Monday, February 08, 2010

Driven to Hell...or Home?!

Ankaragücü 0-0 Bursaspor

On Sunday afternoon, Yenikent Asaş Stadium played host the biannual love fest between Ankaragücü and Bursaspor. With 19 Mayis currently out of commission due to problems with the pitch, a fleet of municipal buses transported the loyal legions of fans across the barren Anatolian plains to what is affectionately known on this blog as "The Stadium from Hell." The result, however, was more like something from purgatory, with the sister clubs playing to yet another scoreless draw. Such has been a frustratingly common finish for Ankaragücü since the resumption of the season. Despite millions spent on the acquisition of new talent, we still can't seem to put the ball in the back of the net. Relegation remains a specter looming in the distance.

Philly Kanka and I were the only ones to brave the dreary winter weather and make the trek to Yenikent. As we approached the stadium, we noticed a distinct splash of blue and yellow against the otherwise bleak landscape. It soon became evident that "The Stadium from Hell," previously home to the much maligned Ankaraspor, has officially been rebranded for Ankaragücü. Images of our players are now perched atop the stands and the club insignia adorns the outer walls. It seems safe to say that we’ll be making a few more trips to our new home in cehennem this season.

Before the match, bedlam reigned outside the stadium. In addition to the chanting throngs of supporters, there was mass confusion about how to get tickets. The officials knew we needed them, but didn’t seem to know where they could be bought since, in true Ankaragücü fashion, all of the ticket windows were closed. Fortunately, Philly Kanka spotted a guy with a stack of about five hundred in his hand and sent me off to procure two for us. I forced my way to the front of the teeming crowd that had amassed around him and asked in my best yabancı accent, “hocam, iki tane, lütfen.” I was promptly handed the requisite tickets for free.

As the result would suggest, the match was not an exhilarating affair. The starting lineup included the new additions to the club:

Cihan, Muhammet, Broggi
Rothen, Geremi, Rajnock Sapara, Hürriyet
Vittek, Mehmet

Adem, Kaan and Vassell came on as substitutes.

The match started with a brief spurt of energy from Ankaragücü, but quickly settled into the plodding doldrums that have too often typified our performance this season. Neither side looked particularly impressive in the first half. Although Bursaspor had a shot deflect off the post in the final seconds of stoppage time, both teams failed to generate serious scoring opportunities. The second half amounted to more of the same: a lackadaisical slog to the final whistle.

Bursaspor is a good team, deserving of their high position in the table. Their finesse on the ball highlighted the lack of cohesion and dearth of creativity amongst our players. Perhaps this is a product of so many new faces and the gaps in management, but it's very clear that Lemerre must take drastic measures to address our offensive difficulties if he hopes to keep Ankaragücü in the Super Lig.

- Connect Kanka

(I'll add Connect Kanka's photos in a tick - Oz Kanka) DONE


  1. Philly Kanka11:26 am

    Some Food For Thought:

    Is a Dolmus with a kitchen the worlds greatest invention?

    Was the 1 hour that the stdium went from newly painted to Gecekondu graffiti a new record?

    Is it necessary to change all of the facilities signs after the patrons have already arrived?

    Was the dead grass in Yenikent really better than 19 may?

    Did somebody fail math if the Maraton was double capacity and the Kale was empty?

    Why is Sol Kapali not in the Sol Kapali?

    Could the ticket situation have been handled any worse? It was like playing wheres waldo.

    What is with all of the new support groups? Uni Guc?

    Is it cool that there is an official store in the new stadium?

    Will busses be going from 19 may every week?

    Why is the super bowl so damn late?

  2. From your photo I see that in addition to the players there were also huge posters of the coach and even the assistant coach. I'd also like to think that there was a poster of Ahmet Gokcek, at least twice the size of the others. Was there?

  3. Connect Kanka12:46 pm

    Alas, no. I didn't see one.

  4. "It soon became evident that "The Stadium from Hell," previously home to the much maligned Ankaraspor, has officially been rebranded for Ankaragücü."

    So, Chris, what does this mean for Gencler? Will you guys have to resign yourselves to playing in a melon and grape (apparently the inspirations for our colors) colored stadium or will it get a fresh paint job every other week or what?

  5. Yes, I was wondering the same thing. That doesn't look like a shared ground to me at all.

    It's kind of a moot point because I'll be buggered if I'm going out to the Yenikent Steppe Circle once a fortnight.

    Still, it raises an interesting question: Is it better to be in the Gokcek family, or their disenfranchised unwanted stepchild?

  6. Seems as if Gokcek has pulled a swift one on us.

  7. Connect Kanka4:35 pm

    Isn't there another stadium in Ankara that Gencler could use, or was the announcement made that you'll be in Yenikent?

  8. Congratulations to the hardy two for braving the elements and the journey to The Stadium from Hell, or should be now be calling it ...... The Ankaragucu Stadium ??!!

    Like Spine, I was also wondering what was going to happen next week. Perhaps they are planning to use Blu Tak rather than painting it every week ??!!

    I've been spoiled these past two weeks with all the comforts of Easter Road Stadium and Celtic Stadium and sitting in the exact appointed seat with no long queues and frisking. I'm expecting a swift, sharp shock in a few weeks time when I have to attempt this effin journey again to effin Hell !

    What more can I say about the present Ankaragucu team which hasn't been said. Except maybe that they might have a chance of entering the Guinness Book of Records for the most competative consecutive no scoring draws !!

  9. You have to admit the stadium looks like a great place to watch football, especially if it is raining or snowing.

    Fingers crossed they can sort out 19 Mayis as soon as possible.

  10. Steven and/or Jamie,

    How did it work out with the buses? Did the boarding at 19 Mayis go smoothly? Did the return trip go smoothly?

    I'm very hesitant to go out there. My sense of being duped is growing as we become more like Ankaraspor in yet another way.

  11. Anonymous9:12 pm

    Great report and photos.Good to have some images to add to the words as I follow the never ending drama of Ankaragucu.When was it announced that the game was being moved?And did none of the fans have any idea that Hell had been painted blue and yellow?Hard to judge all this but I can understand your concerns about becoming Ankaraspor Mark II.Amazed that the cash is there for massive photos of the players around the stadium in the same season as players are being ejected from their hotel through non payment of bills.
    The result in itself wasnt bad but another blank up front is real cause for concern.Am I right in saying that Ankaragucu havent scored a league goal since Eski Jim went to Scotland?When is it you return Jim?!

    Dublin Neil.

  12. Philly Kanka9:20 pm

    Damon, the buses are fine. Made some unintended stops for picking up and letting off, but was on time and there was ample space.

    We have not scored nor given up a goal in three games.

    I actually saw we have a new team bus. Looks snazzy.

  13. I'm sure it is a cool bus... My guess is that it will get repossessed in three weeks.

  14. Here's the Football Federation statement on the matter:

    -- both clubs to play in Taskent, sorry Yenikent
    -- 19 Mayis is having maintenance/repairs
    -- all super league matches for both clubs will be played at Yenikent

    Doesn't Say
    -- how long this will last

  15. Connect Kanka11:07 am

    I will say that the buses were handled surprisingly well. I expected a clusterfuck when trying to get home, but it went smoothly. There was a suffient number of busses, and they had options going to different parts of the city.

    That being said, I don't know how inclined I am to make that trip every other weekend. Anything other than an afternoon match will make for a very long day.

  16. The hippodrome is nearby. On a race day we could go to the races (where they sell beer) and then head off to the match. Or the other way around.

    By the way, busses for Sundays Gencler v Kasimpasa match leave the 19 Mayis Stadium at 11:30 am

  17. Yes, Dublin Neil, I'm back in Buyuk Baskent and hoping that my good luck will continue for Ankaragucu.

    I saw Hibs score 9 goals in 3 games with only 3 conceded (one of which was an OG) over the past two weeks.

    Istanbul BBS have a miserly defence, but now that I'm back I honestly believe the flood gates will open again. Hopefully in the right direction !

  18. Anonymous9:10 pm

    To be fair the stadium looked good and it was full and there was a great atmosphere. We just need to start scoring and get the three points.


  19. Yes Nadeem. Agree about the 3 points, but ......... yikeeeeexxxxx .... not the effin Stadium.

    As Chris mentioned, it is not covered and it is effin miles outside Ankara in the middle of nowhere.

    I stand firmly behind the name that was given to it by ME many moons ago when Ankaraspor came into the Super League and we went to see Ankaragucu play there, ie, .........

    The Effin Stadium From Hell !!!