Friday, May 14, 2021

Ankaragucu 2020/21 Season Summary!


Its been a hugely disappointing season for Ankaragucu as they have been relegated twice in the last 2 seasons. Last season the club were fortunate to keep their place in the Super Lig due to the Covid outbreak, but they have paid the price this season for failing to learn from previous mistakes. 

We will now take a look  at the performances of the Management team, Staff and Squad from this season while also looking at who still has a future at the club. 

Faruk Koca - We start at the very top and Faruk Koca is the person who will take most of the responsibility. Although Fatih Mert is seen as the President of Ankaragucu, it is Faruk Koca who makes most of the decisions in the background. Although I do believe he has the best interest of the club at heart and wants to see a successful Ankaragucu, Faruk has failed to address all the areas which make a successful football club. Apart from Hikmet Karaman, every managerial appointment has been a failure, he has failed to appoint an experienced Sporting Director or Scouting team and has been interfering too much in team decisions. If Faruk wants to be the main decision maker he needs to step up and take responsibility instead of hiding behind Fatih Mert. However i dont not believe Faruk is the right person to take Ankaragucu forward as he has proved he doesnt know how to run the club. 

Fatih Mert - He will be as disappointed as any Ankaragucu fan with how things have turned out under his leadership. He has made mistakes and he will be the first to admit that. With no experience running a football previously it was a huge task to take on the responsibility of a club like Ankaragucu. Fatih Mert reluctantly took over as president almost 2 years ago and in that time has saw the club relegated twice. The difficulty for Fatih Mert is that he wasn't allowed to make all the decisions he wanted to as Faruk Koca was making them in the background. Who knows how successful his leadership would have been if he could make all his own decisions, we will never know but it looks likely he will step down from his position later this month. 

Transfer Committee - The club have signed 60 players since returning to the Super Lig nearly 3 years ago. Of those 60 signings most of the successful ones were under the Yiginer leadership such as Tyler Boyd, Stelios Kitsiou, Thiago Pinto, Michal Pazdan and Stelios Kitsiou. This season you are looking at Borven, Endri, Alper, Ibrahim and Atakan as the only signings you can give pass marks too. We are talking 10 players from 60 as the success rate which is unacceptable for any club. We are also looking at only Endri and Atakan as players we can potentially make profit as Borven and Alper will likely terminate their contract due to unpaid wages. Ankaragucu cant continue with this type of transfer policy if they want to move forward and return to the Super Lig. 

Youth Academy - The only positive from this season is the work of Cengiz Paca and Levant Kale in the youth team. The team has some good young players such as Berke Gurbuz, Kaan Cinkaya, Yusuf Eren Goktas, Arif Emre Eren, Hakan Ozturk and Sirozhiddin Astanakulov who all have potential to break into the first team in the future. The club needs to start giving more opportunities to some of these youngsters and build for the future. The Ankaragucu Youth Academy is the heartbeat of the club. 

Ricardo Freidrich - Ricardo had a good start to his Ankaragucu career last season but has failed to find that same consistent form this season. He has been in and out of the team due to injury and poor performances. He is one of the most likeable players in the team and has a great positive attitude, but he isn't good enough to play in the Super Lig and Ankaragucu should move on and find a young Goalkeeper from Turkey with better quality. 

Korcan Celikay - Also struggled with consistency with some good performances when he came back into the team, which were followed up with poor performances in important matches. Korcan has been a good signing for the club and played his part in the club winning 2 back to back promotions, but he needs to be moved on and the club should focus on bringing through younger Goalkeepers either from the academy or lower leagues. 

Zvonimir Sarlija - One of the most frustrating players in the team. Zvonimir when he just concentrates on defending and focuses on the game is a good player. But too many inconsistent performances and his constant diving and play acting is not something you expect to see in a defender. If Hikmet Karaman stays as manager and Zvonimir can work on that side of his game he could be an important player in helping the club return to the Super Lig, but its whether he will want to play in Lig 1 that also needs to be taken into consideration. 

Erdi Dikmen - Wasn't ready to play Super Lig football. The 24 year old is still very raw and makes too many mistakes. Needs an experienced defender to play beside him and a consistent partner too. To often the centre back pairing was changed during the season and Erdi felt the pressure. Lig 1 might be his level and he still has an opportunity to have a career with the club but he needs to work on his positional sense and concentration. 

Michal Pazdan - Disappointing season for Michal who was a consistent performer for Ankaragucu previously. Struggled when he came back into the team after injury and the sending off on his return effectively ended his Ankaragucu career. One of the highest earners in the team Pazdan will move on in the summer and likely be owed a lot of money by the club. 

Alperen Babacan - Signed in January by the club from Lig 1 Akhisar where he was deemed not good enough. Strange signing by Ankaragucu as he has only been involved in 1 substitute appearance. Clearly not good enough to play for the club. 

Ante Kulusic - Returned to the starting line up in the second half of the season and the teams performances and defence improved. A leader on the pitch but at 34 we have seen the best of Ante and his performances towards the end of the season were inconsistent. Another who will likely be moved on in the summer. 

Atilla Turan - Works hard but his crossing and passing are woeful and defensively suspect too. Ankaragucu should look at the youth team for the back up left back position as Atilla has had plenty of opportunities and failed to take them. 

Thiago Pinto - Has been a good servant for the club and plays a big part in the teams attacking play with assists and crosses into the box. Not the strongest defensively and has had a lot of issues this season with his fitness which has saw him in and out the team and failing to complete 90 minutes. Its time for Thiago and Ankaragucu to part ways as its unlikely they will be able to afford the salary of a player coming to the later part of his career. 

Stelios Kitsiou - Had an injury which kept him out for a month. When he returned it took him a while to reach the high standards that he usually delivers. Once he was fully fit Kitsou was the best player in the team. Unfortunately the last couple of key games in the season he made a couple of errors which is unlike him. Kitsiou is a player i would like to keep but he will likely be snapped up by another Super Lig team.

Idriz Voca - Failed to live up to the expectations and largely goes missing in games when he is given an opportunity. The club could look to keep him and see if Lig 1 is more his level. Has potential on the ball but needs be stronger and more involved in the game if he wants to succeed at the club.

Atakan Cankaya - Has played in so many different positions for the club with Centre back the position he was most successful. The club and player see him more as a midfielder though and he has attracted interest from Fenerbahce who want to sign him in the Summer. Needs to work on his passing and game management if he is to be successful at Super Lig level. Has a great attitude and commitment but we never seen the best of him due to an injury he picked up.

Assane Diousse - Was seen as a bit of a coup when Ankaragucu signed him in the Summer but has failed to live up to those expectations. Fitness played a part in his inconsistent performances as he does have ability especially when it comes to long passing. But simple things like a short pass or final ball let him down as did his work rate and reading of the game. Will return to St Etienne in Summer. 

Daniel Lukasik - Didn't reach the heights of last season and another who struggled with consistency due to injuries. Daniel has shown his love for the club in the past and could be an important player for the club next season with his experience and if he can get back to full fitness. 

Ali Kaan - Signed from Akhisar in the Summer and came with a good reputation but has struggled to break into the team and will likely be part of the squad for next season. If he stays it could be a big opportunity for him to get more game time and develop.

Ibrahim Akdag - Became a big player for the club since his move in January with his work rate and attitude. Was part of the midfield trio with Endri and Alper. He did all the dirty work and defensive side of the game that allowed Alper and Endri to go forward and create. Hopefully he will remain at the club for next season. 

Sahverdi Cetin - Big things were expected when Ankaragucu were said to have beaten Besiktas to his signing in the summer. Struggled to make any impact and looked slow and unfit in any games he did play. Technically he has the ability to be a good player, but needs to improve on his stamina and work rate if he wants to make it. It will be interesting to see if he stays at the club for next season. 

Ender Aygoren - Came into the team towards the end of last year and had a few good performances before being injured. Another who could see more time next season depending on the clubs financial situation. 

Endri Cekici - One of the better players this season with his work rate and ability with the ball. Needs to add more goals to his game and be more ruthless with his finishing. Gets into good positions and had a lot of chances but his finishing was poor. If he can work on that side of his game he will be a very good player for the club and will likely attract interest from other clubs. 

Alper Potuk - First half of the season looked unfit and uninterested under Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci. Was then suspended by the club and his Ankaragucu career looked over. When Hikmet Karaman took over he gave Alper another opportunity and he was the best player in the team showing why he is regarded so highly in Turkish Football. Had his problems with injury which along with his attitude is the only thing stopping him playing at the highest level. If he can keep a positive attitude like he did in the second half of the season he will be back playing in the Super Lig. Its unlikey Alper will want to play in Lig 1 next season. 

Joseph Paintsil - Has the talent and scored 11 goals in a poor Ankaragucu team. His attitude and temperament let him down though and its something he will need to work on if he is to play at a higher level in his career. Works hard but doesn't make the best decision and can be very greedy. His overall numbers in goals and assists will improve if he works on this. Will return to Belgium after his loan in the summer. 

Saba Lobjanidze - If he took just half of the opportunities that came his way this season, Ankaragucu would still be in the Super Lig. Scored only 3 goals despite playing 36 games and missed opportunity after opportunity. His crossing and final ball were woeful too and another example of poor recruitment by the club. His one asset is his pace but he doesn't know how to use it often running the ball out of play and running into other players. Another player on a high salary that will likely move on in the Summer. 

Geraldo - Was brought to the club in the January transfer window to help boost the attack. Sored 0 goals and had 0 assists. Took a while to get up and running to due to lack of fitness. When signing any player in January especially in a relegation battle with little time left, how any club could sign a player who wasn't match fit is beyond belief. 

Orkan Cinar - Clearly has talent but another who makes poor decisions and his fitness is unacceptable for a professional football player. Looks like someone who isn't hungry enough to succeed at the game and will hopefully be moved on in the Summer. 

Torgeir Borven - For some strange reason Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci decided against making Borven the first choice striker. As soon as Karaman showed faith in Borven he became the main player in attack scoring 10 goals and his overall work rate and attitude was excellent. This was despite not being paid his salary. Ankaragucu were on great form and looked set to stay in the league until Borven got injured where the club have failed to win a single game. 

Aliou Badji - Has shown flashes of what he can do, but has been unlucky with injuries. If he was fully fit and playing every week he could have been an important player but will now move back to his parent club Al Ahly in the Summer. 

Emre Gural - Scored a couple of important goals and a few assists but like so many of the squad struggled with fitness and stamina. Ankaragucu should look to their academy instead of bringing back players such as Emre and Orkan. 

Hikmet Karaman - Almost pulled off the impossible in guiding Ankaragucu from the bottom of the table to safety. Unfortunately wasn't enough as issues off field with players not paid in 5 months, loosing Badji and Borven and rumored interference from Faruk Koca upset the harmony of the squad. We would love Hikmet to stay on at the club but with so much going on off the field he may opt to move on. Everything will depend on the clubs upcoming elections this month. 


  1. Excellent analysis Nady, even if it is mostly negative. Once again we are plunged into the Championship which has disappointed us all, and the Club will obviously suffer the financial consequences.!!! I would like to pay tribute to Hikmet Bey's efforts which were thwarted by injuries, suspensions and thin inexperienced squad. If the Ankaragucu management are really serious about a quick return to the super league, then Hikmet Bey must be retained as Coach.!!! Ankaragucu will be at home against Alanya on Saturday and it will be interesting to see the reaction from the players on their relegation.


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