Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ankaragücü vs Trabzonspor match preview!

Ankaragücü host Trabzonspor on Saturday night at Yenikent Stadium as they look to build on their fantastic 2-0 win at Alanyaspor on Sunday night. The Yenikent pitch is in awful condition which is unbelievable at this stage of the season. I watched highlights of the Osmanlispor match at the weekend and you could be forgiven for thinking it was December with the condition it was in.

With that in mind it could be difficult for both teams playing the style of attacking football they like to play. Ankaragücü have looked impressive going forward with the likes of Younes Mokhtar, El Kabir and Thievy Bifouma all playing their part. Their close control and technique will play a big part in this match against a decent Trabzonspor side.

Trabzonspor have underachiever in recent years and haven’t saw any rewards for the investment they have put into the first team. In fact their biggest success has been 2 youth products in Yusuf Yazici and Abdulkadir Omur. Both players are fantastic talents and have the potential of playing at the very top. Yusuf has everything in his games range of passing, skill, can create and score goals and can also handle the physical side of the game. Omur is a fast, skillfull winger who also has a final product which is very rare in young wide these days. New manager Ünal Karaman who also had a spell at Ankaragucu this week signed Nigerian striker Anthony Nwakaeme who will be a handful for defences in Turkey with his power and all round play. I watched him play for Hapoel Ber Sheva and was always impressed.

The last time the two sides met was back in 2012 when Trabzonspor won 4-0 in Ankara at a time where Ankaragücü were in a financial mess, couldn’t play players wages and were playing with the youth team. Things have changed since then and it should be a much closer game this time around.

Ankaragücü will be without Thievy Bifouma who will miss out due to suspension. It’s unclear at the moment if new signings Alessio Cerci or Thibault Moulin will be ready for this game. Alihan Kubalas and Anton Putsila are both back in training but unlikely to be ready for Saturday.

Yalcin Ayhan and Bakary Kone have already forged a good partnership and will have the be at their best on Saturday. Both players can be exposed at times due to the attacking style of play. Ankaragücü play with attacking wingers, and also attacking full backs in Erdem and Thiago, this can leave the team vulnerable to the counter attack and that’s where Ricardo Faty and Arif Morkaya need to be very disciplined. Faty has been excellent both games and I’ll be looking for Arif to do more against Trabzonspor if he starts.

As discussed above, Trabzonspor also have an array of attacking options including Burak Yilmaz and Hugo Rodallega, but they are like Ankaragücü vulnerable at the back. This should be a game in which both teams score and whoever comes out on top on the defensive end will have a great chance of taking all 3 points.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Alanyaspor 0-2 Ankaragücü match report!

Ankaragucu recorded their first win in the Turkish Super Lig for just over 6 years with a 2-0 win at Alanyaspor. After a hard fought performance on the opening day against Galatasaray, the team followed it up with a brilliant showing in Alanya and the Ankaragucu fans were in fine voice as they celebrated a deserved 3 points.

Team - Hopf, Erdem, Yalcin, Kone, Pinto, Arif, Faty, Bifouma, Ilhan, Mokhtar, El Kabir
Subs - Korcan, Altay, Sedat, Mehmet, Lukasz, Kenan, Mahmut, Nduka, Kehinde, Kaan

İsmail Kartal went with the same team as last week and his faith in his team paid off as Ankaragucu played with passion and flair from the very first kick. This Ankaragucu team are going to be very entertaining to watch. With so many flair players in the team such as El Kabir, Mokhtar and Bifouma they are a joy to watch and linked up so well together.

Ilhan Parlak has taken a lot of stick in his time with Ankaragucu but last night was his best performance for the club with his tireless work off the ball, but also played a big part in some key moments. A 30 yard free kick early in the match was well saved from Haydar in the Alanyaspor goal to keep the score level.

Johannes Hopf at the other end made an excellent save from Villafanez who headed the ball into the bottom corner but Hopf managed to keep it out. Younes Mokhtar is already looking like a key player for Ankaragucu and he almost gave the team the lead but his shot was well saved from Haydar.

The first half was a fairly even match with both sides looking dangerous in attack and pretty open at the back.

Then came the turning point in the match. Just into the second half Isaac Sackey smashed his elbow into the head of El Kabir and after consulting with VAR the referee showed the Alanyaspor midfielder the red card. It was a stupid decision by the player who let his team mates down.

Alanyaspor still pushed on and looked for the opening goal as Djalma saw his shot from outside of the box to just wide.

The deadlock was finally broken on the 65th minute. Brilliant play from Younes Mokhtar as he turned his man inside out before putting in a pin point cross for Ilhan who headed the ball past Haydar to make it 1-0 Ankaragucu!

Five minutes later Ankaragucu were also down to 10 men as Thievy Bifouma was shown his second yellow both for needless fouls. He played very well again and will be a big loss against Trabzonspor through suspension.

Ankaragucu finally secured the 3 points into injury time. A mistake at the back from Alanyaspor allowed Tiago Pinto through on goal and the Portuguese finished beautifully as he chipped the ball over Haydar to make it 2-0 and send the Ankaragucu fans back to the Capital ecstatic.

A brilliant win for Ankaragucu who will host Trabzonspor next Saturday at home in front of another big crowd.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ankaragücü complete double swoop!

It’s been a busy couple of days for Ankaragücü as they completed the double swoop of Alessio Cerci from Hellas Verona and Thibault Moulin who signs on a 1 year loan deal from Greek side PAOK Salonika. Mehmet Yiginer has also confirmed the club will look to sign 1-2 more players before the transfer deadline, with Verona defender Thomas Heurtaux set to sign in the next couple of days.

Alessio Cerci is arguably the biggest signing Ankaragücü have made, the 31 year old former Italian International has signed a 1 year deal and is looking forward to playing in front of the Ankaragücü fans. Cerci is a very gifted technical player who can play on either wing or as a playmaker just behind the striker. Spells with Roma, AC Milan, Fiorentina, and Atletico Madrid tell you the standard of player Ankaragucu are bringing to the club.

Thibault Moulin had a very successful spell in Poland with Legia Warsaw which saw him win a move to Greek side PAOK Salonica. Things haven’t quite worked out there and the Frenchmen will be looking to get his career back on track in Turkey. He also stated playing in front of the Ankaragücü fans played a big part in his move.

Ankaragücü travel to Alanyaspor tomorrow and Jim will have all the details of the match report at full time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Alanyaspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!

Ankaragucu face a difficult encounter at Alanyaspor on Sunday night in week 2 of the Turkish Super Lig. Both sides will be looking to record their first win of the season after defeats in week 1 where both were unlucky to come away with nothing.

Ismail Kartal will take plenty of positives from last Friday nights match at home against Galatasaray as the team were cheered on by 20,000 Ankaragucu fans who made a fantastic atmosphere at Yenikent Stadium. The team cant count on that same support on Sunday but as usual the Ankaragucu fans will make the trip to help cheer the team onto a positive outcome.

Ankaragucu played very well against Galatasaray, and were particularly impressive in attack with Thievy Bifouma, Younes Mokhtar and Mostapha El Kabir all showing glimpses of what they are capable of. In midfield Ricardo Faty produced a Man of the Match performance and showed why he will be a key player.

The areas of concern for Ankaragucu will be the likes of Ilhan Parlak and Arif not having the required quality to start every week at this level. Ilhan done a lot of running without anything of note on the ball. Arif played well but we need someone in the middle who is more creative. Hopefully Putsila can be that man, but he seems to be struggling with injury at the moment.

Alanyaspor were unlucky to lose at Sivasspor at the weekend after a narrow 1-0 defeat. They were the better side for large parts of the match and twice hit the woodwork. With the home advantage behind them they will be the favourites going into this one but Ankaragucu are more than capable of taking something from the match.

Its the first time the two sides will have ever met in the top flight of Turkish football, and the first time they have played against each other in over 3 years when Alanyaspor knocked Ankaragucu out of the Playoffs when both sides were in Lig 2. They have both come a long way since then and will be looking this season to cement their place in the Turkish Super Lig.

They key players for Alanyaspor will be Djalma, Emre Akbaba (If he is still there as Galatasaray want to sign him) and Efecan Karaca. Junior Fernandes is out injured and they also have former Ankaragucu duo Kaan Kanak and Hasan Ayaroglu in their squad.

The game kicks off at 21:45pm Turkish time and Jim will be taking care of the match report as i will be in Rome on holiday. For anyone wanting to watch the game with the Kanka Group please get in touch with Jim for meeting details.

Genclerbirligi 1-0 Hatayspor

Genclerbirligi started their Lig 1 campaign with a 1-0 win over Hatayspor at an empty Yenikent stadium. There was less than 1,000 in attendance which was the case in most Lig 1 matches at the weekend.

Mert Nobre scored the only goal of the game as the 37 year old got on the score sheet on his debut to give Gencler an important win.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Ankaragücü 1-3 Galatasaray match report!

Ankaragücü put in a brave performance against champions Galatasaray but it wasn’t enough as they lost 3-1 in front of a crowd of 20,000 for the 2018/19 Turkish Super Lig season opener. Usually defeat against an Istanbul club is met with jeers and anger from the Ankaragücü support, but tonight they applauded the team off the pitch and showed their appreciation for the effort and commitment for the players.

Team - Hopf, Erdem, Yalcin, Kone, Tiago, Arif, Faty, Ilhan, Bifouma, Mokhtar, El Kabir
Subs - Korcan, Altay, Mehmet, Lukasz, Kenan, Mahmut, Nduka, Kehinde, Kaan

Only Ilhan, Erdem and Arif started the game from last seasons team with 8 new players making their debut. For Galatasaray Bafetimbi Gomes was dropped to the bench for Eren Derdeyok.

The Ankaragücü fans turned up in their numbers and the game was sold out. As usual they created an unbelievable atmosphere that will play a big part in the fight against relegation this season for Ankaragucu.

The first chance of the game came for Galatasaray from a free kick. Eren Derdeyok stepped up from about 25 yards and blasted the ball well over.

Moestafa El Kabir took some stick when he signed for Ankaragücü due to being well over weight and out of shape. He has since then worked very hard in training and lost some of that weight as he looks close to the weight required for a footballer. He shut those critics up today with a fantastic performance and gave Ankaragücü the lead after 7 minutes. Youness Mokhtar beat his man before playing a pin point pass to El Kabir who brilliantly finished past Muslera to send the Ankaragücü fans wild.

Seven minutes later Galatasaray almost equalised. A brilliant free kick from Maicon went into the side netting from 30 yards.

Galatasaray were starting to work their way into the match and Serdar almost got the equaliser but Pinto blocked the ball for a corner. From the resulting corner Maicon nodded the ball on for Serdar who was unmarked at the back post and headed the ball past Hopf to make it 1-1.

Ricardo Faty was the best player on the park and showed what an important player he is going to be, but he almost gifted Galatasaray a goal until Kone and Yalcin managed to clear the ball. A minute later Rodrigues curled a shot from the edge of the area just over the bar.

On the 30th minute Bakary Kone scored one of the best own goals you will see. A cross into the box was met with the diving header from Kone and the ball went into the top corner to make it 1-2.

Ankaragücü were struggling at this point to contain Galatasaray and Henry Onyerku went past his man in the box before shooting into the side netting.

Ankaragücü then had the ball in the back of the net a minute later with a carbon copy of their first goal. Another through ball for El Kabir who finished into the top corner but the goal was ruled out for offside by the first ever VAR decision in Turkish football.

Half Time

The second half was a much better performance from the Ankaragücü defence as they managed to contain Galatasaray. Thievy Bifouma almost had an opportunity to put the ball into an empty net but Muslera came out of his box to clear the ball from danger.

On the 63rd minute Bifouma and Mokhtar set up El Kabir who shot wide of the post as Ankaragücü took control of the match. Ankaragücü continued to go forward without much end product. On the 86th minute a brilliant ball into the box for El Kabir who was unmarked but headed the ball horribly wide. What a chance it was.

That chance would come back to haunt El Kabir as five minutes later Galatasaray went on the attack, Belhanda played the ball througn for Eren who calmly finished past Hopf to make it 1-3.

Ankaragücü will be disappointed they came away from the match with no points but they can be proud of their performance. There are a lot of positives with the front 3 of Mokhtar, El Kabir and Bifouma having the quality to cause teams problems. Ricardo Faty also looks an excellent signing.

İsmail Kartal will need to look at bringing in another 3-4 players. Ilhan isn’t good enough to start a team this level. The reason he is in the team is because he covers the most distance but his quality on the ball isn’t good enough. Putsila is missed but we need another midfielder, a striker, centre half and wide player as back up. The bench lacks any quality and must be strengthened.

Next up is an away trip to Alanyaspor next week!

Monday, August 06, 2018

Ankaragücü vs Galatasaray match preview!

The long anticipated return of the Turkish Super Lig is on Friday night as Ankaragucu play centre stage, hosting champions Galatasaray in what should be a great game and a typical hostile atmosphere at the Yenikent Stadium in Ankara. Season tickets are now on sale, and match day tickets also went on sale today starting at 30 Turkish Lira which is fantastic value for money for a top flight game of football.

It’s been 6 years since Ankaragucu last played in the Super Lig back in the 2011/12 season when they lost 5-0 at home against Kayserispor. Since then there has been so many ups and downs with the lows being the two successive relegations, fans having to take food and water to the training ground for the players, unpaid wages of the players, and missing out on promotion in Lig 2 after losing to Alanyaspor.

Mehmet Yiginer has had a pretty tough journey as Ankaragucu President. His apparent friendship with Melih Gokcek was always called into question especially when things went wrong. He had a fall out with one of the Ankaragucu tribune groups who boycotted a few matches and then there were the fights with other chairman during matches which has led to a legnthy ban.

Yiginer has however won over the majority of the Ankaragucu support due to the performances on the park. Two successive promotions which see the club back in the Super Lig and also the work he has done in lifting the transfer ban which has allowed the club to strengthen the squad. Yiginer is also prepared to take on the likes of Gokcek and other powerful businessmen and politicians when it comes to the future of Ankaragucu. He has managed to reduce the debt, close all the files that went to UEFA for unpaid wages, and has also brought outside investment which has been vital to the clubs promotions.

Ankaragucu haven’t had the best preparations when it has come to this pre season. The club were without a home up until 2 weeks ago with the 19 Mayis Stadium being demolished, and the temporary stadium Eryaman not ready until September. Ankaragucu will play the first few games at Yenikent until that is ready. The clubs pre season games in the TSYD Cup were cancelled due to issues with the stadium, and this has resulted in only two pre season games being played. A 2-2 draw with Erzerumspor and a fantastic 2-0 win at Bursaspor.

Up until Saturday most Ankaragucu fans would have said we don’t have much chance of getting anything from the game on Friday night. But after a stunning performance at Bursaspor where the front trio of Mostapha El Kabir, Younes Mokhtar and Thievy Bifouma started and played some of the best football the team has played in years, it’s given the fans a bit of hope.

In midfield Ricardo Faty looks to be the perfect defensive midfielder that will do all the dirty work that will allow the more creative players do all their work in the attacking area of the pitch. Bakary Kone and Yalcin Ayhan have already formed a solid partnership which will give the fans confidence that we have enough to stay up this season.

Galatasaray lost on penalties against Akhisar last night in the Super Cup and it should give Ankaragucu encouragement and an idea as to how they should play. Galatasaray are dangerous in the wide areas with Rodrigues in particular a danger with his pace, he links up well with Nagatomo, and then you have Bafetimbi Gomes who was top scorer last season. Ankaragucu will need to be at their best defensively and not give them any space in the wide areas and cut off the supply of the more creative players.

Where you can hurt Galatasaray is on the counter attack. With Nagatomo being very attacking and Linnes on the other side it leaves room for Ankaragucu wide players to attack on the counter. Elvis Manu and Miguel Lopes had joy numerous times in last nighs match and the likes of Bifouma and Mokhtar can do the same.

The game kicks off at 2145 Turkish Time, we recommend anyone that is going to get to the stadium early as we are expecting a big crowd.

In other news, Enes Kubat has agreed to have his contract terminated and we would like to wish him all the best in the future.