Saturday, March 31, 2012

A simple victory for Gencler

If there is one good thing about this play-off malarchy it is that us fans actually sort of care a bit concerning the arrangement of the mid-table. As Spine pointed out today, by this stage of the season us Gencler fans are normally singing "No one can stop us from coming eighth."

Genclerbirligi 3 - 0 Manisaspor

There was rarely any doubt that Gencler weren't going to come away with the three points from this one. Manisa have already been relegated and we still gave a damn. It was also Gencler's last home match of the season - although if we make the play-offs I guess we will have a couple more.

Manisa started out the better side. They controlled the ball better and the referee seemed to give them quite a few dodgy fouls. This was nothing to get angry over but it was frustrating. After deflecting the initial forays Gencler started to attack. There wasn't a lot in our attacks, at one stage it seemed as if the game plan consisted of "put it onto Herve Tum's head" and not much else.

It isn't the worse plan in the world, Tum has scored a damn lot of headers this season, but a bit of variety would have been appreciated.

That variety came just before half-time when Hursut Meric had a shot which came off the top post. It came back into play and one of our players (I'm not sure whom) controlled it and was going to have a shot when he was clearly pulled down. The referee wasted no time in pulling out the red card and pointing to the spot. Hursut took the penalty and we went into the break 1-0 up.

Second half and it was all Gencler. Manisa were a deflated side. Down a man and their coach pulled off Kahe who was playing up front.

It was really only a matter of time before we scored again and this time. Ermin Zec had come on for Yasin and we seemed to be crossing the ball in from the left to players in the box only for them to completely miss with their shots. Finally Zec was one of the recipients of one of these crosses and he put the ball away.

At times I really am amazed we don't use Zec more often.

Anyway the match was pretty much over when the icing on the cake was delivered thanks to great pressure from the Gencler forwards forced the Manisa defenders to pass back to their goalkeeper. Herve Tum kept going, managed to steal the ball off the keeper and the ball dribbled over the line.

All up a good result which puts us into fifth place. A draw next week away against Istanbul BBS will guarantee us a place in the play-offs. We might not even need that.

As for how the play-offs work? I have no idea.        



  1. Yes. Good result and pleased that Gencler didn't 'bottle out'.

    Going to the Olympic Stadium to play an above average side like Istanbul BBS is never easy for any team. The tactic I would favour is to frustrate Istanbul in the early exchanges and try and hit them on the counter attack.

    I'm optimistic of Gencler grabbing at least one point and deservedly go into the play-offs.

    btw, I don't know how the play-offs work either. Perhaps one for our 'oracle' Spine to solve ??!!

  2. How the Payoff System Works

    Sorry, that should be playoff, of course. Don't know what came over me.

    Anyway, the the long and short of it for us is this: It's going to be a real job for Gencler to win a European place this year.

    Here's the scam (sorry, plan) the Federation has come up with: At the end of the season the top four teams form the “Super Final Championship Group” (hereafter Top Group) and the second four teams form the “Super Final Europe League Group” (hereafter Second Group).

    (I am reminded here of “super secret double probation” from Animal House for some reason.)

    The two groups play each other home and away for six weeks of matches. They each begin the payoff league with HALF the points they won in the main league (halves rounded up). I guess this makes it competitive even if one team is streets ahead at the end of the main season. There's a complex set of rules outlined here ( for what happens if teams end the payoffs on equal points.

    Anyway, at the end of this springtime jamboree of champagne football and additional television revenue, European places are allocated as follows:

    - First Place in the Top Group goes directly to the Champions League and is declared Champion of that season in Turkey (even if they finished fourth, I guess)

    - Second-placed goes to Champions League pre-qualification

    - Third joins the winner of the Turkish Cup in the UEFA Europa League, or whatever it's called now.


    - Fourth plays the winner of the Second Group for a place in UEFA Europa. This will be a single game and it's set for May 20.

    So for the four Second Group teams, there's an awful lot of football to be played for a pretty slim chance of Europe.

    Any errors here mine.

    Yours, Spine

  3. Some other thoughts on this matter:

    - It formally enshrines the idea of a Big Four, luckily for Trabzon. And will probably only add to their dominance.

    - It means a LOT MORE "Istanbul derbies". Anyone fancy to be an Istanbul policeman in April-May? Do they get overtime.

    - With so little to fight for in the Second Group, how hard will teams go for it? Also, what's the difference in prize money between a fifth place finish and eighth?

    - Geographically, this season might be fun for Gencler fans. Eskisehir, Sivas, Istanbul all within reach.

    Anyway, that's my lot.

  4. Dah dah dah ..... yeah, as clear as mud !!

    Seriously though, well done Spine the Oracle.

    We always knew who or what controlled footie in Turkey .... and I don't mean the TFF !!!

    I have a feeling that we will keep referring back to Spine's explanation as this Footie Jamboree unfolds.