Monday, February 29, 2016

Genclerbirligi power on

Genclerbirligi have won just eight matches this season. Amazingly, five of them have been in the last six matches. This is one hell of a purple patch!

Genclerbirligi 3 - 1 Akhisar

Alex, Little Oz and me set off on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon to walk down to Kizilay where we had pizza and beer and ice tea at the Union of Political Science Departments' (Mülkiyeliler Birliği) restaurant. The Revolutionary High School Union (DLB) were out and about protesting something and the Communists were selling newspapers. All up a typical Sunday.

Off to the stadium and our hopes were high. We may have lost last week to Besiktas but we put on a good show and certainly didn't the fans down. This week against Akhisar should be easy was our prediction.

Which is why is was a shock when Akhisar went ahead early on. It was one of their few attacks and our defence was just not fast enough. Arrrhghhh. Frustrating.

Gencler didn't really up the pace but continued to play attacking football but nothing seemed to be really penetrating. We seemed to be missing El Kabir (too many yellow cards), Stancu seemed a bit forlorn by himself up front and Campos didn't seem to have the spark to really go at the defenders. We had some chances, including one of the post, but it just wasn't happening for us.

there was a huge sigh of relief when just before half-time our defence failed to play a ball out of our half. Stupid mistake. One of the Akhisar players had a shot. Saved by Hopf... another shot is taken... again saved by Hopf... a third shot is taken and the ball sails high. All three shots were brilliant chances. Phew.

Half-time and I was still confident.

Ibrahim Uzulmez must have given one hell of a good half-time talk. Landel came on for Skullason (who had a pretty good game really) and Gencler started to really stretch the Akhisar players. Akhisar must have been worn out by the close pressing they were doing to frustrate us in the first half and we started to run some rings around them. Our new player Aydin Karabulut really came into his own in the second half with the left-wing being his play ground from where he sent in numerous great crosses.

In the end though it was a very clumsy miss-timed tackle that had the referee point ot the spot. Stancu kicked and scored. A few minutes later Stancu scored again with a toe poke into the right corner and then Campos, regaining his mojo, scored with a brilliantly angled shot.              

All up fantastic. Bring on Kayseri next week.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ankaragucu 0-2 Gumushanespor

Todays match report will have the same effort that this so called Ankaragucu team and management have shown. A disgrace to the jersey and embarrassment to the name of Ankaragucu!!!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ankaragucu vs Gumushanespor match preview!




Ankaragucu are away to Gumushanespor this weekend as the team look to restore a bit of pride after the recent run of poor results. New coach Hayati Soydas now needs to focus on getting this team ready for the playoffs providing they finish in the playoff places. Their were a few positives from last weeks performances especially the amount of chances we created as a team, however that problem of scoring goals continued to cause a headache for the management team and fans.

The worrying thing about last weekends performance was that the usually reliable defence also weren't at their best, while goalkeeper Ferhat continues to make silly mistakes which again resulted in the team dropping points. Ferhat has been playing with a niggling injury, hopefully Turgut will come back into the team to allow Ferhat to recover fully.

Onur Atasayer again impressed with his forward runs and attacking play, he does however need to improve on the defensive side of his game. The 20 year old left back has reclaimed his place in the team from Mehmet Tasci and certainly hasn't let the team down. Hasan Ayaroglu also found his place back in the starting line up and the new coach will be hoping he can rediscover his impressive form from last season.

Ankaragucu will be without 6 first team players with Gurkan Alver, Orhan Evci and Mustafa Ozturk all out injured, while Sedat Bayrak, Emrah Bozkurt and Sertan Vardar all suspended.

The last time both sides met ended in a 1-1 draw at the 19 Mayis stadium in Ankara. Ali Ozgun gave Gumushanespor the lead before Mehmet Tasci grabbed an equaliser before half time. Gumushanespor lie 8th in the league only 6 points behind Ankaragucu and still have playoff aspirations themselves. A win will see them within touching distance of those playoff places and they will be looking to give their home fans something to cheer about.

Ankaragucu still have enough quality in the side to go and bring the 3 points back to the capital, will it be another disappointment or will they finally live up to expectations?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gencler go down fighting

I know this report is late! I know that Gencler lost! But this isn't a rant... Let me just say it quietly... the best team won.

Besiktas 1 - 0 Genclerbirligi

Tufan, Spine, Alex and me were at the Fake Pub enjoying the toing and froing on the field when a bloke with a deep Aussie accent looked at me.

"Oz Kanka?", he asked.

I was about to say; "Games up. How did you find me officer?"

But instead the stranger merely said his name.

Little bells went off in my head. Ahh... "Didn't we play cricket together?"

Turns out this was Kris, a man who had disappeared off to Prague for four years but stayed on our e-mail list and, having returned to Ankara, decided out of the blue to come and join us.

Onto the match and Besiktas were pretty good. They created many more chances than us and only some luck, the crossbar and some great keeping kept us in it for most of the match. We had a few promising attacks but no real good shots on goal for a long, long time.

In the end Besiktas scored and whilst we tried to get an equaliser nothing was coming off. Don't get me wrong, this was Gencler playing hard and for the most part good football. It was just that Besiktas was a class above us.

Towards the end one of players had a rip snorting effort denied by the crossbar. That would have levelled the scores with just a few minutes left... In the end though, the better team won.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ankaragucu 2-2 Bucaspor match report!




Ankaragucu are now in danger of even making the playoffs after another pathetic performance as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home against the leagues 2nd bottom club Bucaspor. Both Kocaeli Birlikspor and Keciorengucu won today as they pulled further ahead of Ankaragucu while leaders Manisaspor drew 1-1 at Ankara Demirspor.

Team - Ferhat, Goksu, Adem, Volkan, Onur, Harun, Salih, Omer, Emrah, Hasan, Enes

Subs - Turgut, Timur, Sedat, Mehmet, Sertan, Muhammed, Teoman

New coach Hayati Soydas took control of the team for his first match in charge and could have been gifted with the perfect start as Ankaragucu were awarded a penalty on the 10th minute. Emrah Bozkurt stepped up but missed the penalty kick and that was the start of what would be a horrible performance from the Ankaragucu captain.

Bucaspor took the lead a few minutes later through Ferhat Culcuoglu after another mistake from Ankaragucu goalkeeper Ferhat Odobasi. After an excellent start to his Ankaragucu career, he has come in for stick of late due to his poor performances.

Ankaragucu had numerous chances to pull level, all of the chances fell to Emrah Bozkur from both 3 yards and 5 yards but he somehow missed every opportunity that came his way. Bucaspor punished those missed chances and after hitting the cross bar, they made it 2-0 through Adil Demirbag. A good cross into the box in which the Buca player headed into the top corner.

Buca went in at half time 2-0 up despite having 3 shots on goal the full first half. Ankaragucu had 5-6 excellent chances including the penalty but couldn't find the back of the net. Its worth mentioning Onur Atasayer was having a fantastic match and its a wonder the youngster has been out of the first team for so long this season.

Into the second half and it was even worse from Ankaragucu until the last ten minutes. Ankaragucu were awarded 2 penalties in the last 5 minutes which were both converted by sub Sertan Vardar who made it 1-2 and 2-2.

Full time finished 2-2 and other match where Ankaragucu have dropped points against a team at the bottom of the table. Its just not good enough and on this kind of form it looks like next season will be another horrible season in this division.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Michael Klukowski looks back on his time at Ankaragucu!




Our former Left Back Michael Klukowski was kind enough to agree to a small interview with The Round Ball in Ankara during the week on his time at Ankaragucu. The former Canadian international had a successful spell at the club back in 2010/11 season playing 23 games scoring 1 goal.

Ankaragucu signed Klukowski from Club Brugge where he spent the longest spell of his career and although he looks back fondly of his time in Turkey, the off field problems led to his early exit from the club.

First question, Ronaldo or Messi? I like both players, 2 very different players but if i had to chose one then i would go for Ronaldo.

Which team did you grow up supporting as a kid? Manchester United, Loved the generation with Scholes, Giggs, Cantona, Cole, really miss that team!

How did you enjoy your time at Ankaragucu? It was a good experience and a new step in my career after 9 years in Belgium. Unfortunately there were some serious issues with the management. Being at a new club i never really knew what was going on, but afterwards i understood the real problem (politics). Its a shame because i would have loved to have spent more time in Ankara. We had a good team, fantastic fanbase and probably one of the best training facilities in Europe. I must also say myself and family really enjoyed the lifestyle in Turkey, we often comeback to visit.

What did you think of the Ankaragucu fans? The fans are great, and thats probably one of the reasons the club is still alive even though they are going through some tough times.

Who was the best player you played with at Ankaragucu? Good question, very difficult to choose one to be fair. Marek Sapara, Stanislaw Sestak and Michael Zewlakow were all great players.

What was your most memorable moment at the club? My most memorable moment was my first game for the club versus Manisaspor. I had just arrived in Ankara, trained with the team once and then played the next day. We won 3-0 away from home. I also remember smashing Fenerbahce and Galatasaray a few times.

What do you think of the clubs current circumstances? I still follow Ankaragucu closely and to be fair the financial situation they are in since they were relegated could be worse. In any other country the club would have been bankrupt. I hope they can win promotion this season.

Now that you have retired, what's next in your career? I finished playing 2 years ago and now I'm based in Warsaw in Poland. I have started working as an agent and have my own agency (Only Football Agency). We are based in Warsaw. I'm really happy that i am still in football although not on the pitch, don't need to run up and down the pitch anymore haha.

We would like to thank Michael for his time and taking part in this interview. Its great to hear he still keeps up to date with the club and actually follows this blog. We wish him all the best with his Football Agency in the future.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ankaragucu vs Bucaspor match preview!




Firstly i would just like to pass on my condolences to the families who have lost someone in the Kizilay bombings today and also the the injured, we wish you a speedy recovery. Its a sad day for the Ankara and Turkey in general.

As expected this week, Kemal Kilic was shown the door after a string of disappointing results and performances which now leave the clubs playoffs hopes in jeopardy. The club have moved swiftly to appoint Hayati Soydas as the new coach who will now serve in his second spell as manager of Ankaragucu. He was also in charge of the club at the start of the 2013/14 season until he was shown the door just before Christmas due to a run of 4 games without a defeat.

Looking back at the teams performances during his first spell, the team scored plenty of goals but we also have to remember we had a very strong side that season with Umut Nayir and Levent Kale striking up a good partnership then you had Mehmet Cakir, Mehmet Erdem, Volkan and Emre Tasdemir all excellent attacking players.

Hayati Soydas will return to the club at a very difficult time and it will be interesting to see if he can make a difference to this side and help them reach their potential. Their was more bad news regarding off field problems this week with Bochum sending a letter to the club demanding outstanding payments for Stanislaw Sestak, they have given the club a deadline of next week to pay the money or they will make a complaint to to UEFA. This will more than likely lead to another point deduction.

It was also reported today that members of the Ankaragucu management team will face a court trial due to accounts being missing from 2010 period. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

Sundays match will see Ankaragucu host Bucaspor in a game that will be played behind closed doors due to the 1 match stadium ban imposed by the TFF due to bad language from Ankaragucu fans. Its difficult to say whether this will be an advantage or disadvantage for the team at this stage. Their is no doubting the Ankaragucu crowd are the 12th man and play a huge part in the clubs progress, however the players may feel relaxed due to current form and less pressure from the demanding fans.

Bucaspor are on a decent run themselves at the moment as they look to fight against relegation. They have only lost 2 of their last 10 games and won again at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Amedspor. It will be interesting to see how Hayati Soydas lines up with his first team. Hopefully we will see an attacking line up that will excite the fans. The defence and Goalkeeper have done their job this season as they have the best record in the league. The midfield and attack need to step up and play their part too, our top scorer is Omer Bozan with 6 goals which tells you everything you need to know.

All the updates will again be on our Facebook page starting about 1pm just before kick off.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Genclerbirligi heading north

Four teams have won four on the trot this season... Besiktas, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and .... Genclerbirligi!

Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Bursaspor

Just Alex and myself at the 19 Mayis Stadium for what was a rip snorting match with attack after attack after attack, some great defensive work and just the tiniest amount of luck.

New signing Serdar Sahinler should have had us one nil up after just a few minutes when he just had the keeper to beat... but it didn't matter... Gencler continued to press forward and we had four or five good shots on goal and one or two instances when we should have scored. Even with the score at 0-0 at half time this looked like a day when we could rack up a big score. It was just really exciting football and joy to watch.

Second half and it finally came. Stancu sent a wonderful ball in to El Kabir, who quite frankly made a mess of it, and the ball somehow fell to our centre-back Ante Kulusic who finished it off. EDIT: Oops!!! Just looked at the video of the goal and El Kabir didn't bugger it up, he laid the ball perfectly to the feet of Ante.  

Just two minutes later we went 2-0 up and this time El Kabir didn't bugger around. EDIT: See above edit. Another new guy who had come on as a sub, Aydin Karabulut, sent a perfect ball in to El Kabir who had raced through the offside trap. He controlled it, shoots... GOAL!!!! As I have always maintained. The man is a genius... even if he does pretend to have been fouled just a tad too much.

This was the Genclerbirligi we have been wanting to see. In the first half of the season we would often dominate a match, go one-nil up and then sit back. Inevitably we would concede. With our new coach Ibrahim Uzulmez we are continuing to press, continuing to play attractive attacking football. The fans love it and so do the players.

This is great stuff by Gencler. Long may it continue.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Aydinspor 1-0 Ankaragucu!




Toothless, spineless, gutless are just a few words to describe this Ankaragucu team and management at this present moment. Another defeat against excuse my language a shite team who had only won 1 of their last 10 games. Despite making big changes to the team, Kemal Kilic has shown why he has managed 147 teams in his 147 years of managing. How he manages to keep getting new jobs is beyond me.

Team - Turgut, Goksu, Sedat, Adem, Onur, Harun, Salih, Omer, Emrah, Enes, Sertan

Subs - Altay, Mehmet, Volkan, Hasan, Muhammed, Timur, Teoman

So in came Onur, Harun, Sertan and Sedat as Kemal looked to save his Ankaragucu career with a win. According to reports he was told on Monday that if he fails to win this match he would be sacked. It doesn't matter because even if he goes we will just appoint some other useless pish manager who has been sacked from every club he has been at. Reports suggest Hayati Soydas will take his place, funnily enough he's already been sacked by Yiginer 2 years ago.

It has to be said, both Harun Aydin and Onur Atasayer can hold their heads high as they both performed very well and can count themselves unlucky to be on the losing side. Thats where the positivity finishes. Each and every other player need to take a long hard look at themselves. Part of me wishes we never lifter the transfer ban, because all the new players apart from Goksu and Omer have been woeful.

Ankaragucu had 1 decent chance in the first half when Harun played in Omer but his shot was tipped round the post by the goalkeeper. It was the usual sideward passing by Ankaragucu with nothing for the excellent travelling fans to cheer about.

In all the years of watching football, i have never seen a team more incapable of making easy through passes or creating chances. I would understand if we were playing against Super Lig teams, but these are players who to be honest aren't very good that we are playing against, and thats not being disrespectful. Its an awful league, with awful teams.

The second half was as bad as the first half, Ankaragucu had a goal ruled out for offside, and then 1 decent effort saved by the Aydin goalkeeper. Game looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw until a moment of madness from Sedat Bayrak, he failed to clear the ball in the box and ended up fouling his man with the referee pointing to the spot, up stepped Seckin Getbay who made no mistake with the penalty to make it 1-0.

It stayed that way, while Manisaspor won 1-0 at home against Tepecikspor. They are now 12 points ahead of Ankaragucu who in danger of even making the playoffs with this kind of form.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ankaragucu vs Aydinspor match preview!




Another away match for Ankaragucu this weekend as they travel to Aydinspor looking to make up for the disaster that was last weekend. Three days have went by and i still find myself frustrated and angry at the performance against Tepecikspor. Sometimes in football you play well, give it your all and lose. We simply looked like we didn't care and were playing in a pre season match.

Instead of thinking about challenging Manisaspor for the championship, Ankaragucu need to concentrate on securing a playoff place. Kemal Kilic will also need to find a way of making this team create more chances and more deadly in front of goal. The defence has done its job this season and goalkeeper has done ok to, however the midfield and attack need to up their game.

One change Kilic needs to address, is the need for playing 2 defensive midfielders in Salih Sefercik and Muhammed Gonulacar. Their is no need to have 2 players who are slow and don't create anything going forward in the team. He needs to chose between those two and Harun for the defensive midfield role and bring another attacking player into the team.

The likes of Hasan Ayaroglu, Hasan Kaya, Orhan Evci, and Mustafa Ozturk all find themselves out of the team with Hasan Kaya now on loan at Golbasisspor. Scoring goals win matches, if we can't address that situation then we could be in danger of missing out on a playoff place.

The home side Aydinspor have only won 1 of their last 10 matches in all competitions. They still find themselves in 6th position in the league. That kind of sums up how bad the quality is in this division. If you look at the Ankaragucu team from 2 seasons ago that lost out in the playoffs to Alanyaspor, that team would have won this division comfortably. Unfortunately that season we had two very good teams in Altinordu and Alanyaspor that we were up against, this season their aren't any good sides.

The match kicks off at 13:30 Turkish time and all the updates of the game will be on our Facebook page Round Ball in Ankara.

Lig TV getting their act together?

Those grey blobs in the pre-match line-ups where our new players are supposed to be will be no more. Lig TV today took some shots of our new coach Ibrahim Uzelmez and of a few of our new players.

Now all they need to do is to buy some new cameras for matches that don't involve the top three Istanbul teams. It was amazing just how bad was the broadcast of the Kasimpasa - Gencler match. And it certainly wasn't the television's fault. Straight afterwards they showed a live Spanish league match which was in perfect HD. Come on Lig TV. Get your act together.


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Genclerbirligi climbing away from the relegation zone



Having had four or five coaches this year it seems that Gencler have finally hit upon somebody who knows what he is doing. Ibrahim Uzulmez now has a coaching career at Gencler of played three, won three...

Kasimpasa 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi

The TFF once again put a Gencler away match on a Monday night, thus making it impossible for us to make a weekend trip out of it. Seems as if the Kasimpasa fans couldn't be bothered either as less than a thousand people showed up. So when you combine the rubbish ticketing system and stupid timing of the match... well, you can't be surprised when no one shows up.

So Alex and Spine and me decided to use the opportunity to try out a new pub that opened around the corner from my place a week or so ago. The place is weirdly named "Fake" (with the "e" being printed back to front). It has lots of TVs for Lig TV, two quarter-sized pool tables, three darts boards, comfy chairs, two stand up urinals and one western commode in the mens' toilets (I forgot to check the ladies' room), very weird background music which seemed to be a record of something like "Blokes sing Abba", various local and foreign beers and an Efes draught 500mls will set you back 13 lira.

Kick-off and we get some decent play. Nothing amazing from either team but Gencler were pushing forward whenever they could. They seemed to have upped their tempo quite a bit since Uzulmez took over and they are clearly playing with a lot more passion.


Kasimpasa were pretty good too and I would say that the two sides were evenly matched. There were a couple of goal-scoring opportunities, Stancu got a weak shot in and Hopf did brilliantly at full stretch to palm a ball out but the most fun was when Campos buggered up a great chance when he couldn't decide whether to head the ball or control it. In the end he decided to try a side-on bicycle kick with the result being that he just ended up on the ground wondering what the hell was going on. 

Second half and we were playing the better football and we should have gone ahead but El Kabir for some reason didn't try to have a sliding shot... it just seemed weird.

With about 20 minutes to go Kasimpasa's Popov was given a second yellow card (both were deserved) and we just upped the anti a little bit more.

In the end it was some good control in the attacking midfield from Irfan (who had come on after another great 70 minutes from Hleb). Irfan sent it wide to Campos who sent it back along the ground into the box, the ball went through about two dozen Kasimpasa defenders and found Irfan all on his own... whack and GOOOOAAALLLLLL.

All up a very good win away from home. This is building nicely as we claw our way above the relegation zone and aim for the lofty position of ninth that is our birthright.

Next up is Bursaspor on Saturday. Should be a cracker!


Hakan Aslantas channels his namesake.  

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Ankaragucu 0-1 Tepecikspor




Make no mistake about it, this was nothing more than an utterly awful performance from Ankaragucu in a match that they had to win to have any chance of catching leaders Manisaspor. The gap is now 9 points after Manisaspor won 2-1 at home against Tarsus yesterday. Today should have saw an Ankaragucu team hungry for the 3 points and a high tempo putting pressure on lowly Tepecikspor. Instead the large travelling Ankaragucu support were served horse shit which just looked like 11 donkeys who had been poisoned by Raki running about a football pitch.

Team - Ferhat, Orhan, Adem, Gurkan, Mehmet, Salih, Muhammed, Omer, Enes, Emrah, Timur

Subs - Turgut, Sedat, Harun, Onur, Sertan, Teoman, Volkan

Ankaragucu had to do without star man Goksu Alhas today due to suspension, Orhan took his place and boy did we miss him. Its a sad day when your key playmaker is a right back. The midfield in Salih, Muhammed and Emrah created nothing, and the forwards in Enes, Timur and Omer fluffed any chance that came their way today. The team could still be playing just now and not score a goal.

Its been evident from pre season that Ankaragucu struggle not only to score goals, but also create chances. The central midfield pairing of Muhammed and Salih are too slow and don't have any creativity to make things happen. The team struggled to even put 2-3 passes together.

What really gets to me is that we have the likes of Onur Atasayer, Hasan Ayaroglu, Hasan Kaya, Harun Aydin, Mustafa Ozturk, and Emir Ozbey all either out the squad or on the bench. These young players at least have the legs to get up and down a football pitch.

It was difficult to see who was at fault for the Tepecikspor goal today, but it looked like another mistake from Ferhat who is hobbling about injured. He couldn't even take the goal kicks yet Kemal Kilic insisted in playing him until the goal went in when he brought Turgut on.

The league is now over, Manisa will drop points, there is no doubt of that, however this Ankaragucu team continue to drop points against shit teams at the bottom and don't have it in them to become champions. The sad thing is that, this is the best chance we will ever have of winning promotion from this league due to the lack of quality, the current management team failed to lift the transfer ban which will come back to haunt us.

Now the current management team have done a lot of good, but stop fucking about and blaming Gokcek and threatening him if you are not going to do anything about it, sue him and do the right thing!! Also how can Yiginer have money to buy Golbasisspor but not have money to lift the transfer ban? Strange.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Ankaragucu vs Tepecikspor match preview!




Ankargucu are at Tepecikspor this weekend in another must win match to keep up the pressure on leaders Manisaspor. Both teams won last weekend after hard fought wins as Manisa stay top by 6 points.

Before we look ahead to this weekends match, their was more bad news for the club off the field. It seems like i should just copy and paste from previous weeks match previews. Yet again the TFF are set to punish Ankaragucu due to bad language from the fans in the 2-1 win over Kecoirengucu. The club are also set to be given a 1 match stadium ban which will hurt the club again financially.

Only just a couple of weeks ago the TFF handed Ankaragucu a 3 point deduction due to the clubs accounts. Is this really a way to manage one of your clubs that your association governs? You know that the club have financial problems, yet you continue to hand out fines every week. You also hand the club a 3 point deduction for mess left by Melih Gokcek, and even though Fifa wrote to the club thanking them for all their work on paying their outstanding debts?

This is the same TFF, who this week have also announced that the cup game between Amedspor vs Fenerbahce will be played behind closed doors. A chance for a small club like Amedspor and their fans to enjoy one of the biggest matches in their history but TFF decide no fans allowed?

Going onto this coming weekends match with Tepecikspor and the club were dealt a blow when Goksu Alhas picked up his 4th yellow card of the season meaning he serves an automatic 1 match suspension. Goksu has been a key player for the club this season and a standout of the new signings the club made in the summer. Orhan Evci will come into the starting line up and its a chance for him to impress and make stake for his place back in the first team.

Tepecikspor are just 4 points outside the relegation zone and will be looking to take something from the game themselves as they fight for their place to stay in the division. The lost 4-0 in the cup on Monday at Istanbul Basaksehir which is no embarrassment seen as the home side are in the Super Lig. Their are no easy games in this league but these are games Ankaragucu should be going and winning comfortably.

Hopefully come Sunday afternoon we will be celebrating another win for Ankaragucu while Manisaspor will hopefully drop points at home to Tarsus.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Moving back into second!

31.01.2016: Ankaragücü 2 - 1 Keçiörengücü

The chilly winter weather continued this week but did not deter Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John, Fellaini Kanka Ahmet, Everton Kanka Marcus, Maniac Kanka Harun and Gençler Kanka Alex from turning up to freeze -- in Harun's case literally, as he had to be shipped out of the stadium early in a block of ice.

However, those who survived gave a thought to our brave fellow kankas up in the frozen wastelands of Scotland.

The first half was some of the most exciting football we've seen since the Super Lig. "End to end" was how Gençler Kanka Alex described it, and I'll continue to plagiarise heavily from his analysis for the rest of this piece.

In the tenth minute, Keçiörengücü took a beautiful curving corner that - as far as I could see - went straight into the net practically unaided. The defense, needless to say, were not expecting such a perfectly placed shot in this league... 0-1

Ankaragücü reacted by really getting into gear, and five minutes and several chances later, Enes Kubat chipped the keeper to even the score... 1-1

Both teams played - by the standards of the league - flowing, exciting football. Ankaragücü were caught closely offside a few times on the break, and made some beautiful play up the left-hand side. At the same time, the AG keeper never looked quite comfortable, fumbling and almost being caught out.

The tension peaked after the 43rd minute. Ankaragücü broke away and beat the keeper to score a glorious goal, which was ruled offside. Two minutes later, Keçiörengücü had launched an excellent counterattack and crossed the ball past the keeper onto the striker's head - only for him to somehow miss an open goal from directly in front of it. Ankaragücü immediately leapt back into action, dribbling past the out of position defence and feeding Kubat a little chip that he placed straight home... 2-1.

The second half was extremely disappointing football, however. Ankaragücü kept all their players back and timewasted, while Keçiörengücü, frustrated, also ended up looking like a significantly worse team than they had been in the second half. Aside from a few scares in the last 10 minutes (and especially in comparison to the bombastic first half) there was nothing much to report.

The score meant that Ankaragücü climbed back up into second place, with 35 points (three fewer than we should be on, thanks to the TFF). With a bit of luck for us and bad luck for Manisa we are still in the race for the automatic promotion that comes with first place.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Turkish Cup doesn't matter?

Gencler got knocked out by Etimesgutspor, Ankaragucu got knocked out by ????

But the Turkish Cup continues and today there was an amazing match.

Bursaspor 1 - 2 Amedspor

Some basic background: Amedspor is the old Diyarbakirspor. Some (certainly not all (but actually most of them)) Bursa fan groups have been upping the nationalism to 200 percent in the run up to this match. Diyarbakir, of course, is the biggest Kurdish city in Turkey. I don't think I need to spell out to "Round Ball in Ankara" fans just what horrible things are happening in the Southeast at the moment. Obviously though, Amedspor fans were banned from attending today's match in Bursa.

There were the usual anti-PKK chants, various racist stuff and just general horribleness from the Bursa fans. It was a football match after all.


And then the football started. Hahahahahahhahahahahahahaha

Amedspor goes one-nil up.

Bursa fight back and pretty much control the match for a long period of time. Their fans are singing as loud as they can but nothing seems to work.

Second half.

Amed was still 1-0 up when the ball went back the Deniz Naki. He was just outside the box, he shot and there was no way the keeper was going to save it. That was the goal of his life!

Some of you may remember Deniz Naki. He used to play for Genclerbirligi. A year or so ago Deniz left the club after Gencler refused to back him up. He had been verbally attacked, possibly physically attacked, in the street in Ankara for being an Alevi. The situation was very murky but Deniz left the club right after the attack. To its disgrace, the club wanted nothing to do with him.

Today though he was as proud as anyone could be. It wasn't just a great goal, it was a goal scored with all the football gods lining up. I can only express jealousy that Deniz got to live his dream. Scoring a goal against the fascists!!!!!!

Brilliant!

Bursa got one back towards the end but it was all too late. So, Amedspor goes through to the quarterfinal. I can only wish them the best of luck.

Bursaspor coach Hamza Hamzaoglu was being a dickhead as usual in his post match remarks.

"I congratulate the opposition team players but I don't congratulate some of them. There were a lot of provocative actions," the coach said ignoring the racist chanting of the Bursaspor fans.

Anyway... Back in Diyarbakir, the fans went wild. This was one huge win. Just as happens for any big win for Galatasaray, Besiktas, Fenerbahce or Turkey, the football fans of Diyarbakir came out to celebrate. There is something wonderful in how people of Turkey celebrate big football wins - It is true joy as thousands of people crowd together in the streets to sing and dance. Everyone forgets the normal hassles of life and simply celebrates being a witness to a wonderful event. This is what makes sport so wonderful. It is what makes sport so wonderful in Turkey.

The Turkish police then sent the TOMAs in.

Yep.