Monday, April 28, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Let's deal with the "minor considerations" first, ie, Saturday in Istanbul .....

Kasimpasa 2 ANKARAGUCU 2

So, what is more important than ANKARAGUCU drawing away from home ? Read on ....

Firstly, the match ..... and the wonderful (not) report from Hurriyet.

All the action occurred in the 1st half with Jaba opening the scoring early on. 4 minutes later Kasimpasa equalised through a penalty from Moritz which was followed 2 minutes later by a goal from Desire. However, ANKARAGUCU blushes were spared on the 60th minute when El Yasa equalised.

Bebbe was missing from the team. Perhaps he is being rested for the BIG ONE next week ?!

The good news though is that Tolga started and good to hear that his head injury was not as serious as first thought.

ANKARAGUCU now stuck in their normal position then in mid-table on 40 points. Must do better next season me thinks !!!

Now onto the main talking point of the weekend. What can be more important than ANKARAGUCU picking up a valuable point away to bottom club Kasimpasa I can hear you asking ??

Well, unknown to most of the kankas, the Kankalar Group Tavla (Backgammon) Championship of the season was held this weekend (sorry to say it was not well publicised !!).

Maniac Kanka Harun and Eski Kanka Jim met in the Chopin Bar yesterday afternoon to "lubricate our arms" for an hour or so, and then it was off to The Tavla Stadium on Izmir Caddesi for the Grand Final.

As most of you know, Tavla is a Turkish game and so when the crowd gathered around us in expectation, all the money was naturally on Harun to kick Jim's ass.

However, there were mutterings of discontent after the 1st game when Jim unexpectantly won it and Harun's smug expression suddenly changed to a look of panic !!

Into the 2nd game and Jim was staring defeat in the eyes and a "double game" when some brilliant tactics were deployed and he snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat !!!

Yankee Kanka had arrived during this game and he was giving Harun some advice ..... like walk away .... concede defeat ..... but you know Harun, he is an obstinate "bustard" !!

So, to put him out his misery, Jim put the "sword in" and was 4-0 up before Harun could say .... oh f*** off you Scottish bustard !!!

At that point, Yankee intervened to save Harun from further punishment and Harun slunk off to The Lacivert while Jim was being carried on a wave of adulation by the crowd !

Rip Off Kanka Erman was there to meet us and we watched a footie match between two Istanbul teams (can't remember their names !!). Were there still tears in Harun's eyes from his humiliating defeat or was it the poor standard of the footie being served up ??!!

In a formal announcement at half time, Yankee Kanka declared Eski Kanka Jim the Kankalar Tavla Champion of the season, unless, of course, any other kanka dares to challenge him ??!! Who dares ???

Back to the footie .... cough cough ...... sorry for the deviation, and it is ANKARAGUCU's last home match next Sunday against Sekiztrash. KO 7pm, and so meeting in the Chopin Bar from 4pm and going to the Stadium at about 5.30pm.

The Anti-X Group Magazine Editor, Erkan, is planning to be there at about 5pm to take photos of the Kankalar Group for their magazine, so please make an effort to be there !

Hakan Kutlu was reported saying in Hurriyet this morning that he wants to finish in 6th position in the league and so he will be preparing the team to win their last two matches. So, another attacking match in prospect me thinks.

All the best from Kankalar Tavla Champion Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Are we safe?

Out at the park today kicking a football with Little Oz Kanka and one of his mates and the Turkish father of the other boy asked Little Oz Kanka a question, in English. "Which team do you support? Is it Liverpool or Chelsea?" Matthew gave the bloke a look of complete bewilderment. "Do you like Manchester United?" the man asked. Little Oz Kanka turned to me and asked, "Daddy, what is he talking about?". "Which football team is the best in the world?" I asked little Oz Kanka. That question was easy. "Gencler!", Little Oz Kanka answered. It was now time for the Turkish fellow to be bewildered.

One day Little Oz Kanka is going to hate me. One day he will find out that the Tooth Fairy is in fact his Mum with some spare change, that Father Christmas is a fraud designed to keep children in line in fear of not receiving that cool toy car on Dec. 25, and that Genclerbirligi are not really the best football team in the world.

Today though I believe in all three, as Genclerbirligi won 2-1 to pretty much save us from being relegated.

After dropping Little Oz Kanka off with the nanny, Mrs Oz Kanka has been away in Canakkale for a week and-a-half organising ANZAC Day stuff and making sure the Australians don't do anything stupid (a difficult task) that might piss off their hosts, I headed off to the Chopin Bar.

A wonderful sunny day. Beer in hand and laughing at Mustafa Akyol's latest TDN article (It wasn't a funny article, just another one his silly defences of Hakan Sukur's medieval superstitions and why we should all respect such nonsense).

Then Roger showed up with his mate John. Now John is a Pom who lives in Spain and loves his football. On holidays in Turkey for a week or so, the bloke wanted to see a footy match. In fact I'm quite amazed that with more than 6 million foreign tourists that Turkish football doesn't get more tourists. My guess is that the vast majority of foreigners are scared of going to a match. So, for today, I was glad to escort some foreign tourists to a match.

Alpine Kanka Wolfgang and Christoph showed up at the Chopin with an Italian youngster, whose name I didn't quite catch (sorry mate) and a little while later Arja and Pam showed up.

Finish off the beers, get the bill and then I had to tell the Turkish football virgins the rules. No coins allowed. Out come the coins and then Arja asks, "What about the shoes?"

Arja and Pam had gone shoe shopping before the match! I rolled my eyes and hoped for the best.

Luckily, the copper checking Arja's bags was a women and therefore totally understood that it is completely normal to bring three pairs of new shoes to a match.

Finally, kick off. I haven't seen Genclerbirligi so dominant for a damn long time. Istanbul BBS hardly saw the ball at all. We had chance after chance after chance. The crowd, bolstered by quite a few Ankaragucu fans on our side, was singing away.

Everything, but a goal. Until about the 23rd minute. Engin got a cross in, the keeper seemed to fluff it and Kahe got his head to it and in.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Istanbul BBS

Then we had shot after shot, all just out. Cakir and Mehmet Nas really ought to get some practice in.

So what though as in the last minute of the first half Genclerbiligi did what they seem to have been trying all year to achieve: walk a goal in. Engin sends a short pass to Kahe, who sends it on to Isaac Promise who taps it.

Not long after that the ball was in the back of the net again, this time though the linesman had his flag up.

HT: Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Istanbul BBS

With the results of other matches quite important to our hopes of staying up we then turned to those who had brought radios to find out how Rize were doing. You don't know just how happy I was to hear they were 2-0 down.

Second half and ... wtf ... a completely different Istanbul BBS came out. They were attacking, they were setting up shots and they were getting closer and closer. At the same time though we were also looking for another goal and again and again we stuffed up right in front. The worst being when Mehmet Cakir made an excellent break down the left, it looked like he was going to send it in to Isaace Promise but instead made the brilliant decision to hold it back for Kahe.... the scene was set for brilliant goal and Kahe!!!! ... sends it over

Not long after that Istanbul BBS scored with a slightly lucky goal.

Genclerbirligi 2-1 Istanbul BBS

Nail biting time now, about 20 minutes to go and another goal from Istanbul BBS could well see us relegated. We held on though, and at the same time made a number of good attacks, including one attack which saw their reserve keeper having to block three shots in about 30 seconds.

After the referee decided to play about 21 minutes of extra time, the whistle was finally blown. Once again we burst into song and we did so again outside the stadium.

Those Galatasaray and Fenerbahce fans out there may find it strange to think that a victory over a team like Istanbul BBS can bring such joy to the heart. For us Gencler fans though, today we are the best team in the world.

For fans of mathematics. Rize now have no chance of getting above us (because we have a better haead to head record). Manisa though still have a chance. If we lose our next two matches - against Fenerbahce away and Sivas at home - and Manisa win both of their last two matches we will be relegated. Unlikely, but possible. We may end up supporting Besiktas against Manisa in the last match of the season.

Let's hope not though, and fingers crossed Gencler will next week help out not only themselves but also Sivas and Galatasaray by beating up Fenerbahce.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Call me ungrateful if you will. But, if this is Hakan Kutlu's reward for the supporters (as mentıioned in my previous post) then ...... yes ...... I am an ungrateful whinging "bustard" (Maniac Kanka' new name for me , and his spelling !!!).

ANKARAGUCU 0 Konyaspor 3

I call yesterday's performance woeful or am I expecting too much ? No excuses from me about the absence of Kirita, Erdogan and Said. The first team squad can surely deliver something better at home. Can't they ? Or am I asking too much ?!

It all started so well. Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I met in the Cappadokia and were joined by Kaleci Kanka Tansu and Libya Kanka Gokhan. Off we went to the Stadium in high hopes, particularly for Libya Kanka (one of the original kankas from 1999) attending his first match for a few years.

I had a premonition that things were going to go wrong when Battle Damaged Kanka and I reached the entrance of Gate 8 after 15 minutes queuing to be told that the gate had become unserviceable. So, along to Gate 9 we trooped to wait in another queue. We finally made it into the Stadium 5 minutes into the match and joined Maniac, Yankee and Rip Off.

I forgot about my premonition because it was all ANKARAGUCU with Konya defending well. A great passing movement between Bebbe, Gokhan and Duruer after 10 minutes almost unlocked the door but only found the side netting.

Gokhan then had two long range efforts which went close and I was beginning to think that this was another day when the visiting goalkeeper (Oguzhan) was going to receive my Man of the Match award !

Another great chance on the half hour mark when a left wing cross came in from Gokhan to the back post area. Duruer cut it back in front of goal but somehow Oguzhan scrambled it away to safety.

Going in at half time was therefore a big disappointment, but with the propect of attacking the Gecikondu end in the 2nd half I was still full of optimism. I have a strong feeling in my lower reaches that İ've said that a few times this season and been proved wrong !!

So it proved !!!

Konya started to play a bit now and were keeping possession well in midfield. The ANKARAGUCU defence was being stretched with Konya coming more into the match with their dangerous breakaways.

Then, on the 50 minute mark as we were waiting for ANKARAGUCU to wake-up, came another fast break down the right wing. Ilkem and the Konya attacker, Sedat, were chasing the ball together when Serkan has a rush of blood to the head and came sprinting out to "help out". He collided with Ilkem and ...... thank you very much said Sedat .....popping the ball into the empty goal !

ANKARAGUCU was looking ragged now and the passes were just not sticking. Possession was being squandered on a regular basis and the defence was looking very shaky with El Yasa the only defender worthy of a mention.

The 2nd goal arrived with 15 minutes remaining and again it was a quick break out from midfield with the ANKARAGUCU defence nowhere. Sedat again chased the ball on the right side of the penalty box, Serkan came out to narrow the angle and ......... whooooosh ......... he shot at the tightest of angles with the ball almost out of play to score via the underside of the bar.

Fantastic goal, and cue ..... time to change the singing towards Cemal Aydin and shout for his resignation .......... not again .......... it is getting boring !!!

I suppose I should mention ANKARAGUCU's powder-puff attack force today. Yes, true, there were a couple of efforts by Bebbe, but Oguzhan in goal was never going to be beaten even if the referee had allowed an extra hour of time added on !!!

5 minutes to go and the Stadium began to empty but there was still time for Konya to do more damage on Rip Off Kanka's favourite number 90 when a long range effort from Murat Hacioglu took a deflection off one of the defender's and sailed in over Serkan for number 3.

Cue .... lots more singing from the Konya supporters who had turned out in impressive numbers.

Not a happy bunch of kankas then as we headed for The Lacivert to drown our sorrows.

Hakan Kutlu has much work to do this week to sort out the rabble called our "defence". Also, come back Kirita and Erdogan ..... all is forgiven !!!

Before closing, mustn't forget to mention that I counted 4 occasions during the match when Jaba got his head to the ball. You see, sometimes miracles do happen !!!

All the best from ungrateful and disappointed Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Live blogging Trabzon v Genclerbirligi

Welcome back to live blogging from the radio.

1500: Five matches kick off so it is going to be difficult to figure out exactly what is happening in Trabzon.

The Trabzon - Gencler match was originally going to be played on Sunday but for reasons I'm not that sure of they moved it to Saturday.

TRT-radyo really are hopeless. They had five minutes of adverts before 3 p.m. thus meaning that the build-up and reading of teams names (all ten of them) had to take place after play had started. Hopeless.

Gencler: Periç, Fish Grape, El Saka, Traore, Erkan, Ergün, Kerem, Nas, Promise, Cakir, Kahe.

1507: Trabzon's Ayman, an old Gencler player, has the first chance of the game and then Mehmet Cakir has a go but the ball goes out.

1509: Guess I should tell you the other games that are happening.
Sivas - Ankaraspor
Ankaragucu - Konya
Gaziantep - Manisa
Bursa - Kasimpasa

1512: Nas takes it, Cakir heads it and keeper saves... Announcer says it was a great chance.

1513: Mehmet Nas, our whippy No.7 seems to be ripping through them, nothing resulting yet though.

1522: As the radio guys are off commentating on other matches I might as well take this opportunity to say that this is a pretty important match for Gencler. We are in 15th position just two points above Rize in 16th who will go down to the next division if they don't get above us. Scary stuff.

1526: Seems like we got lucky. As far as I understand Trabzon had a shot which hit a post and then bounced across to hit the other post and then was sent out.

Not long after that Nas sent a ball in to Kahe whom the announcer said he was "bir az gec geldi". Mmm.

1531: The first ever letter to "The round ball in Ankara" live radio blogging service (may not be 100 percent live because the TRT website radio player stops every now and then to re-buffer) arrives in the e-mail box. Damn, it is Mrs. Oz Kanka in Canakkale asking if I can proofread something. Won't take long, I'll do it in the extended breaks in which nothing is being reported on from Trabzon.

1535: Peric saves a good shot. A few good attacks which yet again break down at the end. We need a good striker!

1547: Radio player dies... Argh

1548: Found another station which is buffering up as I type. Stupid me though. This station is covering the whole match.

1551: This just isn't working... Ah yes it is, hassle is it must be half-time as they just have music.

Half-time scores thanks to

Sivas 0 - 0 Ankaraspor
Ankaragucu 0 - 0Konya
Gaziantep 0 - 0 Manisa
Bursa 1 - 0 Kasimpasa
Trabzon 0 - 0 Genclerbirligi

Seems like an exciting footy all round ;) just one goal scored ...

1606: Bloody hell the commentator on Lig radio speaks extremely quickly and I'm finding this difficult to understand, but I can tell you the second half has kicked off.

1607: Mehmet Nas has a shot, just out.

1609: Not only is this announcer speaking very fast but he also seems to be doing from right in the middle of the craziest fans with a bloke behind him who has a horn.

Trabzon have an attack, the crowd starts screaming and I can't tell what happened. Ah Peric has got it.

1613: Peric is fouled and is on the ground after a promising attack by Trabzon. The crowd are singing "burasi Trabzon, bu'dan cikis yok"

1616: Isaac Promise is taken off. Hakan Aslantas comes on.

1617: Cakir has a shot... crap

1620: "With so many passes missed this is a very sad match for real football fans," says the announcer. I'm assuming he is talking about both teams.

1622: Hakan Aslantas has a shot, the defence clears. Perhaps Aslantas should have started instead of Promise.

1624: If we playing for the win why doesn't Bakkal bring on Burhan?

1627: Good and bad news from around the grounds. God news Manisa are 1-0 down. Bad news Konya are 1-0 up.

1628: Cakir attacks, Traore backing him up.. argh... I don't know what happened but their keeper now has it.

Damn, Konya have gone two-nil up over Ankaragucu.

1631: I just know it, Trabzon are going to score in the last minute of extra time.

1640: Sounds like we are playing our usual game, get the ball to the box and then ... well, do nothing.

Burhan is coming on. Finally. Cakir goes off.

1641: Ado, a defender, is coming on. Erkan off.

1643: Free-kick and just out... damn. It was Mr. Grape Fish.

1644: This time Kahe has a shot, just out. Get them on target!!!

1647: Trabzon go on the attack. We are going to concede a late goal. I know it. Konya have now gone three-nil up over Ankaragucu.

1650: Three minutes of extra time added.

1652: Peep, peep, peep. 0-0. At least my prediction of a last minute goal for Trabzon didn't materialise.

From around the grounds.
Sivas 2 - 1 Ankaraspor
Ankaragucu 0 - 3 Konya
Gaziantep 1 - 0 Manisa
Bursa 1 - 0 Kasimpasa
Trabzon 0 - 0 Genclerbirligi

So what does this mean. Basically it means that tomorrow I'll be supporting Besiktas against Rize.

This season is really killing me. Here we are beating Galatasaray to get to the final of the Turkish Cup and then in the league we are on the verge of relegation. I need a beer. Sir Eski Kanka was in attendance at Ankaragucu's pathetic display today and will give us a report in good time. ie once he has got over his hangover, probably tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With Fenerfan’s comments in mind from last weekend’s post, I am sorry to say that I have no further information on the prognosis of Tolga’s condition after last weekend’s head collision during the Manisa match.

Hakan Kutlu gave an interview to Hurriyet yesterday and only mentioned that Tolga would not be playing on Saturday because of his head injury. He did not mention anything about internal damage. Hopefully it is not as serious as first feared !

Also not playing on Saturday is Murat Erdogan (knee injury) and Ibrahim Said (on holiday). What type of holiday (enforced or not was not mentioned).

On a positive note, Hakan promised that ANKARAGUCU would be going all out to win their last 4 matches as a thank you to the supporters. He reiterated that both he and the players have appreciated the loyal support which the team has had this season.

On that basis, I think we can expect to see an attacking formation on Saturday for the Konya match.

Hope to see you at The Chopin Bar at 2pm, or in the Stadium in the usual place in Maraton.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Off to the final

Turkish Cup semi-final

Galatasaray 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi (Gencler go though to the final 2-1)

Singalong now... "Were on our way to ..... " . Mmm. Unfortunately we don't actually know where we are going. We beat up Galatasaray and we are in the final but we have no idea where the final is going to be.

So let me start this post with a general broadside attack on the complete and utter idiots that run Turkish football. Actually I'm not going to make that attack, only because anyone with half a brain must realise that it would have been nice to have set a host for the final... perhaps say, 12 months ago. Bloody idiots.

So, I have no idea where we will be playing the final on May 7. All I know is that the opponent will probably be Kayserispor who go into their second leg against Rizespor 3-0 up. That match is Wednesday night.

So what happened tonight?

I'm not really all that sure.

Spine and myself were joined by some... well... people we know... the only one to be mentioned should be the white-shoed agrarian socialist/capitalist Collete, who actually thought I was from Melbourne. Evil girl.

Collette, whom none of us had met before, did not actually realise that we actually were at the Kapadokia to watch Genclerbirligi, and not to talk to her or her boyfriend. Still, I think we balanced our responsibilities in that department.

Onto the match... well I actually didn't see much of it. (Talking to Spine all the time).

I haven't seen any reports yet but I think it was all Galatasaray. Our keeper Recep made a few good saves and if anything I would say we were lucky to go into the break 0-0.

Words of wisdom from Bakkal and we were on. Chance after chance after chance was created... but none were taken.

Attack after attack after attack, and finally El Saka sent a ball in for Mr. Tuna Grape to sort-of bicycle kick into the goal.

Into injury time and former Gencler player Umit Karan scores. 1-1

That's it. We win on away goals and I am one happy boy.

I have no idea if the above very short match report is correct and I don't care. We are off to the final, and no matter where it is, I'm going.

Oh yes, I almost forgot the last bit of the comedy. Galatasaray get a penalty towards the end (surprise, surprise - Gencler were denied a penalty earlier on). Lincoln takes the shot and Recep saves.

PS: We shall be organising a trip to the final, wherever it may be. If you are not on our e-mail list then let me know in the comments section.

Photo nicked from Milliyet

Monday, April 14, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The show is back on the road and The Round Ball in Ankara leads the way ! We told Hakan Kutlu last week that the time has arrived for ANKARAGUCU to do the biz on the road, and guess what........ he listens and acts !! Obviously his half time team talk did the trick yesterday.

Manisaspor 1 ANKARAGUCU 2

Not much to say about the first half in Manisa yesterday except that Serkan in goal was the only player to score a high 8 in the Hurriyet. No scoring in the first half then.

However, a different story in the 2nd half. Jaba replaced Gokhan on 54 minutes and opened the scoring 10 minutes later. 5 minutes later Murat Erdogan made it 2 and sighs of relief all round.

Metin of Manisa grabbed a consolation goal with 10 minutes to go, but there was no conceding a goal on 90 minutes this week !! Stats Man, Rip Off Kanka Erman, nods his head in approval !!!

More good news....... Kirita came on for the last 15 minutes, so we should see him back leading the team next weekend.

It has to be said that we have seen some bloody good footie from ANKARAGUCU this season, notably against Fener and Sekiztrash. However, the fact remains that they have only won 10 and lost 11 in 30 matches. Not exactly inspiring stuff I think you will agree ?!

Scoring 30 goals and conceding 37 goals is not the basis for challenging for Yooro footie !!!

I have said it a thousand times and I make no apologies for repeating that the capital city and FIRST city of Turkey SHOULD have at least one representative in Yooro ! We don"t have a God given right to be there but that SHOULD be our aim !

So, will ANKARAGUCU make a serious challenge to the Big 3 next season ? If Sivas and Trabzon can do it, then why not. This question deserves an answer !!!

Back in the Cappadokia last night watching Ankaraspor take the wind out of Fener"s sails were Rip Off Kanka, Maniac Kanka, Yankee Kanka and yours truly. Lots of ANKARAGUCU songs being sung, much to the disgust of the "ANKARA" Fener supporters, but did we give a stuff ? No need to answer that question !!

Highlight of the evening was Eski Kanka introducing Maniac Kanka to Albania Raki !!! I wonder if that is why he left the Cappadokia early ??!!

Next up is ANKARAGUCU at home to Konya. I think it will be on Saturday, but Oz Kanka will be sending out a meeting mail soon.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS...... for Genclerbirligi supporters....... We are pleased to accept your thanks for taking all 3 points from Manisa yesterday !!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A bit of a breather?

Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Gaziantepspor

Little Oz Kanka came home from school the other day with a curious letter in his bag:

Dear Parents, Carers and Friends,

Mr. Abdel El Saka, father to ... and ... and defender for Genclerbirligi Football club, has very generously invited all BESG children and their families to watch a football match on Sat. 12 April at 19 Mayis Stad at 3 pm, between Genclerbirligi and Gaziantepspor.

Very generous indeed, even if tickets for today's match were only 1 TL. The point is not that it cost El Saka (or most probably the club) next to nothing, but that it got a lot of people to the match who would normally not have bothered. Just the idea of a free ticket got quite a few people off their arses, including...

Back to regular report

It's been a good few years since I managed to get Mrs. Oz Kanka down to a match, but today I succeeded. In fact today we had few of the regular Kankas at the Chopin, just myself and Flying Dutchman, but we more than made it up with a couple of blokes from some Australian government department who are in Turkey to make sure that the ANZAC Day commemorations don't go belly up.

We also managed to get along Jeske from the World Bank (any chance of a loan to Gencler?) and his son, the Aussie Ambassador and his wife, kids and friends of the kids also showed up. Scouser Kanka Steve disappointed all by ordering cay at the Chopin and it was with a laugh of contempt that the waiter told him that the pub only served beer. Bloody hopeless that bloke (Scouser Kanka that is, not the waiter).

Also showing up at the Chopin was Ozgur Korkmaz, sports editor of the Turkish Daily News and a true Gencler supporter (although that won't stop us from attacking him and his paper in the future).

Alpine Kanka Wolfgang was met at the stadium and at one stage I even met Emin (from our darts competition who can normally found in the protocol section). We even had Berrak and Cem form my darts team who showed up looking after a whole heap of kids. Mrs. Oz Kanka's workmate Ceren, a football virgin until today, also showed up and despite the fact the match was sold out managed to scam a ticket. (looking lost and being female obviously helps when one is in this situation)

All that long intro and finally onto the football.

First half was rubbish really. Pretty much all Gencler but we really were going through the motions. Gaziantep were crap and we were playing flatfooted and without desire. The best chance came at about the 22nd minute when we hit hit a shot over the post from a position that I thought we were certain to score from. No prizes for guessing that the man who missed was Isaac Promise.

Half time and it was 0-0 and I couldn't see any way that it would change. We were crap, and so were Antep.

I took Little Oz Kanka off to the loo, pausing for a minute for some people from to take my picture to put on their website (I think they must have thought I was Sir Eski Kanka) and then on for the second half with Gencler attacking the goal to our left... ie attacking the goal where the Gencler fans were.

Now this was a much better performance. Okan Ozturk had been taken off (Kahe came on) and it wasn't long before a small cheer went up in our section of the stadium as Isaac Promise was replaced by Mehmet Cakir. The difference was immediate. Passes were being fed through to people on the run, sure the odd offside flag was ruled every now and again but this was much better stuff. It wasn't brilliant but it seemed to be working.

Then Mehmet Nas, who had a pretty crappy game I thought, passes never quite reaching their target) had the ball on the right of the goal and got a pretty good cross in, someone got to it and the ball was in the back of the net. I asked everyone whom they thought had scored and the consensus was that it was Burhan. It may have been but I see now that the Anatolian news agency is crediting it as an own goal. Who cares. It was a goal.

The crowd singing away and while there were a few scary pieces we held our nerve and then with just a couple of minutes on the clock Kahe scored with an angled shot that nutmegged the keeper. Phew.

Outside the stadium and I gave an interview to a lovely girl whom I had met at half-time and who had said she had do do a story on foreigners living in Turkey. She said her teacher at high school had given her this assignment as homework. I was only happy to help the pretty young thing in her pursuit of educational excellence. Mrs. Oz Kanka watched from a distance as I gave the interview while Little Oz Kanka played footy with an empty water bottle.

All up, a bloody good day. Now all we need is for Ankaragucu to beat the hell out of Manisa on Sunday.

PS: I finally decided to put one of my articles through a spell check. Have I spelt scouser wrong?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

These people are on another planet

In the build up to last night's bore of a match an NTV commentator on location somewhere near Stamford Bridge was forced to explain why there were so many Fener fans on the streets and not inside the stadium. He said:

"Because in England they do not have the culture of going into the stadium many hours before the match."

Not sure how many matches the bloke has actually been to in Turkey as there is only one reason why people go to the football early in this country and that is because of the absolutely pathetic ticketing system i.e. one little box selling tickets, the extremely slow gate system - 30 seconds at least per person is pathetic - and the fact that seats aren't numbered.

I have no real hassle with not having reserved tickets but I would like to see some improvements in the other two sections.

It has nothing to do with "culture" (which in the context that the bloke used actually meant something like "practice") but everything to do with the way us fans are treated like dirt...

The match itself

I'm not even going to talk about the absolute and utter rubbish that was the commentary on Star TV this evening. For our American readers just think how Fox News might call a boxing match between Bush and Clinton. I'm used to all the "hadi Fener", "taç bizim", "bravo Volkan", "maalesef gol" (I did like the last one though), but it was Fener coach Zico who blew me away at the end of the match.

Star TV had Zico on his own (with only an interpreter). "Your starting line up failed?", "Richards Colin Kazim Kazims Kazim had a poor game?", "Is there a problem with Kezman?". All decent questions that of course, weren't asked.

Instead Star started off with an arselick thanking Zico for getting Fener so far in the competition. Well, even I will congratulate Zico and Fener for getting this far but surely congratulations are not needed in a post match interview. Stick to the cliches Star TV!

Let me give you one straight out of any sports journalist's book: "A tough loss Zico, where did you go wrong?"

Zico is a smart bloke though and pretty much ignored the journalist's songs of praise and instead said whatever it was that he wanted the public to hear.

He got through all the normal stuff, including to his credit dismissing the idea put to him by the Star TV that Fener was robbed by the referee (I'm not even going to mention Fener-Denizli, oops) and then made a statement along the following lines: (I'm paraphrasing here so don't sue me)

"Perhaps one thing that has to be looked at is the number of foreigners who are allowed to play for Turkish teams".

Well, that was some statement coming from a bloke who had just fielded three, yes, just three players who were born in Turkey in Fener's starting line up and who had more foreigners sitting on the bench if needed.

Three Turks too many for Zico and for Fenerbahce. It does make you wonder why the Turkish press is so gung-ho for a bunch of foreigners when in almost every other field they are so hostile.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The noxious weed (tobacco that is, not the ref from the other day)

For those of you who don't know a couple of us Kankas have become old and conservative and have started thinking about our health. Yep, Spine, French Kanka Hande and myself have given up smoking. Early days yet, only a week so far, but what I can say is thank God for nicotine patches.

Despite the perceived wisdom, the most difficult situation a "quitter" can find him/herself in is not a smokey bar with Sir Eski Kanka blowing smoke in your face, a situation I got through on Sunday night with no worries at all, but instead at the football - especially just after the referee refuses to give the most blatant penalty!

Some of you may remember a post I wrote way back in the early days of the blog (in March 2006) I wrote of a proposed ban on smoking in stadiums. The issue is back on the agenda at the moment, although I can't arsed to figure out the details.

Anyway, the post was picked up by a blog called The Global Game (a great site that looks at all sorts of side-issues of the game) which put my post through the spellchecker thingo, something I really should learn how to use at some stage, cherry-picked the best bits and in general wrote a much better story. The links back to this blog resulted at the time in quite a big spike in the numbers of people reading the blog, not surprising as in those days the blog was pretty much just read by Sir Eski and myself.

The Global Game have revisited the story of cigarettes in football looking at the recent piece in The Guardian by goalkeeper David James and his battles to give up the habit.

They ended the piece with a line taken from my very own post from more than two years ago.

One of the best expositions of the end of the era of fans’ disgruntled toking is that posted in 2006 at The Round Ball in Ankara (“Civilization Going to Pot,” 5 Mar 06): “I admit that even I would feel a bit guilty having a smoke in a maternity ward (at least if you couldn’t open a window) but at the football!”

Pretty cool if I say so myself. Hassle now is that I feel like a smoke.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hibs 2-0 St Mirren

Hibs got back to winning ways on Saturday with a two goal win over St Mirren. This was an important win as Hibs had lost the previous two matches to Rangers (1-0) and Motherwell (also 1-0).

Hibs took only four minutes to score their first goal when Colin Nish chipped the keeper after a poor clearance. Sixty seconds later Hibs were two up when Zemama fired in a shot from 30 yards, surely a contender for goal of the season.

Hibs created a couple more decent chances but the game then dropped in tempo as Hibs sat on their lead and St Mirren laboured without really creating much in the way of chances.

The second half never really sparked into life untill the last twenty minutes when St Mirren finally started putting pressure on the Hibs defence. By the end of the match the Hibs keeper had pulled of four outstanding saves which prevented a nervous end to a low key encounter.

The three points keeps Hibs in the hunt for the UEFA cup place, they are now two points behind Motherwell and level with Dundee Utd.

The SPL now slits into two sections with the top six playing against each other and the bottom six doing likewise.

Hibbee Kanka


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This will probably be the shortest post I have ever done (sighs of relief all round) !

I could count on half a hand the number of times ANKARAGUCU has won a match on the road this season. Yesterday it was more of the same.

Gaziantepspor 2 ANKARAGUCU 1

Zero report in the Hurriyet this morning ....... surprise surprise. So, all I can say is that Bulent of Antep scored on the half hour mark.

Gokhan, (Battle Damaged Kanka's hero) equalised at the beginning of the 2nd half.

The Referee, Fırat Aydınus, with the whistle poised in his mouth ready to blow time (unlike the other Referee in Ankara last night !!!) allowed Antep to finish their attack before blowing for full time and then....... bang ...... goal ! Bulent again slotted home the winner.

What a sickener !!!

So, ANKARAGUCU is still stuck in the middle of the table. Boringly safe me thinks.

However, Hakan Kutlu needs to sort out the problem of losing away matches for next season. Actually, he could perhaps start by winning next weekend in Manisa and doing Genclerbirligi a favour !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

The clearest penalty you will ever see

Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Galatasaray

Gulay, a Galatasaray fan, is the only other Turkish football blogger writing in English whom I respect. She understands humour, she understands that humour is spelt with a "u" and she understands how to put the knife in, take a hit and hit back.

Having said all that she is a complete and utter fraud and obviously blind to boot and she should go back to her knitting (I think that is what someone urged her to do on a blog about politics that is much more juvenile than this one).

I'm not a sexist person by nature but when it comes to attacking Galatasaray and Gulay I will use every weapon in the book. (By the way, am I the only person who thinks Gulay wears much to much make-up for a 54 year-old).

I should also point out that I have given up smoking. Four days now and this may also influence the extreme bile I am about to launch upon the referee.

Spine has also given up and it was certainly a weird experience to sit down at the Chopin Bar and not light up. Of the 13 of us Gencler fans at bar only Alpine Kanka Wolfgang was smoking... and boy did the smoke smell wonderful.

I'm not going to name everyone who came along, too boring, but I must make a special mention for Smart Arse Yankee Kanka and Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka (no feminist-style differentiation between husbands and wives names here) finally managed to use their season tickets which they bought about 10 months ago. The tickets have always been put to good use throughout the season and anyone else who would like to buy a season ticket next year, and then not use it, are encouraged to contact us.

The match...

I am disgusted. Not with Genclerbirligi, not even with Galatasaray (well, Umit Karan really is wanker, even if he is a former Gencler player) but the referee and linespersons were the worst I have ever seen.

When we walked into the stadium today I spoke to one of the Gencler fans. He said straight up that Galatasaray would win because of the way that Fenerbahce beat Denizli last night. The referee, he said, had to be totally on Galatasaray's side because otherwise the CimBom lot would cry foul.

The bloke wasn't wrong. Fouls were given against us left, right and centre for absolutely nothing. Offsides were given against us practically every time we were making a run.

But the knock-out blow was the absolute and complete and utter incompetence of the referee when he didn't give us a penalty. After the match we went to the Cappadokia Bar and watched the replay about 323 times and if this wasn't a penalty the Pope must be a Buddist. We are talking big, big, travesty of justice, think of Lindy Chamberlain, David Hicks, and that bloke from Eastenders who went down for a crime that every single viewer knew that he didn't commit (but whom the viewers at the same time were very happy that he was effectively written out of the soap).

How the bloody hell this referee gets another game in the top flight I don't have a bloody clue.

It was a rugby tackle, well, a pretty shit rugby tackle but still it was a bloody penalty!

Referee says no, play goes on... We go on the attack, seconds left in the 1st half and we are on... the attack goes down the left and a goalscoring opportunity is on... and the fer blows his whistle for half time! WTF. This may happen in Europe but in Turkey the referee never blows up for half time when a real attack is on.

Second half and the rain is coming down, by the way I agree with Gulay that the pitch was an absolute disaster, but the rain did make it difficult to play. Genclerbirligi were all over Galatasaray, but once again we showed that it is impossible to win without a decent forward. Scouser Kanka Steve (who was sitting with us Kankas for the first time) mentioned at one stage that Promise was a waste of space... Well, anyone who has read this blog over the past two years would have the same idea.

Hakan Aslatas had a few shots, one which which was so wide that it went for a throw-in, not a corner, but really we never threatened the actual goal, not much anyway. We would get into position for a shot... and then fluff it.

As the rain fell and lightening filled the sky Genclerbirligi played out of their socks... we were truly going for it (unlike two weeks ago) but the goal just couldn't be found.

Then came the sucker punch as Lincoln fired off a shot that found the back of the net.

Devastated. Things aren't looking good. Relegation is a possibility.

We then hooked up with Sir Eski Kanka, Maniac Kanka and Battle-Hardened Kanka Damon at the Cappadokia Bar to drown our sorrows. Oktay, the owner of the bar and a Genclerbirligi club member, pulled out his saz and played a number of wonderful songs... the misket was my favourite.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Another coach bites the dust (don't worry its not Gencler again)

Ankaragucu, Ankaraspor, Bursaspor, Rizespor, Gaziantepspor, Genclerbirligi, Kasımpasa, Konyaspor, Trabzonspor and Manisaspor all have one thing in common.

They have all changed coaches at some point of the season.

To that list add Galatasaray who today announced that Karl Heinz Feldkamp (94) has "resigned" due to differences of opinion with the management. Sounds more like he was sacked to me.

According to a statement on the club's website the team will be stronger because of the "resignation"... Mmm... Perhaps they are scared of Sunday's clash with Genclerbirligi, whose coaching changes this year have been so many as if the term "revolving door" was invented just for them.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

History lessons part 34

As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, Wednesday morning sees me check out The Knowledge from The Guardian newspaper. In that edition we got name checked in regards to a story about empty stadiums.

Then last week I saw the following question:

"The relegation last year of FC Den Haag from the Dutch top flight means that the seat of Dutch government, the Hague, is not represented in top-flight football," says John Lewis. "Are there any other cities which host a national government but do not have a top-flight team?"

In today's edition quite a few people wrote in with factual answers and they also included something which we wrote about ages ago.

The following is the bit of article where they use our info:

Finally, Oz Kanka alerted us to the situation in Turkey, where the Turkcell Super League now contains four teams from Ankara, but things weren't always thus. "When General Kenan Evren staged a military coup in Turkey in 1980 there was no Ankara team in the Turkish league," explains Oz. "He became president and hinted aloud that there should be a team from the capital in the league. Perhaps wisely, the Turkish Football Federation changed the rules on promotion and decreed that the winner of the 1981 Turkish Cup would be promoted. Ankaragucu played Boluspor with Ankaragucu winning the two-leg final, 2-1, after the referee disallowed a perfectly good goal from Boluspor.

"'In complete obeyance of the order from Kenan Evren, the strong and powerful leader of the revolution, the football federation of the time and the notorious referee Sadik Deda brought about this result,' wrote former Boluspor chairman Yener Bandakcioglu in a Bolu newspaper in 2005. "We do not know for certain whether those who brought about the result were able to sleep well that night or not. We know just one thing, until the end of the world the small town of Bolu's great club Boluspor will never again experience being deprived of such a great victory.'"