Tuesday, May 30, 2006

World Cup warm-up

One of the great things about writing about Ankara football in general is that we have no competition.

We get facts wrong, we blow trivialities into world war proportions and pretend not to have been looking when the referee fails to see a blatent foul committed by one of our players. With no one else in the world watching we get away with it.

Unfortunately that won't quite be the case for the World Cup. At the same time though, lack of any knowledge hasn't stopped us before and it certainly won't in the future.

Obviously we won't be doing daily reports on all the matches, perhaps some insights, comments on stupid refereeing decisions and I'm toying with the idea of creating a "dive of the tournament award".

All this is a long-winded way to introduce a feature we'll be running during the World Cup - a poll on something or other World Cup-related. I'll let the poll run for a little bit and then do some sort of post wrapping it up with the results.

The first poll is of course dear to my heart. Please leave any comments for this poll under this post.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Greetings Kankas. I had an email from Misir Kanka Karl in Cairo about his beloved Norwich City.......commonly referred to as Naaaaaaaaaaarich Shitty by yours truly !

Having started the season as one of the favourites for promotion they flattered to deceive during the season and ended up in 9th position and 13 points behind the play-off zone for the Premiership.

Here is what Misir Kanka said.........

`Sold Ashton for 6 and a half million, and had a great second half of the season without him!
(shame really ... I thought he was great! Good on him too for how he did in the FA Cup Final, even if he did only get a loser's medal)
Finished just outside the play-offs (so below Preston ... oops!) - but a long way further from relegation troubles than our mutual Turkish favourite!

Love to all.


Better luck next season for the Ingallish Canaries. We will be watching their progress. Hope it is not too long before you make a return visit to Ankara to see your 2nd favourite team......... ANKARAGUCU !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Greek gods they're not

My life is saved by Eurosport every now and then and today was one of those times.

It was Australia versus Greece at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a mid-week friendly that was essentially a meaningless match, but that didn't stop a crowd of 95,103 from showing up. The largest crowd ever for an international football match in Australia.

I was working away when I noticed a message from the Genclerbirligi fans forum Alkaralar saying the match was on the telly. Brilliant.

Even more brilliant was the way Australia were playing. Especially in the first half (before the billions of substitutions that are allowed in friendlies) Australia were all over the Greeks.

Passes were fast and fluid. We won everything in the midfield and I don't think the Greeks got a single shot on goal in the first half.

Of course the goal in the 16th minute came from our old Genclerbirligi midfielder Josip Skoko, and it was a doozy.

From a corner Marco Bresciano sent the ball to the back post (just as Sir Eski Kanka has been saying Ankaragucu ought to do all season). Lucus Neil won it and then Mile Sterjovski headed it back to Skoko who from around 20 yards out hit with his left foot into the top left hand corner. The keeper was rooted to the spot.

We should also have been given a penalty later in the first half but it seems impossible to give away a penalty if the man fouled is Mark Viduka (shades of 'Boro-Seville?)

As I said the second half was a bit of a joke what with all the substitutions but still I reckon Australia had a damn good game.

As for the Greeks, they were crap, and the very sizable Greek contingent in the stands were quiet for the whole match.

Just what we needed with a semi-difficult group in the World Cup. I'm certainly looking forward to it. Brazil may be too classy for us, but Croatia and Japan... I'm optimistic.

Photocaption: Skoko celebrates after scoring. Photo nicked from the Sydney Morning Herald.

EDIT: You can check out Skoko's brilliant goal by clicking on this link

Football without allegiances

There is something great about watching matches in which you don't really care who the winner is... you end up enjoying the football.

It was a small Kanka crowd for tonight's play-off match between Sakaryaspor and Altay to see who would be the last team to be promoted to the top flight, just Sir Eski Kanka and myself made it.

Sitting in Chopin and enjoying a beer it did make me wonder why don't we make football a summer sport.

The waiters at the bar obviously know us by now and paid out on Ankaragucu (they clearly haven't figured out my allegiances). A few Efes' in the delightful warmth that is spring in Ankara and then off to the stadium.

Knowing just how important this match was the police weren't taking any precautions. In addition to the body search they even checked inside my newspaper to make sure I hadn't hidden a rechargeable battery. I'd say there were about twice as many cops as is usual for a match in Ankara (and that means a bloody lot of cops).

I'm not going to say much about the match, except that it was brilliant.

Sakaryaspor started out strongly but Altay soon seemed to be in control. Jim disagreed with me but I reckon Sakarya were damn lucky to go ahead when ex-Gencler man M'Bayo scored for Sakarya in the 16th minute.

It was at this stage that the Sakarya fans went mad, singing and yelling and letting off flares (a fact that disproves my earlier statement that the police were extra thorough tonight).

Considering the match was being played in Ankara on a week day, I was very impressed with the size of the crowd. Not only the size of the crowd impressed us but also the passion. This was true local side pride, for both Sakarya and the slightly less-well supported Altay.

Back to the match and it was a ding dong affair. Neither side had a very good defence and strikers were being left unmarked all the time.

Altay could possibly have scored three goals before they finally got one in. No names in this report as I don't have a clue who the players were but their goal went something like: player from an angle whacks it at goal.... ball bounces off side post... falls to bald-looking player who hits it from an angle... goalkeeper parries... shananigans about two metres out and finally the ball ends up in the net.

It was great stuff. The goalkeeper then went off to complain to the ref, Selcuk Derili, (who by the way not only had a very good game... rare that you will ever hear me say that... but is also a friend of Sir Eski Kanka... even rarer), but Dereli would have nothing of it and instead gave the Sakarya goalkeeper a yellow card for being a whinger.

1-1 and the Altay fans were waving balloons. Never seen that at a Turkish football match before.
Before long however, Sakaryaspor were back. Not sure who scored but it was a great shot, against the run of play.

Between this goal and half-time we had a number of shots on goal and some damn fine saves, by both goalkeepers, and Eski Kanka and myself had a nice little discussion about the stupid rule (make that law) that gives goalkeepers so much bloody protection.

A great match it was but then the No. 3 for Altay proved to me just how bad the cheating is in Turkey.

The bloke went down after being slightly nudged. The ref did not give a foul, thank God, but our man stayed on the floor writing in agony as if he had been shot for at least two minutes. He was eventually stretched off only to come back on a minute later. Needless to say, his injury was so bad that he ended up playing the rest of the match.

Second half and the Sakarya procession started.

Few details from now on but let me say that Marcel M'Bayo had a stand out game. M'bayo was a true whippet tonight. Every time he got the ball it looked like something was going to happen. He didn't score again but bloody hell did he look good.

M'Bayo's performance reminded Sir Eski Kanka of the time when he and Youla for Genclerbirligi had ripped apart Ankaragucu 5-0 (at half-time).... Ahhh, how I wished I had seen that one.

But back to the match, Sakaryaspor No. 9 scored twice (both very nice goals) and the game was out of reach. 4-1 with 23 minutes left.

The final whistle blew and the stands erupted with joy. The players came around throwing shirts into the crowd and even I, a neutral at this game, had to feel happy at the great acheivement Sakarya had made.

Of course the police then buggered up whatever good feelings we had by refusing to let us out of the stadium for 25 minutes.

So Sakaryaspor into the Super Lig next season. Well done.

It was then off to the Knight and Flight for another beer and to watch game of darts, but that story is for another blog.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Greetings Kankas and some news about the play-offs taking place in Ankara this weekend. There are 4 teams fighting it out (literally) for one of them to join Bursa and Antalya in the Super League next season.

Last night Altay of Izmir beat Ordu 1-0 and it must have been one 'elluva match with the Referee showing 4 red cards. The 2nd semi final is tonight between Sakarya and Istanbulspor, and I'm sure most of us will be supporting Sakarya (well I will for one, being a real ANTI-ISTANBUL boy !!).

So, if Sakarya win tonight, I will be going to the final on Wednesday night in the 19 Mayis Stadium. Anyone care to join me ???

One of my student's is a Sakarya fanatik and I may also meet up with him. He has visited our blog and is also ANTI-ISTANBUL teams !!

Look forward to hearing from you all and seeing what should be a good match to watch.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, May 19, 2006

Of Nobs and Drogs

I've noticed that Gulay's favourite Brazillian, Marciel Nobre (or Nobhead as Gulay likes to call him) has left Fenerbahce and gone and signed for crosstown rivals Besiktas.

Normally I wouldn't bother to comment on such a transfer but Fener will no doubt be in a bit of trouble next year not so much with the loss of Nobre's scoring abilities but with the more important question of how on earth will Fener milk penalties with one of the world's best divers no longer in the blue and yellow.

I was reading a football e-mail from the Guardian today and the answer to Fenerbahce's problems leapt off the page (if e-mails had pages).

Didier Drogba, wants to leave Chelski and move to a country where his talents are truely appreciated and the papers don't use the word "cheat" in any sentence that contains his name. Clearly, that country is Turkey.

A little of what the e-mail said:

If you're a Chelsea striker who's fed up with being labelled a cheat, there are a couple of ways you can deal with the problem - ask for a transfer in the hope of skipping the country or stop cheating. And as the latter course of action is the more grown-up of the two options, it's no surprise that Didier Drogba has ignored it and declared that he's had enough and wants away...

(He) is using what he sees as appalling slurs on his character as a get-out clause. Preferably to a club who'll appreciate the more subtle skills that made him so sought-after as a Marseille player.

Clearly, this is a man Fenerbahce have to sign up quicksmart. This blog will naturally take a small cut of the transfer fee. Brown paper bag, small notes only.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Greetings Kankas. As most of you know, I was a Class 1 Footie Referee in a previous lifetime. After a serious right foot injury while playing an RAF match in 1972, I took up the whistle to stay in footie. I refereed in the Berkshire League, Rothmans Hellenic League, the old Southern League and the Premier Leagues Youth Teams league until a posting to Cyprus interrupted my progress further.

The year was 1977 and the league was the (Greek) Cyprus League Division 1. Cyprus TV were entering the 20th Century `at last` and had decided to screen `LIVE` footie to their footie fanatik population.

Previously, Cyprus TV showed editted highlights of matches which was fine, but to have `LIVE` footie was something which was a `long time coming` to Cyprus. It was decided that the first `historic` match would be the local Nicosia derby between Omonia (the Real Madrid of Nicosia) and Apoel (the Atletico Madrid of Nicosia). The problem was..........
who was going to officiate the match ??!!

In those days, match rigging and inducements were rife (has anything changed I wonder ??!!) and so it was decided that the referees would be British (they trusted our integrity !!!). There were only four British Class 1 Referees appointed to the league and usually we officiated at `difficult` or `possible controversial` matches. So, it turned out that yours truly was apointed as a Linesman for this match, and in all honesty I suppose it was the highlight of my refereeing career.

All of Cyprus (and all of our friends at the Air Base) were tuned-in for this one, which was, as I said before, a technical leap forward for Cyprus TV.

Pre-match nerves were obvious in the Referees Changing Room. The referee (an English RAF colleague) was literally shitting himself and the smell in that room was unbearable !!! I was outside in the tunnel escaping from the `aroma` and also soaking up the atmosphere ! The Stadium was full to its 30,000 capacity, but unlike modern stadiums, the crowd was almost on the pitch with only a high wire fence to protect the players and...... ME !!

I honestly can't remember the final score - was it really important anyway ??!! I do, however, remember missiles (plastic variety) coming down in my direction, and seething hostility through the wire mess from supporters when I gave a `wrong` decision !! Apart from the pre-match nerves and the sheer awe inspiring nature of the match, it was an experience which will live with me forever.

Not only for the historic moment, but to have been part of the progress of Cyprus footie. You only have to check out the statistics and you can see for yourself how far they have progressed since those days.

For example, remember the UEFA Cup this season when the Black Sea `Storm` of Trabzon took on Anorthosis in the UEFA Cup ?? I remember refereeing Anorthosis a few times when they were the `new boys` from Larnaca and just happy to be in the 1st Division. Trabzon now understand that footie is progressing in most European countries, even Cyprus !!!

Also, remember a few years back when Panathanaikos reached the European Cup Final and everyone said.... Pana...who ??? Maybe Omonia in the future ??? Who knows ???

As for the `backbone` of every team...........the supporters. I still think that ANKARAGUCU supporters are the best in the world !!!

All the best from Historic... oooops.... no.... I mean.... Eski Kanka Jim


Julius Caesar was addressing the crowd in the Colosseum.

"Friends,Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears. Tomorrow I take our glorious army to conquer Northern Europe and I shall start with France. We shall kill many Gauls and return victorious."

The crowd are up on their feet "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, hail mighty Caesar"

Brutus turns to his mate and says " He doesn't half talk some shi*e eh? He couldn't fight his way out of a wet parchment bag."

Six months later, Caesar comes back having conquered France and addresses the crowd in the Colosseum. "Friends, Romans and Countrymen, I have returned from our campaign in France and as I promised, we killed 50,000 Gauls".

The crowd are up on their feet again. "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, hail mighty Caesar". Brutus once again turns to his mate "I'm sick of his bullsh*t,I'm off to France to check this out."

So Brutus sets of for France and three weeks later he comes back to Rome.

Caesar is addressing the public in the Colosseum again "Friends, Romans and Countrymen, tomorrow we set off for Britain and we are going to sort those b*stards out"

The crowd are up on their feet. "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, hail mighty Caesar"

Brutus jumps up and shouts "Caesar, you are a liar. You told us that you had killed 50,000 Gauls in France but I've been there to check it out you only killed 25,000 !!!!"

The crowd are stunned and all sit down in silence.

Caesar gets up and looks slowly round the Colosseum then across at Brutus and says "Brutus, you are forgetting one thing . . . . .

>Away Gauls count double in Europe."

If it brought a smile to your face then........... I succeeded !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Another season gone

The end of another season of high hopes dashed. Am I the only person who has a sense of loss with no football on this weekend? And so with no match to look forward to (at least not until June 9) I guess it is time for some thoughts on the season.

As is befitting the tone of the blog in the last few weeks I'll start off with my dissapointments. First of all it has to be the last match of the season. To get so close to UEFA, all we needed was a draw, but no, we blew it.

The season started crap as well. Our coach at the time decided he didn't like Australian midfielder Josip Skoko and so the club gave him away for free to Wigan in order to free up a space in the foreigners quota. A week later, we sacked the coach and ever since we have been looking for a good midfielder. Skoko was last seen kicking a ball around for Stoke City, but at least he is off to the World Cup next month.

Unlike Turkey who buggered up their qualification group (coming in second) and then even more stupidly stuffed up against Switzerland. Then we had the handbags at fulltime that resulted in Turkey having to play its next six home matches at neutral venues without spectators. Those six matches are the entire qualification process for the European Championships.

But there were some highlights this year.

I particularly enjoyed Genclerbirligi's home win over Galatasaray early in the season (not long before we started this blog). Ole Kanka's old man was over here from Australia and considering he could only get to one match this was one hell of a good one to get to. Although he was dissapointed there was no half-time entertainment, he regaled us with tales of the busty ladies who do the cheerleading at matches for the Canberra Rugby League team, it was great to take someone along to a match that had both good football and a good result.

There were some good wins throughout the season but compared to recent years Genclerbirligi didn't really seem to sparkle. We need a good midfielder and a good forward.

My other big highlight for the season was watching Australia versus Uruguay in the second leg play-off in Sydney. It was about 10 in the morning when the match started up but that certainly didn't stop an Aussie mate and myself from opening the first beer of the day (a work day too). In the end we got through on penalties and I immediately put my application in for tickets. Of course, with most tickets going to corporate sponsors (thanks Fifa for looking after the true supporters of the game) I missed out.

My other highlight has to be starting up this blog with Sir Eski Kanka. Through it I have been able to take out all my frustrations and thus it has acted as a very good psychiatrist. Best of all though it has allowed us to meet up with other Gencler and Ankaragucu fans.

Enough of my therapy session. I guess we might not post so much in the next few weeks, perhaps the odd update on transfer news, but I'm sure myself and Sir Eski Kanka will be back ranting and raving once the World Cup starts up.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kirkcaldy Kanka's last stand

Only myself (Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn) and Battle-Hardened Kanka Damon set off for distant Sivas on Saturday morning. After a late night drinking on Friday we forced ourselves out of bed for an 8.30am bus that would last seven-and-a-half hours. It had to be done. It was my last mission as an Ankaragucu Kanka this time in Turkey.

Damon, who has rarely gone to matches, again surprised me by happily going along. He is an adventurer and the idea of venturing into the East of Turkey appealed to him. The other reason for going was Matt. Our old friend from the West country of England had left Ankara and Bilkent for the conservative Sivas last August. He had followed his wife, who had got a job there. He works in a small language school and is possibly the only foreigner in town. Therefore he is a bit of a celebrity.

We arrived in the city at around 4 p.m. and after dumping our bags at Matt's, we went to the pub to try and watch some of the FA Cup final. "The" pub it truly is as it is the only one in the city. Around 300,000 people and one pub. Matt pointed out that it was easy to teach the definite article in Sivas. We couldn't get the game on until the last five minutes of the first half and then we had to go to the stadium.

After a short taxi ride, the three of us arrived at the satdium. I had told the driver to let us off at the away end, but he dropped us at the home end. Luckily we had tied our scarves around our waists and under our jumpers. I approached a policeman and asked him where the away end was. He told me to go to the other side of the stadium. After a bit of a search we found a solitary gate with a small collection of Ankaragucu supporters. They cheered as we whipped our scarves out.

The gate was locked and we had no ticket. A security man came and told us all to go back to the home end to buy a ticket. Two 2 ytl. As we walked around the stadium again, this time in our colours, we were followed by some very young local kids. In English they politely asked our names, shook our hands and said it was nice to meet us. Then they dogged our heels around the stadium and back barking "Money, Money, Money!" I set them on Damon as he is a rich American. I am a mean Scotsman.

The stadium was small. There was a scoreboard behind one set of goals and beyond it we had a nice view of some hills. There was one "VIP" section with a roof, and the rest of the stadium was uncovered. Because the Ankaragucu fans had all decided to go to our brother-team Bursa's match to see them lift the second league trophy, we were a small travelling support. Nine Turks, me, Damon and Matt.

We discovered that these Turks were students from Ankara, who studied at the university in Sivas. To our left we saw The Çilginlar. The Mad Ones. Sivasspor's equivalent to the Gecekondu. There were maybe 30 of them. Young guys with drums. To our right were another supporters group with drums standing next to the covered VIP section. They were less that 30 in number and looked even younger in age. The most full section of the stadium was opposite us. A large all seated section running along the side of the pitch. A small band of supporters sat at the top banging drums. The rest sat quietly with their sunflower seeds. This was their maraton.

Our supporters clubs were going to Bursa, not Sivas. Unfortunately, nobody had told the Sivas police this. Although only 12 of us stood between Sivas's Mad Ones and Young Ones, a number of police entered our section to prevent any violence. In fact around 120 riot police joined us on the terraces. They seemed a bit confused to find us so small in number. We were a bit amused to find ourselves so well attended to. They got their shields out and told us to move to the centre of the section. They were in for an easy night and seemed happy with this. Most of them sat down, placed their shileds at their kness and got ready for the match.

The game began and the supporters attempted to make some noise. It was the last game of the season and the last game in the career of the Sivasspor manager. I had a feeling we would lose. Sivas is a city that appears to value it's home team. There are Sivasspor stickers on shop windows and city buses. You can see their scarves sold along with the traditional tourist merchandise in the old part of town. However, the small stadium had a small crowd, even if it was the coach's last game.

Istanbul fever is surely ingrained in the brains of the locals of Sivas as well. After 10 minutes the Mad Ones sang "Sivas gol gol gol" to our left. The Young Ones replied "Sivas gol gol gol" to our left. To their fury we interupted them with a "Başkent gol gol gol". Twelve people heard by the whole stadium, a minor victory for us.

"Sivas gol gol gol" "Başkent gol gol gol".

Sivas scored. 1-0. A deflected shot from some 20 yards out. The Young Ones made signs for us to be quiet. We were. I realised that our supporters didn't know many songs anyway.

It started to piss it down with rain shortly before half-time. We were left out in it since there was no cover. The police put on their raincoats. One smiled at me in humour as I dripped water from my nose. Then we equalised. Ali Ölmez got the ball on the edge of the box, skipped past two defenders and slotted it past the keeper. A fantastic goal. We cheered, we hugged, we sang.

Then we looked to return the favour to the Mad Ones and the Young Ones. But they had gone. The Young Ones had scrambled into the VIP section and the Mad Ones had just dissappeared.

We spent half-time in the toilets. The whole Ankaragucu "travelling" support crammed in and smoking away. We were the centre of attention. The strange foreigners who had travelled so far for a meaningless game. They asked me in Turkish why I supported Ankaragucu? I answered, "Ne Besiktas, ne Cim bom bom, ne de ibne kanaryalar". They errupted in laughter. A nice moment.

Then one admitted that he was a Besiktas fan. Another supported Fenerbahce. These were not real Ankaragucu fans. One supporter was and he had dragged his university mates along. Big Serkan was Gecekondu. These guys would stand in the rain for him. However, we now knew why they didn't sing so much.

Not much point in talking about the 2nd half. Some good open football on a surface that was hard to keep balance on. Yet the stadium was like a ghost ground. The Mad Ones had stopped singing, the Young Ones remained in the VIP section. We noticed that the advertisment running around the side of the maraton read "Silent Beach Resort". The "Silent" certainly referred to the maraton supporters, but what of the "Beach Resort"? Was this where the locals dreamed of being at that moment as they stood passively, watching second rate Turkish football, drenched in the rain? Had these people ever seen a beach?

This was becoming more like a strange dream than the passion that Ankaragucu matches normally entail. The supporters never letting you rest for a minute, forcing you to be part of their constant chorus.

With 12 minutes left, it was the Sivas supporters who finally awoke from the dream due to the goal of one man. A man who Gencler fans may hope will lead them to cloud nine next season. Dos Santos. I hear the striker could be on his way to our neighbour team.

He had impressed me during the match. A tall, strong player with what looked like a good touch. He had caused us a lot of problems and now his glory came. The ball was kicked into the stand for a Sivas throw in on the left. Another ball was used to take the throw in. At this moment a Sivas fan threw the old ball back onto the pitch. Just before the Sivas winger crossed, one of our players was kicking the old ball out. The cross went to the back post and Dos Santos powerfully headed home. 2-1.

Should that have been allowed? Twelve people couldn't be heard complaining as the Sivas supporters returned from the "Silent Beach" in celebration. They scored again immediately after the re-start. A defensive mix-up which ended in the keeper getting lobbed. 3-1. Game over.

The 12 Ankaragucu hooligans were made to wait for the stadium to empty by the 120 strong police force. In the cold, we stood for 30 minutes. Finally we marched back to the city centre, to the Pub.

Only Big Serkan, the real Ankaragucu supporter, entered the pub with us. Serkan said he hated Sivas. It was too conservative. He couldn't be himself. His friend was celebrating his birthday upstairs. Another student originally from Ankara. When we met him it was apparent that he was gay. A gay lad, stuck in Sivas. He was truly uncomfortable and unhappy. But we had beer, our wives were at home and we had been on another adventure with Ankaragucu. We were happy. That was until the bar closed at 11.30 on a Saturday night.

We left Matt in the morning and took the long bus home to Ankara. Damon and I had enjoyed our trip, and tried not to think about the coming Monday morning. The season has ended, and my first fling with Ankaragucu has come to a close. We can be happy to still be in the Super League and look forward to better things. Sivas will surely struggle after the loss of their coach and the excitiment of their first super league season has passed.

And now I head off to Liverpool, for a new life and maybe a new team. But I will return. Along with our Kankas, I will never leave. Cünkü biz Ankaraguçuluz.

Yours Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn

Stacking 101

More post-election stuff I'm afraid with Attila Aytek announcing he is going to go to court to try and have the results of Genclerbirligi's election annulled because Cavcav signed up so many people in the last week.

According to Aytek, the result would have been 427 to 377, in his favour, if Cavcav hadn't stacked the membership. The actual result was 1,124 to 427.

I have no idea if Aytek has a case.

I doubt there is anything in the club's rules that stop new members from voting, but if there is he has a good case.

Perhaps he might try and prove that the new members were bought? That might be hard to do in court, even if it was pretty clear that it happened.

Whatever he tries it won't be easy.

My solution, as pointed out in my last post would be that Aytek and his mates start stacking themselves and get ready for the next congress or somehow try to get their numbers up and force an extraordinary general congress. Surely the people behind Aytek own companies, get all the employees signed up, offer them one-off pay bonuses to join and than another bonus if their man wins. It's not that difficult.

Cavcav has always talked about Genclerbirligi being a gentleman's team and Aytek and others have taken this to heart (remember they worked together for years and years). But when it came to a real challenge Cavcav started playing hardball (as our American cousins like to call it). Aytek's only response should be to do what the English did in the Ashes series of 1932-1933, aim for the head.

In other news, Trabzonspor have said they are looking to get Graeme Souness to manage the team next season. Looks like they have really lost the plot up on the Black Sea.


Greetings Kankas and just a few words on the subject in addition to those posted by Oz Kanka in his Gencler V Rize report.

As I have said before many times ...... this is Turkey and we can't possibly change the footie culture which has thousands (perhaps millions) of Istanbul teams supporters in the capital city ANKARA. However, that doesn't make we Ankaragucu and Gencler supporters feel any better when we see Ankara going wild when CimBom wins the league.

I'm not saying to CimBom supporters ....don't celebrate. What I am saying is......... please do it in your own city !!! Oz Kanka and I have been in this city long enough to understand the cutural thing, but that doesn't make it any easier for us !!

For example, when Glasgow Celtic won the league, the supporters who lived in Edinburgh would go through to Glasgow to join in with the celebrations and it would be unthinkable to celebrate in Edinburgh city centre. A wee bit dangerous too !!!

Before I close, let me just tell you about a snip-it I read in the Hurriyet yesterday. A group of Ankaragucu supporters attacked CimBom fans in Kizilay on Sunday night which required Police intervention. Of course, I am not in favour of those violent incidents, but at least I can understand the frustrations felt by the Ankaragucu fanatiks !!!

One last thought........... congratulations to CimBom for doing the seemingly impossible and snatching the league title at the end.

All the best from ANKARA Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hungover and depressed

It is a depressed and hungover Oz Kanka writing today.

Sunday started off well enough. Just the three of us this weekend, football veteran Viking Kanka Jens, myself and a debutant, Fishy Kanka Dave. A few beers in the courtyard of the Chopin that was rapidly filling up with Fenerbahce and Galatasaray fans.

There was also a roving group of Ankaragucu fans, in full kit, marching around the pub area in Sakarya chanting away trying to remind everyone just which city they live in. Good on 'em.

Off to the match and Genclerbirligi definately had more of the ball than Rize but as is typical of Gencler, Rize had what was probably there first shot on goal and bang, it was in.

Hopes were still high though as Gencler have definately come back before. Viking Kanka and myself were swearing away as Isaac Promise buggered up some damn good positions but then we were ready to forgive him as he headed the ball into the net in the 40th minute.

Promise ran over the corner flag near us and made a sign of the cross. I thought he was thanking God but then later realised he was actually praying for forgiveness as the "header" actually had quite a lot of "hand" in it.

The goal didn't stand and Promise was given a yellow card.

Then came the true moment of folly. Exactly one minute later, just outside the centre circle Promise managed to hand ball again. Second yellow for promise and off he went.

It was heads-in-hands time. Half time came in and at least one other result was looking good for us Kayseri were losing and Trabzon had yet to score against Besiktas.

Second half and clearly the players new they had to go all out and get a draw. I'm not sure how many shots we had on goal but it was a damn lot. Anyone would have guessed it was Rize who were down to 10 men. We were playing damn good football but somehow the ball just wouldn't go into the net.

At about this time news came in that Besiktas had gone ahead and thus all we needed was one goal to get into the Uefa Cup. Gencler continued to go all out in attack but then in a very nice counterattack disaster struck and Rize went ahead 2-0.

Viking Kanka at this stage asked me if I believed in Father Christmas. I was certainly about to believe as Mehmet Cakir managed to get one back. It was 2-1. Nineteen minutes left and all we needed was just one more goal to get into the Uefa Cup. The tension was high, the crowd, pitiful as it was as most of Ankara were glued to their TV sets watching the Istanbul teams, was up for it and the players were giving everything.

But with our players visably wilting after trying so hard, Rize again scored on a counterattack. 3-1, six minutes left and we were dejected. The crowd started to leave. The season was over. Thanks to a better head-to-head record Kayseri finished with the Intertoto place and Trabzon grabbed the UEFA Cup spot by finishing the season one point above us.

Now for some other observations. As I pointed out before Ilhan Cavcav won the election early in the day for the chairman's position.

Throughout the match the Gencler fans in Maraton were shouting anti-Cavcav slogans while the gecekondu boys were signing pro-Cavcav stuff. Always fun to see internal politics being played out in the stands but was it really the right time? I'm not blaming the fans but really they should not have had the general congress on the final day of the season.

Another thing that pissed me off was when we were down 3-1, all hope was lost and I was feeling terrible. Then news came in that Denizli had scored against Fenerbahce thus pretty much handing the league to Galatasaray, and a whole heap of so-called Gencler supporters jumped up and down for joy. You supposed to be depressed! not bloody happy.

Trudged off into the taxi and listened to the last minutes of the Fener match and news that Galatasaray had won the league. I didn't care and got out in Kizilay to go and meet sıome Gencler supporters to get the background to the elections earlier in the day.

I glanced at the fireworks and then made my way through a sea of Galatasaray fans waving flags and singing away. They must have assumed I was a Fener fan if they looked at my face but then luckily I was wearing my Gencler scarf.

At the Buyuk Express pub I caught up with Umut, Tunc, Evren, Serkan, Asli, Burcin, Deniz, Erdem and Ismail (see my memory is pretty good even after a night of drowning my sorrows) and found out that Cavcav had won the election by some 1,124 votes to Atilla Aytek's 427.

The assumption was that 1,000 of Cavcav's votes came from people signed up in the last week with promises of season tickets. No real surprise really and Aytek's lot should have been engaged in their own stacking exercise. Politics is politics afterall and if your opponent plays dirty, you have to also.

One of the more depressing results of the election is that a former leader of the Galatasaray Fans Association is now on our board! Wtf!

Dissecting the season over enormous beers our Ankaragucu fans walked past again. We all joined in pro-Ankaragucu and pro-Gencler chants which reminded all of us, the Anakargucu and Gencler boys and girls, that this is Ankara, and not some suburb of Istanbul.

Stuffed it up

I've just got home, it's 2:38 am and all I'm going to say is that Genclerbirligi have stuffed it. We aren't in Europe. By the way Cavcav won the election, by a stacked mile. I'lll post again some time in the morning when I'm slightly more competent on the keyboard.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The permutations

Nothing election-wise today you'll be pleased to hear.

I've finally managed to figure out all the permutations of results needed for us to finish the season on Sunday with a spot in the UEFA Cup. We'll, I didn't figure it out myself but instead found the picture you can see which is from some (unnamed) Turkish newspaper and which I have nicked from a Gencler fans website called Alkaralar.

For those who don't know Turkish, galip=win, berabere=draw and maglup=loss.

Basically, we are all supporting Istanbul teams this weekend. We need Besiktas and Galatasaray to win. Then, of course we need to win also. All the matches kick-off at the same time.

See you on Sunday at the Chopin, 5.p.m, for the 7 p.m. kickoff.

Yet more Genclerbirligi election stuff

I was searching around on the internet and found that Atilla Aytek, the fellow running against Ilhan Cavcav actually has a website set up.

The site has updated photos of the fellow (he looks a bit older in the photo here than the one we showed earlier) but as you can imagine the site isn't the best of reads. It does however have some policies (a whole heap in fact).

Most however seem to be that he will "do good" for Gencler, as if Cavcav is actually trying to "do bad", but there is one actual clear policy position.

"We will continue to work with our young and successful technical director Mesut Bakkal for at least five years," Aytek says on his site.

Wow, five years is a long time. But it makes it pretty clear that Lanky Kanka Jorg and our anonymous Croatian friend who has been putting comments all over the place here are right. If Cavcav wins, Bakkal will walk.

The other main policy Aytek seems to have is that Genclerbirligi will be more democratic and not run under an iron fist, as is the case at the moment under Cavcav.

In another section of the site Aytek complains about Cavcav's stacking, as we reported earlier.

Unfortunately I only came across the website tonight and therefore I've missed a cocktail party he held this evening.

As far as I can see Cavcav doesn't have a site set up at all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Genclerbirligi election crap

Another small note concerning the elections on Sunday for the chairman's job at Genclerbirligi. I've yet to see anything even slightly resembling a "platform" from either candidate and current incumbent Ilhan Cavcav today hardly enlightens.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency Cavcav seems to have spent more time discussing the mad plans to stop teams from being relegated this season than the actual elections coming up. (Although admittedly this could be the Anatolia reporter's fault).

He did say something, but I'm not sure if it will help at all.

"If I lose the election the happiest person will be Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim," Cavcav said.

Cavcav was referring to the still ongoing war of words between himself and the Fenerbahce boss which started when Cavcav said Fenerbahce were acting like the PKK, trying to split the league, in the way they wanted to get all the revenue from TV rights.

No doubt Yildirim would be happy to see Cavcav go down but I fail to see how a vote for Aytek counts as a vote for Fenerbahce.

Anyway, the election seems to have halted all other work at Gencler for the past week or so. There hasn't been an update on the Gencler website since the loss to Samsunspor a couple of weeks ago. I guess everyone is out signing up members.

We shall find out on Sunday. Hopefully it will all go smoothly and the congress actually finishes before 7 p.m. when Gencler take on Rize. What absolutely stupid timing.

Intertoto Cup for Hibs

Intertoto Cup for Hibs

It is the Intertoto Cup for Hibs after Hearts held onto second place in the SPL. Hearts claiming the second Champions League place means that Gretna will qualify for the UEFA cup through reaching the Scottish Cup final. Rangers get the other UEFA cup place by finishing 3rd in the SPL.

After beating Hearts 2-1 Hibs then lost their last three games, Aberdeen 4-0, Rangers 2-1 and Kilmarnock 3-1. Despite these results Hibs still managed to finish fourth, a point ahead of Kilmarnock and two points ahead of Aberdeen. Considering Hibs were around 10 points clear of these teams after Christmas we were made to sweat as finishing any lower in the league after last years 3rd place would have been disappointing. Hibs have suffered a horrendous injury list robbing us of a complete midfield plus back up, this can be used as an excuse for the last third of the season but does not account for the slip ups before Christmas. Next season Hibs will have to be stronger at the back where a no-nonsense centre half would be a welcome addition. Some of the new players who have only started to feature in the team in the last few games look as if they will be good replacements for our departing players.
Hibs opponents in the Intertoto cup will be either from the Faroe Islands or Latvia, these games are scheduled for July 1st and 8th.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stacking and meddling

Nothing in the papers today about the upcoming Genclerbirligi congress where Atilla Aytek will be taking on longstanding Chairman Ilhan Cavcav but I did hear from my sources last night that around 2,000 people have joined the club in the last couple of days bringing the total number of members to around 4,500.

Those figures are probably already out of date but it does sound like some serious stacking is going on. I'm not sure who is doing the stacking, probably both of them I guess.

Onto even madder events in Turkish football. The last few days have seen a couple of AK Party deputies submitting a bill to parliament that would stop any teams being relegated this year.

Samsun Deputy Ahmet Yeni and Diyarbakir deputy Irfan Riza Yazicioglu are behind the bill. The two teams that are definately going down at the end of the season are... surprise, surprise ... Samsun and Diyarbakir.

The leader of the main opposition, Deniz Baykal, has come out in support of the bill. Hurriyet today led its story with the headline "The spirit of Evren in 2006", referring of course to Kenan Evren's efforts to get Ankaragucu into the top flight back in 1981.

The whole idea is of course completely mad and Turkey could well get into quite a bit of trouble with FIFA if parliament starts meddling with the league. It might have been okay to do this sort of thing in 1981 but it is rather frowned upon nowadays.

This blog's message to the politicians: Stick to buggering up the country and leave buggering up football to the true experts, the TFF.

The weekend plans

Apparently a whole heap of Kankas are off to Sivas this weekend for Ankaragucu's away match but for us staying in the capital we have Genclerbirligi versus the tea men of Rize. The match is on Sunday 7 p.m. and I'll be at the Chopin at 5 p.m.

We need to win if we want to win the UEFA Cup place but we also need Trabzon to lose or draw with Besiktas. For some reason that I'm not sure of that match is being played in Izmir.

And for you lot going off to Sivas, don't forget, we want a report.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Greetings Kankas from Mr Optimistic himself. There we were (all 11 or was it 12 of us) sitting out in the sunshine and rain last Sunday in The Chopin Bar with our normal pre-match `refreshments` when Mrs Eski Kanka phoned to say she was locked-out of our house and could I bring the house key home to her. Well, there was only one answer for that question and for those of you who know me it is not necessary to explain it !!! The next piece of excitement came when a large group of Ankaragucu Gecikondu boys passed by our pub singing famous Ankaragucu songs and when they saw us they stopped and sang a song to us which requested an answering verse. Unfortunately, only Maniac Kanka responded and we were all suitably embarrassed !! It wasn't until Oz Kanka shouted something like `sing a simple song to us` that they came back with one that we all knew........ `sari`.... `lacivert`.....`en buyuk`......... `Ankara` and that was rewarded with lots of cheers all round from the punters around us and in neighbouring pubs. Yeah, what a start to the afternoon. Could it get any better I wondered ??? Well, after we managed to prise Oz Kanka away from his amber nectar it was off to the Stadium and unusually we only waited for a few minutes in the queue and were all seated before the match started. There was a big crowd in the Ankaragucu enclosures and the songs never stopped.

Ankaragucu kicked off into the away end and they started like an express train. It was all Ankaragucu and it was not long before Ahmet Bilal slotted in the 1st goal and the songs became louder. It was still all Ankaragucu and the whole team were playing the ball around and breaking fast. My comments in a previous blog about too many hopeful high balls up to Umut have no doubt been translated for Hikmet Bey from this blog and used to change the tactics of the team !!! Balic was causing all sorts of problems down the left, Bilal was giving the Antep defence a roasting on the right, and Umut was running everywhere as usual. The 2 full backs, Emre and Sedat were even joining in with attacking runs with quick breakaways. It was no surprise when the 2nd goal arrived just before half-time. Another fast breakaway and the ball was pushed out to Bilal on the right who sprinted away with the defender in his wake. The ball was crossed in at speed and there was Umut running in to slot it home. Yesssssss !! The Stadium errupted (mostly in relief I think) and we enjoyed the half-time break in anticipation of more goals at the Gecikondu end in the 2nd half.

However, it was not to be ! How many times have we all watched a game of two halves ??? Well this was one of them. Antep took control of most of the 2nd half and we were therefore denied all the excitement at our end of the Stadium. It was backs against the wall for the defence with some panic clearances. Orhan was immense in goal and the defence held until 15 minutes from the end when Antep scored a very good headed goal. Admittedly, Orhan should have saved it, but all credit to the Antep scorer for directing his header into the corner of the goal. At this stage you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife, but the Gecikondu boys kept singing and encouraging the team to greater efforts. About this time, Bilal, probably our most effective player, was yellow carded for time wasting at a free kick. Into the final few minutes and again Bilal tried to delay another free kick and the referee quite rightly sent him off. At this stage I had visions of a Sakarya cave-in (2 or was it 3 years ago ?!), but I didn't speak my thoughts this time (Oz Kanka taught me a lesson I'll never forget !!!) and the cave-in never materialised. The final whistle came with a great all round sigh of relief and a hard fought and well deserved victory was achieved. Another season in the top flight, but.......... lots of work needs to be done during the summer to strengthen the squad if we are to seriously challenge for YooRo footie again.

Just time to wish Gencler success next weekend and hope the other results go their way to bring YooRo footie back to Ankara next season.

All the best from a relieved and happy Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sir Eski Kanka goes missing, again

Sir Eski Kanka? Where are you? Are you still at the pub? We are all waiting for your report on the Ankaragucu match. By the way, Kirkcaldy Kanka, could you give us a report next week on Ankaragucu's away match to Sivas. Cheers

Ankaraspor do us no favours

Lanky Kanka Jorg has sent in this report from Saturday's Ankaraspor-Trabzonspor match:

Well, so I went to a game of Ankaraspor, hoping that they can help struggling Gencler, but what I saw was a mess.

If I am at the bottom of the league, with one leg in relegation, at least I have to fight 90 minutes for my life, for my club, for my own existence as a sportsman, but what I saw was ... nothing.

Trabzonspor played with an excellent organised defence with two, three contacts to their magic, Tekke, Yatara and Gökdeniz. And it was with their first counterattack that brought Trabzon a goal. 1-0. Nine players from Ankaraspor were near to the Trabzon goal after a cornerkick but only two tried to come back, even my little daughter would have had a real chance to score.

Afterwards passes in front and behind, to the right and left, no movement, no fight, the second goal from Yatara after a freekick was the result. Wederson was really the only one who tried everything, shouting, fighting to push his teammates, but they were not able to act. After Ankaraspor brought on the tall No. 9, Ersen Martin (much too late!) there was something like a few chances, but at the end it was a clear and correct result. Bye-bye Ankara-Gökcekspor, two or three good players will find a new club, the rest can join Genclers ASAS Team in the second league next year.

Yes and MY Gencler...my heart is bleeding, even if they won against Diyarbakir, there is so much behind now, next Sunday there are elections of presidency in Gencler.

Normally no problem for Cavcav, he is leading the club since more than 30 years, but now things have changed. He has tried to establish (alone of course!) former Gencler manager types Cem Onuk and Ufuk Özerten - both well known for their ... lets say Turkish way to handle things, more diplomatic I can't be, and for the first time the board is reacting.

They will not accept anymore that this old man acts alone, thats why former vice president Atilla Aytek is going to run for president with a lot of help from all parts of the club. If Cavcav wins again, that means, that Gencler will break up completely.

Three, four very, very good young guys, like the general manager Hasan Cetinkaya, Ender and many more English-speaking people, most of them also German or French speaking, will leave the club, even the coach Mesut Bakkal will not stay one day longer if Cavcav wins. That also means that a lot of the young players will try to leave etc. etc. It is a circle to hell and only because this old president does what only he likes.

Lets see what what happens this week, it will be one of the most turbulent weeks for decades. Thats for sure. Taking a realistic look at the league, it will be very difficult to push Trabzon away from the UEFA Cup place. I am sure that they will win against Besiktas easily - Besiktas already have their UEFA place... so we have to watch Kayseri, (last game vs. Gala = 0 points) and after a Gencler victory we will play Intertoto-UI Cup 2006/2007.

Lets go to Gencler's last game next weekend, last chance to see a few actors on this scene TOGETHER...

See you there,
Lanky Kanka

Thanks Lanky Kanka, I'll post details for weekend's match later on.

Melih Gokcek's ego

Football is full of big egos, just look at Arsenal coach Wenger, take another look at Şaban Hakan Sukur, or for someone closer to home just have a chat to Sir Eski Kanka Jim. But what the bloody hell does Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek really think he is.

According to a report on the Anadolu news agency on Saturday, Gokcek is going to cut short a trip to the far east in order to attend Ankaraspor's last match of the season.

"I'm going back to Ankara to motivate the team", said the bastard who closed down our pub.

His Highness is in Seoul at the moment and has apparently decided not to bother with his trip to China where he was going to try and drum up business for the capital.

I have nothing against Ahmet Turgut's brother-in-law's team but with motivation from none other than Ankara's biggest wanker, Mr. Gokcek, my money and my prayers, are on Ankaraspor to be relegated.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Waiting for another week

No match report to give on Genclerbirligi's 2-0 win over Diyarbakirspor and so instead you will be given a maths lesson. The Turkish papers on Sunday failed to give anything but the score so I'm sure you will forgive me.

First up, the result means that Diyarbakirspor are going down. I know that one or two people who have contributed to the blog don't like Diyarbakirspor for their assumed connections to the PKK. I have no such thoughts.

Diyarbakirspor was supported by the state for a number of years with the idea being that the youth of the city might take out their frustrations at the footy and not on the streets.

A few years ago there were allegations that refs had been bribed to allow Diyabakirspor to get into the top flight. The team was, and this is past tense, supported 100 per cent by the local police force and the military. When they made it to the top flight they didn't actually have a single Kurd on the team, hardly Athletic Club Bilbao.

Anyway, as usual the Turkish state buggered up and didn't realise that a whole heap of football fans, especially those from Konya, would abuse the Diyarbakirspor team for being PKK, even if, as I said before, none of their players were Kurdish.

It didn't take long for the Kurds of Diyarbakir to understand this and so, naturally, they retaliated with pro-PKK stuff. It all came to a head a month or so ago when Diyarbakir fans went wild at a home match against Konyaspor.

Diyarbakir were given a six-match ban on spectators, the last of which was Saturday night against Genclerbirligi, which, as I said before we won 2-0.

So, calculations time for the UEFA Cup spot.

Trabzon: 52
Kayseri: 51
Gencler: 51

One match left. We have Trabzon-Besiktas, Galatasaray-Kayseri and Genclerbirligi-Rize.

All to play for. The only way for us to get into the UEFA Cup is for Trabzon to lose (or draw) and us to win. I'll be praying for Besiktas next week.

I'm not sure what happens if we end up on equal points but I'm sure the Turkish papers will say something about it in the next few days, well possibly.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Is this man going to be Genclerbirligi's new chairman?

The bunfight inside Genclerbirligi continued Friday, just a day before the match against Diyarbakirspor, with a vice chairman of the club (I'm not sure how many they have) Atilla Aytek, announcing today that he will run against Ilhan Cavcav for the chairman's position at the club's general congress scheduled for next Sunday.

While I'm not sure that it is such a good idea to have a congress on a day in which we could actually be playing our last home game of the season, Aytek's decision to run certainly makes things interesting.

At a press conference in Ankara Aytek did not directly mention the latest unilateral move by Cavcav to replace the general manager (as reported here) but I guess that this was a big issue in deciding to run against the man who has chaired Genclerbirligi for pretty much all of my life.

"What I've told Chairman Ilhan Cavcav during our talks is that we cannot return to the old system," Aytek told reporters who are probably now employing mystics to figure out what the hell he meant.

Aytek then went on for ages and ages and as far as I can see he said nothing of any real substance. There were no actual examples of what the "old system" was, how we are going back to it, nor any hard facts on why he thinks that Gencler are failing UEFA and FIFA criteria.

Aytek's platform appears to consist solely on solving all those problems, whatever they are, but again he didn't give announce any polices that he would implement.

My guess, as stated above, is that the problems have a hell of a lot to do with Cavcav's management style, ie he decides everything.

Anyway, I'm slightly lost. Perhaps its time for me to actually join the club.

I just checked out Aytek's rather thin cv on the Gencler site and it says he can speak English. So I vow that if he wins it this blog will have the first, and possibly last, interview in English with the chairman of Gencler.

Lanky Kanka, do you know anything about Aytek?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A happy story for a change

There are a couple of miners trapped hundreds of metres below ground at the moment in Tasmania after some sort of earth movement led to a cave in. The other day rescuers managed to actually get into radio contact with them and their first question was "What's the footy scores?"

Then today I came across this Reuters story:

The first things two freed Germans asked for after a 99-day hostage ordeal in Iraq were a beer and the latest scores in the German soccer league.

Germany's ambassador in Iraq Bernd Erbel was quoted in Bild newspaper on Thursday saying the two freed engineers -- Rene Braeunlich, 32, and Thomas Nitzschke, 28 -- knew what they wanted when they arrived at the embassy on Tuesday evening.

"'Do you have any cold beer, please?'" was the first thing they asked for, according to Erbel. After a toast to freedom they wanted to know the Bundesliga standings.

Truely is amazing how the will to live is fueled by beer and footy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Daum the multi-talented

Just watching the Turkish Cup final and I was not only amazed at how crap Fenerbahce were in the first half, I've never seen Tuncay play so badly, but I was even more blown away before the match started.

The national anthem was being played and most of the Turkish players were singing away. The foreign players were looking suitably stoic and then they cut to Fener coach Christophe Daum who was also singing the anthem.

Blew me away. I'm not sure if I even know my own national anthem, let alone Turkey's.

Only thing I'm unsure of is whether he had his arms by his side in the military style.


Greetings Kankas. I was dismayed to read in Hurriyet today that there will be 2,500 Policemen at the Turkish Cup Final tonight in Izmir between Fener and Besiktas. A sad reflection of the times we live in I think ! For example, in 2 recent matches in the UK recently....
Scottish Premier League.... Livingston V Dundee Utd there were 2,300 (admittedly, Livvy are relegated, but it does make you think !).
English 2nd Division.... Chester V Wycombe there were 2,800.

I can well understand the reasoning behind the TFF's decision to deploy so many Policemen in view of all the `battles` there have been here this season (The Battle of Kayseri is well documented in this Blog !!!). However, the `export` of hooliganism to the world which the English bestowed on us cannot be one of which they are proud of !!!

Anyway, enough of insignificant matches between two Istan...spit...bul teams. Let's look forward to the match of the season next Sunday between ANKARAGUCU and Antep !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

If the unmentionable happens

If the unmentionable happens to Ankaragucu in the next couple of weeks may I suggest the board take a look at what happened in the Mexican league in 1999. This is an excerpt from a Reuters piece I found today:

When Puebla were relegated to the second division of the Mexican championship in 1999, they found a simple way to deal with their predicament.

The club bought Union de Curtidores, who had been promoted in their place, relocated them to Puebla, re-named them Puebla -- and carried on as if nothing had happened.

Pure genius, but as Sir Eski Kanka has said before, Ankaragucu will stay in the top flight for as long as Kenan Evren is still alive.

The weekend plans

It's the last home game of the season for Ankaragucu and us Kankas will be out in force.

The plan, as always, will be to meet up at the Chopin at 2 pm and then head off to the stadium for the 4pm kickoff.

A win for Ankaragucu against Gaziantep will save them from the drop, a loss will leave all of us on edge for another week. Will this be the last time we watch Ankaragucu in the Super League for at least a year? I think not.

Hope to see you all there.

EDIT: I guess I should mention that the game is on Sunday

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Genclerbirligi blow up

Two critical matches left in the league and what the hell are Genclerbirligi doing? Concentrating on the task ahead, getting behind the team and coach, presenting a united front to the world? Nope. They are going through a messy boardroom brawl that is undermining everything.

In today's Hurriyet there was a small story that Chairman Ilhan Cavcav had sacked General Manager Hasan Cetinkaya and replaced him with a fellow called Cem Onuk. Yeah well, so what, I thought and then I've just noticed a story from the Anatolian news agency that the whole thing has severely upset the club's vice president Atilla Aytek who claims the whole affair undermined the team before last week's loss to Samsunspor.

I'm translating from Anatolia pretty much word-for-word:

"Leaving the match meeting one-and-a-half hours before the match against Samsunspor I was walking with Mesut (Bakkal - the coach) and he asked me: "Did you know they are bringing in Cem (Onuk)?"" Aytek, the vice chairman of the club is quoted.

"I thought to myself that for this kind of decision a board meeting would be needed but such a board meeting had not happened and I was very surprsied," Aytek said.

"I asked Mesut Bakkal, "Where did you learn this?" His answer was very interesting. "From the footballers," he said. "And from where did they learn this", I asked."

"At the time of the pre-match meeting Cem (Onuk) rang the footballers on their mobile phones and told them "I've taken over. From now on I'll be arranging your work""

At this point Vice Chairman Atilla Aytek clearly has smoke billowing out of his ears and goes on to rant:

"In 17 years of service this is the first time I've experienced such a thing," Aytek pretty much said but didn't exactly say because there are a few words in the original sentence which I can't be bothered to check the dictionary for.

"The pre-match meeting is for discussing tactics, for nothing else," Atek said.

He goes on and on and accuses Chairman Ilhan Cavcav of undermining the team.

Oh dear, oh dear. And I thought the TFF were the masters of good timing.

Common sense prevails... finally

Well, well, well.

It may not be on the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) website yet but it appears that they have decided to move Kayserispor's match from Friday to Saturday.

In this way all three teams who are going for a UEFA Cup spot, Kayseri, Genclerbirligi and Trabzonspor will be playing at the same time on Saturday evening.

Kayseri today issued a statement thanking the TFF for moving the match to the Saturday but rather impolitely failed to thank "The round ball in Ankara" for our role in yesterday's post in getting the TFF to change its mind.

Begs the question still, has anyone at the TFF got half a brain?

Scotland's best chance ever

Sir Eski Kanka being the good man that he is has promised to support Australia in the World Cup but may I suggest that he also support Trinidad and Tobago.

A quick look at the squad listed on the T and T website reveals a team that, with one or two exceptions, could easily read like a Scottish national team.

Just a few of the names on the T and T squad:


Cornell GLEN




And of course:


As someone pointed out somewhere else. This is probably Scotland's best chance for World Cup glory in quite a long time.

As if we really needed to know the details

As promised, Tuesday morning and with German precision (unlike the Ankaragucu strikers) Lanky Kanka Jorg gives us his report on Saturday's match which us plebs weren't allowed to attend. On to Lanky Kanka:

The game was from the sport aspect, very disappointing, especially from Ankaragücü!

There was no spirit, no fight, no willing to win this game.

During the whole game the team of Malatya - which also offered a very poor performance - tried at least everything to win this game and they had four 100 percent chances, but they were not able to make it, one thanks to a great save from Ankaragücüs goalie.

But they deserved to win the game much more than 1-0. This game was a perfect reflection of the actual standing in the league, bottom-bottom...

The only funny for the - 30 spectators each for Malatya and Ankaragücü - was when the horrible rain started in the middle of the second half. At least something to watch and smile. From the 55th minute it was a very irregular game, there was no possibility to control the ball, both sides hammered the ball near the penalty area of their opponents, but no one could manage to score.

Malatya is able to survive in the league now on their own. This weekend's relegation game against Gaziantepspor (Ed: on Sunday at home, details to follow soon) and Ankaragücü is now in the middle of a disaster. I hope they come back and fight again, otherwise ...

On Saturday I'll watch for the first time this season an Ankaraspor game, hope they will win against Trabzon, which will help struggling Gencler...

Monday, May 01, 2006

TFF buggers up the schedules, again

This blog has had a go at the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) over scheduling matters once or twice and so why not a third time.

First up I'd point out that the scheduling of this weekends matches in no way inconveniences me, Genclerbirligi or Ankaragucu and therefore this may turn out to be one of the more balanced rants this blog has seen.

The season is close to the end and there are extremely close races all over the place, for the championship, for a UEFA place and one hell of a struggle down the bottom to avoid relegation.

Knowing this, the TFF decided that most of last week's matches be played at the same time. I'm not sure if I agree with this, they don't do it in most other leagues, but hey if that's the way the TFF wants to do it I don't see any real hassle.

Having established the precedent the TFF has again scheduled the matches to be played by Galatasaray and Fenerbahce to be played at the same time on Sunday night.

But now comes the stupidity that we have come to expect from the TFF. The rest of the matches are not scheduled to be played at the same time and clearly some teams are feeling pissed off.

Today, both Kayserispor and Samsunspor have called for changes in the schedule saying that they are disadvantaged because they are playing before some of their rivals. In both of these cases, Genclerbirligi and Ankaragucu have a supposed advantage by playing later.

As I said before, I have no real problem with matches which aren't played at the same time but surely if the TFF are going to set a precedent they should stick to it. They have decided to treat the top two "fairly", why not the rest?

This being Turkey, I'm sure that it won't be long before the conspiracy theories are posted all over the net.

There you go, Gencler and Ankaragucu get given an advantage and this blog complains, can't say we aren't fair.