Temperatures around the zero mark here in Ankara meant it was time to find the old pair of tights I bought years ago when I was trekking through the mountains on the Black Sea. Only hassle was that I must have been a bit thinner in those days as the damn things wouldn't stay up properly. By half time the tights were somewhere below my bum and the crowded toilets at the 19 Mayis stadium are probably not the best place to drop one's trousers and pull up a pair of purple tights.
Oh yes, there was some football tonight but I'm not sure I really want to talk about that.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 3 Galatasaray
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a bunch of Gencler season tickets shall get phone calls on the day of a match against Galatasaray. And so it came to pass. Orcan and Ertan both got onto me today and I was only too pleased to help out with the spares. I'm not even sure who actually owns the eight season tickets I have in my possesion, but hey, it all helps.
So at the Chopin Bar Orcan and his mate Can showed up, as did Recovering Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, Guclu is always there, and Ian and his lovely eight-year-old daughter made up the crew.
Road works in Kizilay made the trip to the stadium a bit of a pain, but we got there in time to not sing the national anthem.
Onto the match itself and Gencler weren't too bad. We dominated possession but at the same time didn't look too dangerous. That was until the 26th minute when Burhan managed to get in on goal (I'm not exactly sure how as the play was just after I thought we had stuffed a chance and so I looked away saying "oooffff"). Next thing I looked up and Burhan had slipped it home. 1-0 up and much cheering.
At this stage a whole heap of Galatasaray fans who were sitting in Maraton moved over to the side of the stand wanting police protection. I have no idea why but I do ask why weren't they kicked out of the stadium. Most people are not stupid enough to sit in the home section of an away match. The police should have frog marched them out.
All up we had about two minutes of joy before Galatasaray got back into it. Then not long later they went ahead, and then not long later they went further ahead.
In all three goals the defence made mistakes and to give Galatasaray credit all three goals were clinically taken. None of them were 35-yard screamers, they were nice stuff getting behind defenders and shooting on goal. It is something we must learn how to do.
Ian, a bloke who doesn't go to many matches reckoned we played allright, but as I've said a million times on this blog we fail with the last pass.
In the first half we made many very good runs down the left touchline, with one resulting in the goal, but then the coach replaced Aussie Bruce, who was playing on the left this evening, with another Aussie, James Troisi. Troisi is probably better in that position so I didn't complain but then Gencler decided to focus on making breaks down the right on the second half. Useless.
Mehmet Nas had a good game, being denied a goal from a brilliant acrobatic effort by the Galatasaray keeper and Kahe played a good first half only to hardly be seen in the second.
And what the hell was with the referee? We were being given yellow cards left, right and centre whilst nothing was being given against Galatasaray for very similar challenges.
Oh dear. I'm rambling.
Point of my rambling? Gencler have to learn to use the last third of the park. This is the second time in the last few weeks I've heard from a relative newbie to Turkish football that Gencler played fairly well. In those two matches we have won just one point. Time to convert playing fairly well into points, otherwise it is back to the relegation zone... as we may well be depending on the results of the other matches this weekend.