Monday, March 31, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

ANKARAGUCU deviated from the normal script yesterday in Ankara when they hit their `brother team` with two late goals. Under normal circumstances the script requires ANKARAGUCU to `give` the points to Bursa or at least to play out a draw !!!

ANKARAGUCU 2 Bursaspor 0

Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie and Rip Off Kanka Erman met in the Cappadokia for pre-match refreshments and analysis.

Into the Stadium then where they were joined by Yankee Kanka, Alpine Kanka, Mini Alpine Kanka Mark I and Nephew Kanka.

The ANKARAGUCU tribunes were full (as usual) and there was about 2,000 Bursa Boyz in the away end. The Sari/Lacivert Song was being sung by ALL tribunes which is typical for a match between the `brother teams`.

As usual, in the 6th minute of the match the Bursa Boyz sang the ANKARAGUCU song and then in the 16th minute of the match the ANKARAGUCU tribunes sang the Bursaspor song !

The kankas reported that the match was a sloppy affair with Bursa having most of the scoring opportunities in the first half. The only exciting moment of the first half being when Thunder and Lightning exploded around the Stadium which brought forth lots of `oooos` and `ahhhhs` and another excuse for upping the volume of the singing !!

The rain poured out of the heavens and the players were having a problem keeping their feet, and controlling the ball with passes being stuck on the wet surface.

Into the 2nd half and more or less a repeat of the 1st half. However, with 15 minutes to go, ANKARAGUCU moved up a gear and started to take control. Pressure was being applied and the goal finally arrived in the 80th minute when Gokhan crossed and the Bursa defence didn't clear the ball. It fell nicely for Diawara who scored from close range to register his 1st goal for ANKARAGUCU. Diawara had replaced Jaba for the 2nd half.

Battle Damaged Kanka named Gokhan as Man of the Match and mentioned a great free kick scoring opportunity which he had in the 2nd half which was well saved by Yavuz, the Bursa goalkeeper.

Into time added on, and a freak goal was added by Tevfik who had just come on in place of Gokhan. Duruer's shot had rebounded off Yavuz and was then chested (or bundled) in by Tevfik. Astute substitutions by Hakan Kutlu me thinks ??!!

So, for a change, Lady Luck was smiling on ANKARAGUCU. However, to use the olde cliche, the object of the exercise is to put the ball into the back of the net !!! You don't get any acolades at this stage of the season for playing attractive footie !!!

Perhaps Lady Luck can spare some time to visit Gencler. When you are in the brown smelly stuff it is not easy to find Lady Luck !!

Back to The Cappadokia when Oz Kanka, Mini Oz Kanka and yours truly were waiting to greet the kankas and begin the celebrations !

Next Sunday ANKARAGUCU will be playing away in Gaziantep. Never an easy match, especially if Antep play as well as they did against CimBom last night ! Gencler take on CimBom in Ankara and perhaps they can take a leaf out of Antep's book and attack CimBom. Who knows what might happen then ?!

ANKARAGUCU are in their normal position ...... mid-table..... and look to be clear of the relegation dog fight. As for UEFA Cup footie in Ankara, well.......... we will have to dream again for next season !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 29, 2008

This is getting scary

Good afternoon to all and welcome to "The round ball in Ankara" and its live blogging of a match I'm going to listen to on the radio. Exciting huh! It will essentially be me talking to myself as the only people who will actually see this taking place "live", will be the poor sods who come to our site by putting the phrase "seeking girlfriend in Ankara" into google.. Go on, try it.

14:57: And we have hit our first snag. Lig Radyo aren't giving a broadcast of the match and TRT's website isn't working properly. Luckily for this "live radio blogging service" that I actually own a wireless as my grandma used to call the things. Unfortunately it means that I have to listen to TRT broadcast which will be an around the grounds programme and not concentrating on the one match.

1500: The teams have probably kicked off but I can't find the match on the bloody wireless!

1501: Found it.

1505: As TRT radio are reporting at the moment on the Gokcekspor-Trabzon match I might as well tell you that Denizli haven't had the best lead-in to the match. The players refused to go to training during the week because they hadn't been paid and then a couple of days ago their chairman resigned.

1508: Okan Ozturk and Isaac Promise up front for us and our keeper Nicholas Peric is back from injury.

1520: Absolutely nothing happening... The radio did a bit of the Gencler match but are back to the Gokcekspor match. By the way we need Trabzon to win today to keep the pressure on Gokcekspor who are coming 15th, but just three points behind Genclerbirligi.

1521: As soon as I say that Ankaraspor score.
Ankaraspor 1 - 0 Trabzon
Denizli 0 - 0 Genclerbirligi

1523: They have crossed to Denizli where the commentator says that Genclerbirligi have not had a shot in the first 22 minutes. No wonder they are concentrating on the other match.

1525: Cakir gets close to goal, sent away for a corner. Ball comes to Isaac Promise, he heads it and their keeper almost made the same mistake as he did last week against Galatasaray but this time he holds on.

1526: Mrs. Oz Kanka is now insisting that I do the washing up because have guests for dinner this evening. Do real commentators get treated like this? I'm taking the radio to the kitchen and will update on any important developments.

1542: Goal!!! Okan Ozturk.

1543: Seems as if there was some confusion as the Denizli players thought that play had been stopped. It hadn't and our keeper sent a long ball to Isaac Promise who was one-on-one with their keeper. Somehow it got to Okan who scored.

Ankaraspor 1 - 0 Trabzon
Denizli 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi

1544: Arrgh. Denizli have got one back.

Ankaraspor 1 - 0 Trabzon
Denizli 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

1607: I've finished the washing up and the teams have finished their half-time oranges. I do wonder about TRT Radio. At half-time they went to advertisements, then had some crap song, more advertisements and then went back to the studio where they informed us that the teams were already playing. Can't they organise to put on a shorter song?

1611: Peric saves from a Denizli corner.

1613: Mehmet Nas, or was it Mehmet Cakir, hits one into the post. Defence clears.

1613: Denizli have just been given their fourth yellow card. One of them must surely stuff up in the next 40 minutes or so.

1616: How many times have I heard the following line: "Isaac Promise top aldı, kontrol edilmedi."

1624: A correction to 1520, Ankaraspor are actually only one point behind Genclerbirligi and if the scores stay the same as they are now Ankaraspor will go ahead.

1627: Bakkal must want to slow down the pace of the game as he has decided to bring on Kahe. Okan Ozturk goes off.

1630: Damn. Denizli have scored. This is looking scary. 68 minutes gone.
Ankaraspor 1 - 0 Trabzon
Denizli 2 - 1 Genclerbirligi

1638: TRT Radyo have lost their link to Denizli! Probably good news for my heart.

1639: I wish they had cut the damn line because as soon as they got it back news came in that Denizli had scored again. 76 minutes gone.

Ankaraspor 1 - 0 Trabzon
Denizli 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi

1641: For a team that didn't train all week Denizli are looking pretty good. This result is terrible for us. We needed at least a point. The next few weeks are going to be nail biting stuff for us fans as we fight against relegation and also continue to aim to win the Turkish Cup.

1656: Doesn't really matter but Isaac Promise has just scored in the 93rd minute.

Ankaraspor 1 - 0 Trabzon
Denizli 3 - 2 Genclerbirligi

1657: The referee blows it up and I've been summoned to start cooking. Now were is the cooking wine so I can drown my sorrows.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Congratulations from The Round Ball in Ankara to Gokhan Emreciksin of ANKARAGUCU on being selected to represent the senior Turkey team tonight against Belarus.

Since his transfer from Bolu a few months ago he has made a big impression at ANKARAGUCU and if he stays with the team for another season at least, then I'm sure we will see more goals from him. He has also been a foil for Bebbe and we should expect more goals from him too as he finds more space up front.

Not since the days of Hakan Keles have we seen a right wing raider of his calibre.

Call me a cynic, but I am wondering how long we can keep the Istanbul wolves at bay when they come calling with a cheque book in their hands !!!

Anyway, I hope he has a good game tonight and I for one will be watching to assess his performance. The match will be on ATV at 8pm.

Incidentally, I think we have to go back a few years to find out the last ANKARAGUCU player who represented the senior Turkey team. Perhaps Maniac Kanka can answer that one ?!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 24, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was another case of too many missed chances yesterday as Rize held out for a valuable point in their struggle to avoid relegation.

Rizespor 0 ANKARAGUCU 0

Not much of a report in Hurriyet (as usual) but it seems that Gonzalez in goal for Rize was a lot busier than Serkan.

Kirita"s injury last week is obviously serious and he didnt play, so Murat Erdogan was captain for the day.

Jaba was on from the start this week with Ibrahim Said dropping to the bench and Jaba went close with a couple of efforts in the 1st half. However, Said did make an appearance in the 2nd half.

Lots of chances in the 2nd half fell to Bebbe, Jaba, Duruer and CemCan, but wayward shooting and heroics from Gonzalez thwarted all their efforts.

So, it has to be said that this was 2 points dropped by ANKARAGUCU and 1 point gained by Rize !

There was probably more excitement the night before when Maniac Kanka Harun clocked up another Maniac Year !

The kankas met in The Lacivert Pub to celebrate another momentous year in the life of Maniac Kanka. A good turn-out for "free beer" and birthday cake which was decorated in Maniac Kanka"s favourite colours....... DARK BLUE and YELLOW ...... surprise surprise !!

Yankee Kanka, Battle Damaged Kanka, Oz Kanka, Spine, Kalecı Kanka, Flying Dutchman Kanka and I were there to sing the Happy Birthday song and hand over prezzies.

After consuming copious amounts of the amber nectar in Lacivert, it was off to The Cappadokia to continue the celebrations.

I am happy to report that I am just about recovered from my mega hangover today !!

Next up here in Ankara is the Bursa match KO 3pm.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Was that the same team that beat Cim Bom?

I got a bit of a suntan today as the weather was perfect for pre-match beers and watching football. Unfortunately no one bothered to tell Genclerbirligi that a victory would be nice as well.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 3 Ankaraspor

Just four of us sitting in the sun at the Chopin today, Spine, Maniac Kanka Harun, myself and Little Oz Kanka. A few beers and a visit to the the pet shop across the road for Little Oz Kanka to discover the latest in animal restraint devices, and then it was off to the stadium.

Looking at the quality of the football we should have stayed at the pub. It was rubbish. Spine and I were discussing on the way back home how is it that Genclerbirligi can play so well against Galatasaray mid-week and then play as if they had phoned in their game plan. The only decent player on the pitch for Gencler was the captain El Saka, the rest played as if it had been them, and not us, who got trashed at Maniac Kanka's birthday party last night.

I have nothing to say about the match, everything was crap. Except the Gencler goal in about the 80th minute, a pearler launched from outside the box by Mehmet Nas. The score at that stage was 1-2 and the last few minutes saw us scrambling for an equaliser. El Saka almost pulled it off as he was pushed forward and he won quite a few important balls, but then Ankaraspor scored at the other end and it was all over.

Boy oh boy.

At least Little Oz Kanka enjoyed himself, even if he asked me a million times why the "bad men" are winning. One good thing was that as soon as we got home he insisted on going to the park to play football. The bad thing was that he wanted to win and so he got rid of his Genclerbirligi shirt and put on his Ankaragucu top.

I'll post a photo here once Spine figures out how to turn on his computer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My one chance of gloating about Galatasaray and Cavcav fucks me up

Genclerbirligi know how to play football. In many ways tonight's match was a replay of the match we played a couple of weeks ago against Besiktas. In other words, it was all us.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Galatasaray

This is not going to be a comprehensive report due to the fact that I'm slightly pissed. Of course, I wouldn't be in this state if it wasn't for Mr. Ilhan Cavcav. Sorry if I'm boring you with this but Cavcav continues to piss off the fans.

The Galatasaray fans came out in force tonight... we didn't. In protest at the ludicrous prices being charged by Cavcav we refused to go to the match.

According to the Anadolu news agency a group of Gencler supporters gathered at the entrance to the stadium calling on Cavcav to get fucked. Anatolia reported that the group left without any incident.

Alpine Kanka Wolfgang and his crew had unfortunately already bought tickets for the match and so after a beer or two they went off to the match. Flying Dutchman Kanka later phoned Alpine Kanka and the agreed stadium count for Genclerbirligi was put at 200, that includes Maraton and behind the goal.

I don't cross picket lines and so there was no way that I was going to attend tonight's match, even though I could easily afford it. It is down right disgusting the way Cavcav complains all the time that Ankara people don't support "his team" and then he goes and ensures Genclerbirligi has no support by pricing the real Gencler supporters out of the match.

Watching the match on television at the Chopin Bar made me realise just how much Cavcav is a ....

Actually it was quite nice watching the match with other Gencler fans, many of whom I had not met before.

As for the football...

1ST Half: Genclerbirligi all the way.

2ND Half: Genclerbirligi all the way... and a goal from Burhan after Mr. Fish did brilliantly to set it up.

The really weird thing after this 1-0 victory is that we might well have more supporters at the second leg match then we did this evening. If we play like we did tonight we should win.... and what is the bet that the ticket prices are going to be a damn lot cheaper.

Cavcav! Stop fucking us!

Having said all that. I'm damn happy to get the win. Is it enough? The majority of people around the table this evening didn't think so. I'm still positive. I still dream of the day (actually I think I might head over there now) I can go over to Gulay's blog and truly pay the shit out of her team. (as opposed to Nathan's team whose blog has become a commercial travesty... where has the fun gone Nathan???).

Cavcav prices out Gencler fans

Genclerbirligi play Galatasaray tonight in the first leg of the Turkish Cup semi-finals. There will be plenty of Galatasaray fans but possibly just a handful of Gencler fans. Why? Because Genclerbirligi Chairman Ilhan Cavcav has decided to put a price tag of 45 tl for tickets to Maraton.

Genclerbirligi fan sites are full of people complaining that they can't afford to go and others deciding to boycott the match in protest. Now for many of the foreigners who read this blog 45 tl may not sound like a lot of money but for Turkey this is a damn lot, especially when you consider that a season ticket for Gencler cost us 105 tl.

At a similar stage of the cup competition last year we played Fenerbahce. There was outrage when Cavcav made us pay 30 tl for those tickets. Still, we showed up and actually we started up a small fund to get some of our student fans in. This year he has decided to hike the price by 50 percent.

So it seems as if there will be just a few fans watching tonight. And what is the bet that afterwards Cavcav will complain to the media that the people of Ankara don't support their own teams.

I still haven't decided whether to go or not. I'll make that decision over a beer at the Chopin.

EDIT: Seems as if a group of around 20 Gencler fans will also be at the Chopin Bar this evening

Monday, March 17, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was a sunny Spring afternoon in Ankara which found us sitting outside of The Chopin Bar without cold weather gear for the first time this year. High spirits, optimism, and cold EFES were the order of the day with Maniac Kanka, Battle Damaged Kanka, Mountaineering Kanka and Kankie, Rip Off Kanka and yours truly present.

ANKARAGUCU 2 Gencler OFTASspor 0

Into the Stadium then where we were joined by Yankee Kanka, Kaleci Kanka, Alpine Kanka, Mini Alpine Kankas Mark I and Mark II (yes Oz, we must find names for those two footie fanatic boys !!).

There were lots of snide comments directed towards the Gencler Kankas, eg, where’s Oz Kanka ? Where is their loyalty for Gencler’s `best team` ? I said…… perhaps they are waiting for the `Big One` on Wednesday and that a routine `bread and butter` league match was too boring to attend ??!! Answers awaited in the Comments Section !!!

The ANKARAGUCU tribunes were full (as usual) and there must have been 10,000 there making lots of noise (as usual) ! Maniac Kanka did a head count of the `away` end and made it 39. However, he was exaggerating (as usual) ….. I made it 38 !! Incidentally, they were like statues throughout the match. Reminded me of those nice quiet polite Alkmaar supporters !!!

The match started at a furious pace with ANKARAGUCU taking the match to OFTAS and from one of their early attacks went into the lead in the 3rd minute.

Gokhan swung the ball over from the right wing and with the OFTAS defence `sleeping` it fell nicely for the inrushing Murat Erdogan to side foot it in from close range.

What a start ! Up the volume of the singing and let’s have another goal. Wrong on the latter point !!

ANKARAGUCU was still involved in full-on attack, but OFTAS was beginning to settle after their shaky start. They were also becoming more physical and some hefty tackles were going in. However, ANKARAGUCU was not being intimidated and continued to play footie with Erdogan winning my Man of the Match award for his endeavours.

Apart from slotting in the first goal, he seemed to be at the heart of all the ANKARAGUCU attacks with Gokhan also causing problems for the OFTAS defence.

Just before half time, Kirita pulled-up injured and was substituted by Murat Duruer. Battle Damaged Kanka and I agreed that it was either a hamstring or a pulled muscle which we hope is not serious.

Into the 2nd half and ANKARAGUCU was again first out of the starting blocks. OFTAS was again proving obdurate in defence and laying into ANKARAGUCU with some crunching tackles.

Then halfway through the 2nd half Olgay of OFTAS received a red card for head-butting Bebbe. Shame on him !!

This was the signal to step up the pressure and it was all out attack now from ANKARAGUCU with Ibrahim Said and Gokhan going close.

Ibrahim Said seems to have settled-in well and looks like becoming a permanent fixture in midfield. He seems to have formed an understanding between Erdogan, Bebbe and Gokhan which augers well for the future. Cem Can also had a good match and played as well as I have ever seen him.

Serkan was only troubled once in the match when a screamer went inches past his post, but in all honesty it would have been a travesty if it had gone in.

The 2nd goal finally arrived with 10 minutes of the match remaining. Bebbe and Gokhan combined well to send Jaba through and he lashed in an unstoppable shot to put the match beyond OFTAS.

Jaba had replaced the ineffective Duruer only 5 minutes prior to scoring. Hats off to Hakan Kutlu for an inspired substitution !!

The players did a lap of honour at the insistence of the tribunes and after Jaba had despatched his shirt into Gecikondu, we had a close-up of a large stunning tattoo on his right arm. Battle Damaged Kanka is no doubt relieved that Jaba is not a kanka otherwise he might be pressing him for the award of The Most Stylish Kanka of the Season !!!

Back to the Cappadokia and a pleasant change to be there for celebrations and not commiserations !

A valuable 3 points then and a climb up to 8th in the League. However, I’m sure there will be no complacency next week when we travel up to Tea Country to take on Rize who are already involved in the relegation `dog fight`.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We interupt this running report...

Good afternoon from rockin' Ankara. An hour or so ago we had an earthquake here. I felt it but Mrs. Oz Kanka and young Oz Kanka didn't. I thought I must be suffering from the DTs but a few minutes later the Kandili Seismology Institute confirmed to "The round ball in Ankara" that there had indeed been a quake, registering 4.9 on the richter scale. No damage reported.

Kayserispor - Genclerbirligi

On to the match and straight up Genclerbirligi's Burhan takes it down the right. Seems like we are going to go for a fast start.

By the way, defenders Traore and El Saka are out of this match. The former was injured last week and our captain is out after accumulating too many yellow cards, according to Lig Radyo.

A good chance for Okan but he sends the ball high.

OOOOhhh. Kayseri's first attack and they only just miss out. Six minutes in, and they have just missed another good chance. Gencler go on the counterattack but it petres (or is it "peters") out.

Damn, PM Erdogan is live on the telly and I have to watch...

No reporting on this match for a while yet. Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Half time and I'm back, or should I say that Erdogan has finished his 45 minute speech. Don't worry, you didn't miss much, politics-wise that is.

On the pitch though seems as if I've missed a disaster. No idea what happened but we are 2-0 down. Arrrggghhhh.

Can we get two goals and sneak home with a much-needed point. I doubt it.

Seems as if one of the goals was scored from a penalty. Hope you are enjoying this in depth analysis.

Isaac gets the ball, loses the ball, Kayseri go for it and a corner is given... Luckily it is cleared.

50th minute (all times are approximate): Kayseri almost score. A shot is saved by Recep and somehow we managed to clear. Sounds like we are definitely missing Traore and El Saka at the back.

55th minute: Mehmet Cakir coming on to replace Kerem Seras.

60th minute: I'm getting bored... perhaps Erdogan can come back for an encore.

61st minute: Isaac is going off... Kahe coming on. Radio announcer says Isaac has done nothing... well I'll be damned.

Kayseri almost score again. Oh dear oh dear. Seems as if we are making ineffective attacks and Kayseri then counterattack and actually create goal chances.

66th minute and something interesting happens - a Kayserispor player cleared the ball over the sidelines and over the stadium. fun fun fun

Bloody hell... 3-0

67th minute and it looks like this is all over. Kayserispor are continuing to attack.

Bugger this. I'm going to have a cigarette.

75th minute (Half-way through the cigarette): Engin sends the ball in and Kahe heads it onto the post.

Rest of the match and Kayseri went looking for a fourth and came pretty close on a couple of occasions, while our lot did bugger all.

Final whistle: Kayserispor 3 - 0 Genclerbirligi

Not a good performance and not a great preparation for Wednesday night's Cup semi-final first leg against Galatasaray. Let's just hope they pull their socks up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How history is written

Wednesday mornings find me checking out an excellent little resource on the Guardian's website called "The Knowledge".

It is basically one of those columns where someone asks a question and then hopes on the collective wisdom of football fans to find an answer. Questions are usually obscure in the extreme: "Can you clear up whether this is truth or a myth: did a referee in Brazil actually shoot dead a player who disputed a penalty?" or "Has witchcraft ever been used at the African Cup of Nations?"

I love it and so when a question was asked last week which I thought I might be able to help with I sent off an e-mail to "The Knowledge".

The question: "Everyone seems to be obsessed with record crowds nowadays," sighs Andy McKenzie, "but the other day as I was talking to a friend about Scottish lower division football, we wondered what it would be like to watch Queen's Park at Hampden. This season they have had crowds of fewer than 500 in a 52,000 capacity stadium, meaning over 51,500 empty seats. What is the record number of empty seats there have been at a major league or cup match?"

Which reminded me of a report I wrote in December last year.

I wrote at the time: "The radio announcer said he could count six (yes, six) fans at the match being played in the 80,000 capacity Beyaz Fil Olympic Stadium. Although he did admit that he could hear singing and that anyway the lower stands can't actually be seen from the radio booth.

Still, what the hell is the point of Istanbul BBS playing their games at an enormous stadium a million miles away from the heart of Istanbul."

So I did a bit of research (ie a quick look at Wikipedia) and sent off a report to "The Knowledge" who today printed my observations.

"4. Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor (Istanbul BBS) - c.81,000

Oz Kanka has a higher offer from Ankara. "They don't announce official figures for matches in the Turkish Super Lig for some reason," he writes, "but on December 9 last year I listened to the radio broadcast of Istanbul BBS v Genclerbirligi which was being played at Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium. The radio announcer said he could see a total of six fans in the 81,283 stadium. There were a few more than that, as this picture shows (ie the photo above) the entire crowd could not have numbered more than 50 souls for the exciting 0-0 draw." We reckon there's at least a couple of hundred in that picture, but it's one empty stadium nevertheless."

Gave me a bit of a thrill and I then promptly forgot about it.

Then the Turkish language ANKA news agency got around to reading Sir Eski Kanka's favourite newspaper and posted the the Guardian report as if it is definitive history.

I'll do a quick translation:

"The Guardian newspaper has conducted research into the smallest number of spectators at large stadiums. It found that the December match between Istanbul BBS and Genclerbirligi with 50 people watching was in fourth place."

When we started off this blog Sir Eski told me that he wanted it to a journal of record that historians in the future will be able to mine for useless bits of trivia.

And it has come to pass.

We write a report on a match via a radio commentary, post a photo from the Alkaralar website, send off an under researched e-mail to an English paper, Turkish news agency quotes English newspaper as having conducted its own research.

That, my dear friends, is how history is written, and why you should always be sceptical!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Well, most of you know my "Almost" idiom, but for those of you who dont, here it is.....

Almost means ..... not quite
Not quite means ..... not right
Not right means ..... wrong
Wrong means ......
the opportunity to start again and
Get it right !!!

and so it was yesterday .....

Sivasspor 3 ANKARAGUCU 2

As usual, with "away" matches, the details are sketchy, but it seems from the sparce comments in the press that ANKARAGUCU was again the "almost men".

Sivas scored first in the 20th minute but El Yasa equalised on the half hour mark. With both teams committed to attack, it was Sivas who scored the vital 2nd goal just before half time.

Ozgur Sahiner of Hurriyet reported that it was end-to-end attack from both teams, but again Sivas made the break through 10 minutes into the 2nd half.

However, ANKARAGUCU was awarded a penalty 10 minutes later. With Kirita back in Ankara with Flu (gecmısolsen Kirita !!), acting captain Murat Erdogan stepped up to take the responsibility and ....... missed ! Who knows what might have been if he had scored ?!

Well into injury time and ANKARAGUCU was awarded another penalty which Jaba converted. Too little too late it seems !

Ozgur Sahiner said that although Sivas won the match, they didnt play very well. Perhaps ANKARAGUCUs efforts had something to do with that me thinks ?!!

So, ANKARAGUCU "almost" won the match, but with only 5 points advantage over the 3rd bottom team in the league it will be a damage limitation exercise for the remainder of the season. "Starting again to get it right" will have to wait till next season !!!

Next up is the local derby against OFTAS and that now comes into the critical MUST WIN category.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Well, that was a one hell of a disappointing end. Last seconds of extra time, Besiktas have a corner, the ball comes off our man Kerem and then Besiktas slot it home to knife us in the heart. The Besiktas Ankara yalakalar start singing and even decided to give us Genclerbirligi fans shit and for the first time I have ever seen Genclerbirligi fans were trying to get past the police to have a go at the Besiktas lot. I won't say "we woz robbed" but I will say that referee Yunus Yildirim is a complete and utter incompetent idiot.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Besiktas

I'm actually finding it very difficult to write this at the moment, a few hours after the match, because I am still very pissed off. Pissed off with the referee, pissed off with the scum from Ankara who supported Besiktas and, obviously, pissed off with the result.

But let me start off on the happier start of the evening. Tickets for tonight's match were 55tl each and so we had plenty of scroungers show up at the Chopin Bar trying to get one of our spare season tickets. Those scroungers included Sir Eski Kanka wearing his Ankaragucu shirt, our contact for all things Romanian Dan, darts finisher Oguz, and Legal Kanka Saadet.

Other attendees at the Chopin who showed up with their own season tickets were good old Alpine Kanka Wolfgang and his son Chris (whom we really ought to find a kanka name - he comes to all the matches after all), Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo and one of the teachers from Chris' school, Robbie.

Beers and kofte and then off to the stadium (thanks for the lift Yankee Kanka - who also managed to scam one of our season tickets).

Inside and we met up with Jose and his son (who managed to get in with just a single ticket) and then off we went.

The rest of this report is going to be angry. I am not a happy man. For once though this is not because of the way we played. Genclerbirligi outplayed Besiktas from start to finish. We played attractive football. We got the passes going. We were streets ahead of the league leaders.

But from the very beginning it was clear that the referee was in awe to Besiktas. Fouls were given against us that wouldn't have been given in an under 5s match. Dan and I stood there in amazement as foul after foul were awarded against us. I was ropeable.

Still we attacked and attacked. Nothing all too dangerous though as we just couldn't manage to get the right balls in. Still, this was some of the best football we have played this season, all we need is a bloody decent striker. Please please please sell Isaac Promise. As for Besiktas, their defence was damn good.

Then came the moment which to me summed up the match. The ball hits Besiktas player Ibrahim Toraman in the face, we get the ball and start a promising attack down the right. Ref Yunus Yildirim blows his whistle as poor Ibrahim is hurt. Bloody annoying sure, there was no foul or anything. Then the referee decides to act as if Yildirim was his own son!. "Are you okay, would you like me to rub your nose better". Toraman finally makes it over the sideline and the referee was still asking the bloke how he was. The Genclerbirligi players are standing around wondering what the bloody hell is going on. A player is "injured" he is out of play, what the hell is the referee doing going over to the bloke, arm on shoulder of course, asking him how he is? Play should be continuing. The referee had already snuffed out our attacking move. Then, when Toraman comes back on (which of course is straight away) the referee went up to him once again to ask how he was. I was livid.

Half time and it was 0-0 and the general consensus amongst us Gencler fans was that we were doing well, despite the efforts of the referee.

Play continues in the second half much as the first except now the Besiktas players understand that they have the referee in their pocket and perhaps go a bit too far as we actually receive the odd foul. We were still singing away when Besiktas receive a free kick outside the penalty area. It is taken well and a Besiktas player who should have been followed manages to get his head to it and just past our keeper. 0-1.

Oh, I forgot a bit beforehand when really Besiktas should have scored but instead someone or other hit the crossbar from a distance of about 10 metres.

Unbowed, Genclerbirligi continue to attack. The ball comes in, Grandpa Okan Ozturk heads it in, Besiktas heads it out and Kerem has a strike from outside the penalty box and gets it past Rustu (who, by the way, is a complete berk who would do well with his attitude not to visit the shadier parts of Sydney on any given Saturday night). 1-1.

The Besiktas fans for the first time in the night are silenced. They knew their team was being outclassed and hopefully some of our chants about how they were all "Istanbul cocuklar" (when of course they are all from Ankara) were pissing them off.

The match was almost over. Cakir had one hell of a shot on goal that just missed and then the match descended into farce.

Besiktas are attacking. The ball is in the penalty box and a Gencler player goes in to tackle. Nothing in the tackle at all, nothing that even referee Yildirim could see... but now the linesman decides to act the wanker. He raises his flag (indicating that a foul had taken place) and then lowers it again when the referee screamed play on. The Besiktas players are furious. Play continues but four of the Besiktas players are around the referee. I would have assumed at least one card, but of course, not tonight. If you are an Istanbul team you can intimidate all you bloody well want. We are going for the counterattack at this stage and in one hell of a good position when Ibrahim Toraman, the bloke whom the referee looked after so well earlier in the match, kicks the hell out of Mehmet Cakir. It should have been red, but was only a yellow.

Meanwhile the Besiktas yalakalar are screaming "ibne hakem" as if the referee had been on our side all night.

A few minutes later and Besiktas got the corner and the subsequent goal which destroyed us.

I'm gutted and pissed off. The referee was a joke and the Besiktas Ankara fans were a disgrace. Makes me glad that they were beaten 8-0 by Liverpool.

By the way, Legal Kanka Saadet and Jose, can I have those season tickets back please.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

When Oz Kanka and I started this Blog 40,000 years ago, he was forever advising me to always quote references if we used them from other sources, and if we `nick` photos, to mention which newspaper they came from. Good advice.

Therefore, call me a suspicious olde `bassa` or a sceptic, but I really am coming round to actually believing that The Hurriyet Sports Writers are checking our Blog before naming their Team of the Week whenever the Ankara `Big Two` play any of the Istan…spit…bul `Big Three`.

I have touched on this subject in the past, but now I think I’m really becoming paranoid about it !

Cough … cough…Ahem….I’ll give you one guess who was chosen as Goalkeeper of the Week in Hurriyet ? Right first time……. Serdar of Fener !!! And who was gushing in praise of his heroics last weekend ? Right first time….. The Round Ball in Ankara !!

I’ll bet one of Pompey Kanka Darren’s fiver’s (if we could ever manage to open his wallet !!!) that the only time any of Istanbul’s `Big Three` goalkeepers get chosen for this accolade is when they are playing each other !!

OK, so ANKARAGUCU’s Ibrahim Ege was chosen as one of the Midfield Players of the Week and I didn’t mention him by name in my report, but I was full of praise for the whole team, so I suppose they had to include at least one ANKARAGUCU player !!!

So, c’mon Hurriyet, own up ! We know we are the foremost authoritative oracle for the Ankara `Big Two`, but at least have the decency to give us a mention if you check us out for our unrivalled opinions !!!

All the best from The Round Ball in Ankara’s `Assistant Editor` ….. Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 03, 2008

Four Out of Five Aint Bad

Hibs lost 2-0 to Celtic at Easter Road on Saturday.

After dominating the first half, a series of missed chances came back to haunt Hibs. The best chance was when Rankin was put clean through on the Celtic goal but could only finish with a weak shot straight at the keeper.

Once Celtic got their noses in front early in the second half they put in a very professional performance and from that point on were worthy winners.

Hibs had been looking to make it five wins in a row after beating Gretna, Inverness, Aberdeen and Falkirk. These four wins have lifted Hibs to fifth in the league, a point behind Dundee Utd and four behind Motherwell.

The race for a UEFA cup spot looks like it will go down to the wire with any team down to 9th spot in with a shout.

Hibs new striking partnership of Fletcher and Nish is looking like causing a few problems for other defences. Both strikers have scored a few goals in the last few games and this is the sort of form that could bring European matches back to Easter Road.

All in all it has been a good few weeks for Hibs, we are still not getting a full 90 minutes of free flowing football but it is certainly getting better. Big Mixu is certainly putting his mark on the team, Hibs are becomming a much more physical team without losing too much flair.

Sir Eski will be pleased to hear more positive vibes coming from Edinburgh.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was back to basics last night for ANKARAGUCU with the emphasis where it should be, ie, attack attack and get into the opposition’s faces for 90 minutes !

Hurriyet’s headline this morning was….. `They are Sleeping`. Obviously referring to the 10 outfield Fener players. My Man of the Match was the Fener goalkeeper Serdar who certainly won the point for Fener.

ANKARAGUCU 0 Fenerbahce 0

It was a cold and typical Anatolian windy night in Ankara last night with the added problem of the wind gusting around the 19 Mayis Stadium. At the match were Maniac Kanka Harun, Yankee Kanka, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, the Alpine Kankas Wolfgang and Chris, and a friend of Carlo’s called Ian who I haven’t met yet.

I went direct to the Cappadokia Bar from work and was seated in comfort with my usual refreshments for company and therefore this report comes from the TV presentation of the match.

Fener started the more adventurous of the teams and had more first half possession, but ANKARAGUCU were holding their own in midfield and making the odd foray into Fener’s half. Kazim in particular was a thorn in the side of the ANKARAGUCU defence with some dangerous runs down the right and some good crosses. However, he blotted his copybook when he was rightly shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Erdogan.

There were shots on goal at both ends but neither goalkeeper was called on to make a save in the entire first half with the shots going over or past the post. For example, Ibrahim Ege had a great chance but screwed his shot wide.

A good solid performance from ANKARAGUCU after a shaky start and going in at half time all square was a fair reflection given the wayward shooting from both teams.

Into the second half and ANKARAGUCU was attacking their favoured Gecikondu end. They were again a little slow to enter Fener’s half at first, but the defence was mopping up everything Fener could throw at them. Lamas in particular was having a great game in the heart of the defence in place of the suspended Kirita.

Tolga and El Yasa too were not taking any prisoners and were `100% full on` with their tackles and distribution out of defence.

At the half way point of the 2nd half ANKARAGUCU decided to move into a higher gear and the tempo of the game changed. It was all ANKARAGUCU now with Fener well and truly on the back foot. On 65 minutes, Murat Duruer hit a great first time volley from a right wing cross which was destined for the left corner. However, Serdar got down well to make a great save.

On 70 minutes, Duruer was replaced by our new Egyptian player, Ibrahim Said. Interesting to note that he had the words `Ibo` on the back of his shirt ! He was positioned up front with Bebbe and had some nice touches. However, he may need another game or two to improve his sharpness and speed.

On 76 minutes, Bebbe was put through in another ANKARAGUCU attack and with only Serdar to beat he tried to lob the ball over but Serdar got a hand to it and the ball was deflected out for a corner.

It was all ANKARAGUCU now and on 79 and 83 minutes, Gokhan was put through with one on one situations but again Serdar saved on both occasions. Frustrating stuff from ANKARAGUCU’s attack but all credit to Serdar for his heroics.

Fener almost stole it on 85 minutes with a breakaway into ANKARAGUCU’s half and a great save from Serkan prevented a catastrophe.

On 88 minutes, El Yasa and Bebbe combined brilliantly to set-up El Yasa, but his shot was inches wide of the far post.

Into the dying minutes, and from a right wing cross Bebbe headed in, but again Serdar came to Fener’s rescue. Easy to criticise from the comfort of a chair, but on another day Bebbe would have guided the header into the top corner rather than at the goalkeeper !

So, a great attacking and all round performance from ANKARAGUCU which must have pleased everyone connected to the Club. The only downside was that we played against a goalkeeper in inspired form !

From what I saw tonight, Hakan Kutlu may well decide to put Ibrahim Said up front on a regular basis with Bebbe. With Gokhan and Erdogan supporting from attacking midfield positions, it could be a successful formula.

Have to mention the supporters in the Stadium. All out singing from the ANKARAGUCU tribunes for 90 minutes. The Olay Olay Olay song was blasting out from the TV and the cameramen zoomed in on the GIANT ANKARAGUCU flag on the Gecikondu end. Truly fantastic. By the way, surprise surprise, I didn’t hear a squeak from the Fener fans !!!

The kankas joined me in the Cappadokia and we were treated to the rare sight of Maniac Kanka showing off his ANKARAGUCU underpants in one of his celebration dances. This is surely a `must have` addition to our wardrobe gentlemen and I will be first in the queue on Monday morning to purchase the said items !!!

ANKARAGUCU will be away in Sivas next weekend in another difficult fixture. However, if they play like they did last night, then 3 points is a distinct possibility.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS...... Get well soon wishes to Oz Kanka and Yankee Kanka who were a wee bit ill yesterday.
Photograph ...... The Kankas inside the Stadium predicting the score. Unfortunately they were wrong !!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

As crap as I feel

Your good correspondent is a little under the weather today. I came down with a fever the other day and am still recovering. So don't expect any words of wisdom, not that you ever really get that sort of stuff on the blog, just some sort of straight reporting on Kasimpasa v Genclerbirligi.

The match is being played in Istanbul at the "White Elephants are downright useful compared to here" Stadium rather than the "Definitely no alcohol or adultery" Stadium which Kasimpasa call home. Rather than looking at the absolutely crap squad they have, Kasimpasa officials during the week where whining away that this was the reason they were doing so badly this season.

It seems that the TFF had refused to give the necessary approval for matches to be played at "Certainly no alcohol or adultery allowed" Stadium due to various infrastructure problems which I can't be bothered to research. So, we are playing at the "Will never see an" Olympic Stadium.

Bugger TRT radio today. I've decided to try listening to Lig Radyo. Let's see if they are any better.

Sunny but very windy in Istanbul. National anthems over and off we go. Almost, a minute's silence for soldiers killed in the recently ended Operation Gunes. No one is making a sound.

An enormous crowd for the 80,000 capacity stadium, with about 50 Gencler fans and 200 Kasimpasa fans... why oh why do they play matches at such a crap stadium a million miles from civilization?

A few minutes in and it seems like Engin is going to try and repeat his amazing free kick goal from last week. We reported last week he will never get such a goal again... he kicks and... unfortunately we were right.

Bugger all happening... although the commentator is saying the Gencler defence is looking good.

About 18 minutes in and finally a shot for goal but Kasimpasa stuff it up. Phew. Oh dear, another chance for Kasimpasa, the ball goes out but Gencler have to be careful.

23rd minute: Free kick to Kasimpasa in the same place where they scored the only goal in their match against Galatasaray. Six men in the wall. Fingers crossed... missed... one metre over, or possibly to the side of, the post

30 seconds later and another missed shot from Kasimpasa. Bloody hell Gencler, we were at least two-nil up by this stage last week!

We seem to be getting our fair share of the ball but can't sort out the last passes... Get on with it!

Mehmet Cakir in a great position, passes it towards Okan but the ball is stolen... dear oh dear. Almost half time.

Half time 0-0. I'm falling asleep.

Mehmet Cakir has been taken off. mmm

Getting a few shots but none are brilliant... none of them even sound as if they are halfway to brilliant, as the commentator just said, there has been little decent football all match.

El Saka saves our blushes heading the ball out from a dangerous position and then a few seconds later Kasimpasa just miss a shot on goal.

With four or five players waiting in front of goal Erhan sends the ball out. This is pathetic. About 12 minutes left.

Isaac Promise... You flamin' galah! In a bomboş position with just a minute to go Isaac stuffs up.

And that's it.

Kasimpasa 0 - 0 Genclerbirligi


Radio-wise, like TRT radio, Lig radio doesn't go for analysis. Lig radio doesn't even bother with going around the grounds. But they did give the full 90 minutes of the Gencler match and for that reason I'll be listening to Lig radio from now on.