Friday, November 27, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu failed to ‘grasp the nettle’ last Sunday in Izmir to move off the bottom place in the league.   This result sees them stuck at the bottom with some very difficult matches coming up in the weeks ahead.


Goztepe             3                 ANKARAGUCU           1


I was left scratching my head when I saw the line-up, with Alper, Emre and Borven on the bench.    Surely Fuat Bey has to put out an all out attacking team for such an important match   ??!!


Ankaragucu paid the price with their only goal coming in the 91st minute when Borven picked up a deft back-heel pass from Emre to fire in a consolation goal.    If those two had been on from the start, we might have seen a different score line   !!!


Goztepe opened the scoring in the 9th minute after Ndiaye looped in a header from a left wing cross with Ricardo and Pazdan getting in each others way to make it easy for him.


Ankaragucu had a golden opportunity to draw level when they were awarded a penalty in the 24th minute when Endri Cekici was bundled over in the box.   He then took the penalty himself and sent the ball way up into the sky near the cloud base on the right and way off target with the Goztepe goalkeeper diving the wrong way   !!!    Aaaaargh !!!


Then just before half time, Saba missed an open goal with only a defender standing on the line and the goalkeeper out of position.    More ......aaaaargh   !!!


Criminal for both those chances to be spurned   !!!


Goztepe finished the match as a contest half way through the 2nd half with 2 well taken goals.   The first, a classic cut back for Halil to poke in.   The 2nd when Pazdan failed to dispossess Ndiaye who curled his shot beyond Ricardo.


And so to tonight’s match ...............


ANKARAGUCU          0                 Trabzonspor         1


Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Sarliga, Pinto, Voca, Atakan, Saba, Alper, Orkan and Borven


Substitutes - Bollingi, Emre, Paintsil and Adzic


The Ankaragucu Coach has, unsurprisingly, left the Club (by mutual consent  ??!!), and new Temporary Coach, Mustafa Dalci, has taken over for the time being.


The match was slow to come alive and Trabzon was first to threaten with a shot in the 15th minute which went narrowly past the post.


However, just when I thought we might go in at half time all square (rather fortunately I may add !!) the damage was done.    Just before the half time whistle, Atakan was carelessly dispossessed and with the follow-on attack a free kick resulted for Trabzon just outside the box in the centre.    Baker took it and sent the ball over the wall and into the top right with Ricardo well beaten with a despairing attempt to save.    As perfect a free kick as you are likely to see  !!


Ankaragucu was under pressure for most of the 1st half with a backs-against-the-wall performance and offering little work for Orcan in the Trabzon goal.   Passes were going astray and they were always chasing the game with the defence overworked and Borven and lonely figure up front who looked like a lost sheep at times.


The 2nd half was really more of the same with Ankaragucu’s only serious attempt at goal coming in the 83rd minute after some fine work by Atakan on the left when he crossed, Bollingi was inches away from connecting and the ball was out of play.


Trabzon Captain. Pereira, received a 2nd yellow card in the 88th minute for dissent to the referee, which did cause a late flurry of attacking by Ankaragucu, but nothing to seriously trouble Orcan.


Throughout the match Trabzon had so much more time on the ball and always seemed to have a man waiting to receive the pass and press forward.    They were well in control of the match and it was surprising that they didn’t add further goals.     I lost count of the times Ankaragucu played the ball back to defenders and Ricardo from the centre circle area.    There wasn’t anyone to take the midfield by the scruff of the neck and press forward to put Trabzon under any sort of pressure   !


So, Ankaragucu is gradually being cast adrift at the bottom of the league and still searching for their first win of the season.


That may not even come next weekend when they travel to Antalya on Sunday for yet another difficult match and perhaps last season’s striker, Orgill, will face his old team mates.


Sorry to say that I can’t end on a note of optimism.    The tunnel is too dark and I can’t see any light in the distance  !!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ankaragucu vs Trabzonspor match preview!


Firstly, I just wanted to send my condolences to Chris and the Wade family. I know myself and Jim haven't felt like doing the match reports and reviews of late due to the tragic passing of young Matthew. The tributes from both Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi fans in particular of late have shown how well loved he was and part of the Gencler family. He wont ever be forgotten by the Ankara football community. RIP Matthew. 

Its been 10 years since Ankaragucu last won a match against Trabzonspor. A sole strike from Robert Vittek gave Ankaragucu a 1-0 victory but since then it has been 5 defeats and 3 draws. That Ankaragucu team under Roger Lemerre had some quality players in Marek Sapara, Jan Rajnoch, Geremi, Stanislav Sestak, Jerome Rothen (who was terrible at Rangers but managed to have a successful spell at Ankaragucu) managed to avoid relegation after a good run towards the end of the season. 

Fuat Capa was sacked after the embarrassing performance and 3-1 defeat at the weekend against Goztepe. There is no doubting Capa had a tough task as Ankaragucu manager with the large turnover of players, lack of pre season preparation and Covid. But he has had plenty of time at the club and his signing policy and tactical decisions in particular are what led to his demise. His comments after the game that the International Break has saw a good performance against Goztepe in the first have are evidence that his expectations of an Ankaragucu team are not in line with what the club and fans expect.

The club will now look at candidates from both Turkey and abroad with the most likely option of it being someone local. The Fatih Mert era has failed with every managerial appointment so far and sadly most dont have confidence that he will chose the right man this time around. 

Mustafa Dalci who was assistant manager at the club when Mustafa Resit Akcay was manager, and lasted only 2 months as Komurspor manager will now take charge of the clubs match with Trabzonspor on Friday. Fatih Mert denied that he will be the clubs new Manager and instead said he will be Assistant and work with the new manager when he is appointed. 

The problem for any new Manager looking to take the Ankaragucu job, is the mess that Fuat Capa has left. The new signings mostly dont look anywhere near the quality of what is expected of a Super Lig team. The players also look unfit and there is no money available to strengthen the team. Will any manager want to damage their reputation?

Ricardo Freidrich, Michal Pazdan, Ante Kulusic and Stelios Kitsiou were all key players forming a solid defence along with Thiago Pinto. None of these players have played any where near their best under Fuat Capa except Pinto who has missed a lot due to injury. 

From the new signings Sahverdi, Atakan, Borven and Paintsil have showed glimpses of potential. Assane and Voca cant show anything until the are fit, Sarlija has been playing out of position and the likes of Bolingi, Adzic, Mucahit havent been anywhere near good enough. We should also see the end of Saba Lobjanidze playing for the club, a football player who doesnt score goals or create assists is useless in attack.

Trabzonspor have had their own issues this season losing key players such as Jose Sosa, Alexander Sorloth,  and John Obi Mikel without replacing them with similar quality. Benek Afobe and Lewis Baker have come in from England but Afobe in particular has come in for some criticism. Replacing Sorloth is a difficult task. 

The Black Sea outfit are one of the most entertaining sides to watch in Turkey but also the most frustrating. With the demise of the Istanbul teams there was an opportunity for them to win a title, but they blew it on 2 different occasions much to the disappointment of their loyal fans. 

Eddie Newton was sacked as manager a couple of weeks ago and has been replaced with Abdullah Avci which is a good appointment for the club. He will be looking to bring in some stability to the squad and started with a clean sheet and 1-0 victory over Erzerumspor at the weekend. 

The good news for Ankaragucu is that despite being rooted to the bottom of the table with 0 wins to their name, no club in the Turkish Super League are unbeatable. If Ankaragucu can at least be well organised and find that team spirit they could get a result, but they will need to be at their best. 

For this match i would look at a 4-4-1-1 formation to suit Alper Potuk and be solid at the back. Let us know your thoughts.

GK - Freidrich - Im starting to lose my patience with Ricardo and he needs to up his game otherwise his place is under threat. I would give him 1 more opportunity for him to get back to last seasons form.

RB - Cebrail - I would be looking to push Kitsiou further forward as we dont have any other wide players we can trust at the moment both defensively and in attack. Cebrail has come under some criticism in the past but he has also had some good performances too and if the team keeps its shape i think he will be fine.

CB - Pazdan - Unusual poor performance from him at the weekend, he will be extremely disappointed. But a new manager and fresh start. Its vital he forgets about last week and focuses on the challenge ahead. 

CB - Erdi - This was a toss up between Erdi and Sarlija as both have struggled. I do however think when both are at their best and not making mistakes Erdi is the better player. If we can limit him to making decisions and just allowing the midfield to try and create while also giving him protection i think he will be much better. He is also very strong in the air. 

LB - Pinto - If he is fit we need Pinto back ASAP as he is one of the biggest attacking threats in the team with his delivery into the box which is key for Borven who has proved he can score goals if given the opportunity.

RM - Stelios Kitsiou - Both Saba and Adzic have failed to score a single goal or add an assist and we are 3 months into the season. I would work with Adzic and give him a place on the bench but Saba should be released from his contract. Kitsiou gives you balance in the team as he can help Cebrail defend but also is a big attacking threat going forward. 

CM - Atakan Cankaya - The one thing i expect of any Ankaragucu is commitment and Atakan is one of the few players who can hold his head high. He still has a lot of improvement and parts of his game to work on but his work rate and breaking up the play is something we need especially protecting the defence when Cebrail and Pinto go forward. 

CM - Daniel Lukasik - I was tempted to go with Sahverdi but i have opted with Lukasik due to his experience and we have seen in the past he can be a reliable player in midfield. I actually think he was unlucky to come off at the weekend and the team looked worse when he came off. 

LM - Joseph Paintsil - First game back last week was frustrating and he will be looking to improve on this weeks outing. Has the ability and pace to cause problems on the counter attack. Decision making is key and getting close to Borven creating chances. 

CAM - Alper Potuk - Wasnt happy at getting left out of the team at the weekend and was poor when he came on. The formation with two defensive midfielders and a more conservative wide player in Kitsiou allows Potuk to go and play and concentrate on creating instead of tracking back into his own half as he doesnt have the fitness to cover the full pitch. He needs to get close to Borven and make sure he isnt isolated and create chances for the big Norwegian. 

CF - Torgeir Borven - If you create chances for him he will score. He is a penalty box striker and the team need to find a way of creating for him. It shouldnt even be up for debate who starts between him and the useless Bolingi. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


There will be no match reports this weekend as a mark of respect to our sadly departed kanka, Matthew, who passed away last Wednesday.


We will put brief ‘gloomy’ reports of this weekend’s matches up next weekend together with next weekend’s matches, ie,


Friday -   ANKARAGUCU   v     Trabzonspor

Sunday – Kasimpasa   v    GENCLERBIRLIGI


The results of this weekend’s matches were –


GENCLERBIRLIGI         1                Fenerbahce        5


Goztepe       3                  ANKARAGUCU          1   


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, November 21, 2020


 Farewell party for Matthew in the Red Lion Club before he left for Australia.

A photo of Matthew in the early days of his life as a Kanka and footie fanatik  !!


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


I have to report sad news  !


The Kanka Group, which incorporates Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi supporters, wish to extend their heart-felt condolences to our Blog Founder, Oz Kanka Chris, and his wife, Elif, on the loss of their son, Matthew, who died suddenly last Wednesday in Canberra.


Words can’t express how we all feel at the loss of such a fine young man who left us all devastated and heart-broken.


Matthew followed in his father’s footsteps by supporting Genclerbirligi on a regular basis from an early age until he left Ankara for Australia to study at a High School in Canberra.


His farewell party at The Red Lion Club in the British Embassy was tinged with sadness at his leaving, but also with hope for his future to eventually study at an Australian University.


For those of us whose life he touched, he will never be forgotten, and football takes a back-seat today when we still feel the loss of such a popular and loveable young man.


Genclerbirligi reports will return, but as a mark of respect to Matthew and his family, we will save our thoughts in memory of him and his wonderful family, who like us, are mourning his loss.


We send our love and best wishes to Chris, Elif and their Australian family.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Goztepe vs Ankaragucu match preview!


Sundays match with Goztepe is a must win for Ankaragucu and no other result will be acceptable. Fuat Capa has a full team available for selection now that everyone has recovered from Covid, while Goztepe will be missing 3-4 players. Ankaragucu have enjoyed a successful training camp in Antalya and Fuat expressed his delight at having everyone available for selection. 

The performances under Capa have been unacceptable as have the results, but to be fair he hasnt had the opportunity to play a full strength team this season. With the team rooted to the bottom of the table with only 2 points, time is running out to turn things around before they are too far behind the rest of the relegation candidates. 

Despite a disappointing 2-2 draw against Fatih Karagumruk, there were some positives to take from that match. The team didnt play well but still managed to take a point against a good Karagumruk side. Emre Gural again showed he can be a valuable player in the squad as he scored the equalising goal and his overall play was impressive. Daniel Lukasik came on and made a difference too and will be hoping to find a place back in the starting line up after a poor start to the season.

Question marks still hang over the likes of Jonathan Bolingi, Torgen Borven, Saba Lobjanidze and Luka Adzic who have all failed to deliver this season. Zero assists between the four players, with both Saba and Adzic failing to hit the net. Adzic does have the talent and if he can get on the scoresheet or grab an assist it might give him the confidence to go on and kickstart his Ankaragucu career. 

Torgen Borven came with a good reputation from his time in Norway and its clear that he needs the attacking players to create 4-5 chances per game for him to be effective. If those chances arent being made he is very ineffective. Saba and Bolingi we have already said to much about those two.

Alper Potuk is key to how Ankaragucu play, he needs 2-3 workers behind him who will break up play and allow him to go and create. The one negative is his fitness, thats why we cant him playing in a central midfield role. He needs to be playing in one of those wide/number 10 positions where he can come inside close to the striker and allow Pinto to come forward. 

Goztepe like every other Super Lig team will be tough opposition, but also a team where Ankaragucu can go and take all 3 points. Dever Orgill and Gerson Rodrigues scored the goals the last time the two sides met last season which finished 2-2.

They have taken 8 points from their first 7 games winning 1, losing 1 and drawing the rest. They have some talented players including Halil Akbunar, Guillherme and new signing Cherif Ndiaye but have lost key players from last season Beto and Serdar Gurler. They will also be without new signing Brown Ideye. 

The key to winning this game is the midfield. Ankaragucu need to be solid in the middle of the park and keep their shape which should allow the attacking players to go and create including Pinto and Kitsiou. A strong midfield will also protect the centre halfs when Pinto and Kitsiou go forward. Far too many times we have seen Erdi and Pazdan exposed on the counter attack.

Lets hope we have something to celebrate on Sunday!

Monday, November 09, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


I was unable to watch the Gencler v Gaziantep match on 31 October which ended 1-1.  


Gaziantep took the lead in the 1st half with a penalty and Gencler equalised just after the break   with a goal from the impressive Candeias.


Surprise ......surprise ...... Gencler had 5 shots on target which is a record for them this season   !!!


Interstingly, Stancu was on the bench but not used, so perhaps he was nursing an injury  ?!


Back to this week and Gencler started the match yesterday like an express train and were one up after only 40 Seconds  !!


Istanbul Basaksehir           2                  GENCLERBIRLIGI          1


Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Toure, Diego, Polomat, Piris, Yildirim, Yilmaz, Ozdemir, Candeias and Ayite


Substitutes – Soner, Altinparmak and Arda


Gencler’s opening goal was one to savour and totally unexpected.    Gencler broke down the right.    The ball was passed 3 times from right to left with one of the passes being an exquisite back-heel which caught out the Basak rearguard.    Sefa Yilmaz was unmarked on the left and he shot to the top right well out of reach of the goalkeeper.


Basak was understandably shell shocked and almost conceded a 2nd goal 18 minutes in when Yildirim’s shot hit the post and was cleared.


However, it didn’t take Basak long to respond.   4 minutes later a shot from just inside the box brushed the post and went out of play.      4 minutes later DemBa almost scored, but his goal bound shot was deflected by a defender for a corner.


Gencler had another chance to increased their lead near the end of the first half when Candeias was one on one with the goalkeeper, but he smothered the ball before Candeias could shoot.


Basak started the 2nd half in more determined fashion and were unlucky not to equalise on 4 occasions.    Gencler had Nordfeldt to thank for 2 great saves which were all goal bound.   Basak also hit the post and had a shot which whizzed just past the post.


Then the game changer arrived half way through the 2nd half when Johanssen received his marching-orders for a foot up tackle from behind on the back of the leg of a Basak player.   It was a needless tackle near the halfway line on the left which left the Basak player requiring lengthy treatment.


8 minutes later Basak finally found the equaliser as they increased the pressure on the over-worked Gencler defence.     Gulbrandsen had just come off the substitutes bench when a cross came in from the left and he rose unchallenged to head powerfully in with Nordfeldt well beaten.


The winning goal arrived in the 93rd minute when Mehmet Topal, another substitute, powered in another header from yet another cross from the left.


It was rough on Gencler, but I suppose no more than Basak deserved after their 2nd half domination of possession.


Next up is the home match against Fener......spit.....bahce on 22 November, so no respite for Gencler as they attempt to move out of the relegation zone.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, November 08, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Another lack lustre display from Ankaragucu this afternoon who were rather fortunate to escape with a point.     Karagumruk took their foot off the pedal in the 2nd half and really should have killed the game off if they had continued at the pace the showed in the 1st half.


Karagumruk’s passing was crisp and accurate with lots of one touch passes which Ankaragucu had difficulty in dealing with.   On the other hand, Ankaragucu’s passing was erratic and Ankaragucu players easily dispossessed with Karagumruk players pressing and not allowing Ankaragucu time on the ball.   Also, the forwards, notably Bollingi, were slow to react to passes from colleagues allowing the Karagumruk defence to challenge and win tackles easily.


ANKARAGUCU       2                 Fatih Karagumruk            2


Team -  Ricardo, Sarliga, Erdi, Pazdan, Atilla, Atakan, Assance, Saba, Adzic, Borven and Bolingi


Substitutes – Cetin, Emre, Lukasik, Can and Orkan


It was interesting to note that Karagumruk’s starting line-up were all foreign players.    However, there were a few Turkish players on the bench  !!


The first real chance came to Ankaragucu in the 5th minute when a low cross came in from the right, but there were no takers.


9 minutes later and Karagumruk went into the lead when Assane lost possession in midfield when he dithered on the ball.    Karagumruk took off on the right with the Ankaragucu defence backpedalling and when the cross came into the box there was Sobilech to tap in.


7 minutes later and it was Ricardo to the rescue when he saved a goal bound shot with his outstretched foot.    There may have been a slight deflection, so it was a good reaction save.


Ankaragucu was then given a lifeline 3 minutes later when they were awarded a penalty.   Ervin’s arm and hand went into the face of Sarligi in the box in a challenge and the referee pointed to the spot.    Bolingi wanted to take it, but the ball was given to Borven, who sent his shot to the left and the goalkeeper guessed where it was going.   He partially saved it and the ball squirmed out of his hands and into the net.   A poorly taken penalty and a slice of luck for Ankaragucu  !!


Karagumruk continued to look dangerous and their possession was rewarded 10 minutes before the break with a 2nd goal.     A cross came in from the left, and with 5 Ankaragucu defenders around him, Roco was quickest to react and headed into the right corner.


More Karagumruk pressure followed with 2 fierce shots which went narrowly past the post.   Then, just before the half time whistle, Erdi lost possession which caused panic in the Ankaragucu defence.   Ricardo partially saved a shot and then the follow-up was blocked and the ball trundled out for a corner.


10 minutes into the 2nd half and Karagumruk almost added a 3rd when a Karagumruk forward was 1 on 1 with Ricardo but he rushed out and smothered the danger.


Bolingi had a great opportunity for a break on the left but his pass to a colleague was wayward and the ball went out of play.  


10 minutes to go and Emre almost equalised when his shot to the left corner produced a great save from the goalkeeper for a corner.


A few minutes later Pazdan gave away a free kick just outside the box in the centre.    The shot was well directed but hit the bar and out.


With only 5 minutes to go, Sarliga had an effort well saved at the right post.


With the clock on 90 minutes came the hero.    Ricardo’s long clearance reached Emre who controlled the ball inside the box and shot.   The ball hit the post, rebounded conveniently to Emre and he slotted in for the equaliser   !!


There was a scare on 94 minutes when a short back pass was played to Ricardo and his clearance was deflected over the bar by a Karagumruk attacker  !!


So, Ankaragucu is still looking for their first win, but perhaps taking a point off an impressive Karagumruk side will give them some much needed confidence for their next match on 22 November when they travel south to play Goztepe in Izmir.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim