Three years ago a seven-point lead with seven laps to go. Last year’s lead was four points with four laps to go. Olimpija was left empty-handed both times, without the title of national champion.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this time many fans green and white – when the advantage is even bigger, as much as 16 points, and there are only ten laps to go – they don’t want to rejoice too early. Among them is also a professor of mathematics Matjaž Homarknown by his nickname OptaZabar, who was a podcast guest The ball is round.
“That man who has been bitten by a snake is still afraid of a twisted rope,” says Lobster. The bitter experiences of recent seasons have taught him that it’s never over until it’s over. He was optimistic before the match with Domžale, he says, it often happens that when he goes to a match expecting to win, the opposite happens. Green and white on Sunday, after three consecutive victories, they lost at home with 4:1. “This is Olimpija. The club’s DNA is suffering. For forty years, this club has been totally disorganized, but it has a string of good results, at least this season,” me OptaŽabar.
Homar combines his profession with his passion – mathematics and football. With a colleague Miho Zupanom from subcaste Unity has collected an extremely rich database about Olimpija matches. Since 1945, he has recorded almost all matches of the Ljubljana club, with the first line-ups and other key data. There were almost 2,800 of these matches, and almost 99 percent of them were recorded. From here it draws the data that you can follow through OptaŽabari.e. through his social media accounts.
On Sunday, Olimpija lost 3:0 at halftime in independent Slovenia for only the fourth time, and in three of those four matches, the rivals were from Domžal, Homar noted. And also the fact that Aldin Jakupović became only the fourth 16-year-old in the last fifty years to make his debut for Olimpija during the week. The previous player who managed this was Jan Oblak.
Homar tries to extract inspiring statistical drops from the sea of information. He says that the key here is that the data is properly classified and reviewed several times. Homar is extremely meticulous about it, but says that even so, a mistake can sneak in here and there. For five years, he diligently edited and digitized all the data whenever he had time, even in the middle of the night if necessary, he says, which was not so rare for the father of three.
“I started this because we have some soul in football. We have a rich history. We can be proud of that. That’s why I often publish historical data. And I get a response: ‘Oh, he played back then too. I forgot about him, but my father drove me to matches for Bežigrad. Thank you for posting this to remind me of my youth.’ It’s important to me that the fans feel proud.” says Lobster.
Doffo for Olimpia as Makelele used to be for Chelsea
With Vala 202’s central football reporter Boštjan Janežič and the hosts of the podcast The ball is round Luka Petrič he also debated about Olimpija’s staff and the key players of the current team. They mentioned Agustin Doff. The Argentine has become an irreplaceable member of the team.
Janežič says that there is no real exchange for him, that Doffo also wants to play every game and that he knows what to do with the ball, while Homar found a parallel in his other football love, in Chelsea, and called him the white version of Makélélé . “The metronome of the team. You rarely see him during the game, but when he’s not there, you miss him terribly. The players know that if the ball is lost, he’s going to be behind them. He gets sixty percent of the balls, 11, almost 12 a game on average. That is a lot. He’s probably one of the top three players in the league,” claims Lobster.
It will be interesting to see how Olimpija will play without Doff in Celje, and the people of Ljubljana have another challenging visit this week, namely in Murska Sobota.
In contrast to the staff from two or three years ago, Olimpija has built a core of young Slovenian players. They make it up Matevž Vidovšek in goal Marcel Ratnik in defense and in the middle of the field Svit Sešlar and the captain Timi Max Elšnikwho is Homar’s favorite actor at the moment green and white.
If Abramovich was still the owner, Potter would be gone
The trio also debated Chelsea’s warm-cold season in the Žoga že round podcast. The Londoners won twice last week, easing the pressure on the coach Graham Potter. Homar says that Potter would no longer be in the club if the club was still owned by Roman Abramovich. Namely, Chelsea is far behind the best in England, and in Europe it ranked among the eight of the best after the win over Dortmund.
Fans initially doubted the new management, which has spent more than 600 million euros on compensation alone this season, but now there is optimism also because power is more dispersed than before and not all in the hands of one man, as is often the case it seemed during Abramovich’s time. Homar expects a purge in the club in the summer – that those who do not play will leave. Among the players at the exit gate could be Mason Mount, who separates the fans. Homar says that many, especially those who often attend matches, support Mount and do not want the club to sell him, but other fans, especially those from abroad, would prefer to show him the door.