Saturday, August 30, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

First the good news !

Congratulations to Rip Off Kanka Erman from all the kankas on becoming a daddy for the first time. Mother (Ceyda) and baby (Duru (Cemile)) are both well. There is a myth ….. that you are only a `REAL` man when you have fathered a daughter, and ……. I believe it !

Congratulations also to Marash Kanka Hakan on his return to Ankara after serving his country well in Cyprus on Military Service for the past year. Unfortunately, he couldn’t come to the match last night as it was his wedding anniversary. He has learned to allocate priorities ! Congratulations to Meleke and Hakan from all the kankas.

Now the bad news !

Commiserations to Ankaragucu (AGAIN) on a plucky 2nd half performance last night but zero points after 2 matches.

ANKARAGUCU 1 Trabzonspor 2

My day started at 6am when I surprised my wife by being first out of bed. Well, there was an incentive ! We were on the road from Side to Ankara at 8am and I `flew` home in 8 hours with the usual `pit stops` to be in Ankara in time for the match.

I arrived in The Chopin at 5.30pm and was welcomed by our waiters but, ….. zero kankas ! Where are they all I asked myself ? Have they now decided to support Ankaraspor ? Answers awaited !

Marash Kanka turned-up briefly on his way to his anniversary dinner and then `old trusty` Maniac Kanka arrived to swell the kanka numbers to ….. TWO !

Off to the Stadium then with lots of optimism (remember Maniac’s comments on last week’s performance ?) where we were met by Yankee Kanka, Husso Kanka, Rip Off Kanka and Kaleci Kanka Tansu.

The Stadium was almost full and the volume was high. The Trabzon end was full, Maraton and Kapali were full and just a few empty spaces in Gecikondu. Had to admire the sound coming out of the Trabzon end which was competing well with the Ankaragucu tribunes.

The match started at a frantic pace and Trabzon gradually took control of proceedings with some neat passing movements and running off the ball. They were giving the Ankaragucu defence a torrid time with their speed, and Tolga (captain for this match), El Yasa and Moine were all having problems staying the pace, especially with the speed and trickery of Yattara. Also, `Old Boy` Umut and Gokhan Unal are also `speed merchants` and they too were dragging the Ankaragucu defence all over the place.

It was therefore no surprise when the Ankaragucu defence was `opened up` on the half hour mark with a fast breakaway out of defence. A through ball to the unmarked Yattara that left Serkan with no chance.

Three minutes later the referee allowed a `water break` and I was shouting (nobody heard me !) to the players to keep their concentration, but on the resumption, a similar fast break to the first goal, and with the Ankaragucu defence back-pedalling it was left to Selcuk to tap-in with Serkan again exposed and given no chance.

The half time whistle arrived as a relief with Trabzon in total control.

Into the 2nd half and all credit to Ankaragucu for not allowing heads to drop. It was frantic end-to-end stuff and special praise to Tolga in the Trabzon goal for making 2 outstanding saves – one from Ibrahim and one from Mehmet Yilmaz which on another day would have qualified for the Goals of the Month Competition.

Iglesias replaced Mehmet with 10 minutes to go and almost scored when clean through. However, his lob over Tolga went inches over the bar. He did redeem himself in time added on with a consolation headed goal which drew sarcastic cheers all round.

Not many positives to take from this performance. As I mentioned, the defence was sorely exposed by the speed of the Trabzon midfield and attack. Gokhan (Battle Damaged Kanka’s hero) was posted missing for the most part and was replaced by the promising Metin half way through the 2nd half.

The midfield of Cem Can, Ibrahim, Murat Erdogan and Murat Duruer also struggled against a quality team.

I have to say that I am fast losing patience with Duruer – he huffs and puffs but never looks like achieving anything, and last night was no exception.

The only positives I took were the introduction of Metin and also Serkan in goal. An excellent all round performance from Serkan, which if it continues, will keep Sherif on the bench for a while.

So, lots of endeavour from Ankaragucu in the 2nd half last night but against a team of Trabzon’s class all our weaknesses were exposed. It could have been a humiliating score line without Serkan’s heroics.

Hakan Kutlu and Hakan Keles will be pleased that they now have 2 weeks to prepare for the difficult trip to Gaziantep. Me thinks they will need this time to put the team back in winning mode !

A run of defeats can destroy the confidence of the best players, so posting a win in Antep is of the utmost importance.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

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