Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tarkan to the rescue?

Pop star Robbie Williams has bought a stake in the English 3rd Division club Port Vale, according to a Reuters report.

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt said he welcomed the investment, the size of which has not been disclosed.

He added: "I'm extremely pleased and excited that Robbie has invested in the club. It clearly shows that he cares about Port Vale FC and its future.

This is clearly the way Galatasaray could get out of the financial blackhole it is in. All they need to do is have a word with Tarkan and the club could be back on its feet.

The only problem would be convincing Tarkan that his money wouldn't be wasted like the millions the directors have been wasting in recent years.

Somehow I doubt that the folloing line from Mr. Bratt would be uttered by the Galatasaray board.

"It's now up to the board and all at Port Vale FC to ensure his investment is used wisely in helping to secure the future at the club."

Monday, February 27, 2006

Of maths and football

Football is a simple game for simple people and it is time the world woke up to the fact. I found this AFP story in the SMH about a story in the English Mail on Sunday newspaper about how David Beckham finds his six year-old son Brooklyn's maths homework too difficult. Some of the sample questions in the report include:

"Bet went to the shop at 11:45. She came back half an hour later. What time did she come back?" and "What is 12 divided by three?"

Okay then Beckham may not be a candidate for a Noble prize in mathematics but who cares, he is a football player. I would obviously be worried if Beckham was in charge of what time to leave the Chopin pub for the match but as I doubt he will be showing up in Ankara any time soon I don't give a fig.

By the way, is it true that he named his kids after where they were conceived? I'm not all that sure if Little Oz Kanka would be too happy in later years if we had named him Gaziosmanpasa.

Stupid Cops and Bugger'all Shots

"Ah, the police are coming out with their little stools," said Hande minutes before the Genclerbirligi versus Ankaragucu match kicked off. Stool jokes... no only Istanbul Steve would go there.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Viking Kanka Jens (he who nowadays says he is from Switzerland rather than Denmark) and myself showed up at Chopin for the first of many beers. Marash Kanka Hakan was next in toe and then came a couple of first timers. Istanbul Steve is no stranger to Turkish football having covered the game for various groups ranging from the BBC to Reuters (sorry if that's not a great range Steve but it's the best I can do when I'm drunk), and Steve's partner Hande, who has covered football more than most but marked today, the Ankara derby, as the first time she actually went to a match.

Pre-match drinks wise, Hande and Steve had obviously had a difficult night on Saturday, they were drinking cola, while we of course were on the Efes. But it was a beautiful day in Ankara, well above 15c and it was lovely to sit outside at the Chopin.

Off to the stadium and there was certainly no hassle in getting tickets for the blow ins. (I must point out that the blow-ins were not just Steve and Hande but also Marash Kanka Hakan, an Ankargucu supporter in the middle of the enemy, as well as Ankargucu-season card holders Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Dave and Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Suzanne

((Dear Suzanne, I have no idea if you actually share your surname with your husband but I'm afraid that until you come up with your own sobriquet you are stuck with your husband's)).

Once again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Now please, If you are slightly patriotic, or just bloody stupid, don't read the next paragraph.

Steve had his lighter and small change taken away from him when he went through the police cordon. Well, that's to be expected. Hande got touched up by the female police officer when she went through. That too. But what the bloody hell was happening when Jens and I went through? I saw the cops hassling out Jens, it was something to do with his Blackberry-type computer and then the ***** with a badge and told me I had to hand in the batteries in my digital camera. My immediate thought was "oh dear, oh dear".

Luckily, I didn't say what I was really thinking.

I then showed him my press card and told him I was going to write about the Ankara derby for the ............ (the bunch of people who employ me when I'm not writing this rubbish).

It was at this point that the wonderful improvisation, not to mention threat assessment of the Turkish police set into action. The, I must admit the very polite copper asked his boss what to do with this press-card wielding foreigner who had already confessed (I was not tortured by the way) to carrying batteries in his camera.

This copper with approximatetly two stripes (I'm not sure) was obviously too junior to deal with the potential terrorist that I was and so I was ordered to wait around until the prime minister or someone or other gave the go ahead.

I was finally allowed in, batteries and all, only to discover that the silly coppers had failed to take my cigarette lighter. The People 1: Idiots 0.

Now finally, the match.

Well it was crap. As Viking Kanka Jens said "to think I gave up a 50-kilometre cross country ski run for this"

True, that proves that Viking Kanka Jens is a complete madman but it doesn't take away the fact that both Genclerbirligi and Ankaragucu were rubbish today.

There was actually a pretty good crowd, around 13,000, but for the first 20 minutes we were given complete dross.

Well, not quite 20 minutes as Ankaragucu scored on the 13th with a bloody good but flukey goal. The ball was worked up well on the right, a slightly miscued pass was sent in and from outside the box and someone or other banged it right into the corner of the net. I think he was as surprised that he had scored as we were.

I have to point out here that Marash Kanka (an Ankaragucu supporter) at this point got a very bad look from the old fellow in front of him (too right too I say. Hakan was extremely polite today but he looked too bloody happy in my opinion).

So Ankaragucu were one up, David and Suzanne arrived at about the same time and the crowd had still not been warned for throwing rechargeable batteries at the linesman.

At this point you should imagine a game of ping pong where no one actually hits the ball.

Despite the fact that Genclerbirligi had all the ball there was just no way we could get through. I admit that some of this was due to the defence, Ankaragucu justifibaly shut up shop when they went 1-0, but Gencler just weren't performing up front.

Time and again we had a nice midfield move but never did it result, well very rarely, in something to actually to get us off our newspaper-clad seats.

It was depressing.

Until the very very very end.

Having not seen any reports, I can't say who sent the cross in from the right but whoever it was I'm prepared to give him a big kiss. In the end the ball met Isaac Promise, the man who I have I given so much crap on this site, who just tapped it in. This was a 90 plus minute goal, but unlike those Istanbul teams it didn't need a penalty to get it.

So that's it. It was 1-1. By no means the result I wanted, but one which keeps both Ankargucu looking good (ie not being relegated) and thanks to Besiktas drawing with Fenerbahce tonight... keeps Gencler in the hunt for the UEFA spot.

There was one other bright point today, a very encourging cheer as the match kicked off of "Burasi Ankara, Burasi Istanbul degil", ie: "This is Ankara, this is not Istanbul". In other words the Gencler fans were saying "stuff you Istanbul supporters" and at the same time saying well done to the Ankaragucu fans... the teams then marched together to receive the cheers of both sets of fans.

Unfortunately Steve, a veteran of many Istanbul matches, said something in the middle of the direness that was today's match "true, this is definately not Istanbul football"..... Hmmm. Well, at least he bought a Genclerbirligi scarf which is more to say than the rest of you Ankara people.

PS: Not a single battery was thrown during the match. The Ankara police should be proud!

EDIT: (Monday Feb 27) I've taken Eski Kanka Jim's points to heart and edited this a bit so as not to offend the parents of the legions of under 12s who read this blog. By the way you can click on the picture to get an even bigger version. From L to R: Viking Kanka, Oz Kanka, French Kanka, Istanbul Kanka and Marash Kanka (unfortunately Smart Arse Yankee Kanka and Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka hadn't arrived at the time the photo was taken.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Greetings Kankas, and sometimes it is not so good to be proved right. On this occasion it was a bridge too far for Ankaragucu after almost receiving a shock in Tarsus and being unable to defeat Antep in Ankara. Attention now turns to premier league survival and the cup exit could prove to be a turning point in Ankaragucu's fortunes. As sometimes happens in footie, just when a team is condemned to the dustbin they re-emerge in a different light and show their true credentials. So, I am fully expecting to see some surprised and disappointed Gencler fans faces this Sunday afternoon !!! As you know (?), I am not usually given to making predictions but............ on this occasion I have a very strong sense of optimism surging through my body !!!!

Look forward to Oz Kanka's report on Sunday night ! All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Thursday, February 23, 2006

No Scottish plan unfortunately

I accidently came across a nice bunch of national football tactics including this one on the English plan.

You can check out the rest, including a very amusing Turkish plan here

Bye bye Turkish Cup

Eski Kanka is obviously snowed under at work or else he is too depressed to bring you the Turkish Cup news. Ankaragucu are out, finishing the group stage in fourth position after a dismal 2-1 loss to Erciyes last night.

Ankaragucu not only had to beat Erciyes but they also had to win by at least three goals to get past Fenerbahce who beat up Tarsus 4-0. Didn't happen and as Eski Kanka said the other day Ankaragucu can now concentrate on avoiding relegation.

Those prospects don't look all that great however if last night's game is anything to go by. Erciyes had eight first team players out with injuries and still Ankaragucu couldn't win. Dear oh dear.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The real reason why we should be scared of a President Erdogan

I was reading Eski Kanka Jim's comment to my post on the weekend results a little while ago in which he said:

"no more mention of the 2nd league (for Ankaragucu) please ! It is not a consideration whilst Kenan Evren is still alive !!!!"

Small history lesson: Kenan Evren became president in 1980 after leading a military coup. He did all all sorts of things but history will record (this blog will no doubt be used by future scholars of Turkish football as THE authorative source) that his true lasting legacy was how one day he thought out aloud "Ankara should have a team in the top division".

Genclerbirligi were down in the 3rd division or somewhere or other while Ankaragucu were in the 2nd division with no hope of being promoted to the top flight but still in contention for the knockout Turkish Cup. Having considered the president's subtle hint, the Turkish Football Federation made a quick change to the rules and decreed that the winner of the Turkish Cup should be promoted...

Anyway, I forgot about Jim's comment for a while and then had a very scary thought. If Recep Tayyip Erdogan becomes president of Turkey forget about the fight over whether his headscarved wife will be allowed to visit her husband at the presidential palace, the true controversy will be that Fenerbahce will automatically win the league for as long as he is in power and we all might as well go and start watching that game for freaks known as basketball.

Back to Ankaragucu. I did a search on google using the words "ankaragucu kenan evren" and found an interesting story (in Turkish only) from the newspaper Bolununsesi (The Voice of Bolu) from last year in which a fellow called Yener Bandakcioglu is talking about refereeing errors and he goes on to talk about what he calls the "biggest refereeing scandal in Boluspor's history".

Yes my good Kankas, you guessed it, it was the 1981 cup final between Ankaragucu and Boluspor.

"It was necessary," Bandakcioglu writes, "that no matter what we did Ankaragucu had to take the cup from Boluspor's hands and (thus be) promoted to the first division".

Ankaragucu at home won the first game in the two-leg playoff 2-1 and then made their way to Bolu for the all important decider. I guess, but I'm not sure, that a 1-0 win to Boluspor in the second match would have resulted in a replay. Nowadays it would result in a win for Boluspor on the away goals rule.

I'll let Bandakcioglu (who is so delightfully biased towards his own team that he would make a good contributor to this blog) take over.

By the way, don't sue me if I make a hash of the translation but I do hope that the true strength of Bandakcioglu's feelings comes through.

"Our football players out on the pitch against Ankaragucu overcame the great stress and atmosphere of the match. The goal we were waiting for came in the 84th minute. From 35 metres out our left wing Minas shot (the ball) like a bullet into the Ankaragucu net with the Ankaragucu keeper Adil in no position to see it. The thousands of Boluspor fans erupted as if they had seen the very light of heaven and the ovations to our goal scorer had begun. But our joy did not last long. The match referee Sadik Deda didn't give the goal."

"In complete obeyance of the order from Kenan Evren, the strong and powerful leader of the revolution, the fooball federation of the time and the notorious referee Sadik Deda brought about this result. We do not know for certain whether those who brought about the result were able to sleep well that night or not. We know just one thing, until the end of the world the small town of Bolu's great club Boluspor will never experience being deprived of such a great victory."

"Me too, as chairman of this great club, I lost (the chance) of my greatest honour... Not in this world but on the Day of Judgement I think it will be right for me to take what I said (I would) from Mr. Kenan Evren."

Powerful stuff. As I said before it certainly makes the idea of the Fenerbahce fanatic Erdogan becoming president a very frightening prospect.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Turkish Cup - Ankaragucu aren't dead yet

Further to Eski Kanka Jim's dismay over Ankaragucu's chances in the Turkish Cup I'm pleased to report that Jim is wrong on this one. In fact Ankaragucu have a very good chance of going through to the next round, ahead of Fenerbahce.

The table is like this (sort of, I can't figure out how to get everything to line up)

--------------P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Gaziantep 4 3 1 0 6 1 5 10
Ankaragucu 3 1 1 1 7 7 0 4
Fener 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4
Erciyes 3 0 2 1 1 3 -2 2
Tarsus 3 0 1 2 4 6 -2 1

The Anatolia news agency ran a story today noting that it is goal difference and not the result of individual games against each other that determines who goes through. So with Gaziantep having wrapped up top spot there is one game left for the rest to go for the second position which will probably result in a next round match against Galatasaray.

All Ankaragucu have to do is win against Erciyes away tomorrow and hope that Fener don't beat up little Tarsus by too many. Despite Jim's famous head for figures when it comes down to counting outs in darts he obviously wasn't listening the "calculating averages" lesson.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A bit late, but good news nonetheless

Sorry about the lateness of this post but you have to remember that I used to work for the Turkish Daily News where we only reported on games the day after they occurred and therefore our readers wouldn't get their reports until two days after the match. In other words, this may be late but not it is still earlier than the TDN.

Having said all that you'll all be pleased to know that Genclerbirligi came away with a 3-0 away win to Konyaspor on Sunday. A fantastic result but according to Hurriyet it was an absolutely hopeless display and Gencler we were very very lucky.

The article reads as if our midfield was ripped apart with Konyaspor launching "wave after wave" of attacks. The defence was crap too with the woodwork saving us on a few occassions.

"Genclerbirligi must take a difficult lesson out of this," Atilla Turker wrote in Hurriyet. "Winning is not normally this cheap."

Well, point taken I guess. Good news on one front though was Isaac Promise was on target again with Turker writing: "Isaac created it himself, shot on his own, and was delighted with himself."

I'm delighted too and going by the last couple of matches it seems Promise is finally learning how to play.

The other goals in the match came from an own goal by El Saka and a penalty goal scored by Ugur Boral towards the end.

The win keeps Genclerbirligi in sixth place, five points behind third-placed Kayserispor (who won on the weekend) and one point behind both Trabzon (who won) and Besiktas (who lost).

Now on to Ankaragucu.

At about 3 p.m. on Sunday "No name" Gokhan Kanka rang me up asking if anyone was going to the match. I was out in the park throwing snowballs at Little Oz Kanka and Eski Kanka Jim was at work so the answer was "no". Point is Gokhan, the match kicked off at 2 p.m. Silly boy.

The match itself: Ankaragucu drew 1-1 at home to Denizlispor. A true relegation battle. Doesn't sound like it was the best match but then these tough survival matches rarely are.

I think the match can be summed up by Ankaragucu coach Hikmet Karaman who said his aim is to finish "next" season in a good position. Perhaps he meant winning the second division?

I have to agree with Eski Kanka that I was very happy to see the league leaders beaten by Ankaraspor, but I'm not sure Ankaragucu supporters should be so happy as Ankaraspor are also one of those teams fighting to avoid going down.

Ankaragucu are now in 11th place in the league, three points above Samsunspor and Malatyaspor in 16th, 17th and four points ahead of Diyarbakir who are coming last. There is still a long way to go however.

And that long way starts next week with the big one. Genclerbirligi versus Ankaragucu. Sunday 2 p.m. I'm definately going and I have a spare "kombine" pass for behind the goals with the Gencler fans.

Eski Kanka, I know that you are probably working but could you send out an e-mail saying we will meet at the Chopin Pub in Kizilay at midday.

So that's your lot for today, slightly late but most probably better than the report that will appear in tomorrow's TDN: "... and in other games played on Sunday, Ankaragucu drew 1-1 with Denizlispor and Konyaspor went down 3-0 at home to Genclerbirligi".

EDIT (Tues, 21 Feb): Oh dear. Just checked the Turkish Daily News this morning to find that they didn't even mention the scores for either the Gencler nor the Ankaragucu game. Only at this blog do you get the full story, a fair and balanced view of Turkish football.

2ND EDIT (Wed, 22 Feb): ooops. I'm feeling rather silly now as I have discovered that the TDN did publish the results of Sunday's matches. Not only that they did it on Monday. My original point still stands however as coverage of the Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi games was merely the scores.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Greetings Kankas......... Ooooops ......... I mean Ankaraspor........ latest stop press breaking news............

Ankaraspor 2 Fener....spit....bahce 1

Even though Oz Kankas dislikes our Ankara neighbours, I'm sure he will join with me and say............. yesssssssssssssssssssss....... spit on Istanbul teams !!!!

As for Oz Kankas message about the offside `law` (not rule), well, yes, I will be happy to explain this `law` in person `face-to-face` to the lady kankies (and boy kankas !!!) due to the fact that it the most misunderstood `law` in footie. As you know, or probably don't, I was a Class 1 footie referee after I gave up playing and so I am well qualified to bore (ooooops I mean, inform) you of the intracacies of this `law`. Please make an appointment with my secretary if you wish to proceed further !!!

Good luck to Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi tomorra. All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

The offside rule explained

Dear Kankas,
No one has ever called me sexist, well not many people, but I do believe that many women for whatever reason still don't understand the offside rule. I therefore post this (nicked it straight out of the Sydney Morning Herald) to help those of the fairer sex. . By the way, Jim, could you send out an e-mail to all the female members of the Kanka team alerting them to this. It is a public service announcement after all.

You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes you have seen and which you must have. The female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire. Both of you have forgotten your purses. It would be totally rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes. The shop assistant remains at the till waiting. Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma. She prepares to throw her purse to you. If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes. At a pinch, she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and, "whilst it is in flight" you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes. Always remembering that, until the purse has "actually been thrown", it would be plain wrong to be in front of the other shopper!

Let them go bankrupt. Part 94

Mehmet Ali Birand, a commentator on seemingly everything in Turkey, on Saturday once again tried to justify the saving of bankrupt Galatasaray. In today's TDN he manages to start out with Hamas, then talks about Ottoman kiddies in the harem and then moves on to a sculpture exhibition and then goes in to bat for Galatasaray in an article entitled "It really starts now".

I'll leave Hamas, Ottoman history and sculpture to other blogs (the technorati blog search engine found more than 70,000 posts containing the word Hamas, Genclerbirligi returned 120 results of which almost a third are from this particular blog)... what was I saying. Ah, yes, Birand today uses the arguement that Fenerbahce fans shouldn't be laughing at Galatasaray's predicament. Here is an excerpt:

If Galatasaray gives up on seeking the championship, Fenerbahce's campaign will also suffer.

If Fenerbahce remains alone in contention, no one will go and watch their matches. Interest in them will decrease. There has to be some sort of competition in sports to generate excitement.

Would you watch their matches on TV with your friends?

I would like to make a recommendation to Fenerbahce supporters.

Don't wish for Galatasaray to destroy itself. Without the traditional rivalry between the two teams, Fenerbahce will not be as interesting as it used to be. Just leave us to restore Galatasaray to its former strength and wait until we both can enjoy beating each other on the pitch.

Even I'm prepared to admit that a Fener V Galatasaray game is the sort of derby that gets my attention (click here for a wonderful earlier posting on just what the rivalry is like) but for damn sake there is more to the Turkish league than these two. The rivalry will continue no matter how crap Galatasaray becomes (just look at interest in Australian cricket for the last 16 years of the Ashes - not the counting the last one of course).

Perhaps Galatasaray going down the tubes will be good for the game as a whole, more money to spread around to other clubs, a more competitive league and ultimately, a league win for Genclerbirligi or Ankaragucu (well possibly not the last point).

One of the biggest advantages might be that people in Ankara who currently support Galatasaray might decide to actually support one of their home teams.

As I have said before, let the pampered boys go bankrupt. And when they do, I certainly won't be shedding a tear, nope, I'll be jumping for joy, just like those Fenerbahce fans who have upset Mr. Birand.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Greetings Kankas. I'm pleased to put Oz Kanka's mind at rest........... I'm still alive and kicking !!!

Well, firstly, let me tell you about the comedy of errors last Wednesday night. I decided that Oz Kanka's weather report was spot-on and it was too bloody cold to go to the Stadium (it was well below zero). So, I decided to meet him in the Knight and Flight and watch it on Lig TV with some yellow stuff in one hand and a Tekel 2000 in the other. However, when I arrived at the K and F at 4.15 the staff told me that Digiturk were asking for more dosh because it was a Cup match and not a league match, so they didn't take up the subscription. Shit ........... panic ! So, I jumped into a taksi intending to go to the Stadium, but half way down Ataturk Bulvar I remembered that I had my darts in my pocket and also my prized Zippo lighter. Abort abort....... the police were sure to find them during body search. So, I made another executive decision and told the taksi driver to do a 360 and go to The Pub - I thought they would be sure to have it !! Hmmmmmmm yet another bad decision ! They didn't !!! It was now 5pm and so I had a few Carlsberg fici to drown my sorrows and made my dejected way home ! And so the moral of the story......... don't say you are a LIONHEART is you really are a PUSSY CAT !!!

Oh yes, and the match result......... a disappointing 1-1 draw which means that Fener are odds on favourites to snatch the 2nd qualifying position and join Antep in the next round proper. Now Ankaragucu can concentrate on avoiding relegation !!!!

Ankaragucu are at home this Sunday against Denizli in the league KO 2pm. Sorry to say I can't go due to work commitments.

That's all for now folks. All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Jim has gone missing!

Last night Ankaragucu played Gaziantep in the Turkish Cup and Eski Kanka Jim went along despite the temperature being quite a few degrees below freezing. The question is, where is the report? Perhaps Jim is still at the stadium having frozen to death. I'll delete this post once Jim has thawed out.

Edit: Poor Eski Kanka, poor old Ankaragucu. Great story though.
PS: I can't be bothered deleting this.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Klinsman would be in awe

Controversy is still raging in Turkish football at the moment concerning Fenerbahce's 5-0 bashing up of Samsunspor on Saturday night.

On the 20th minute mark a penalty was given against Samsunspor when the ref Serdar Tatli adjudged that goalkeeper Kerem Inan fouled Marcio Nobre in the box. Kerem was immediately shown the red card and the rest of the match became a procession.

T.V. replays, however, show that Kerem was nowhere near Nobre and instead of the penalty Nobre should have been given a card.

Now the Turkish papers have gone wild in accusing the ref of being stupid for giving the penalty when he could not have been sure. Udo Steven Bassey in the TDN launched quite a spray which can be seen here.

A short excerpt:

Sorry, sorry, sorry, Mr. Tatli. But a referee is not meant to act on instincts. He/she has to be dead sure before making a decision. You award a dubious penalty, send off an innocent first-choice keeper of a team, completely demoralize the team with a controversial decision, and then say "sorry, sorry, sorry." Nonetheless, the result stands. Of what use then is the "sorry, sorry, sorry."

Isn't a point being missed here? The ref was fooled into giving the penalty because of a top-class dive from Nobre. Where are the headlines like "Nobre is a cheat", "Nobre brings football into disrepute" or "Why oh why can't our local boys dive like Nobre?".

If there was any justice in this league, and I understand there isn't, Nobre would be booed every time he gets the ball for the rest of the season. It won't happen however and Fenerbahce will continue their stroll and win the league.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


A pretty good weekend for Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi with both registering long overdue wins. Unfortunately I can't really add much to Eski Kanka's report as the Lig TV website has yet to put up footage of the goals a full 24 hours after the Ankaragucu match. Up to the minute as always are our friends at Lig TV.

I can't say much about the Genclerbirligi match either as I couldn't be bothered to sit in a cold stadium, so all I can do is say we won it 3-2 over third-placed Kayserispor. I only have the minute-by-minute report (which doesn't tell you much at all) so my own report will be brief.

It was a bitterly cold and snowy day in Ankara and despite Eski Kanka's prediction the match went ahead as planned. It must have been depressing for the two dozen Genclerbirligi supporters as Kayserispor went ahead on the 3rd minute mark.

But Isaac Promise decided to make today, the day I didn't bother going to the footie, the day to actually live up to his name. On the 13th he headed in a goal and then on 29th minute he passed the ball through to Ali Cansun to score. Half-time 2-1.

Kayserispor evened things up in the 77th but then something happened for us that normally only happens to the Istanbul Big 3. ie we scored a winning goal in the last minute when Ismail Gulduren sent the ball into the net.

The win puts us into 5th place, five points behind Kayserispor in third and four behind Besiktas.

Just looking at the minute-by-minute account makes it look like Gencler were the better team today which gives me hope for the rest of the season.

As for Ankaragucu, their new coach must be a happy man. He has had just three training sessions with the players and the reports in today's papers said the team played well. The win also gives Ankaragucu a slight amount of breathing space down at the lower rungs of the league. They are now in 11th position, but still only three points ahead of Diyarbakirspor who are coming dead last. Check out the table link on the right hand side to see just how close the race for to be included in the relegation three is.

Edit: Trabzonspor have won their match, so Genclerbirligi are pushed down to sixth.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Greetings Kankas. Stop pressssss stop presssssssssss

You'll never believe this......... but honestly......... believe me........ please....... it's true............. honisssssst..............

Erciyes 1 ANKARAGUCU 2

Yes, I know you think I'm winding you all up, but............ really really really ... please believe me. We won !!!!!!!!! First time this year !!! I'm so ecstatic I can't speak !!! Don't know the details but I'm sure Oz Kanka will give us a brief summary tomorra.

Good idea not to go to the Stadium tomorra Chris. It's pissing down with the white stuff as I write this and no let up in sight, so I doubt if they will be playing.

Hope it clears for Wednesday's cup match now that ANKARAGUCU are on a roll !!! Meeting in Chopin on Wednesday at 3pm for a 5pm KO. Hope you will all come and support Ankara's last hope for some silverware this season ??!! All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, February 10, 2006

Still too cold

It is still bloody cold here in Ankara and I really can't muster the energy to get down to 19 Mayis on Sunday for the 2 p.m. kick-off of Genclerbirligi versus Kayseri. It should be a tough match as Karseri are third on the table, eight points ahead of Gencler. Don't worry though I'll write some sort of report on Sunday night or Monday using the snippets that the Turkish press will give. Hopefully the Lig TV website will also be quick in uploading the goals.

In other action, Ankaragucu are away to the other Kayseri team (Erciyesspor) on Saturday. I'm sure Eski Kanka will keep us informed on that one.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Makes you want to cry

Poor old Galatasaray seem to be imploding with players boycotting training again today. It seems that they are not just upset at not being paid for months but are particularly pissed off at the fact that Stjepan Tomas and Sasa Ilic have been paid.

This was Necati Ates quoted on the CNN Turk website: "This is the way things are done in Turkey. Foreign players are always made the priority on the issue. Why do they get paid before us? Don't we do the same job?"

In the meantime the campaign to get ordinary football fans is getting embarrassing. All sorts of Besiktas and Fenerbahce fans are sending in 1 TL in what must be a very humbling experience to the millionaires that run Galatasaray.

In my own non-contribution to the campaign, I'd like to ask all readers here not to send any money at all. As I said before, let Galatasaray go bankrupt and then let's see how loyal their fans are when they are plugging away in the lower divisions.

Scoring while going

I'm sure this will go down as one of my weirder posts but I have just found the best urinal in Ankara.

I was at Quick China in Ugur Mumcu Sk with a couple of friends and after a couple of beers I had to go to the loo. The urinal had a sort of plastic covering at the bottom, the sort that stops foreign objects like cigarette butts from clogging up the system, but this plastic covering had something special... a small set of goal posts were there with a ball attached to some sort of spring-type thing.

Much fun ensued as I aimed at the ball and scored more goals than Genclerbirligi have scored all season. I can't think of a better way to ensure that there is no mess in the mens toilets. It definately made going to the "goal-less toilet" at Tappas later Wednesday night a lot more boring.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Turkey hit for six

Punishments for the handbags at 10 paces that occurred between Turkey and Switzerland after Turkey narrowly failed to qualify for the World Cup have been handed out, and they are pretty harsh. Six matches to be played at a neutral venue with no fans. BAM. 200,000 Swiss Francs fine. POW. Six match bans for Emre and Alpay. SOCK. Two match ban for Serkan Balci. OUCH. 12-month ban from footballing activities for trainer Mehmet Ozdilek. whimper.

Of course, the six match bans fit nicely as Turkey has six home qualifiers for the European Championship. It is certainly going to hurt the Turkish Football Federation, the fine plus no revenue for what would have been six full houses.

The punishments all seem a bit over the top to me but then again Turkey has been warned a number of times. A pretty good round-up of the punishments can be found in the Daily Telegraph here.

I've also found a blog where it is asked whether the whole thing was fair. It is an interesting read. The blog was written before the punishments were handed out but the points made still stand. In particular this line:

Blatter said this: "Something is going wrong in football. I've never seen anything like it..." Never seen anything like it ?!? You can't have watched much football, then, Sepp, me ol' mate.

As for Turkey's chances of qualifing for the Euro 2008, I'd still put money on Turkey. According to William Hill Turkey are now at 3 to 1, behind Greece and Norway. A lazy tenner might be on its way.

EDIT: I found another interesting take on the whole business here

Monday, February 06, 2006

All the goals

Dear Kankas,
For your enjoyment I've added a link on the right-hand side of the page where you can see videos of all the goals scored in the last week. The ligTV site seems to work fine with Internet Explorer but I couldn't get it to work with Firefox.

Considering that Eski Kanka didn't actually see the Ankaragucu match I can now say that Niyazi Guney's goal for Ankaragucu was indeed a very nice one (even if the editing of the video clip was very strange indeed).

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Greetings Kankas. Just a short message to let you know that Ankaragucu lost against Trabzon 1-2 tonight ........... surprise surprise.

Couldn't go to the match and have no details, but Gokhan saw it on TV and phoned me to let me know we were 1-0 up and then lost 2 late goals. This really does put us down there into the `soapy bubble` area, or to put it more crudely......... the brown stuff !!!

Well............ at least there was good news from Hibbie Kanka to cheer us !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

C'mon the Hibs

Something weird happened it reagrds to the blog yesterday which meant that this message from Hibbee Kanka Athole failed to show up. So I'm re-posting it.

Rangers 0 - 3 Hibernian

For the second time this season Hibs have travelled through to Ibrox Park and won 3-0. Three second half goals from O'Conner (50), Sproule (59) and Killen (78) sent the 5800 Hibs fans wild with delight not to mention those of us who watched the game on TV.

Rangers probably had the best of the first half and missed a couple of good chances before Simon Brown kept the Hibs goal in tact with a tremendous save. The game was played at a good pace and both midfields were putting in some heavy tackles but nothing too nasty. The most disapointing aspect of the first half for Hibs was Kevin Thomson being streatchered off after just five minutes. It looked a serious knee injury, hopefully not the same knee that had ligament surgery a couple of years ago.

The second half started much the same with both teams going for it but from the moment Hibs took the lead Rangers looked second best. Hibs moved the ball about well and as Rangers pushed forward Hibs picked them off and could on another day have scored four or five goals. One of the best performances of the day was from referee Stuart Dougal, it is easy for referees to be swayed by the crowds in Glasgow but he stood firm and called most of the decisions correctly. There was a hint of offside against O'Conner for the first goal but I think we can forgive Stuart Dougal for getting that one wrong.

Hibee Kanka Athole

Referee 1- Gencler 0

Tonight was no fun. I have to admit to being more interested in re-runs of "Prisoner" (Cell Block H to our British readers) than the rubbish that was Besiktas versus Genclerbirlgi tonight.

All started nice and interestingly when Besiktas went close with all of 20 seconds on the clock.

Genclerbirligi could hardly get the ball but it didn't matter as Besiktas were crap as well but then in the 13th minute there was a piece of brilliance that I hoped would change the match.

Tumer, from Besiktas, sent in a hopeful cross which was beautifully headed by Mr. Lentil (who obviously forgot that he was actually on our side) to Ali Cansun who chested the ball and then hit it sort of on the volley over Omer's head and into the goal. Besiktas 1-0 but I have to admit it was a very nice goal. 1-0 down after just 13 minutes was depressing but by God more depressiveness was to come.

Two weeks ago against Fenerbahce, Gencler fought back and could arguably have been described as the better team (well, at least I argued that sought of way) but tonight Gencler were just crap. Nothing was working, everyone was slow, even the normally over-the-top commentators couldn't get going. This was the sort of football that makes international chess look interesting.

It was therefore with great glee that at about this point I responded to the door bell to find Eski and Mrs. Eski Kanka, bearing eight cans of Efes.

It was all very civilised as Eski Kanka and myself proceeded to watch the dross on the television while Mrs Eski Kanka and Mrs Oz Kanka talked to each other about knitting or whatever it is wives talk about when they are forbidden to touch the remote control... when Genclerbirligi scored!

It was a lovely-worked-out goal. A nice send in to the box by someone or other which was chested down by someone or other who sent the ball on to Mehmet Cakır who sent it into the back of the net. 1-1 and Genclerbirligi weren't looking too bad.

After that however it was more dross and to Eski Kanka's relief dinner was served, ahh, I'm getting ahead of myself. Before the soup was served some Besiktas player was adjudged to have been brought down in the box. What a load of bollocks.

Now I have a personal message for tonight's referee.

Dear Ismet Arzuman,
I hope you know English and I hope you Google your name and accidently come to this site because mate you are an A-grade goose. Eski Kanka and myself had no hassles with how you officiated the game until the point you gave the penalty. All those yellow cards (and there were quite a few) given to Genclerbirligi players were most probably warranted but are you really going to sleep soundly knowing you gave such a wrong penalty? There are only two possibilities here, either you are stupid or you or you are a good friend of Sedat Peker.
Oz Kanka

You can all probabaly guess that Besiktas scored from the penalty and went on to win the match. I may have spoken in recent weeks about Genclerbirligi having a good chance at getting into the UEFA Cup.... I take it all back...

In the mean time the Eski Kankas and the Oz Kankas had a wonderful dinner and afterwards Eski Kanka beat me up in the darts. I hadn't been drinking enough obviously.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Greetings Kankas. Latest situation in Ankaragucu's section is ........ all to play for. The standings are as follows-

Played Points

Gaziantep 3 9
Fenerbahce 3 4
Ankaragucu 2 3
Erciyes 2 1
Tarsus 2 0

Ankaragucu play Gaziantep at home on Wednesday 15 February KO 5pm and
Ankaragucu play Erciyes away on 22 February

So, it all rests in the players hands. We most definitely MUST beat Gaziantep and then take it from there. I'll be going to the match. Pre-match refreshments in The Chopin. Please let me know if you are coming and I'll give you meeting times nearer the time.

In the meantime, we have a home league match against Trabzon this Sunday. Don't know the KO time yet, but watch this space for further news.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Let Galatasaray go bankrupt

Mehmet Ali Birand usually sticks to politics in his columns for the Turkish daily news and Posta but on Wednesday he devoted his whole article to a lament about the financial crisis at Galatasaray in an article entitled "What a shame, Galatasaray should not fall to this level"

"The Galatasaray football club is facing one of its most serious economic crises in recent years. They have no money and debtors are knocking on their doors every day. Had the club not been the famed Galatasaray, it would have long ago been in claims court, and loan officers would have long ago invaded the building," Birand writes.

The latest hassle, a few weeks ago it was unable to pay its foreign stars, appears to be outstanding debts to an old player.

"Galatasaray has a $1,300,000 debt to Croatian Robert Spehar. Unable to pay it back due to lack of funds, it postpones it for two months so as not cause shame within FIFA. And if the debt is not paid within 15 days, six points will be removed from Galatasaray's league standings."

The article goes on with all sorts of ways in which the club is trying to find the money and how it is so sad for the Galatasaray fans. weep weep.

But I think Birand has missed an important point. Galatasaray has been living above its means and, as Birand said, if it was any other club it would have already been liquadated. This should be seen as an opportunity! Let Galatasaray fall a few rungs. Let's see just how loyal their supporters are when it is threatened with relegation. This is a great chance for every other club in the country. It's about time to shake up the cosy Istanbul Three who run the league.

In other words, all true Turkish football lovers should be hoping that Galatasaray goes bankrupt! Football is bigger than just one club.