Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ankaragucu: A time for change


So, where did we leave off last week? Oh, yes, I believe, Bellshill Kanka Nadeem left us with the these prophetic words:

"If Umit is still manager by Monday morning then we are in big trouble."

Well, Umit is still with us, and we do indeed seem to be in big trouble.Whether Umit is aware that we are in big trouble or not is, of course, another matter. He looked as if he were feeling postively cozy inside his glass booth in the stands where he has been banished for the next six weeks, I believe, as "punishment" for literally turning 19th of May Stadium into his stomping grounds last week. He even posed for photos during half-time and had visitors including Guven Varol who is currently out do to injury. Is Umit's banishment for punishment or protection, I wonder. He certainly didn't look to be suffering.

For this match Umit put the following players on the pitch:

Bora Körk

Uğur, Rajnoch, Klukowski, Zewlakow

Duruer,Adem, Özkan (Dk. 56 Mehmet), Sapara, Gabrıc (Dk. 54 Metin)

Sestak (Dk.81 Bednar)

Glaring in his continued absence was Cerny. Still a huge question mark as to whether Cerny will even be able to play this season or not. Last we heard he was still without his license due to some bad blood between him and his former team Slavia Prag--or something like that anyway.

Bora was back in goals tonight. Even Umit was smart enough to realize Ozden should sit this one out after his performance against Manisa. And though the newspaper Hurriyet only gave Bora one out of three stars for this match, he certainly didn't make any blunders on the scale of what Ozden made last week. Otherwise the biggest difference in the line up was the inclusion of Ozkan who played his heart out but also only managed to pull one star. Probably on account of his continual whinging to the referee.

Speaking of whinging, I do believe I'll be able to hear Eski Kanka Jim's plaintive voice all the way from Scotland the moment he reads Duruer's name in the paragraph above. Hold your horses, Jim. Murat actually did us proud during the first half.

As the match began, it seemed as if Kayseri were taking Ankaragucu pretty lightly. Kayseri has a much better record and they are a bigger (about 4 cm taller on avg. if you don't include Bednar who wasn't on at this point), more powerful team than Ankaragucu. The Gucu players were getting pushed around quite a bit and it was clear that it was starting to irk them.

After a feeble attempt by Duruer, Kayseri went on the attack. Former Juventus and Napoli striker Zalayeta took a shot from within the penalty area, but Bora was able to deflect it. Zalayeta looked like he was about to put the deflection away but Uğur got to it before Zalayeta did saving us from an early goal.

This was one example of pretty strong defense on our part that unfortunately gave out at the end of the match.

Murat Duruer was struggling at this point. He had lost control of the ball in the 12th minute, and now he was knocked to the ground by the man defending him. Words were exchanged while Murat was still sitting on the grass. He got up and shoved the Kayseri player in the face straight away. The Kayseri player's response was only a split second behind, and it was at that point that the ref stepped in and separated them, but by this time there was a crowd of players from both squads pushing each other around and running their mouths.

The most vocal was clearly Serdar Ozkan who at 1.67 had been getting manhandled for the entire match. Somehow the ref Koray Gencerler managed to calm things down without giving out any cards, but from this point on the Kayseri fans would boo Ozkan everytime he got possession of the ball. Duruer did not receive a yellow for this altercation but somehow managed to earn a yellow a couple of minutes later for something done off camera.

From about the twentieth minute on it was a lot of back and forth until when in the 38th minute Ziani crossed the ball from the left into the box where Santana rose to meet it with a strong header which flew towards the Gucu goal only to hit the crossbar and come flying back.

Ankara quickly took advantage of the situation and got the ball to Sestak who took it down the right, got it to Ozkan in the center at the top of the box. Ozkan saw Murat coming down the left, passed ahead of him. Murat picked it up, took his time, and then slid it neatly between the keeper and a defender into the lower right hand corner of the goal. Beautiful.

Kayseri spent the rest of the half trying to equalize, but rather ineffectively thanks to the Ankaragucu defense. Klukowski in particular was giving Kayseri hell. By the end of the half he had picked up a yellow, but had done a magnificent job. We went into halftime up by one.

The second half saw some important changes in the Kayseri line up with Moritz coming on for Omer and Kujovic coming on for Ziani. Kayseri attacked and attacked, but the Gucu defense held until the 77th or 78th minute when Moritz set up a goal which Kujovic a Swedish football player of Montenegrin descent put away much as Duruer had done against Kayseri in the first half(watch the video below and compare).

By this time Ozkan had been replaced with the much slower Mehmet and Gabric by Metin. They had both come on around the 55th minute and Mehmet in particular seemed to hinder Gucu rather than help them.

In any case, with the score 1-1, it was obvious that Kayseri could smell the three points that they had been craving to go into next week's Fenerbahce match with. They lifted their game to another level and for the final fifteen minutes or so Ankaragucu were struggling to survive. They managed to make it to the 9oth minute at which point it was announced that there would three minutes injury time.

Shortly after, a strange thing happened. As Kayersi were preparing to to take a corner kick just before the three minutes elapsed, Koray Gencerler, the head ref, kept demanding that players behave, but he obviously wasn't satisfied with their response because this went on for at least a minute. Then he called Ugur out and gave him a yellow card. As Ugur had already picked up one of these in the first half, the ref then proceeded to take out the red. Ugur was gone.

Whether Ugur's absence was a determining factor or not is hard to say, but following the corner there was a huge smash up in front of the goal with the final result being a seemingly forgotten Zalayeta playing the ball off his chest and pivoting beautifully to put the ball past Bora into the corner of the net. Game over.

Kayseri's manager Shota Arveladze, who is apparently also the record holder for most goals scored by a member of the Georgian national team, was ecstatic and let the crowd see it as Kadir Has Stadium erupted in a chant of The White Stripes' anthem Seven Nation Army.

The Gucu players were not so happy and approched the refs to voice their objections. Most persistent was, yes, you guessed it, Serdar Ozkan who talked his way into a post match yellow card. Bravo.

As much as I am not a fan of Kayseri, after all it was there that I earned my Kanka moniker, I will be supporting them in their bid next week to overtake Fenerbahçe in the league. Ankaragucu will be playing a mercurial Besiktas at home but in a closed stadium without Ugur Ucar. Won't be easy.

Umit in Turkish can be translated as "hope," and as Umit Ozat has really let himself go physically since his playing days, we can say that Ankaragucu has a quite a lot of hope. But hope will not be enough to get us out of the mess we now find ourselves in. It is time for change.


  1. Anonymous6:15 pm

    nice report damon, Another typical ankaragucu performance, I was on a journey so was checking the score on livescore on my phone and i just knew we wouldnt hold out. The defence ive said so many times is to slow, there not good enough.

    And your correct about this mehmet carachter, in scotland he would be known as a lump of shite. We are been dragged into a relegation battle now


  2. Anonymous6:30 pm

    just saw the goals, utterly disgusting defending expecially the second one. The first one just no one there picking the lad up. the second one Zalayeta there main striker standing on the 6 yeard box himself. unbeleivable.

    and the anticts at the end of the game, what do we expect if they follow there managers example, no discipline. fuck off umit ozat


  3. Actually, the defense had been good through most of the match. As a matter of fact, Rajnoch had pretty much shut Zalayeta down, but, and this is a big but, it all fell apart at the end which is pretty much what happened against Manisa as well.

    Is it a matter of poor conditioning? I mean Umit certainly doesn't lead by example in that area. Yes, I know he has a heart condition. All the more reason to keep fit.

    Or is it a matter or concentration? If so, they really need someone to help them work on their mental game.

    I think the players honestly like Umit, but the job of the manager is not to be liked but to get results.

    They are definitely an ill disciplined bunch at the moment. And as the Turkish proverb goes, "the fish stinks from the head down."

  4. Looking at the video of the winning goal the Kayseri player would have been offside if one of the Ankaragucu players (I'm not sure who) had bothered to push up just slightly. Silly fellow.

  5. Anonymous11:51 pm

    Think it was Klukowski oz, Yeah damon as you say we can defend for large spells, but that doesnt matter if you keep conceding silly goals, all it if you have 89 good minutes as a defender, and then in 1 minute you make a silly mistake, you havent done your job properly.

    You can tell the players do like him, but as you say its the rsults that matter. Look at Gaziantepspor the now, they are ambitious, have brought in quality players and are moving up the table. thats where we should b


  6. Connect Kanka12:48 am

    Something is truly rotten in Ankara these days.

  7. @Steven: Yes, wish you were here to weather the storm with us. Jim's eyes fog up anytime you and Jamie's names are mentioned. But we understand. After all, you do have the world's greatest pastrami on rye right around the corner--oh, and your family, of course.

    @Nadeem: My point is simply that if you can defend for 75 minutes, you can defend for 90, or 95 for that matter. Whatever the deficit is, be it physical or mental or a combination, it needs to be dealt with. Is that not a good part of the manager's job? If your team keeps making the same mistakes, then you have to identify the cause and work on it until it is no longer a weak point.

    It doesn't seem to me to be a matter of talent. We've got players (apart from the likes of Mehmet) good enough to go out there and get it right, but there is a major weak link which makes me want to chant...

    Buraya, buraya, Roger Lemerre buraya...

    Buraya, buraya, Roger Lemerre buraya...

    PS: the three players closest to the goal when the pass was launched to Zalayeta were Duruer to Zalayeta's left, Metin and Klukowski to his right.

  8. Excellent report Damon.

    Also, a reluctant 'well done' to Murat for his well taken goal. He timed his run well and his control of the ball (for once !) was perfect.

    However, the defencive covering for the Kayseri goals was abysmal.

    Umit Bey needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat for the BJK match me thinks !!

  9. Concerning Duruer, yes, it was a beautiful goal, but I'm sure it will not surprise you to learn that he kinda "disappeared" after that. :)

    I wish you guys could have seen what the defense withstood. They really did a remarkable job apart from those lapses. I don't know if there was a team in the league that could have withstood what Kayseri threw at them in the last twenty minutes. The Fenerbahçe Kayseri match is definitely the match to watch this wknd.

    Let's hope the Buca Konya match is a tie.

  10. Damon, I'm flying back to Buyuk Baskent on Saturday. Can you let me know when the Ankaragucu match is on and if you will be downtown on Sunday ?

  11. The match is on Sunday evening, no spectators.

  12. I guess we should just be thankful that there are three teams that are much worse than we are right now...

  13. Thanks Oz. I guess we will be meeting in The Beer Bus Bar. Right ?

  14. KO is at 19:00, Jim. See you there then.

    @Jamie: Precisely. I think we can all pretty much count Kasımpasa out, but Buca and Konya still have the potential to make life uncomfortable for us. That it why I am hoping for a tie in this wknd.'s match between Buca and Konya. :)

  15. OK, Eski will be there.

    I brought luck and success to Hibs in Edinburgh last week, so hopefully I will bring more of the same for Ankaragucu ??!!