Sunday, June 25, 2017

A (not that long) summer break

I don't mind at all (on the contrary!) that the summer break is this short in the football season. Compared to the two-month-long winter break, when I almost cut my veins, this few-week-long holiday is really bearable, especially that the CL-qualifyings are at the corner and afterwards the championship starts as well. (Meanwhile it's hot as hell, Average Fan tries not to get cooked, nor to get a heat stroke.)

The biggest happening of the transfer season was the return of Danilo Pantić to Partizan. I tell you, I’m one of those few who’s very happy for the boy’s return.

I know it's been trendy lately to curse, mock, spit and threaten Pantić as well as anyone who’s on his side. Yes, I also did get a portion after raising my voice for the kid and/or telling off a few haters. It made me laugh hard to see all those neurotic, spitting armchair-smartasses who put all possible threatenings into sight in case of Pantić’s return. Some of them looked as if ambulance should be called for them. So, I’m happy for Pantić being back to Partizan and can’t wait for his goals and assists.

Danilo Pantić in all smiles at his arrival at Partizan’s training camp in Zlatibor

Posing with Neca at a training

He even played at a friendly against Mladost

Another thing - independent of Pantić - that the team have played two friendlies so far and lost both. One against Zeta (MNE), to 0:1, another against Mladost (again 1:0). Oh well. These games are just friendlies, with no consequences and better to lose now than in the championship/CL.
As for other transfers, little Milenković went to Fiorentina. Partizan's management decided about his fate with the Italians back in the spring, what is more, it seems, Fiorentina takes Vlahović, too, as soon as the kid reaches the coming of age. No news yet about possible arrivals. There are a few rumours about Seydouba Souma though, but Partizan have been trying to get this midfielder from Guinea since forever, so far with no success. (Maybe, if I remember well, there was a Brazilian player as well in the possible transfers, but nothing happened.)
Meanwhile the team travelled to Slovenia for a training camp, there will be friendlies, then on 11th or 12th July comes the Champions League qualifying against Budućnost Podgorica.


I honestly admit, I didn't follow the basketball team for a while. Their performance was so very depressing and awful that every single game (among those I actually watched...) made me totally pissed and very sad at the same time. It was painful and infuriating to see the very same tactics - regardless of opponent or league - on every single goddamned game. Same tactics, same half-talents who will probably never have any more chance in life and especially to see every single game have the same screenplay, moment to moment. Shitty first quarter, struggling second (when we somehow equalized), suicidal third, finally (if we had luck) a combative fourth in a style that should have been present in EVERY SINGLE FUCKING QUARTER. Then, if we were lucky enough, we could win the game with this last quarter, if not, then not. It happened every time, on every game. And I hate to say it, but I was right: I said right in the beginning that even though this performance might take us until a certain point either in the freshly baked Basketball Champions League (the Euroleague of the poor...) or ABA Liga or in the Serbian superliga, but it's not enough for happiness. After this in Champions League PAOK smashed us into the face, in the semifinal of ABA Liga Cedevita simply stepped over us (based on our shitty performance we wouldn't have deserved to qualify to the final...), but the really bad surprise was in the Serbian league: we were eliminated in the semifinal by FMP (!!!). They say the last time it happened to KK Partizan to get eliminated in the semifinal was in 1998. Honestly, it didn't surprise me after this very disappointing season. Head coach Aleksandar Džikić has left for Budućnost, the two Americans left - Robinson has left during the season (he added absolutely nothing to the team), Hatcher left at the end of the season (he had some performance, though in a team like this even Michael Jordan himself couldn't make any miracle). I can't pick any player who had an exemplary or just an acceptable performance. I know that everyone is all over Novica Veličković, but the thing is, that in his case it was more about routine and heart than abilities/talent, but as the saying goes, in the land of the blind the one-eyed will be the king. The team is searching for a head coach now, but most of all it's searching for its old self.

As for the rest of the team sports: the water polo team has won the Serbian league. After practically the whole team left last year, it was a miracle even that there were a few remaining in Banjica to continue the work. They continued, so much that they won the championship title and will enter Champions League.
The handball team were running the gauntlet during the past season. Key players left, one after the other, a new coach was needed, too, plus the play-off became play-out at the end of the season. They finished on the 3rd place of the play-out, avoiding relegation, but who knows what comes in the next season.
The volleyball team ended much worse. OK Partizan was factually an U21 team for the season and they got releagated to the 2nd league. Honestly? I'm not surprised. My heart breaks for the team, but knowing their circumstances, it couldn't be avoided. It's no wonder at all, with so young players and such financial possibilities that are worse than worst. The team was practically on an amateur level.
That's all, folks.

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