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.


  1. Well at least the two Ankara teams that matter stayed up even it was not quite the ending you guys wanted. I am glad you gave the Ankaraistanbulwannabees a hard time, support your home town team thats what I say!

  2. Good try Gencler, but a lack of consistency has been the downfall of both Ankara teams this season.

    Sorry Gencler couldn't make it to the Inter Toto. Gencler V Hibernian would have been interesting ??!! However, I'm still praying for Kayseri V Hibernian. We can all dream, can't we ???!!!

    Here's to success next season. On that subject, just read the good news in Hurriyet today that Hikkmet Karaman (Ankaragucu's coach) is staying on at the club.

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

  3. Anonymous6:09 pm

    Hi guys. Very dissapointing end to the season from Gencler. The last five games were all very accessible.

    Sounds like they were scared to go to Samsun and losing at home to a weakened Rizespor team was a thoroughly miserable end to it all.
    A win would have taken them into 4th.

    Are we set for a summer where the Big 4 come scavenging the likes of Ali Cansun, Ugur Boral and even Umut Bulut from Gucu?

    Jim - the Intertoto is regionalised and the draw mapped out. Unbelievably easy route into Europe for teams from big leagues. Newcastle just have to get the ferry across to Norway and beat one from there and they're in!!

    Hibs play a Latvian or Faroe side then most likely take on some Danes.

    Kayserispor should they beat a Hungarian side take on Atromitos of Athens.

    A story of what might have been for Gencler... Hibs, Spurs, Gretna!?

    Sorry to be so depressing. Also must own up Oz Kanka caught me red handed posting on another more glamorous female run Istanbul club blog - apologies!!

    Anyway all the best to everyone I'll probably be on to ask a load of questions before the start of next season.

  4. Brendan posted on a more glamorous blog? Can such a blog exist?

  5. Well......... it is obvious that Brendan hasn't met Oz Kanka when he is all decked-out in his Savil Row suit which has been worn to attend his non-existant conferences (his secret is safe with me ..... trusssssst me). With his slicked-back hair, manicured finger-nails, highly polished Northampton Leather shoes and pure silk Italian tie he is Mr Style himself.

    You will have to go a long way to find someone more glamourous than Young, Handsome and Dashing Oz Kanka on `conference` days !!!

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim who shops in Maltepe and Ulus bazaar for hand-me-downs !