Friday, October 12, 2018
Alessio Cerci struggles to impress at Ankaragucu!
Alessio Cerci arrived at Ankaragucu in the summer as the clubs marquee signing. The 31 year old winger and former Italian international with 14 caps has played at the very top level with the likes of Roma, Udinese, Genoa and Atletico Madrid.
Cerci arrived at Ankaragucu without pre season training under his belt and was behind the rest of the squad in terms of fitness. It was expected that he would take a couple of weeks to get up to speed, but 8 games into the season Cerci has failed to start a single game in the Super Lig, and has only 1 start to date overall which came in the Turkish Cup.
There is no doubting the flamboyant wingers ability. When he comes on and has the ball you can tell he is the most gifted technical player in the squad. The problem is that when the team doesnt have the ball he doesnt chase back or track his man, which leaves Erdem or Pinto exposed at the back depending on which side of the park he is playing.
Ismail Kartal instead has decided to favour the likes of Ilhan Parlak and Kenan Ozer who although are no where near the same level of ability as Cerci, they give everything in terms of of work rate when they are on the park.
The main goal for Ankaragucu this season is to avoid relegation. That requires every player to be giving everything while they are on the park. Over the last couple of games against Antalyaspor and Bursaspor, the team has been crying out for a creative spark or a bit of magic. Unfortunately for the majority of that time Cerci has been sitting on the bench.
Ankaragucu have paid good money to bring the Italian to the club and can be forgiven for expecting a bit more at this stage. With the international break here, it gives Ismail Kartal and his team the opportunity to work with Cerci and get him fit. He will be a key player for the team if he can reach the level of fitness required. An attacking line of El Kabir, Bifouma, Mokhtar and Cerci is enough to see Ankaragucu finish in a respectable position this season, the club need all of them on there game though.
Cerci has come in for some criticism in the past due to his off field behavior, most recently with Fiorentina where is nightlife lifestyle and eating habits came into question. Ankara isn't exactly the nightlife capital of the world, but with plenty of nice restaurants and bars Ankaragucu fans could be forgiven for being concerned just how committed he is to the team and supporters.
This is a player who has played, scored and created goals in the Champions League, Serie A, La Liga and International Level with Italy. If Ismail Kartal can get him fit and consistently performing, he could be the difference between a successful season for Ankaragucu and a fight against relagation.