Thursday, May 06, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Fenerbahce - Match Preview!


Hikmet Karaman has performed miracles since returning to Ankaragucu back in February with the club rooted to the bottom of the table. Since then he has revitalised the club bringing organisation and a real togetherness that was missing. The last couple of weeks have been very challenging with only 1 win in their last 6 games. Can Hikmet galvinise the squad again for the remaining 3 games and pull off one of the biggest miracles in the clubs history?

Whatever the outcome, Hikmet Karaman has done a fantastic job and Ankaragucu fans can only wish he was installed back at the start of the season. This is an example of 2 more big mistakes by Faruk Koca and the management team who instead went with Fuat Capa, and then Mustafa Dalci as his replacement. 

Koca along with the transfer committee will take the majority of responsibility for the position Ankaragucu are in at the moment. The club have made too many bad signings, and loan signings that have failed to deliver consistent performances. 

We have 2 Goalkeepers with neither able to make the Number 1 position their own due to the many mistakes. Kitsiou has been very consistent at Right back but was signed under the old regime, as was Thiago Pinto. The only consistent centre back this season has been Zvonimir Sarlija but he still has games where he is more interested in diving and acting than defending. The new signings in that area of the pitch Erdi Dikmen and Alperen have failed to prove worthy signings.

In midfield we have Voca and Assane who have played more games as substitutes than games started, Sahverdi Cetin who came to the club highly rated looks well out of shape and struggled in the matches he has been given an opportunity. Wide players such as Orkan Cinar and Geraldo show flashes' of skill but offer nothing in terms of assists or goals and have 0 between them. 

Jonathan Bolingi had his loan deal cut short in January that bad was his spell with the club. So many poor signings with not enough good ones that we can look at as a good investment where the club can make money if they decide to sell. 

Saturday night is another huge night for Ankaragucu as they look to cause an upset against Fenerbahce who are 4 points behind leaders Besiktas with 2 games remaining. The last time the 2 sides met Fenerbahce were too good for Ankaragucu on the day with a convincing 3-1 win. Ankaragucu will however take encouragement that they did win 2-1 at home last season and will be hoping for a similar outcome. 

Fenerbahce have some quality players in their side such as Jose Sosa, Ozan Tufan, Mesut Ozil, Dimitris Pelkas, Irfan Can Kahveci and of course our very own Altay Bayindr, but no Turkish Super Lig team is unbeatable and if Ankaragucu play to their best and have some luck on their side we can take the 3 points. 

Early team news has been difficult to come by as the Ankaragucu official website has only been updated once since last week and that is in regards to the upcoming AGM.

Aliou Badji is set to return which will be a big boost to the team having a striker to call upon again. Unfortunately it looks like Borven is out again as he continues his recovery. Atakan Cankaya will be available for selection. We are still waiting on an update in regards to Ibrahim Akdag and Geraldo.

Possible Team

Goalkeeper - You could toss a coin to decide who plays in goal between Korcan and Freidrich. It would be nice to see Mert Topuz given his opportunity but its unlikely Hikmet Karaman will throw in a youngster for his Debut in such an important match.

RB - Kitsiou - Made a big mistake last week which is unlike him. He will be looking to make up for that mistake with another big performance.

CB - Sarlija - Last couple of games he hasnt been at his best, he needs to concentrate on defending instead of throwing himself to the ground. He is a big boy and acts like a mouse. He is more than capable of delivering quality performances. 

CB - Kulusic - Pazdan sadly looks finished and Erdi has failed to take any chances he has had. Leaves Kulusic to partner Sarlija. 

LB - Thiago Pinto - Should slot back in at his preferred Left back position as the combination of Atilla at LB and Thiago further forward has never worked. 

CM - Ibrahim - If Ibrahim is fit he will start, he has been an important player in that defensive midfield position. If he doesnt make it then Lukasik will start. 

CM - Endri - My only criticism of Endri is his finishing. He gets into good positions but wastes any chances that comes his way. He just needs to relax and take those chances. The rest of his overall play has been good. 

CM - Alper Potuk - He has been outstanding for Ankaragucu and is the key player who can get them out of this situation. He will be hoping to get one over his former team at the weekend. 

LW - Paintsil - We just need the good Paintsil to turn up. He is another important player for the club but needs to be unselfish and disciplined. 

RW - Saba - Was very poor against Basaksehir but that was his first game back from injury. We really need Saba to step up and give us a good performance as its been a while since we seen one. 

CF - Badji - Should return to the starting line up after injury and will be a welcome addition. He adds that physical presence up front that has been missing.  

Monday, May 03, 2021

Basaksehir 2-1 Ankaragucu match report!


Ankaragucu hit the self destruct button as they have so many times this season leaving Hikmet Karaman with and almost impossible job to keep the team in the Super Lig with 3 games remaining. Ankaragucu move back into the relegation zone after Kasimpasa won 3-0 at home to Alanyaspor and Malatyaspor vs Kayserispor finished 1-1.

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Atilla, Lukasik, Endri, Alper, Saba, Pinto, Paintsil

Subs - Korcan, Atakan, Assane, Emre, Embiya, Pazan, Erdi, Ali Kaan, Sahverdi, Voca

Freidrich came into the team to replace Korcan after his mistake last week and both Paintsil and Saba returned to the starting line up. Borven and Badji remain out but the later is expected to be back for the Fenerbahce match at the weekend. 

Ankaragucu started the match brightly and were awarded a penalty on the 8th minute after Bolingoli was adjudged to have hand balled the volley from Kitsiou. The referee however consulted with VAR and overturned the decision. 

Minute later Atilla headed over his own bar from a Basaksehir corner at the other end just before Ankaragucu took the lead. 

A brilliant move down the left as Pinto picked out Alper on the edge of the box who volleyed his shot on goal but the ball came back off the post, Paintsil was first to react as he calmly controlled the ball and curled it past Volkan to give Ankaragucu the lead. 

Five minutes later a great move involving Paintsil and Alper who saw his shot tipped onto the post by Volkan. Im going to use this save as an example of how valuable Goalkeepers are to their team. Volkan used all of his height and got his finger tips to the ball which would see his team go onto take all 3 points. 

Two minutes later Aleksik saw his headed effort easily saved by Freidrich before Chadli saw his shot hit the side netting as Basaksehir started to pile on the pressure. Basaksehir were having the majority of the possession in the first half but Ankaragucu were defending well and looking dangerous on the counter attack. 

Half Time 0-1

Into the 2nd half and Basaksehir looked like a team fighting to stay in the Super Lig while Ankaragucu showed once again why they are in the relegation zone. The lack of intensity or basics like failing to keep the ball played right into Basaksehirs hands. 

The equaliser came on the 63rd minute as Aleksik volleyed his shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner. He had plenty of time to shoot but there wasn't a lot of power in his shot as Freidrich dived but couldn't reach the ball. 

Basaksehir looked like the only team that would go on and win the game as Ankaragucu were creating nothing in attack and losing the ball at every opportunity. On the 84th minute Freidrich missed a ball at a Basaksehir cross and Junior headed over the bar. 

A couple of minutes later Ankaragucu hit that self destruct button again as we have so often seen this season. Kitsiou tried to beat Junior in his own box, but the Brazilian took the ball from him and placed his shot past Freidrich. This is coming back to my original point with Volkan Babacan early in the game. Freidrich dived toward the ball but his arms were too short to reach the ball and couldnt stop it from going into the back of the net.

A big problem this season for Ankaragucu has been the form of both Korcan and Freidrich. Neither are making big saves to win the team points. We cant lay the blame solely at both of them as the squad takes collective responsibility, but if Ankaragucu are to progress next season they need to sign a Goalkeeper or 2. 

Kitsiou has been one of the most consistent performers in the team, but you cant make those kind of mistakes in the Top Division. 

Ankaragucu had 1 more chance to share the points at the end as Alper volleyed another effort at the back post but Volkan made a good save. 

Basaksehir take all 3 points and it now looks very bleak for Ankaragucu who face Fenerbahce, Kasimpasa and Alanyaspor in their last 3 games. 




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler was given a football lesson last night by a very average Galatasaray team which doesn’t bode well for Gencler’s run-in to the end of the league with only 3 matches left to save their season.


Gencler could manage only 1 shot on target in the whole match and that was easily saved by Muslera who could have been forgiven for dozing off at times during the match   !!


In Marcao, Galatasaray had the Man of the Match, and he was outstanding in the heart of the defence sweeping up anything that came his way.     The Gencler attack had no answer  !!


GENCLERBIRLIGI            0                    Galatasaray            2


Team – Nordfeldt, Johansson, Arda, Diego, Pehlivan, Piris, Soner, Yilmaz Lima, Candeias and Stancu


Substitutes – Sio, Polomat, Yildirim, Ilker and Berisbek


It was all Galatasaray in the 1st half with 75% possession but they couldn’t muster a serious shot on goal until just before half time when Halil shot form outside the box in the centre to inside the right post with the shot just out of Nordfeldt’s reach.


It took until the 50th minute for Gencler’s first goal attempt, but Sio headed wide from a corner.


2 minutes later and the inevitable 2nd goal arrived.    A free kick was sent into the box and came off the head of a Gencler defender straight to Emre who angled a volley into the top left with Nordfeldt well beaten.


12 minutes later and Galatasaray made it 3, or so I thought.    It was a well constructed ‘goal’ when Babel took the ball to the goal line on the left and sent in the classic cut-back for Emre to angle a half volley inside the right post.    However, the referee hesitated and received a message in his earpiece and apparently VAR spotted a hand-ball by Babel before the cut-back was made.   


Galatasaray continued to press forward searching for the 3rd goal, but Nordfeldt made 2 excellent saves from goal bound shots before the final whistle.


Apart from Nordfeldt, Gencler was posted absent last night and on another day, Galatasaray could have won by a wider margin  !!


Gencler remain stuck in 2nd bottom place and will soon run out of options to save their season if they don’t take something from Saturday’s away match against mid-table Fatih Karagumruk.       The last 2 matches are against strong opposition in the shape of Goztepe and Trabzon so the picture is not very bright.


Can Gencler stay on the tightrope without falling off   ?       As always, keep watching this space.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, April 30, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu was yet again forced to play without their two main strikers who are both injured, and also without two other front men.     I don’t hold this up as an excuse for their recent results since all professional teams should have a Plan B, C and D to cover these exigencies.   However, it has certainly been a contributory factor which has set the alarm bells ringing with only 4 matches left to save their season   !!


Embiya from the Youth Team was brought in for his first start, but gave way to Emre in the 2nd half.     He is a young man with potential but was not ready for a ‘baptism of fire’ to play up front on his own in such an important match.


ANKARAGUCU              0                       Gaziantep               1


Team – Korcan, Atila, Sarlija, Kulusic, Kitsiou, Ibrahim, Lukasik, Pinto, Alper, Endri and Embiya


Substitutes – Emre, Diousse, Cetin and Orkan


We had to wait until the 20th minute for the first real action when Pinto broke away on the left and sent his cross into the box, Embiya’s shot was blocked and the follow-up shot by Endri was way off target.


On the half hour mark Lukasik made a vital tackle to thwart an Antep forward shaping up to shoot.


Approaching half time and Alper had a shot from just outside the box but it was just over the bar.


So, a pretty even 1st half with no clear-cut chances to give both goalkeepers any problems.


3 minutes into the 2nd half and Dico had a chance to put Antep ahead but his shot was past the post.


6 minutes later and Ankaragucu’s only chance in the match came when Endri sent in a goal bound shot which produced a great instinctive save by the goalkeeper.


Still Ankaragucu kept pressing forward searching for the vital goal and it was full back Kitsiou who almost found a way through.   Firstly, he sent a shot high and wide of the left post, then he was there again to send his header over the bar and another shot which went over the bar.    There is no denying his willingness to get himself forward to assist the attackers but perhaps on another day one of his efforts might have gone in   !!


10 minutes to go and some great play by Alper to work his way into the box past 2 tackles, but his final pass went astray and the chance was gone.


So, with only 5 minutes left to play, I had settled for 1 point, and to be honest, I was grateful for it.     However, then came the game changer   !!


An Antep innocuous cross came in from the right, and in an error of judgment, Korcan came off his line to intercept but he totally misjudged the flight of the ball which went well over his head to an Antep attacker on the right.      He crossed quickly for Sousa to tap-in for the easiest of goals with Korcan and the defence all at sixes and sevens   !!      The TV camera zoomed in on Hikmet Karaman and his facial expression said it all   !!       A sickening end to the match for Ankaragucu who could not be faulted for their efforts.


So, as i said earlier, there are only 4 matches left to get the show back on the road and the door is not closed yet.    Ankaragucu is in 6th bottom position, but the points difference between 4th bottom and 10th bottom is only 5 points, and there will obviously be a tense struggle in the final 2 weeks of the season.


Therefore, it is to be hoped that Borven and Badji are fit to play on Monday against fellow strugglers Basaksehir who have been in good form over the past few weeks.      Every point is now vital to avoid moving into the bottom 4.     !!!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, April 28, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


There is no doubting Gencler’s fighting spirit which they again showed last night, but against a team of the calibre of Hatay it was not enough.


Hatay contrived to miss countless opportunities to put the match to bed before they finally did so.    Their one touch passing game mesmerised the Gencler defenders at times and it is no coincidence that they are riding high in 5th spot in the league hoping to make their debut in Yooro Footie next season.


Hatayspor              3                       GENCLERBIRLIGI           1


Team – Nordfeldt, Arda, Diego, Pehlivan, Johannson, Soner, Piris, Sio, Lima, Candeias and Stancu


Substitutes – Yilmaz, Polomat, Yildirim and Berisbek


The match started at a fast pace and Hatay almost opened the scoring in the 1st minute when from a corner Nordfeldt saved a goal bound header by Diouf.


However, the goal did arrive 6 minutes later and even though it was a fluke, they all count  !!   Aabid crossed the ball into the centre for Diouf, but the ball just eluded him and Nordfeldt hesitated expecting Diouf to make contact.    Consequently, the ball sailed inside the right post and Aabid was credited with the goal   !!


Nordfeldt made a few other crucial saves before the half time whistle and the Hatay goalkeeper only had one serious save to make.


5 minutes into the 2nd half and the 2nd goal arrived for Hatay after a defensive mistake by Gencler.    The fast break was on and the ball was taken down to the goal line on the right with the Gencler defence scurrying back to cover.    The classic cut-back was made to Diouf in the centre and he gave Nordfeldt no chance with a clinical finish.


Gencler to their credit continued to try and attack but without success until they were handed a lifeline in the 75th minute.    Kamara was adjudged to have brought down Stancu on the edge of the penalty area when there was no clear danger.    It was a stupid, clumsy and unnecessary challenge but I have never witnessed Piris missing a penalty this season and again he bulleted in his effort to the centre with the goalkeeper diving to his left.


Gencler tried to find the equaliser, but it was Hatay who reacted first with a 3rd goal 8 minutes later.    From a free kick on the left to ball was passed into the box where it was met by Man of the Match, Diouf, who gave Nordfeldt no chance with his shot.


Soner and Yildirm both had chances before the end but the former shot past the post and the latter shot straight at the goalkeeper.


So, Gencler are seemingly stuck in 2nd bottom position in the league with no respite in sight.   Next up is a home match against Galata.....spit.....saray on Sunday and it is unlikely that Gencler can expect to take anything for that match.    Galata....spit.....saray, Fener.....spit....bahce and Beshiktrash are fighting it out at the top of the league so this will be a ‘must win’ match for both teams   !!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Gaziantep match preview!


Firstly we would like to send our Heartfelt condolences to the family of young Ankaragucu fan Berat Ali who sadly passed away at Gazi University Hospital. It really puts everything else into perspective. 

Ankaragucu host Gaziantep on Thursday night looking to bounce back after 2 disappointing results against Denizlispor and Yeni Malatyaspor. Anyone who has followed Ankaragucu will know that when the good times are here, the bad times are only just around the corner.  

The last couple of performances have been disappointing, especially coming against fellow relegation rivals. But the club have now come under scrutiny due to alleged unpaid wages of players for the last 5 months. We have spoken about this so many times over the years with Ankaragucu, but there seems to be this attitude in Turkey, where clubs buy players knowing fine well they cant afford to pay their salaries every week.

We have saw this happening with most clubs in Turkey, even some of the Istanbul teams. Eventually the reputation catches up with you and foreign players don't want to sign for clubs who have a history of not paying salaries. 

The good news for Ankaragucu is that Zvonimir Sarlija will return to the team after suspension and likely partner Ante Kulusic. Michal Pazdan had his opportunity to impress and win his place back at the weekend, but his horror show for the 2nd goal will seal his place on the bench at best. 

The bad news is Joseph Paintsil and his indiscipline has caught up with him again as he is suspended while Geraldo is also suspended due to his reckless sending off. Torgeir Borven, Aliou Badji and Atakan Cankaya are all likely to miss out as they still haven't joined in full time training. 

Losing both Borven and Badji has been the main factor in the poor form of late as having no recognised striker in attack has sadly shown. It can only be hoped that Hikmet Karaman gives Embiya Ayyildiz his opportunity on Thursday night. The young striker has looked lively when coming on and has a good goal scoring record in the Turkish lower leagues. 

The midfield trio of Ibrahim, Alper and Endri has looked impressive under Karaman but that was disrupted at the weekend with Endri moving further forward and Voca coming in. Voca failed to impress and it should see Endri moving back into midfield. The other option is to play Endri out wide due to Geraldo and Paintsil being out and bring Lukasik into the midfield. 

His biggest task will be who to play in attack. Maybe a change of formation to a 4-4-1-1? We can take a look below at a possible line up. The other concern is the form of both Goalkeepers. If Ankaragucu are to stay in the Super Lig, signing a good Goalkeeper in the summer must be a priority as neither Korcan or Freidrich are good enough. 

Thursdays opponents Gaziantep have had a good season and still playing for a Europa League place. Fellow strugglers Erzurumspor did however beat them 3-2 at the weekend and must give Ankaragucu some encouragement. 

Papy Djilobodji will again be the dangerman at set pieces as the towering defender knows where the back of the net is especially from corners. Alexandru Maxim is one of the best players in the Super Lig outside of the Istanbul sides, while Muhammet Demir is also a good player who will need to be marked closely in attack. Former Ankaragucu winger Kenan Ozer is part of the Gaziantep side and on his day is a goal threat. 

Gaziantep won 2-0 the last time both sides met, so Ankaragucu will be hoping to even the scores this time around. Ankaragucu can also take some encouragement that Gaziantep have lost 3 and drew 1 of their last 4 games. 

Team News

GK - Korcan - I would personally like to see Mert Topuz given his opportunity but Karaman will likely go with experience. 

RB - Kitsiou - Has been the teams best performer the last couple of months, will be disappointed in the result at the weekend and will look to drive the team on.

CB - Sarlija - Has earned his place as the teams most important Centre back with his performances and was missed at the weekend. 

CB - Kulusic - Likely to be given the nod over Pazdan and Erdi.

LB - Pinto - Need a big performance from Pinto especially with so many attacking players out and lack of creativity

CM - Ibrahim - Ideally needs a rest as he covers so much ground, but not many options on the bench especially with Atakan out. 

CAM - Alper - Along with Kitsou has been a key player for the club and will be instrumental in keeping Ankaragucu in this league. Need another big performance on Thursday.

CM - Lukasik - Voca failed to grab his chance which could see Lukasik return to the team. If he can perform to the level we know he is capable of he could be an important player between now and the end of the season. 

LW - Endri - Would rather he played in midfield, but he is the only other creative player capable of playing in a wide position. 

RW - Saba - Quite simply, we need Saba to turn up and take any opportunities that comes his way instead of passing straight to the Goalkeeper. 

CF - Embiya - Only recognises striker in the team. The 2o year old could be in line to make his full debut. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Yeni Malatyaspor 2-1 Ankaragucu match report!


Ankaragucu are in danger of being drawn back into the danger zone after a disappointing week picking up only 1 point against relegation rivals Denizlispor and Yeni Malatyaspor. With injuries and suspensions mounting the clubs transfer policies in both Summer and January are coming back to haunt them.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Ibrahim, Voca, Alper, Endri, Paintsil, Saba

Subs - Freidrich, Atilla, Geraldo, Emre, Embiya, Sahverdi, Ali Kaan, Lukasik

Borven, Badji and Atakan were again ruled out with injury and Sarlija was suspended. This meant Pazdan and Voca both came back into the team while Saba started up front interchanging with Endri and Paintsil.

Losing both strikers has become a big problem for Ankaragucu as neither Paintsil or Saba can play in that role. They lack the hold up play and being able to play with their back to goal, or the football brain that Borven has. They also lack any physical presence and Emre Gural cant be trusted to start games.

Ankaragucu did start the match brightly with Alper and Endri both combining well in the opening stages. Endri set up Apler after 4 minutes who shot high and wide, and then 2 minutes later brilliant play from Endri set up Saba who yet again shot straight at the keeper when he should have scored. This is becoming a bit of a habit with Saba. 

Adem Buyuk set up Ahmet for Malatyaspor who shot straight at Korcan from the edge of the box but at this stage Ankaragucu looked the livelier of the sides. 

The next big chance came again for Ankaragucu  after 33 minutes when Kitsiou broke in to the box and smashed his shot of the post with the Greek again having a good game. 

Into the last 5 minutes of the half and thats when Malatyaspor started to dominate. Fofana cut inside Kitsiou before shooting on goal but Korcan tipped the ball round the post. From the resulting corner former Ankaragucu forward Kubilay headed against the bar and Fofana volleyed the rebound over.

Half Time 0-0

Into the second half and surprisingly Hikmet Karaman didnt bring either Emre or Embiya on with Ankaragucu badly needing someone in that forward position. 

Ten minutes into the second half and Malatyaspor took the lead, a lovely cross from Karem for Adem Buyuk who headed beyond Korcan to make it 1-0 for the home side. 

Only 5 minutes after coming on substitute Geraldo was shown a red card for a stupid tackle and now has more red cards (1) than the total number of goals or assists he has combined. His signing in January along with Badji is really looking like bad business at this stage. 

Ten minutes later Malatyaspor sealed the 3 points as they danced around the Ankaragucu defence, the ball finally made its way to Tetteh who beat Pazdan and put the ball past Korcan to make it 2-0. Pazdan was really poor for the goal and looks a shadow of his former self. 

Paintsil scored a late consolation from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 but was also yellow carded and misses another game through suspension. 

Next up is Gaziantep on Thursday and Karaman will have to do it without Geraldo or Paintsil and potentially Borven, Badji and the missing man Atakan. Another issue Ankaragucu has is the Goalkeeper position with neither Korcan or Freidrich good enough for the number 1 spot. Its time for Mert Topuz to be given his opportunity. The good news is Sarlija should return from suspension.