Wednesday, December 28, 2005
By the way Eski Kanka, will you stop capitalizing your headlines. It is considered shouting in the cyber world of the 21st century.
But here is the preamble:
With his track record at Galatasaray, Graeme Souness probably wouldn't be the FA's first choice as special envoy to Turkey ahead of next month's decisive Euro 2004 qualifier.
Celtic and Rangers? Newcastle and Sunderland? As footballing rivalries go, little compares to heated steam bath of an atmosphere which accompanies the Istanbul derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. Consider, as an example, the 1996 Turkish Cup final - the first time the two had met in the final in more than 30 years - which ended in a full-scale riot. The reason? Graeme Souness.
I t was 1-1 on aggregate in the return leg at Fener with a penalty shootout looming. But then, after 206 minutes of football, Dean Saunders got on to the end of a hopeful cross from the left to larrup an unstoppable shot on the bounce into the roof of the net. Four minutes later, the final whistle went and Souness set off for the Galatasary end. He relieved a fan of an eight-foot high flag, like waving a red rag to Istanbul, he paraded it to the centre of the pitch and speared it erect in the centre-circle. It was a dagger in the heart of Fenerbahce fans and the ultimate incitement to riot. They duly obliged.
Souness, pelted with bottles of water, had to beat a hasty retreat as angry Fenerbahce fans tried to force the dressing-room door. The flag was quickly kicked over by supporters, and the cup presentation by President Suleyman Demirel could barely be seen for police riot shields held up to beat away fireworks and other missiles.
"We were all on the victory podium collecting our medals but after that we were being pelted with all sorts of things and we needed a police escort to get out," recalls then Gala goalkeeper Brad Friedel, flinching with the memory. "They are still selling T-shirts of that incident in Turkey."
"You can go f*** your mother with the cup," chanted the crowd. Truncheon-wielding police sent alsations in to the stands, armoured cars bulldozed angry fans who mobbed the ground's main entrance, the windows of both team coaches were smashed, three people were wounded in knife attacks and even President Demirel was assaulted.
"I think Souness thought he was making Turkey a colony of Britain and, if he'd done that in Scotland or England, I don't think the hooligans there would have let him out alive," said Fenerbahce president Ali Sen, shaking his fist angrily and bearing his teeth. "Flags should only be planted in Antarctica or on mountain summits!"
Souness feigned innocent bemusement. "Pah, it's a quaint English custom, we do it all the time," he said before reeling off a catalogue of examples. "I can't understand why the Fener fans reacted so strongly." The ambassador's reception was so bad that Souness was sacked at the end of his only season at the club.
As a friend of mine told me a few weeks ago. "You know almost nothing about football and your articles are much better when Genclerbirligi lose." I think it was a compliment.
So to the 2005 awards.
The Salvation Army Award for services to the poor:
An honourable mention to Ankaraspor who did a good job by actually giving away tickets for free for their game against Genclerbirligi. They did charge us Gencler fans 50 kurush (about 15 pence). Even so, nobody showed up and so the award has to go to Ankaragucu for their efforts a few weeks ago selling tickets for just 1 lira.
The Turkish Bureaucracy Award for massive incompetence:
Fenerbahce did well by forgetting to pay the electricity bill and thus having one of their games blacked out for 15 minutes but the award has to go to Ankaragucu for having failed to anticipate that selling tickets at 1 lira a pop on a lovely Sunday during Ramadan might mean that a few more punters than usual might show up. We didn't get in until almost half time while Ole Kanka couldn't get in at all.
The Article 301 "Should've kept your mouth shut, idiot" Award:
Being Turkey, this award had hundreds of potential winners. Close runners up include FIFA head Sepp Blatter for going way over the top and not waiting for his own organization's report in his blasting of Turkey for the fight between Turkish and Swiss players in the world Cup play-off; Turkish coach Fatih Terim for his press conferences in which amongst other things he expressed sympathy with those who threw eggs at the Swiss bus. But the winner has to be Genclerbirligi chairman Ilhan Cavcav who last week said Fenerbahce were acting like PKK separatists for their role in trying to corner all the money from TV broadcasts. Cavcav could face criminal charges over the statement and I'm certainly not going to travel to Istanbul for Fener V Gencler in about a month's time.
The Australian Cricket Team Approach to the Ashes Award for most overconfident build up to a match/competition:
Fenerbahce were definately a candidate for this award after manager Christoph Daum said at the start of the season that the Champions League was his biggest priority. Fener crashed out coming fourth in the group. The winner however has to be our own Eski Kanka Jim who didn't even bother to watch the return match of Trabzonspor against some Greek Cypriot team instead predicting Trabzon would be up against Rangers in the next round and that we should start organising how to get to Trabzon. In the end Rangers got to visit Cyprus instead.
The Enron/Conrad Black Award for creative ways to lose/waste money:
High marks to Galatasaray who are in big trouble at the moment with banks refusing to lend them any more money and the players and coach haven't been paid for months. This is all thanks to their complete stuff up of plans to turn Ali Sami Yen Stadium into some sort mall cum football pitch. Then there are all of those over-the-hill foreigners clogging up the chances of young Turks getting some football practice: namely Anelka and Aileton. But as I'm making up the awards the prize goes to Gencler whose coach at the beginning of the season decided he didn't like Josip Skoko, so the club gave him away for free to Wigan. About a week later we sacked the coach for being a total idiot. At least a million dollars down the drain on that deal.
The "God I'm sick of the English talking about 1966" Award:
A good performance by all those Poms in Ankara who still haven't stopped reminding me of the Ashes, and the dismal performances by our rugby union and rugby league teams. But the award goes to me for reminding every Turk I've met in the last few weeks that Australia is in the World Cup, and Turkey isn't. Neither is Scotland for that matter.
Happy New Year
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Inverness 2 Hibernian 0
Two early goals conceded was too high a mountain to climb for the Mighty Hibees. A deflected shot and a goalkeeper error was enough to deny the Hibees 3 valuable points.
I was able to watch the Super Reds (Liverpool) take the Geordies apart live on Turkish TV last night and they looked awesome at times. Should have been 6-0, but they only managed 2 thanks to the heroics of Shay Given. I heard the commentator mention Owen once, or was it twice, but if he really was playing then I now understand why Real Madrid off-loaded him ! I heard that San Marino had offered Graeme Souness the chance to play at a higher level of footie and take them to the World Cup Finals in 2010. Seems like an ideal career move, and who knows, he could end up like Sir Matt and Sir Alex as the 3rd Jock Footie Knight !!!!! I can just hear Geordie Kankie now saying........... Wheeeesht lad had thee gab...... ???!!! Well, if this arcticle doesn't provide a response then nothing will !!!
That's all from me for now. All the best from Eski Kanka Jim
Monday, December 26, 2005
Also, an all time first for the Guardian. It is the first time that the Guardian has ever made me laugh !!! However, I'll keep reading The Scotsman, The Daily `Retard` or is it Record, and of course, The East Lothian Courier !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka.
PS..... Hibernian travel to inhospitable Inverness today. Watch this space for result.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
The Uwe Fuchs/Stefan Kuntz Memorial Award For An Amusingly Named And Really Actually Existing Sportz Dude ... would have gone to Lyon's Brazilian superstriker Fred - were it not for the existence of Real Salt Lake's defensive midfielder Seth Trembly.
The rest of the article includes some gems from the whole weird world of "sportz".
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Fenerbahce 0 Gaziantep 2
This means that Antep are top of our group with Ankaragucu and Fener tied in 2nd place.
Mmmmmmm, not so good, but........ never say never ! It is not over till it's over !!!
Watch this space after the winter break for more exciting news about Ankara footie. In the meantime, any news from elsewhere will be welcome.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tarsus 3 ANKARAGUCU 4
We were down 1-2 at half time and I must confess to being a wee bit worried (no,.... make that a big bit worried !!). However, the boys `done good` and did the biz. More details later when I read God's newspaper......... The Hurriyet !!
As I write this, Antep are leading 1-0 in Istanbul which is not good. However, I'm sure the Ref will give Fener a penalty (or two !!) to ensure their victory. Sour grapes ? Surely not !!!
Watch this space. All the best from Eski Kanka
Ankaragucu are travelling all the way to the south east coast to play Tarsus. Not sure which league they are in, but I suspect 2nd. Having lost narrowly to Fener in our first cup match, this is a MUST WIN match to try and make the 2nd top position in the group and qualify for the knock-out stages. Fener play Antep tonight in the same group and (unfortunately) we must hope for a Fener win which will hopefully set-up a `winner takes all` match when Ankaragucu play Antep after the new year. Perhaps Oz Kanka will post the result tomorrow, but if not, then I will give it on Friday.
In the other group matches yesterday, Galata....spit....saray and Malatya look on course to qualify in their group. In the other one, it will be a fight between Denizli and Kayseri, with Trabzon trying to make up ground.
That's all for now. All the best from Eski Kanka Jim
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Other times however, Eski Kanka has warned of the dangers of delay and so we have found ourselves sitting in the cold stadium with just a handful of fans around us a full 45 minutes before kick-off.
Today I finally put into practice everything Eski Kanka has taught me. The reason: To get tickets for the World Cup.
The Australian Football Federation had a limited number of tickets to the three group games and I was desperate to get four. I downloaded the application form around lunchtime on Monday, filled in all the details (passport numbers, date of birth, mothers age at time you were conceived etc) and set it all up to be sent via gmail at the click of a button.
The reason for the preparation was that the tickets were being sold on a first come first served basis and the whole sale was starting 20 December, 9 am, Sydney time (ie midnight here in Ankara).
I checked out the GMT clock on the web and so I was ready to press send as soon as midnight hit. Then, thank God, Duncan a Scot like Eski Kanka but who either a) has very smart parents who emigrated years ago or b) was kicked out of Scotland, rang me up to see how the whole thing was coming along. Duncan then pointed out that the Sydney Morning Herald had an article on how billions of Australians were to be poised over their keyboard ready to click "send" on the dot of 9 a.m..
I then checked out the article and noticed that it said that the clock on the website was the one to be used and any application sent in earlier would not be assessed. It also said that the clock was one minute behind the proper GMT clock. I checked both out and found the difference to be about 1 minute, one second. I noted this and then forgot about it.
At 11:50 p.m. Ankara time (or 10 minutes before the whole thing was about to go off) the alarm on my mobile went off and I had to stop attempting to wipe out the Greeks in a game of Civilization IV and get ready for the off.
My first delight came in an e-mail from a mate in Australia who said his wife had given in at the last minute and had given him permission to come to Germany.
Then I checked out the Australian football federation site to find unsurprisingly, it was overloaded and no one could actually see the clock. In the end I sent off our application at 9:01 according to the GMT clock and was overjoyed that 30 minutes later the football federation clock was still one minute behind. Fingers crossed millions of people sent in their applications a minute too early and therefore will miss out.
We find out in about four days if we were successful. If we are, all I can say is, Eski Kanka, let me make the decisions as to when we leave the pub and go to the match.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Obviously there is nothing much in the papers concerning the match but a quick look at the stats makes one cry out in pain.
The match ended 1-1. Mehmet Cakir scored again for Gencler in the 74th minute and then, in the fifth minute of extra time, Kerem was penalised for something or other and Rizespor converted.
Embarrassing really as Rize are coming third last.
I also guess I was lucky that what with all the parties this time of year there was no way that Mrs. Oz Kanka was going to give permission for me to go to the Ankaragucu - Sivasspor match on saturday. Sitting in the cold for a 0-0 draw isn't my idea of a great afternoon's entertainment.
So that's it for the first half of the season and all in all, not so bad for Gencler but pretty ordinary for Ankaragucu. Gencler are now in fourth place (needing to get into third for a guaranteed UEFA Cup place) while Ankaragucu are down at 12th.
Not 100 percent sure when the league starts up again but my prediction is that Gencler will get that third position. They started the season extremely stupidly, but then we got rid of the coach and have been playing quite well recently. Fingers crossed it will continue.
Some of you may be wondering why I'm not confident enough to predict Gencler to win the league. Looking at the mathematics, Gencler could well be in the lead after just seven matches. This assumes that Fenerbahce lose all seven, we win all seven and Galatasaray lose at least six. Possible, but slightly unlikely.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
The Indian summer we've been having in Ankara finally came to an end this week which could have accounted for the fact that only Viking Kanka Jens and myself were brave enough to get down to today's Genclerbirligi – Diyarbakirspor match.
Only time for a quick couple of beers and a kebab at Chopin with Viking Kanka's lovely wife and daughter before we shoved them into a taxi and we went off to the celebration of the round ball at 19 Mayis.
As I said, the weather wasn't that great, cold and grey, but Viking Kanka said these were the sort of conditions he liked to play under back in the days many many years ago when he was a defender for the Nordic Raiders (or whatever their name was). Unfortunately we weren't playing, merely watching, and let me tell you it was cold even though I had umpteen layers of clothing.
Finally onto the match...
All seemed to be fairly even for the first 20 minutes or so, with Genclerbirligi perhaps playing slightly better, until the referee decided to pocket some decent lira on offer from Diyarbakir.
First up we had a goal disallowed thanks to an offside decision. Can't really say if this was the wrong or right decision but it at least got the crowd and the players in the mood.
Next, I'm afraid I can't say exactly who was involved, the report from the Anatolia news agency doesn't even mention the incident, but one of our players was bearing down on goal and was fouled from the side, our man managed to chest the ball on though and just as someone or other was about to shoot for goal the referee blew his bloody whistle. No prizes for guessing that the ball was in the back of the net before any of our players or fans even knew that a foul had been called.
The resulting free kick from just outside the box was somehow cleared but we still managed to get the corner. Frustration and righteous indignation rising, Mehmet Cakir sent the ball in and Mr. Fish, or should that be Mr. Grape Seller, Tuna Uzumcu, headed the ball down beautifully and into the net.
1-0 and it was time for the procession to begin.
Two minutes later Isaac Promise accidently won a ball off the keeper and with the ball at his feet tapped it in. 2-0
Then came the goal of the match as Ugur Boral took the ball in his own half and, having managed to almost lose it it the process, shot from outside the box to completely confound the Diyarbakir keeper.
3-0 at half time and Viking Kanka and myself started arguing about just how many chances Diyarbakir had on goal. We guessed at none.
The second half and the ref had obviously realised he had better do something to earn the bribes so he gave a penalty which wouldn't have been given in a non-touch game of grandmothers. And so it was that Diyarbakir had their first shot on goal. Unfortunately for them, Omer managed to get down low to his left and the score remained 3-0.
Not long later came Gencler's fourth goal, again courtesy of Ugur Boral, and again this was another piece of individual brilliance that started with him getting the ball in his own half. This came when we were down to 10 men after one of our blokes had to go off to hospital. Nothing serious I hope.
The match sort of fizzled out after that. The light was getting bad and Viking Kanka suggested that the referee should call the whole thing off. It was at this stage that I realised that either Viking Kanka should stick to his football anecdotes or that he is a very brave man indeed. I'm not sure there could be a better way of provoking a riot than calling off a game with the home side 4-0 up.
All up an excellent result. As I said last week, if we can keep up this sort of form we can definately get into the UEFA Cup.
Considering that I've given him a lot of stick recently I should point out that Isaac Promise did score a goal, although it was an easy one, and the crowd gave him a good send off when he was replaced. Viking Kanka and I politely clapped at this point. He didn't have a bad game, but he certainly didn't have a good one. He was again given 3 out of 3 by Anatolia for his performance today and I'm really starting to wonder why it is that the only criticism of the man I have heard is from those who are on Eski Kanka Jim's illustrious e-mail list.
In other results:
I'm afraid Ankaragucu could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Gaziantep on Saturday.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
"I remember when we played Australia in a friendly," England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said, thinking back to that gruesome 3-1 defeat at Upton Park in 2003. "It was nothing like a friendly. They desperately wanted to beat us and they did. What I saw in the summer of the Ashes cricket, the reaction of the English people was amazing. I never knew about this rivalry before. If I had known, I would not have played them that night."
"No matter how many college games end in drunken mob violence (as many do), no matter how many American city centres see running battles between sports fans and riot police, the US sports media continues to present hooliganism as something utterly un-American. (This blinkered provincialism has parallels with the 1996 decision by the US State Department to "red flag" parts of south London as no-go areas for American tourists, claiming that Millwall was as dangerous as Guatemala - which, at the time, was overrun by right-wing death squads.)"
The full article can be found here
Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Dave, Can you confirm this?
Thursday, December 08, 2005
The reason why I'm writing this little report is to share a very interesting line I read from a Reuters story in the Turkish Daily News today on another Champions League match.
"Unbeaten French side Olympique Lyon confirmed their staus as group winners with a 2-1 win over Rosenborg Trondheim thanks to a stoppage-time strike from another Brazillian, Fred."
Now I can take having to describe people like Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho etc by just one name but Fred doesn't have quite the same ring to it Im afraid.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Not being in Malatya, and come on who really wants to go there for any reason at this time of year, I obviously can't say much about Monday's Malatyaspor-Ankaragucu match but to repeat the report from the Anatolian news agency.
As all two people who have looked at this blog before know, Turkish football reporting is absolutely rubbish unless it involves the "so-called" top sides (and boy am I sick of the use of "so-called" when it comes to a million topics in Turkey).
Anyway, the Ankara boys had obviously been affected by their enforced overnight stay in southeast. I did read a report somewhere that they actually stayed out of the town thanks to the diarrhoea epidemic that has hospitalised more than 7,000 in the last couple of weeks, but, in the spirit of this weblog I can't be bothered to find out where they actually stayed.
So onto the match... Well, it was a 0-0 draw. Not much more need be said really.
According to Anatolia, two of the Maltayaspor players deserved three out of three for their performance (where the hell did they get that scoring system from?) while no one from Ankaragucu deserved the full marks. Having pointed that out, Anatolia is a load of rubbish when it comes to reporting football. Proof: Whenever Gencler win they give Isaac Promise three out of three.
Ankaragucu aren't looking that great I'm afraid, stuck down on the lower rungs of the ladder.
I would like to thank Smart Arse Yankee Kanka for his description of what I thought was one of my better photographs of myself (you should have seen the others I considered). I have actually tried to get a Gencler logo into that corner but so far have had no success. At least no one can call me an IT nerd.
PS: Ole Kanka has informed me that he actually took that photograph. Bloody good memory that bloke has.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Frustration yet again for Gencler after we went down 1-0 to Samsunspor in a match which we totally dominated.