Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gencler back home but back to losing

It was a return to the 19 Mayis Stadium today and my how great it was to be home... even if the seating arrangements were all muddled up.

Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Ankaragucu

I must say it is annoying to have to write this sort of a report when there are at least five other much happier kankas sitting back waiting to pounce.

So let's start with happy things. ie Efes. Little Oz Kanka and myself showed up to the the Beer Bus, having made our way through the protest shelters of the striking Tekel workers (do any of you know how difficult it is to explain to a six year-old the ins and outs of a union protest? - For me, I just said they were fighting for because they want a job. "Why is the government against them having a job?" asked Little Oz Kanka. "Err, because... err, ah look, there's Burger King!").

At the Beer Bus were Maniac Kanka Harun, drinking water, Eski Kanka Jimbo, drinking coffee, and another fellow drinking nothing at all. Clearly the Chopin Bar next door weren't losing too much money by our decision to move bars.

Not too long later we were joined by Connect Kanka, Battle Damaged and Philly Kanka.We love you Efes, we do. We love you Efes, we do. We love you Efes we, oh Efes we love you.

Being Ankaragucu supporters they all had to leave for the match rather early and so myself, Little Oz Kanka Matthew and Ambo Kanka Peter hung around for a couple more beers (a cola for Little Oz Kanka) before we made our way.

The fun of course was to be had even before kick-off. As we drove into the stadium the Ankaragucu fans were already fighting. Not with the Gencler fans but amongst themselves. Much laughing from inside our car as we made our way in and then a long walk around the stadium for us home fans. Why the Ankaragucu lot weren't given the normal away section I have no idea.

Finally got in and lo and behold a fairly decend crowd. The pitch looked okay, but it was fairly clear it was going to cut up badly soonish.

Kick-off and Ankaragucu went for it. It was quite a tirade and it was therefore not a surprise that Gucu scored (Darius Vassel) in about the 13th minute. It was nice stuff and Gencler had no answer to the great football being played. We all the thought the goal might spark something in the gencler players and to an extent it did.

Serkan in goal for Ankaragucu made one brilliant save in the first half and was in the right position to stop a couple of other good chances.

All up though Gencler weren't converting possession into attacking opportunities. This was even more pronounced in the second half when we had perhaps 90 percent possession and bugger all shots. Having said that, as soon as Ankaragucu scored they set out their defensive lines well. They ought to be a tough nut for anyone to crack.
Little Oz Kanka, a disembodied Oz Kanka and Ambo Kanka Peter.

The pitch started to cut up badly towards the end and perhaps the field out at "The Stadium from Hell" is better at the moment. I don't care though. The one chant, started by the Ankaragucu fans and then taken up enthusiastically by us Gencler lot was "This is our home, we don't want Yenikent." The sad reality is that Gokcek has already announced that the rest of Ankaragucu's home matches this season will be played out at Yenikent. Us Gencler fans are lucky. We will be playing at the 19 Mayis. There but for the grace of God go I. (question: as an atheiest am I supposed to capitalise the diety?)

Post match and back to the Beer Bus to discuss the penalty that wasn't given to Gencler for what looked like a pretty clear hand ball in the box in the 90-something minute and the general total incompetence of the referee. On the last point at least we agreed.

So that was the view this Gencler supporter saw it. I know you Ankaragucu kankas have different views and different insights (ie what was all the fighting about?). Please add them in the comments. If anyone starts swearing at each other I reserve the full right to allow those comments to stand uncensored. Fight!

Photos soonish. Done


  1. Connect Kanka11:35 am

    I think Oz Kanka's assessment of the match is right on. Ankaragucu came out hard in the first fifteen minutes and deservingly capitalized with Vassell's beautiful goal. Without question it's the most cohesive we've played all season. After the goal, though, Gencler really controlled the play. I'm not sure if this was because Ankaragucu opted to fall back to a more defensive strategy or if Gencler simply woke up from an early-match slumber. As Oz mentioned, this was particularly evident in the second half when Gencler dominated possession but still failed to generate a serious chance on goal. I'll echo the concerns about the referee as well. His performance was mediocre at best for both teams, and I can see the merit of 90th-minute hand ball in the box. But few referees will ever make that call in my experience.

    Outside the stadium, a throng of Ankaragucu supporters were clashing with the police. We suspected they were hoping to gain free entrance to the match as is often typical for our unemployed and unemployable brethren. It's for the better they were kept out since our section was way over capacity.

    Another noteworthy addition to the match was the presence of female Ankaragucu supporters. Yes, I typed that correctly: FEMALE supporters. Some even went so far as to bring out flares after the match.

  2. Well, I have to be honest and say that I don't entirely agree with Oz and Connect.

    I thought Ankaragucu were worthy winners even if Gencler did flatter to deceive with their huffing and puffing around the midfield area in the 2nd half. The fact that they didn't bother Serkan too much was down to the excellent defensive performance of the Ankaragucu back four.

    Ankaragucu started the match in impressive style, which may have been down in some way to their pre-KO huddle which included subs and coaching staff. I love to see this !

    They came out of the stalls like a greyhound and had Gencler reeling. The goal which Oz mentioned was right out of the training manual.

    A fast break out from mid-field. The ball sent to Vitek, who, anticipating Vassell's run on the blind side, sent the ball between two Gencler defenders. The pass was perfect and Vassell chose his spot with Serdar helpless. Fantastic goal !

    Ankaragucu should have added to that goal in the first half but for some wayward finishing.

    However, as I said, the defence and midfield held firm in the 2nd half and, for me, it was a well deserved victoree.

    All the 'new boys' (Geremi, Rajnoch, Kagan, Sapara, Rothen and Vitek) performed well and if Ankaragucu can maintain this team spirit and performance there will be some happy days ahead as they climb away from the relegation zone.

    As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and so next Sunday's match in 'Hell' against Antep will be a pointer to the run-in to the end of the season.

    Meeting next Sunday in The Beer Bus at 11am and going to catch the buses at about 11.30am.

    All the best from Mr Optimism, Eski Kanka Jim

  3. Connect Kanka9:09 pm

    I should clarify that I do not think Gencler was more deserving of the win. I agree with you, Eski, that they spent most of their time "huffing and puffing" around midfield without producing a viable shot on goal. But the fact of the matter remains that Gencler came to control much of the possession, especially in the second half. From the Ankaragucu perspective, it was a very reasonable strategy to come out hard, take the lead, and then tighten up the back line to defend the advantage. This shouldn't be construed as evidence of an undeserved victory.

  4. Well, Oz didn't get the 'fight' he was looking for in his post comments.

    Eski and Connect's exchange was powder-puff stuff and not worthy of the name .... 'fight' !!

    I'm sure that when Battle Damaged and Philly wake up from their slumbers they will weigh in with some controversial comments .... don't disappoint us boys !!!

    As for Bellshill Kanka Nadeem and Dublin Kanka Neil, .......... well I suppose they will have something to say when they come back from their world travels. Nadeem is in Paris and Neil is probably in Honalulu or Monte Carlo !!!

    As for Connect Kanka's comments ...... stop back-tracking and let's fire bullets at Gencler !!!!

  5. Anonymous8:17 pm

    You were half right Jim!I was the one in Paris last weekend ,last minute thing.Good old Ryanair!
    I see Vassell has learned how to celebrate a goal Turkish style.Great 3 points thats all that matters.Hopefully 3 more to follow this weekend.Gaziantep not firing lately and there for the taking I'd say.
    I'm going to Turkey on the first of May for a holiday so hopefully the threat of relegation will be long gone by then.
    Ireland have a handy one tonight,against Brazil!!

    Good Luck,

    Dublin Neil.

  6. Not much to say that hasn't already been said. It was indeed the best I've seen the team play together in many a moon. Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the season.

    I do want to voice my concern over Vassell's knee(I should check and see if his blog is back up). Hopefully, he'll be in form to play Antep.

    @Steven: that's not the first time there have been female fans. It is just the first time we have been sitting so close to where they were. As for the flares, they probably don't get searched as thoroughly which makes them a logical choice.

  7. Connect Kanka12:28 pm

    @Damon I have seen female fans before, but these were far more vocal, hence more noteworthy.

  8. For Dublin Kanka Neil .... what a coincidence ! Nadeem was also in Paris last weekend. It's water under the bridge now, but it would have been great to get you two together.

    Just for info, Nadeem is coming to Ankara over weekend 8/9 May for the Ankaragucu v Fener match. Any chance of hiring a helicopter and coming up from your chateau on the south coast of Turkey for the match ???!!!

    As for the comments about 'females'. There were about 20 young 'high school age' females at the match near us and having a great time singing and dancing to Ankaragucu songs. They are 'Gecikondu Girls' and not the 'high class females' we see in our normal position in Maraton. So, boys, put your handbags away and don't give Oz and excuse to declare that this was a ........ fight !!!

  9. Anonymous11:04 pm

    Unfortunately Jim,though I see Ankaragucu are at home on both May 1st and 8th they are the days that I fly in to and out of Bodrum.Will be over for two weeks in July too but the new season will not have started then.Still, I enjoy reading the soccer coverage in Zaman when I'm over there and there are several nearby bars that should be showing the Fener game anyway.SOME day, hopefully, I will see the great Ankaragucu!!!!

    Dublin Neil.

  10. @Eski: handbags??? Don't you dare project your love of accessories on us Americans.

    And thanks for the analysis of the female fans; I would never have understood the distinction on my own.

    (in a whisper: so d'ya think we've made Oz happy yet?)

  11. Shhhhh..... also in a whisper ....

    there is only ONE way to make Oz Kanka happy ...

    keep putting pints of Efes in front of him after a Gencler victoreeeee and he'll be your friend for life !!!

  12. Don't need the victory condition.

  13. Anonymous7:15 pm

    Hello people, just back from Paris. Lovely city but very cold lol. How did you find it Dublin Neil ?

    Jim - Great win at last and deserved to, i just hope the next time we go a goal up we push for the second. Lemerre looks to be doing what all good managers do and build from the back.


  14. Aye Nadeem, good comment.

    and as I've said many times ....... I like to come from behind too !!!