing, even for AV. It appears from what some Newcastle fans have been saying on Social Media, he is a model pro and will be good for the youngsters. Well, AV is not a youngster per se, but he is young and can only benefit from the experience DM has had at this level and the knowledge he may be able to impart. And he appears to be of the same type of player as AV. A bit of a lump – in a good way – who will be able to command his position on the pitch and bring others into the game. In fairness, while AV is of a fine stature, he has also shown some deft touches when playing, so shouldn’t really be looked at as just another “lump up top.” And I’m sure (hope) DM is the same.
So I’m not getting carried away by this plethora of goals raining down upon us. I’m merely making a case for our favourite Greek striker. He is a Red after all.