Ankaragucu half term report !
Before we look at the first half of the season, news just in this morning that Sinan Kurumus has agreed a 5 year deal with Besiktas. The move is expected to see Ankaragucu pocket 360,000 Turkish Lira for the 18 year old striker. Mehmet Yiginir will also make his decision by the 4th of January as to weather he will run for Presidency.
Anyway onto the main subject, The first half of the season is over and Ankaragucu are lying at the bottom of the table 9 points adrift of safety. The current players have given the club some hope and if the transfer ban is lifted allowing the club to bring in experienced players then there is no reason why Ankaragucu cant stay in this division.
The standard of the teams in the PTT Lig aren't that great when you look at the likes of Manisaspor, Kayseri Erciyesspor and 1461 Trabzon all at the top of the table. Apart from maybe the Konyaspor match and Bucaspor match, Ankaragucu haven't embarrassed themselves in this league. What has caused the club problems more than anything, is the uncertainty off field and also inexperience on the field.
We will now take a look at the players half term report cards as well as the key moments of the season so far.
Mustafa Kaplan - 9/10 - The former Genclerbirligi coach replaced Yilmaz Ozlem much to the surprise of the Ankaragucu support. But the team has shown great improvement since he has come in. Some excellent performances at Besiktas and at home to Caykur Rizespor which saw Kaplan improve the defence as well as changing the formation of the team to 4-4-2. He can also take a lot of credit for Sinan Kurumus winning a move to Besiktas after giving him a regular spot in the starting line up.
Bayram Olgun - 6/10 - Has struggled with injury this season which has saw him miss a lot of games in the first half of the season. Once fit Bayram is one of the most important players in the team. One of very few players who also has experience playing in the Turkish Super Lig.
Gokhan Akkan - 8/10 - Seventeen year old Goalkeeper who replaced Bayram in goal when injured. Has never let the team down and has made some important saves in games to win Ankaragucu points. An excellent shop stopper and if there is one part of his game that he needs to work on, it is coming for crosses into the box. Was recently called up to the Turkish U17 national team.
Cihan Bal - 0/10 - Third choice Goalkeeper who has yet to play this season.
Aytac Oden - 6/10 - Struggled when he first came into the side playing at right back. His distribution of the ball needs to improve, but since the arrival of Mustafa Kaplan he has looked more solid at right back. If the transfer ban is lifted, the right back position is one of the first the club need to address.
Orhan Evci - 4/10 - Struggled at right back as this is not his normal position, full of running and does offer something going forward. Really struggled at defending though and was at fault for a couple of penalties and goals due to rash decisions and been caught out of position. Just recently was dropped to the reserve team due to his attitude.
Umit Kurt - 9/10 - It is hard to imagine where Ankaragucu would be if Umit Kurt wasn't in the team. It showed on his absence at the weekend with the team conceding 3 goals in 40 minutes. The towering defender has been outstanding this season and deserves to be playing in the Turkish Super Lig. His leadership skills at the back also make him the perfect captain in Mert's absence. With Super Lig's showing an interest in the young defender, it is vital that Ankaragucu avoid relegation otherwise Umit will be off at the end of the season.
Volkan Geyik - 6/10 - Has had an up and down season so far. Does a good job in partnering Umit Kurt, but really struggles in his absence. The youngster is in his first season of professional football and there is no doubt he will have learned more in this 6 months of football than he will for the rest of his career .
Mehmet Tasci - 6/10 - Ankaragucu missed the young defender at the weekend, Mehmet Tasci has improved as the season went on, but needs to work on his passing as that is what really lets him down. Big and strong and it would be interesting to see how he would get on playing as a centre back as he has all the attributes to play there.
Mehmet Cogum - 0/10 - Hasn't played at all this season due to injury
Gurkan Alver - 5/10 - Another one who hasn't featured much this season, but when he has played he has looked well out of his depth. In the one game he did play quite well against Rize he played an important role in the victory. Moved back to centre back at the weekend against Konya and was woeful.
Metin Aydin - 0/10 - Highly rated young defender who has represented Turkey at youth international level. Hasn't featured this season and according to reports its his physical size that is holding him back with him being to small.
Gokhan Erdogan - 7/10 - Inconsistency has been the problem with Gokhan, when he is in the mood he can be very difficult for opposing defenders to mark with his pace and directness. But there are to many matches where he doesn't get involved. His goal a couple of weeks back at home to Rize shows what he is capable of.
Mert Erdogan - 8/10 - Captain of the club who has improved as the weeks have went by. Mert holds the midfield together with his calming influence on the ball. Is capable of finding the pass to create chances for the forward line. The one criticism is maybe his lack of goals from midfield and that is something he can work on to improve his game. A good start to the season and one which Mert will want to improve on and help guide the club to safety.
Bilal Gulden - 6/10 - Started the season well but has struggled of late. Bilal has everything in his locker to make him a good player. He needs to work on his distribution of the ball and his decision making. When Mert is out of the team Bilal has the chance to stand up and be the one that controls the game, but to often goes missing.
Kaan Kanak - 7/10 - Over the last couple of months and since the arrival of Mustafa Kaplan, Kaan has been one of the teams best players. His confidence has grown and is now showing the skill and touches that make him one of the most creative players in the team. Has a lovely left foot and just needs to work on his decision making as sometimes the pass is better than the thirty yard shot.
Hasan Ayaroglu - 5/10 - Big things are expected of Hasan and he was been rewarded with a call up to the Turkish U17 national team. The seventeen year old winger has struggled this season and first team football may have come to early as he still has a lot to learn at youth level first. Needs to work on his strength but there is no doubting the youngster has a bright future ahead.
Enes Kubat - 3/10 - Has only made a handful of substitute appearances which are not enough to judge him. Has an excellent scoring record this season for the reserve team.
Bilal Gundogdu - 1/10 - made his debut a few weeks ago at Boluspor, young midfielder was captain of the youth team and will be hoping for more playing time in the second half of the season.
Serkan Sirin - 6/10 - Has all the skill and talent to make a very good footballer, but unfortunately his work rate and attitude let him down. His attitude has led to him being dropped to the reserve team. If he can work on this then he can have a very bright future ahead of him.
Timur Ozgoz - 8/10 - Timur has had a fantastic debut season with Ankaragucu. He waited 2 years to make his debut with the club and hasn't disappointed. His work rate and goals have given Ankaragucu hope in the fight against relegation. Scoring at Besiktas and his performances in the PTT Lig have alerted the likes of Besiktas and Genclerbirligi who are both reported to be interested in the twenty five year old. Ankaragucu have offered him a new 1 year contract which the club will be hoping he signs.
Sinan Kurumus - 6/10 - Mustafa Kaplan made Sinan a regular started alongside Timur up front. His physical presence has complimented Timur and his hold up play also allows the midfield to get forward and support. His performances didn't go un noticed as Besiktas have agreed a 5 year deal with the striker.
Umit Nayir - 4/10 - The top scorer for the youth team and similar in style to Sinan. Tall and physical striker who has made a couple of performances but yet to score. With the sale of Sinan he may get more playing time in the second half of the season.
Teoman Sefa Erkan - 5/10 - Again the young striker hasn't featured much this season and will also be looking for more playing time in the second half of the season.
Oghuzan Bicer - 0/10 - Has only featured once as a substitute this season.
Artun Kutukcu - 0/10 The young striker will be looking to break into the first team after the winter break.
Goal of the season - There were a couple up for contention, The goals by Timur and Kaan at Besiktas but the winner is Gokhan Erdogan for his superb goal against Caykur Rizespor. The winger went past his man before cutting inside and blasting his shot from outside the box into the top corner.
Save of the season - Gokhan Akkan for his save against Kartalspor just before half time. It kept the sides at 0-0 at half time before Ankaragucu came out and won 1-0 in the second half.
Merry Christmas to everyone at the Round ball in Ankara.