Greek sports media are not known for their forgiving nature and that was evident on the front pages of Monday's newspapers. Debutant coach Claudio Ranieri got the harsh treatment following Greece's 1-0 defeat at home to determined Romania.
A big photo of Ranieri features on the front page of SportDay who claim that the Italian coach "did not do his homework". They explain: "Greece were punished for Ranieri's bad choices in the opening match of the European Qualifiers. He fielded a questionable lineup, omitting Lazaros [Christodoulopoulos] and Kone and kept Kostas Mitroglou in for 90 minutes, despite his lack of form. He was very late in making his substitutions. A nervous defence, a problem-laden midfield and anaemic attack. A slow and disappointing side."
"Naked" is the word picked by LiveSport (below) to describe the Greece team that showed up on Sunday evening and explain: "Claudio Ranieri doesn’t have even the basic knowledge of his roster and Greece, lacking in personality, rhythm and plan on the pitch, had their worst game in the last decade! First home defeat after six years…"
Kostas Manolas, Greece defender:
It was a bad day at work, but we will learn from it. We knew before the match that Romania were in better physical condition than us, as several of our players have not yet enough matches on their feet. We could have got something more out of this game, and deserved to, despite not performing well.
We didn't create chances to score and nothing really worked for us. Our qualification is not in danger. It is a long way ahead and now we need to go to Finland and win. We have proved in the past that, when the going gets tough, we get better.
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