Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hibs 2-2 Dundee Utd

Hibs and Dundee Utd served up a great game of football last Saturday ending up in a 2-2 draw.

The result was probably a fair outcome seeing as both teams went for the win from the start, even when Utd had a man sent off with 15 minutes remaining they continued to attack.

Hibs had the better of the first half and should have gone in at half time at least a goal to the good. Two terrific saves from the Utd goalkeeper and a bit of hard luck meant the half time score remained at 0-0.

Utd came into the game after the break and silenced the home fans on the hour mark when Robertson headed in a dangerous cross from the right.

An identical move eight minutes later meant His were two down and seemed out of the match.

Fortunately for Hibs, Benji was making his first appearance for a couple of months. Within five minutes of coming on he had pulled His back to within one goal. Quick feet left the Utd defence falling over each other and left Benji with just enough room to squeeze in a shot which the keeper had no chance.

A couple of minutes later and Hibs were level when Murphy was brought down in the box. Courier converted the penalty, Dillon the Utd defender was sent off and Hibs were set up for a grand stand finish.

As I mentioned earlier Utd came back from going a man down and continued to attack. Being honest either team could have won but all credit to Utd for making it an attractive match to watch.

At Easter Road these days teams generally come to defend and time waste. It can be frustrating but if more teams approached the games like Utd we would be in for more entertainment.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Getting your priorities right

I saw an interesting story on the Milliyet website today concerning a suggested new way to deal with penalties for teams whose supporters run amok, instead of banning all spectators just ban males aged over 11 years of age.

The proposal has been suggested by Nationalist Movement Party parliamentarian Osman Cakir and has been submitted to parliament.

"When you look at the profile of spectators you can see that the ugly chantings are uttered by men and women tend to stay away from using bad and ugly words in public areas," said Cakir who clearly hasn't sat next to French Kanka Hande as Gencler stuff up yet another clear shot on goal.

But it is an interesting proposal, allowing in for free only women and kiddies to the matches . I wonder what sort of numbers would show up.

The proposed legislation is of course going to die a quick death as it is probably in conflict with recent proposed changes to the laws that govern the football federation, not to mention Article 10 of the constitution which prohibits discrimination based on "language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, football club affiliation, philosophical convictions or religious beliefs".

Anyway, the good thing is that our parliamentarians are at least addressing the pressing issues that face Turkey today. Next up on the to do list: create a special "state sports person" category... er ... bloody hell, they are actually thinking of doing this.

Monday, November 26, 2007

No more rubbishing TDN

Monday afternoon and I thought I'd take a look at the Turkish Daily News to check out their take on Genclerbirligi Oftas' loss to Besiktas on Saturday.

I was slightly confused when I saw the headline: "A weekend all about relegation battles". I had to read the first few paragraphs before I realised they were reporting on Sunday's matches. I then checked to see that it was actually Monday.

But true... for the first time in my memory the TDN gave reports on matches a day after they happened, rather than two days later. Not only that, the story actually focused on Anatolian teams and not the usual diet of Istanbul giants.

Amazing stuff. Only hassle is that if they keep this up I will have to find another newspaper to rubbish.

So step forward our old mate Okan Udo Bassey at Today's Zaman.

Udo as usual concentrated on Saturday's games but at least the paper managed to get the scores in from yesterday's games.

Which brings us to The New Anatolian, the third English-language newspaper in Turkey, which didn't even bother to report on Saturday's matches, let alone yesterday's.

Well done TDN!

EDIT (Slightly later on Monday afternoon): I have just re-read the TDN piece and it sounded very familiar to stuff I used to write when I worked as Udo's lackey back in the mid-1990s.

Basically, Udo would hand me list of results, who scored when etc and ask me to make a story. So, lets deconstruct a bit of the TDN story.

Let's say that the only facts you know are the table positions, the results, the goal scorers and when they scored them. Do you think you could come up with the following paragraph?

"The Gaziantepspor-Gençlerbirliği match was dramatic, with Gençlerbirliği taking the lead twice, but only settling for a point after the final gasp strike by Ali Cansun. Gençlerbirliği, 16th with 10 points, missed the opportunity to close down on its opponent, who has 15 points."

Still as I said before, at least we got to read it on Monday and not tomorrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Another tentative step towards that elusive UEFA Cup slot by ANKARAGUCU today ??


I was unable to attend the match today (again !!) due to work commitments, but at least I was able to meet the kankas after the match in the Cappadokia Bar for celebration drinkies for ANKARAGUCU's victoreeeee and to listen to Oz Kanka's frustrated raves about Gencler's current predicament !

Mountaineering Kanka and his promise of bringing lottsa Bilkent Babes didn't materialise....... boo hiss and boo hiss again (waiting for an explanation, and a hangover will NOT be accepted as an excuse !!!). However, loyal and devoted fan Battle Damaged Kanka was there, also, Maniac Kanka, Oz Kanka, Rip Off Kanka, Cherry Kanka Rob and his wee boy Steven (he has inherited his mother's good looks and his mother's extrovert character ...... and his father's love of ANKARAGUCU !!!). `New kanka on the Block` Gunners Fanatik Kanka Rory was also there for his first visit to 19 Mayis Stadium. Unfortunately he is only here for a few more weeks but he is a true footie fanatik having been all over the place supporting Arssssssssinal.

Back to the match, and Battle Damaged Kanka will produce a report tomorrow which will be added as an edit here. All I can say is that Bebbe (Eski Kanka's fav player) scored the goal, but that Battle Damaged wasn't impressed with his performance during the match. I find that difficult to believe !!!

The reasons and all the action from the match will be revealed tomorrow.

Let's leave on a high note....... Ankaraspor lost ..... again..... yessssssssss !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

1st EDIT..... Got that one wrong didn't I !! Bebbe didn't score the goal. It was Kirita from a penalty. Must have been a wee bit under the influence last night me thinks ??!!

2nd EDIT......

The following report is courtesay of Battle Damaged Kanka Damon.....

Thanks to Jimbo those of you who were not lucky enough to make it to the match at least know that we won one-nil against Manisaspor picking up three very valuable points which launch us into sixth place pretty much neck and neck with fifth place Denizli and only three points away from the eight ball (Besiktas). Admittedly, we will have a bit more of a challenge ahead of us next week as we will be playing an away match in Konya while Besiktas will be playing a homematch against Rize, but who knows where the winds of football fortune will carry us--I know where Jim is hoping for: The UEFA Cup.

While my last match report from Bursa was a saga of Brobdingnagian proportions, this one regarding the match between Ankaragücü and Manisaspor will be--relatively speaking--a parable of Lilliputian dimensions--although not quite as short as the report in the newspaper Hurriyet, which was so generous as to devote two whole sentences to the match.

Our story begins with Montaineering Kanka Robbie who, after weeks of promising not only to come to the match but to also bring along a bunch of other supporters, did not show up (although I have to say that he did call and apologize before hand).

Then there is the lack of co-operation between Jim and Harun. Harun insists on going to Cappadokia bar and Jim insists on keeping the pre-game meeting place Chopin bar. As a result we wind up divided. (Note from Jim..... Harun MUST obey our Kanka rules !!!).

And yesterday we were even divided inside the Chopin. I was sitting there waiting for Rory and Rob only to find that at some point they had arrived and been ushered to a corner table. So, apparently, we were all sitting in there unaware of each other's presence until I called them to find our where they were just as I was leaving the bar.

And then we have the rest of the Bilkent contingent that cannot seem to wake up early enough to make it to the Chopin at the time specified in the e-mails. After Rory, Rob, little Steven and I had already made it to the Stadium, I received a few phone calls from a couple of Bilkenters. Judging from the voices, I would say that I heard Ananda and Alexandra. Unfortunately, reception was bad and I kept losing them. Hopefully they were able to make it to the match. One Kanka who I did run into by chance was Bad Hat Kanka Ian (although I should mention that he wants his moniker changed to Good Hat Kanka). Unfortunately, we lost each other amidst the throng of Gücü supporters soon after I showed him where to get tickets. Eventually Rory, Rob, Steven, and myself were able to get in and find Maniac Kanka Harun and Rip Off Kanka Erman.

The lesson of this parable is that we fans displayed in life the same flaws that Gücü did on the pitch: a lack of unity and organization. Gücü won but they got lucky. Here's more or less how it went down.

We dominated the first half of the match but both teams played pretty sloppy with occasional flashes of class. Standouts I would say were Kirita and Murat Erdogan, and in defense Emre and Serkan. The biggest disappointment was Bebbe who, no matter how hard he tried, just couldn't pull it together. The match went into half-time scoreless.

Things continued as in the first half until the 54th minute when Yasin who was trying to enter the penalty area was knocked down by Ferhat of Manisa. The ref Bülent Yildirim called for a penalty shot (there was some discussion amongst us kankas as to whether or not Yasin was pushed or whether he slipped on what must be the worst pitch in a Süper Lig level stadium; Harun, however, maintains that Yasin was definitely fouled). In any case, Kirita took the penalty shot; the Manisa goalie Bülent lept in the right direction but lept too far and missed blocking it. We were ahead 1-0.

From this point on, things started looking bad for Gücü. Manisa understandably became more aggressive and took four shots on goal which were all too close for comfort. Luckily none hit the mark. Bebbe also had a one on one face off with the Manisa goalie which should have put us up 2-0, but somehow Bebbe sent it flying out. It was just not his match.

And that was it. Watching this match was like watching a long volley in a tennis match as the two players keep hitting the ball back and forth. Both teams were having that much trouble maintaining possession. Rob, who hadn't been to a match in awhile, turned to me at one point and said "I forgot how lame it was." Rory, who is obviously a see the glass half full kind of guy, however, did say that he did see some flashes of good football. And little Steven captured the essence of the matter when he said, "We won."

After the match it was off to Cappadokia were we were later joined by Eski Kanka Jim who made up--in part--for having missed the match by sporting one hell of a spiffy tie--blue and gold of course!

So, in closing, I make an appeal to all the Gücü supporters in the Kanka group: let's get our act together. If we can't, how can we ask it of our boys on the pitch.

P.S. For those of you who want some great action shots of this match, go to the official Ankaragücü web page:

Even if Bebbe didn't have the best of matches, look at the heart the man displays.

Great report. Thanks Damon. You are fast becoming a legend in Ankara, and should you wish to leave teaching and take up journalism, I'm sure Oz Kanka can point you in the right direction !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

90th minute misery

Supporting Genclerbirligi this season is a akin to going for a tandem skydive and hoping that at some stage before you hit the ground the instructor will find where the hell the cord for the parachute is. A tortured metaphor, sure, but not as torturing as it has been for us Gencler fans in the past few months.

Gaziantep 2 - 2 Genclerbirligi

With the match being in Antep I had to make do with the fun of the Lig TV radio today. Half the time I have no idea what is going on but at least you get a general idea.

Gencler went ahead early on thanks to a Mehmet Cakir goal on six minutes. From then on it seems like Gaziantep were the team with the most chances, especially towards the end of the first half with Jesus in goal having to make a few saves.

Still, after all the crap we have seen this season it was nice to go into the break one up.

At half-time Lig TV radio gave out the results of lower division games in exactly to same way as the BBC does ie nice and slow, no emotion, perfect pronunciation. Apparently it is normal, well that is what Mrs. Oz Kanka told me but then somehow I doubt I can trust her on football reporting matters.

It was all quite nostalgic for me though and I was half expecting the announcer to start giving out results of teams I'd never heard of before: "Orduspor sifir - Malatyaspor iki, Stenhousemuir dort - Forfar sifir".

Second half and Aussie Nick Carle comes on for Isaac Promise. An attacking move? Not sure really. Anyway our man managed to get into a one-on-one with the keeper, left foot shot and out... the announcer saying it was a sitter.

Then Gaziantep up the tempo, shots everywhere, including a few off the posts.

Then disaster on the 76th... Antep 1 - 1 Gencler. No idea what happened.

As seems to happen quite a bit recently, Gencler come out flying after a goal is scored against us. A few good runs and shots but nothing to show for it.

Some sort of handbags incident in the 80-something minute with a bunch of yellow cards shown.

Then a scary moment as the Gaziantep players all go up and appeal for a penalty. Ref turns it down. Phew. If it had have been given it would also have resulted in Zoric bent sent off for a second yellow card... but as the radio guy said... "we will only be able to decide whether it was the right decision after watching the TV replays"

A miracle! Mehmet Nas scores in the 86th minute. We are going to win this one aren't we? Antep 1 - 2 Gencler.

And then the stake through the heart. 90th minute and Antep score. Final result 2-2.

A point away from home isn't so bad, but boy-oh-boy, we need some wins!

Next week at home against Trabzonspor. Friday 8pm KO. Hope to see some of you lot there.

PS: I think I got most of the details right but I may have made some mistakes. Unfortunately I can't check as the Anatolian news agency have yet to get their report out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Difficult to believe, but I have to praise the TFF - this is an all time first on this blog !!!

Imagine my surprise when the fixtures for this month AND next month have been released to the press so far ahead of schedule. Absolutely amazing, and I have to say that reluctantly they have my appreciation.

So, diaries out and make a note of these upcoming fixtures.....

Sunday 25 November - KO 2pm - ANKARAGUCU v Manisa
Gaziantep v Gencler

Friday 30 November - KO 8pm - Gencler v Trabzon

Saturday 1 December - KO 2pm - Konya v ANKARAGUCU

Saturday 8 December - KO 2pm - ANKARAGUCU v Kasimpasa

Sunday 9 December - KO 2pm - Istanbul BSB v Gencler

Sunday 16 December - KO 3.30pm - Gencler v Fenerbahce
KO 7pm - Besiktas v ANKARAGUCU

Saturday 22 December - KO 2pm - ANKARAGUCU v Kayseri

Sunday 23 December - KO 3.30pm - Sivas v Gencler

Hope to see some of you on Sunday for ANKARAGUCU's victoreeeee against Manisa.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, November 19, 2007

Turkish national team going great guns

The writers here at "The round ball in Ankara" steer well clear of reports about the Turkish national team. Whenever asked I say that it is because as yabancilar we would rather not get involved in arguments about the Milli Takim. The real truth is that we don't know anything about the national side and are too lazy to find out.

But I'd like to point out that the Amputee World Championships are being held in Antalya at the moment. Turkey is doing very well. They qualified second from their group after victories over the English, French and Liberians, losing only to the Russians, before defeating Iran 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

Today they take on Uzbekistan with the winner up against either Russia or Brazil in the final.

NTV had a pretty good report after the victory over England but since then I've seen bugger all news about the championships. The Turkish Football Federation have a page of results, but that's it... no photos, no reports.

So I was happy to see that today's Hurriyet had quite a large story titled "Our warriors in the semi-final dance".

It was a typical Hurriyet football piece, i.e. rubbish, but at least it was actually in there, although what the hell it was doing in the main part of the paper and not on the sports pages I have no idea.

The tournament has been very poorly promoted by the host country. Crowds numbers are terrible. Why not go to the local schools, hand out tickets, get the kiddies to bring along their Turkish flags and sing away.

After all, the football on display is bloody good, the highlights I saw on the telly were certainly better than the crap we have been served up by Genclerbirligi recently, and with Turkey playing so well there is plenty for a local crowd to enjoy.

What is the point of this post? I'm not sure. But I wish the Turkish team the very best of luck today.

EDIT: Seems as if I put the mockers on the Turkish team as they went down 2-1 this morning. Still, a good tournament performance and well done to all involved.

EDIT: Tuesday morning. Turkey defeated Brazil 1-0 in the third place play-off.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Hibs Ladies won their first silverware of the season last Saturday when they defeated Queen’s Park Ladies 4-0 in the Scottlsh League Cup Final.

This should prove to be some consolation to the Hibs First Team, who having won the Scottish League Cup last season, were eliminated by Motherwell this season.

Another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet is always welcome irrespective of who wins it !

Hibs Ladies were 2-0 up at half time after a typical attacking display and two great goals from Eski Kanka’s heroine, Kim Little.

More of the same in the 2nd half with newcomers to the Premier League, Queen’s Park, unable to put the Hibs defence under any pressure.

Suzanne Grant added the 3rd and Kim Little tied it up with her hat-trick. After losing out to the ladies of Edinburgh City at the same stage last season, this was a welcome and well deserved win for the Hibs girls.

With the winter break fast approaching, the Hibs Ladies now have their eyes firmly set on retaining the Scottish Cup and League Title, and so completing the Treble !

Well done girls.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This is principally a site for ANKARAGUCU and Gencler footie, but I think it is time to say a few words about The Baggies as a tribute to Baggie Kanka Dave and his lovely wife Carol who were ANKARAGUCU fanatiks here a few years ago and regular attenders at the matches in the old Sahil days.

Having returned from school last night, my darling wife (not a dragon !!) informed me that there was a match on TV. Monday night ? Strange .... I thought. However, I had a peek and.... wow.... it was The Baggies v Coventry Shitty. So, the 1st half was at the half way stage and I settled down to watch the the remainder and the 2nd half.

I caught sight of the old Hibs Manager of one year ago (Big Tony Mowbray) with a fixed scowl on his face and I had a chuckle at that. I was wondering if he was thinking....... I shouldn't have left Hibs for The Baggies !!! Doesn't he ever smile these days Dave ? I have seen a photo of Hibbie Kanka and his hooligans with Big Tony and he was actually smiling !!!

What little a saw of the 1st half looked to be about even between the teams, however, all change in the 2nd half with The Baggies in total control and playing some delightful footie. Coventry were chasing shadows (remind you of CimBom v Gencler last Sunday ??!!).

Gotta give it to Big Tony for putting a really attack minded team together and their fitness level was impressive. Bang bang bang bang...... 4 cracking goals and the pick of them came from that guy up front with the funny name ..... Phillipe something !! Also impressive was Robinson - big strong front man. A possible recruit for ANKARAGUCU next season ???

I was looking for Baggie Kanka in the crowd but couldn't locate him ! However, I'm sure he was there ?! Well, at least his influence was apparent. After the 3rd goal, the Baggie contingent started to do an immitation of the ANKARAGUCU `Olay Olay` song and dance routine. But...... I'm sorry to say they failed miserably !!! It looked more like a conga dance at a halloween party !!!

However, in Baggie Kanka's defence, he is now the proud owner of an ANKARAGUCU Kankalar T Shirt which he will no doubt be wearing with pride to future Baggie matches. Sure to be a conversation piece me thinks !!!

In summary then, well done The Baggies and I can realistically believe that promotion is on the cards this season if they continue to play like they did last night. Look over your shoulder Waaaaaatford...... The Baggies are coming !!!

All the best from Baggie Fan, Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, November 11, 2007

At least the first few minutes were fun

Pretty much as I expected. An away loss to Galatasaray. Still down in the relegation zone and not a great deal of light ahead of us.

As the match was in Istanbul I decided to open my house to one and all to watch the match on the telly. I received an enormous response of absolutely nothing. Some grovelling at a party on Saturday night did end up with Spine and French Kanka Hande taking pity on me and so I thought it only right to whip up a curry for the only friends I have in Ankara.

Galatasaray 3 - 2 Genclerbirligi

Yumdidee Yum and the curry went down well. In fact we had hardly started when Isaac Promise got a cross in that wasn't cleared properly, the ball was sent left to Kerem Saras who I thought was about to send it on but instead had a shot. Luckily it went off a Galatasaray player and the keeper didn't have a chance. Three minutes in and 0-1 up. Cue delight from the Oz Kanka household.

It was also as good a time as any to send Little Oz Kanka to bed. At least he will be dreaming of that great goal and not the rest of the match.

So I enjoyed the first three minutes but from then on it was all pain.

Hats off to Galatasaray, they were playing a mean pressing game and out boys couldn't get the ball out of our own half.

Amateur analysis time: In the last few weeks we have been playing against teams set to defend. They weren't concerned with us having the ball in midfield and so we played it slow and boringly up to the front where we would inevitably lose it. Tonight, our lot looked in shock as Galatasaray actually tried to get the ball while we still had it in our own half. The result, after the goal we hardly got into the Galatasaray half at all. Pathetic.

So with bugger all position we managed to have two goals scored against us.

Half-time 2-1.

What with the wind and cold in Ankara this evening we relaxed our "no smoking inside" rule to one of "smoking allowed sort of near the kitchen balcony door" but still our discussions were downbeat.

Second half though and I thought we played a bit better. We played with the ball and had the best of the first five minutes and then Galatasaray, with their first attack of the second half, scored thanks to a deflection from Mr. Grape. Poor bugger, that was the second deflection off him that resulted in a goal. 3-1.

Galatasaray obviously took their foot off the accelerator at this point thus allowing us a bit more of the ball. There were a few nice combinations but quite frankly when the most talked about point amongst the crowd at the Oz Kanka household were the highlights in Genclerbirligi substitute Sedat Yesilkaya's hair, you know this was not a classic game of football.

A few highjinks towards the end as we were denied a clear penalty. And then Galatasaray's Song went in with a knee into Mehmet Cakir's back. It should have been a red, or at least a yellow. Instead he of the great streaks hair highlights got a yellow (appropriately hair-wise).

Okan Ozturk also managed to break his nose in a challenge but had to stay on as we had used our substitutions.

Then just towards the end one of our Serbian blokes, afraid I'm not sure if it was Storic or Petkovic, took a wonderful free kick. He sent it high and straight onto the head of Mr. Grape in the box who headed it toward goal and in, via a deflection. 3-2.

Final whistle a few seconds later and I hung my head in shame. We have had this blog going for a while now and yet I've yet to have the joy of heading off to Gulay's Galatasaray blog and just shouting abuse, well... I have shouted abuse there but never have I been able to gloat. One day, one day.

ANKARAGUCU - GOLDEN STRIKE (Hurriyet's Headline - Not Mine !!)

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

On a cold and crisp Saturday afternoon in Ankara .....

ANKARAGUCU 1 Gaziantepspor 0

Good turnout from the kankas yesterday with Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Rip Off Kanka Erman, Yankee Kanka, Alpine Kanka Wolfgang with his son Chris and his buddy, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie and his `Bilkent Babes` Jennifer and Abi. Also, Andrew and Ian from Bilkent.

Maniac Kanka and I were working (as usual at this time of the year) and were conspicuous by our absence ! But...... we did turn up for post-match celebrations !!!

However, I can tell you that Murat Erdogan scored the vital (golden goal !!) in the 54th minute from a break from El Yasa and an astute pass from Jaba.

It was in ANKARAGUCU's hands (and feet) to add more, but...... according to Damon and Robbie, they retreated into a defensive formation for the last 10 minutes of the match and performed some professional time wasting tactics. Tut tut tut !!!

Well............. 3 points are 3 points and they are welcome as ANKARAGUCU keep up their pursuit of that UEFA Cup place.

The full report of the match will be added as an EDIT by Moutaineering Kanka Robbie soon. So, watch this space for more !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

EDIT..... Sunday night.....

Well, WELL! Mountaineering Kanka here and I am honored to be giving this week’s report. It is a testament to what perseverance can accomplish as I can now tick off one more thing on my “things to do before you’re dead!” list. To spare those who suffered from the last report, I will not be writing any Russian novels. Oh no, only the necessary information…(who came to the match, what happened at the match, and who was wearing the most ridiculous piece of clothing!)

A contingent of Bilkent Kankas headed to Chopin at around 12:30 to look for comrades but alas found none and so headed off to the match. Present were… Myself, Battle-Damaged Kanka Damon (who may be changing his name), and four as of yet unnamed Bilkent supporters. Kankas Ian and Andrew and Kankies Abby and Jennifer. All were present for the Battle of Sakarya Caddesi 2 some weeks ago and were ready for more!

Upon arrival in the stadium around 1:15, we were surprised to see a smaller crowd than normal. Because of the slight change in temperature no doubt. After some time, some familiar faces showed up and joined us for the viewing. Rip Off Kanka Erman, Alpine Kanka Wolfgang (supporting Gucu more and more every week!) along with one of his “wolf cubs” and a friend. Yankee Kanka completed the group and we were ready to go.

The game started with Gucu taking it to GAspor. In the first minute Bebbe nearly scored on a self-induced volley opportunity… just wide! The attacks continued with Kirita (captain because of an absent Emre) setting up many of them. Also notable was the stellar play of Murat Erdogan, a definite rising star! The referee clearly wanted to be involved in the match and the whistle was blowing early and often. In about the 25th minute a rare back pass violation gave Gucu a free kick a mere 5 meters from Antep’s goal. A screamer from Kirita connected with the keeper of Antep’s face and left him an uglier man! The attacking play of Gucu began to subside and they settled into the all too familiar long pass rhythm. This opened the field up a bit and gave Antep more chances to attack themselves on fast breaks. There were a few shots on our goal, one of which Serkan tipped neatly over the bar. Close! The play continued with Gucu’s offense anemic and by the time the half was called it looked like anybody’s match… 0-0.

Second half began much the same as the first with Gucu attacking hard to try and gain the advantage. A ball played down the right line to Yasin was taken nicely and crossed back into the box just a tad early for a diving Jaba. You could sense that something was coming and then in about the 52nd minute, El Yasa (who played great) took the ball down the right side and crossed it in to Jaba who saved it from going over the touch line and put it back up to the top of the box for a waiting Murat Erdogan… BANG! Keeper had no chance. 1-0 Gucu.

This left GAspor scrambling a bit and they began to up their attack but Gucu’s defense were up to the task. The referee was still very involved and prompted many arguments for his calls. Nice job from Kirita to deflate tensions quickly. In the last perhaps fifteen minutes of the match, something happened to Gucu’s defense. I haven’t seen them play such poor defense in a long time. Note Hakan Kutlu: This is an area that needs to be addressed! The absence of Emre was noticeable as there was a clear lack of communication, Defenders were waiting around and missing tackles left and right. The last five minutes were very tense and I am ashamed to say that Gucu did employ some time-wasting tactics. Finally though the whistle blew and the three points were ours! Still undefeated at home!

After that it was off to the pub where we met up with Eski Kanka Jim and Maniac Kanka Harun. Drinks and Kofte were had by all and Gucu were toasted more than once! Well, that’s two out of three, so now on to the most ridiculous piece of clothing worn. It simply must go to Ian for that Soviet Era dead animal hat he was wearing. As Jim said, it looked much better on Abby. So, pending ratification from Oz Kanka and Eski Kanka I will dub Ian “Bad Hat Kanka”, long may he continue to come to matches!

Cheers and hope to see all of you at the stadium soon!
Mountaineering Kanka Robbie

Yesssss............. great report from Mountaineering Kanka. More in the future me thinks ??!! Bad Hat Kanka for Ian ? Most definitely............ go for it !

Alpine Kanka is now a `secret` Ankaragucu fanatik, but............. for God's sake, don't tell Oz Kanka !!!


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

At last...... the long awaited `Saga` from Battle Damaged Kanka Damon on the eventful trip made to Bursa last weekend by himself, Maniac Kanka and Yankee Kanka. A gripping and fantastic read if you have 2 hours to spare !!! Read on......


Here it is. I think you'll see why it took me awhile. Please give it a once over since I only have Turkish spell check on my computer. Don't blame me for the length. Harun wanted all the details in there, and you know as well as anyone how stubborn he can be. Although, I see that you did arrange for us to meet at Chopin tomorrow before the match.

I (Battle Damaged Kanka Damon) was having a fish dinner in Bahçelievler when I got the call from Maniac Kanka Harun that he and Yankee Kanka would indeed be making the trek to Bursa for the match. I, of course, wasted no time high tailing it back to the Bilkent campus to try to recruit further supporters for the journey. Unfortunately, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie had work to do (although I found him at a party), and no one else was up for it. So be it. After my failed attempt to increase our numbers, I hailed a cab which delivered me to the reliable Cappadokia bar where I found my two travelling companions. After a dose of what Eski Kanka Jim likes to call the amber nectar we headed off.

On the way, Harun stopped off at a bakal for provisions. These consisted of several cans of Turkey’s finest (Efes, of course), a chocolate bar and two medium sized bottles of 10 YTL cognac (The latter two purchases we stuffed into my backpack. The two bottles would later turn out to be a bit problematic) . We then hailed a cab and after a quick trip back to Harun’s sport shop to pick up his Gücü jacket, we were on our way to the bus terminal Asti, beers in hand. Harun, being the considerate guy that he is, even gave a beer to the driver who, to my relief, decided not to drink it while behind the wheel.

Upon arriving at Asti, someone’s cell phone went off. The ring tone was Bella Ciao the Italian partisan anthem and we walked to the front doors of the terminal singing the song, Harun and Yankee in Turkish, me in Italian. We then chucked our empty cans, entered the otogar, and picked up our tickets. At the ticket booth next to the Nilüfer (Nilüfer is a Bursa based company, and anybody who knows Harun, knows that he always supports local businesses. No doubt this has much to do with why he loves Ankaragücü so much.) booth who should we happen to find other than Ankaragücü’s own boy wonder Gececi who is probably single-handedly responsible for more Ankaragücü graffiti in the city than anyone else. After a quick chat, we went to wait for the bus where we found an extremely young group of Guru supporters. Yankee had them in stitches with his warped humor until it was time to board. Not surprisingly, we were not alone; there were three other supporters on the bus as well. We then tucked in for the six hour ride.

About mid-way through the journey the bus stopped at one of those amazing rest stops that, as far as I know, only exist in Turkey. After the obligatory bathroom break, we ate soup and then headed to the far end of the parking lot to furtively drink our cognac and eat chocolate. Yankee Janka abstained as he has a low tolerance and had already drunk a few too many beers for his constitution while at the Capped. Ha run claimed that the cognac was habit he had picked up in the army while doing his military service--the perfect antidote for chilly weather. After warming up with the cognac, we put the half empty bottle back into my backpack and headed back to the bus. As the bus was pulling out, a bunch of Gücü supporters (about three buses full of Gücü supporters who knew Harun had pulled up by this point) waved and chided us for being sosyetik which literally means “of fashionable society” but is basically a way of calling someone snobby. Apparently, taking a private bus company rather than riding with them earned us this moniker.

We arrived at the otogar in Bursa around 6:30. Yankee was at this point nursing a nasty hangover for which Harun was showing no mercy, taunting him the entire time. We went to get bus tickets. The small booth outside where the tickets are sold was filled with employees. They were a little surprised to see us and even more surprised when they learned that we were just a group of die hard fans and not the team trainers they had initially taken us for.

This was to be my first experience with the hospitality offered to Gücü supporters in Bursa. We were immediately offered tea which was getting constantly refilled until we finally tore ourselves away to catch our bus into town along with the other three supporters who had come in on the same bus.

The trip on the city bus was uneventful. We were alerted to the correct stop to get off at by a helpful Bursa woman and then caught a dolmus from Bursa to Mudanya a small neighboring town on the sea. Harun had been determined to get to the sea before heading to the match. And it is a good thing he was because from the time we got on the dolmus it was readily apparent that Bursa, despite being overly industrialized, was a gorgeous city. Everywhere you looked it was green, and with the early morning fog hanging over the trees it was, at times, breathtaking.

After arriving at Mudanya, we found an open restaurant where the six of us noshed on ekmek sucuk (garlic sausage sandwiches) throwing pieces of bread and sucuk and cookies to two nearby dogs. When we had arrived, the dogs had been wrestling. They were clearly friends but that didn’t keep them from trying get the upper paw one over the other. I thought to myself that they were aptly symbolic of the match to come.

We then walked along the promenade breathing in the salt tang and finally onto a poorly maintained beach where a handful of locals were fishing. Harun and Yankee sat with them for awhile while the rest of us just wandered around admiring the sea and the mallards swimming nearby. We then headed back to the dolmus stop. Yankee and our other three companions took a slight detour when they saw a city park full of exercise equipment. For those of you who know Yankee, I am sure you can imagine what he must have looked like on a pink metal cross-country skiing machine. According to his calculations, he was three kilos lighter by the time he caught up with us.

Soon we were on a dolmus back to Bursa, or so we thought. Turned out it was the wrong dolmus. After being informed of this fact by another kindly Bursa lady, we got on the right one, paid our money, got off shortly thereafter and got onto another form of Bursa public transport: the train. On the train we were greeted by a couple of Bursa Spor fans also heading to the match. The lot of us soon reached our stop and headed up a hill towards Atatürk stadium.

As we were climbing up the hill two kids came running at Harun and Yankee asking for their Gücü caps. Neither was feeling so generous as to part with his hat. Yankee, though, felt the need to explain. He turned to me as we were still walking and said “Listen, I need it; I’m bald.” I couldn’t argue with him there.

It was still only eleven o’clock when we bought our tickets. So with plenty of time to spare, we proceeded to Kültürpark which was already starting to fill up with supporters for both clubs. We were looking for a place to grab a beer (we were also trying to figure out what to do with the damned cognac), but, not surprisingly with a mosque sitting in the middle of the park, it appeared to be dry. No beer, no reason to stay. So we headed off on another quest to satisfy another kanka vice: an iddaa booth, so Harun and Yankee could bet on the day’s matches. Having done this, it was back on the quest for a cold one.

We soon found our Holy Grail across from the stadium. We grabbed a corner table and ordered beers and dried chickpeas. There were only a couple of other guys in there drinking. One of them began chatting with Harun. Soon other Bursa-ites began to filter in. Among them we met a Hasan, two Murats and a Süleyman. I was introduced as “the American” which appeared to raise some eyebrows. This was probably a consequence of current political tensions between Turkey and America as well as surprise at finding that Gücü had at least one American supporter. I explained that many Americans had also been against the Iraq war from the beginning. I then proceeded to tell them about one banner we had held up in marches before I had left the States. I translated “With a Dick (as in Cheney) and a Bush in the White House all America gets f####ed” into Turkish. The two guys wearing Bursa Spor tops in particular seemed to get a chuckle from this, and that was the end of the raised eyebrows—although one guy in the corner continued to look at me strangely. Hey, you can’t please all the people all of the time.

After another round, it was time to go. But there was still the problem of the cognac bottles in my bag. I figured if the police won’t let you in with a lighter or loose change, cognac was certain to be out of the question. So we asked the kid tending bar if he would hold it for us. He graciously accepted. We then paid our tab and set off. On our way to the gate, we passed in front of a Bursa Spor store. We all stopped and looked at all the goodies in the window. Harun got a dreamy look on his face. I guessed he was thinking how nice it would be to have a similar shop full of Gücü gear parked right outside the stadium. I said, “I would be nice wouldn’t it.” He responded “Hopefully one day.” Yes, maybe one day the people of Ankara will stop being Istanbul posers and see the light and support their teams like Bursa supports theirs. Until that day, our little kanka group will do its part.

The gate was a madhouse. Yankee was the first one to squeeze through (having gotten over his hangover and gotten in a workout to boot, he was obviously in good form). Harun and I managed shortly thereafter. We literally had to climb over a railing and other supporters to make it further. In the end, we got through. It was a good thing we had left the bag in the bar because brother team or not there were still police waiting inside to search us. Having passed through the police, Harun and Yankee bought us köfte sandwiches and ayran. Food in hand we went to find seats.

The atmosphere inside was wild. Fans were already chanting at the top of their lungs. We chanted Bursa songs, they chanted ours. Having been to away matches in Kayseri, where we were expelled from the stadium as both sides hurled plastic shards and chunks of concrete at each other (see the best of The Round Ball for more on this match), and Sivas, this seemed like an episode of the Twilight Zone. There was absolutely no hate or even antagonism, only playful good will—like the dogs in Mudanya.

In addition to singing each other’s praises, a good number of chants emanating from the Bursa fans had to do with their displeasure with their club’s management (seems to be a recurring theme in Turkish football). Besiktas was also the target of some not so friendly chants. But as tradition now dictates, these more hot blooded chants died down as the Bursa Spor fans cheered us at the six minute mark to symbolize the number on Ankara license plates and ten minutes later we did likewise for them.

A mere four minutes later, however, things weren’t looking so positive as Volkan crossed the ball from the right wing straight to Veli who was entering the penalty area. Veli then passed to the Macedonian player Sumulikoski who heeled it into the goal. We had been scored against, but to my surprise the Gücü fans cheered and the Bursa fans chanted “Ankargücü” as if they had been us. Things did not get much better, however, for our boys in gold and blue as Bursa took two more shots on goal (one missing by a smidge and the other ably snatched by Zafer who is still in for the injured Serkan) before the first half ended.

In the second half, Bursa were again on the attack. It only took them six minutes in to launch a scorcher towards Zafer. But Zafer was ready and snagged it. Three minutes later it was our turn. Murat Erdoðan passed the ball right in front of an incoming Jaba who sent it flying into the goal. Again both teams gave each other a long distance clap on the back with Bursa fans applauding the goal and the Gücü supporters yelling out “Bursa Spor.”

It would have been nice if the match could have ended there for it would have been more fitting given the atmosphere of brotherhood in the stadium, but twas not to be. In the sixty-fourth minute Tum headed in a cross from Volkan and the score became 2-1. The two sections where the Ankara fans were seated began shouting back and forth at each other

Her zaman, her yere gider
Ne yaðmur ne caðmur dinler
Severse gönülden sever
Bu alemde Ankaragüçlüler

in an attempt to give the team a shot in the arm. Now we are all used to such chanting, but I was in for a surprise. Normally, these chants go on for a few rounds and then die off, but this one was so heart felt that it continued for a good fifteen minutes (no exaggeration) continuing to increase in volume with each passing minute. But I also learned why I sit in marathon and not in the Gecekondu section. These guys were so intent on screaming as loud as they could that they were missing the match. They were watching each other and not our boys on the field. This to me misses the whole point. But if that’s their thing, who I am to question them.

I also got to experience first hand the running down and across in the seats that Gecekondu has become so famous for. Now that was pretty fun, I must say. But the fun did not end there. Soon, what must be the biggest Ankaragücü banner in existence came unrolling down from the top row. As it reached us we helped unroll it further until the whole section was under this massive yellow and blue sheet. But now there really was no way of watching the match. Turned out it really didn’t matter because nothing of any importance happened while we were under there. That was it: 2-1.

We didn’t win, but I did meet some really friendly people. The kid sitting next to me who I had thought was from Ankara turned out to be one of Bursa’s Texas group. We had a nice chat which was overheard by a Gücü fan who joined in our conversation. He quickly asked where I was from, and his jaw nearly hit the ground when he found out Gücü had an American supporter. I do believe he nearly shed tears of joy. He said, “It’s hard enough to find an American who gets into football, let alone one who supports Ankaragücü. Once again I learned that Ankaragücü helps smash stereotypes and break down borders. Hopefully I’ll meet these guys again.

Now we had a bus to catch. But first we had to get the bag. So it was back to the bar. On our way we had to walk through the crowd of Bursa supporters who were exiting the stadium. As we walked through someone gave me a slap on the back and I shook a few hands.

As we entered the bar I noticed that Hasan, Murat, Murat and Süleyman were still there. They had been watching the match on TV. They gave us their condolences, but it was clear that they were happy with the result. Who can blame them. We all had another beer. Then Harun, Yankee and I retrieved the bag, grabbed a taxi and headed back to the bus station. At the station, we got our tickets and made for the bus, Harun picking up some candied chestnuts, a Bursa specialty, for his daughter Hazal on the way.
Apart from almost getting left behind in Eskiþehir, that was the end of our Bursa adventure. I got home around eleven o’clock with my bag full of cognac and a whole lot of great memories. Can’t wait to do it again.

Fantastic report from Battle Damaged. He is becoming a real Footie (Soccer in his lingo) Pro reporter and I think we have found another jewel for futher reports !!!

As I post this, ANKARAGUCU are playing Gaziantep and so let's hope we have something positive to say about this week's match result later ?!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's not stealing if you admit who you stole it from

I've nicked this one from the Guardian's tea-timely e-mail: Enjoy!


Last Saturday, Besiktas were beaten by their Istanbul neighbours Fenerbahçe for the first time in more than six years. The 2-1 defeat was controversial: according to Today's Zaman, an Istanbul newspaper which quite literally talks our language, the game featured "hair-pulling, pushing, shoving, rough tackling and provocation by both sides, and above all, terrible refereeing decisions. It will go into the record books as one of the worst-officiated Istanbul derbies in the Turkish soccer league since its inception in 1959. There were so many obvious errors, so many wrong calls and so many non-calls that it would be impossible to enumerate all of them."

The worst refereeing performance since 1959? Impossible to enum-thing? Oh me, oh my, that's some bad whistlin'! But what did referee İsmet Arzuman do that was so wrong? Well, it seems he should have sent off Fenerbahçe's Brazilian star Deivid for a second bookable offence, and blew up for an injury-time foul by a Besiktas player only for Besiktas to, er, ignore the whistle, jog up the pitch and slot the ball in the net. All of which doesn't sound particularly heinous to us, especially as Besiktas missed three open goals and may want to put their own house in order first. "Except for a few mistakes, Arzuman refereed the match pretty well," came the ringing endorsement from Turkish Football Federation president Haluk Ulusoy. So let's just hope the reaction from Besiktas president Yıldırım Demirören was measured and proportionate, then, eh?

"Arzuman, who virtually caused a scandal on the pitch in the first 30 minutes with his never-ending one-sided calls, must give up officiating starting from today!" parped Demirören from the front page of the Besiktas website ( "As a protest, we have decided to play our upcoming game against Sivasspor with our youth team. We also ask our fans not to come to this game. If our sponsors want to cancel their contracts so be it. We are fed up with bad calls. These calls have already cost us two crucial derbies! If Mr Arzuman decides not to resign, we will reconsider our position and probably step on the field with our youth team in the following games as well."

Demirören's protest hasn't been confined to Turkey, either. Last night at Anfield, with the gaze of Europe upon them, Besiktas elected to drop their entire first team and replace them with heavy items of household furniture (4-5-1): Wardrobe; Bookcase, Sideboard, Really Quite Sturdy Hat Stand; Sofa; Chair, Chair, Dining Table, Chair, Chair; 42-inch Television Set. "We may have to part ways with some of our players," muttered a distracted Demirören after the side's subsequent 8-0 shellacking by Liverpool, perhaps wondering if Besiktas should have fielded Occasional Table, Pouffe and Four-Poster Bed instead.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Having just watched the demolition of Besiktas in Liverpool tonight I can say with authority that Liverpool were bloody lucky ! What ??? Read on ......

Besiktas were never in the match because their eyes were elsewhere ! What are you talking about I can hear you all say ??

Simply this....... their eyes were never on this match. There is an even greater prize than beating Liverpool at Anfield or even winning the European Cup ! Yes, my friends..... read on for the real answer....

Besiktas eyes were quite clearly focused on the 16th of January 2008 when they know they have to come to 19 Mayis Stadium in the Turkish Cup and take on one of the only teams in Yooro Footie who remain unbeaten at home........ ANKARAGUCU !!!

It is quite clear to me that this make-or-break match will be the pinnacle of the Besiktas season and tonight was just a (run out) or prelude to the BIG ONE on 16 January.

I say ....... bring them on and let's do a Liverpool to them...... yesssssssss !!!!

All the best from The Oracle .... Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, November 05, 2007

Spit the dummy

Besiktas and Fenerbahce fans are handbagging each other at the moment over a controversial decision not to award a goal to Besiktas in the last minutes of their 2-1 loss away to Fenerbahce over the weekend.

The allegations are familiar. "Everyone is against us, the Football Federation is biased," is the drift of the Besiktas fansites. The Fenerbahce lot respond with "be a man and stop whinging."

It is all very childish and typical of the fans of all three of the Big Istanbul clubs. A decision goes against you and it is clear that there is a "conspiracy". I'm not going to make a stand on whether the decision made by the referee was right or wrong... it was a close call, but the Besiktas lot are making out as if this was a bigger injustice than when Boluspor were denied the Turkish Cup back in the early 1980s.

The Besiktas chairman is so upset that he has threatened to play his youth side in the next League match, a clear sign that he is getting his excuses in early for their match against joint leaders Sivasspor this weekend.

Besiktas fans have form when it comes to be being whingers. I noticed this statement on the Fenerbahce fan site

"You lot need both hearing pieces and dummies," the statement said. I'm assuming the "hearing pieces" bit refers to the fact that the Besiktas players continued playing, and then scoring, after the whistle had gone.

The piece continues: "Do you remember the "Send a dummy to Besiktas" campaign launched by Genclerbirligi fans a few years ago. But of course you only have the memory capacity to remember something for a couple of weeks."


I cant remember the Genclerbirligi campaign and would love it if anyone here could help me out.

But back to the fight.

"The TFF, under the influence of chief Haluk Ulusoy, puts pressure on the referees and the referees officiate in the games the way the federation wants them to," said Besiktas Chairman Yildirim Demiroren after the weekends match.

Typical whinging for the Besik... Ahhh ooops. Sorry about that. That wasn't the Besiktas chairman at all. It was actually said by Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim earlier this year, as quoted in this piece in the Turkish Daily News.

Put a sock in it, all of you.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Make love..... not war........ is a commendable philosophy, but I honestly believe we take it too far with our matches against Bursaspor !

Bursaspor 2 ANKARAGUCU 1

Maniac Kanka, Yankee Kanka and Battle Damaged Kanka all made the trip through to Bursa yesterday like true footie fanatiks. It has long been my ambition to do that with them, but I was tied up in knots at my school yesterday and so it must wait for another season.

Battle Damaged Kanka Damon sent me this brief report on his return from Bursa...... and I'll post his full report as an edit here later when he sends it to me.


We just got back and I am completely knackered, but I promise to send you pre-match, match and post-match details tomorrow. I'll say this for now: how the fans from these two teams interact is amazing. This relationship may be unique in the world of sports. Are you aware of anything similar anywhere else? I can't think of anything similar. I have seen lack of hate many times but not an outpouring of love.

I agree that the result was not good. But it seemed to me that we were just outplayed. Gücü was sometimes able to bring the ball up but couldn't finalize. Bursa was just controlling the ball better overall (I would guess that possession was about 55% to 45% at worst for Bursa) and finishing better--bringing it up the sides and the middle without too much difficulty.
On the other hand, I did not witness the flailing about and sense of scatteredness on the part of our boys that I did in the Rize match (even if we did win that one).
Anyway, I'll get back to you tomorrow with the nitty gritty.

Battle Damaged`

As for his question about similar liaisons between footie clubs, the answer is ...... a big No No. This has to be a unique tie-up between players and supporters upon which I have commented on the Blog previously.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Can it get more depressing? ... probably

What a load of crap. I've been watching Genclerbirligi for quite a few years now and quite frankly I'm not sure how I can continue.

We have decent players, we have 27 fans, today we had bright sunshine, but still we were served up absolute rubbish.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Denizlispor

A shortage of Genclerbirligi Kankas today thanks to Roger promising Cornish pastries and free beer at the Red Lion Club for those who wanted to join him for the Norwich City - Ipswich match meant that it was just myself, Alpine Kanka Wolfgang and the two mini-Alpine Kankas down at the Chopin Bar.

I enjoyed my chicken kebab and beers and we left with plenty of time to get to the stadium only to find that Cavcav had actually opened more gates than usual. We got into the stadium in about a minute, as opposed to about 45 minutes last time, and wished we had stayed at the Chopin for another beer.

But onto the match. Yawn.

Turtles, snails, Jim deciding whether to shout a round... all are a billion times faster than the way Genclerbirligi played today. We had posession, we had the midfield, but if you are going to play so bloody slowly is it any wonder that the defence can get back!

Let me state it quite clearly, Denizli were crap. The fact that we didn't even get a shot on goal in the first half had bugger all to do with their defence but a damn lot to do with our attack.

Us fans were singing away with 5,000 percent more energy than the Gencler players were displaying. At half time I was hanging my head in shame.

Second half and our new coach Bulent Korkmaz must have said ... "more of the same please" because we saw more bloody crap.

Just re-read my account of the first half to get an idea.

Then Denizli got lucky with a penalty (accidental handball in the box). They converted. 0-1

Okay, we are down. Time to pick up the tempo perhaps. Ah perhaps, but not before a basic mistake from Isaac Promise as he tried to head down a ball to one of our players but instead found one of theirs in our half, a couple of passes later and it was 0-2.

This was embarrassing and finally the Gencler players knew it. Ten minutes left in the match and we started playing. Fast balls through to people in space... floated crosses to people like Okan and Kahe who knew what to do with them. We were creating chances and the Denizli goalkeeper finally had to do some work.

We got one back when Nick Carle sent in a corner pretty much perfectly into the box where Isaac Promise was bloody lucky to be there.

Quite frankly it was the only decent thing Isaac did all match.

I lost count of the number of times Isaac ... blindly passed to an empty space.

I lost count of the number of times he ... tried a smart back flick which went straight to the opposition.

I lost count of the number of times ... when we were on the attack with players ready to recieve the ball, Isaac backtracked.

Why on earth Korkmaz kept him on for the full 90 minutes I have no idea.

Having given Isaac a lot of stick I'd like to point out that the way we are playing at the moment is not suited to his style. Isaac is fast. He can get behind defenders, especially when we are on the counter attack. Our style also doesn't seem to suit Nick Carle. We need Carle to distribute balls through gaps to players running on to the ball, but we can't do that if it takes 15 minutes to get the ball from the keeper into the opposition's half.

Dear God,
Is this punishment for me supporting South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final? I swear I will never do it again.
Oz Kanka

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Almost a scare yesterday, but nerves were calmed at the end.


Due to the early KO (1.30pm), I decided to take a nostalgic walk through Genclik Park on my way to the Stadium.

It was a sad journey through the park. It is a shambles and a disgrace. Another reason for Melih Gokcek to hang his head in shame !

I made my first visit to this park back in 1979 and have lost count of how many times I have been there. The old tea house in the shape of a boat in the lake is lying in rubble. Our old meeting venue, Sahil, is also in rubble. But, remember the tree that grew out of the Gents toilet ? The good news is that it is still standing, but surrounded in concrete rubble !!

Into the Stadium then – no queues with lots of gates open (Cavcav please note !!!) - where I was met by Rip Off Kanka Erman resplendent in his suit, shirt and tie who had come direct from work.

A familiar pattern was obvious from the opening minute of the match with ANKARAGUCU attacking and taking the game to the opposition. DISKI were well and truly on the back foot !

Then after just 5 minutes, a text book move down the left wing with Murat Erdogan `losing` two defenders as he cut in from the wing. He looked up and sent in a cross which was met by the inrushing Jaba who flicked a header in at the far post with the goalkeeper stranded. Great goal and the tribunes were in full voice baying for more.

It was still all ANKARAGUCU, but as I have mentioned in previous reports this season, the final pass was going astray. Great footie in their own half and then they seemed to run out of ideas up front !

There was another great chance to go further ahead when a cross came in from Erdogan and Bebbe met it perfectly on the volley, but Kursat in the DISKI goal was having a great game and he pulled off a point blank save to deny what would have been another great goal.

Just before half time Bebbe made amends when he `won` a penalty. He and a defender were chasing a ball in the penalty area (it seemed to me to be a lost cause) when the defender made contact and Bebbe fell face down. The referee had no hesitation and pointed to the spot, but I have to be honest and say that I would never have given it ! I haven’t seen Kirita miss from the spot and once again he blasted his penalty in – it was a screamer of a shot !

So, going in at half time 2-0 up was not bad, and I remarked to Erman that the 2nd Division side would tire in the 2nd half, and with the ANKARAGUCU pressure, concede 3 or 4 more. Wrong !!!

DISKI came out in the 2nd half and were a different team. Perhaps they had been in awe of the Stadium and ANKARAGUCU’s reputation in the 1st half ?? Zafer in goal, who had been a spectator in the 1st half, was now the busier keeper !! ANKARAGUCU was still playing some nice footie in their own half but it was breaking down far too often and DISKI were picking up the pieces when the ball was `given away`.

It was no surprise therefore when DISKI scored half way through the 2nd half. A corner was slung over and Ercan had a free header (where was the cover ??!!). Zafer was well positioned, but parried it up and into the roof of the net. Call it a schoolboy error if you will, and I won’t repeat the adjectives directed towards Zafer around me in the Stadium !

Panic stations ….. all hands back in defence !!! ANKARAGUCU was rocking a little at this stage and Hakan Kutlu calmed the nerves by making some changes which proved crucial. Burak and Bebbe, who were looking tired, were replaced by Murat Duruer and Augustine.

This had the desired effect and ANKARAGUCU came back into the match again and Murat almost had his name on the scoresheet but his rasping shot rebounded off the bar with the goalkeeper well beaten.

However, it was Augustine who changed things around with some great running off the ball and he almost scored with a trademark header near the end.

With the referee looking at his watch, a fast break down the right wing by Augustine and a quick look up …… the cross was swung over two defenders to the incoming Jaba. The goalkeeper came out to intercept, but misjudged the outswinger and Jaba deftly lobbed the goalkeeper for a sweet goal. Another well worked goal !

So, with the Rize Tea Boys beating Besik….spit….tas last night (2-1) it puts ANKARAGUCU top of the group and into the driving seat. However, they will have to up their game for the visit to Ankaraspor in January.

Anyway, ever the optimist, I’m dreaming of a good cup run and going all the way !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

EDIT: (Thursday evening)Oz Kanka here, just got an e-mail from a bloke I have yet to meet yet.

Dan wrote "Yesterday I was at the stadium as well and even took some photos ( until a steward came over and pointed out that "no photos allowed". Please feel free to use the photos on your blog!"

Cheers Dan. And here's two of the photos. Can anyone actually see Sir Eski Kanka in the crowd shot? By the way, I'm pretty certain taking photographs at football matches is not illegal.

2nd EDIT...... Friday..... Yes, that's me 40 along from the left and 20 down from the top...... you can see the good looking guy with a smile on his face !!! Thanks for taking my photo Dan !