Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Genclerbirligi to win the league at this this rate

If we keep playing as badly as this, we could well win the league!

Genclerbirligi 3 - 1 Balikesirspor

Cold and wet and miserable and just generally all round rubbish. Just Flying Dutchman and myself down at the Beer Bus for pre-match beers. Flying Dutchman is a good Gencler fan but even he admitted he had come down to Kizilay escape the wife. Spine was a conspicuous non-show. Of course, nothing to do with the fact he was at the German Embassy Oktoberfest the night before.

The first protest I encountered on Sunday was by a feminist
collective against the state's alleged aiding of ISIS.    

A few Alkaralar joined us at the pub and about 500 Gencler supporters were at the match, about 10 times less than what we should have had (thanks Passolig)

Match kicks off!

Stancu almost scores a minute in off a corner. His angle was a bit wrong though and the ball came off the post.

And then... boring. Talk about slow. This was slower than a snail on valium.

About the half hour mark and we finally had a nice play. Guido in on the left got the shortish cross in to Berat who tapped it in.

That was about it for the rest of the half. Even though we were 1-0 up it still seemed bad.
Then I bumped into the hunters protesting against having to pay
to shoot things. Not too many feminists at this one.

Balikesir started to get a few chances and should have gone ahead a couple of times and finally they got one back from a corner. Gosso was clearly at fault.

We were still playing like rubbish when Gosso got onto the end of a brilliant pass from Nizamettin. He passed it back and Berat got his second. An excellent goal, thoroughly undeserved.

Then came a third a little while later... Ugur Cifti got it. Can't remember how. It was good though... I think.

All I can say is that this was a bad, bad match. That's two weeks in a row we have played like crap but still got the three points.


Turkish Cup 3rd round draw !

Both Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi found out their 3rd round opponents this afternoon, and both can be happy with their outcomes. Genclerbirligi will play Etimesgut BB at home. Etimesgut also from Ankara knocked Kayseri Erciyesspor out in the last round.

Ankaragucu will travel to Tavsanli Linyitspor in what was the easiest tie Ankaragucu could have asked for due to us being unseeded. The winners from both ties will progress to the group stages.

for Gencler its another opportunity for European qualification, while for Ankaragucu the chance of TV revenue and games against Super Lig sides which will also bring in much needed income.

It would be nice to see both clubs progressing and meeting in the group stages which would give us a long awaited Ankara derby.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ankaragucu 1-1 Altay SK match report !

Before the match started i said that a draw in Izmir against Altay wouldn't be the worst result. After the 90 minutes had finished 1-1 i and many other Ankaragucu fans were left disappointed yet again. Altay had played 120 Minutes plus penalties against PTT Lig side Karsiyaka on Wednesday where as Ankaragucu had a comfortable match at home against amateur side Golcukspor.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Aytac Oden, Gurkan Alver, Volkan Geyik, Mehmet Tasci, Harun Aydin, Serhat Gulpinar, Orhan Evci, Mehmet Erdem, Levent Kale, Umut Nayir

Subs - Ishan Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Onur Atasayer, Hasan Ayaroglu, Metin Ilhan, Ramazan Adiguzel, Emir Ozbey

Orhan Evci came back into the starting line up for Selim Teber who wasn't in the squad which couldn't only have been due to injury with him being a key player. Levent continued his run in the team as he partnered Umut up top with Onur Atasayer and Hasan Ayaroglu both back in the squad after injury.

It all started so well for Ankaragucu when they took the lead after only 5 minutes through Umut Nayir. Ankaragucu have struggled to score goals this season, was this the start that would see the team kick on and start putting the ball in the back of the net? The answer to that of course was no.

Instead Altay equalised in the 25th minute through Rasit Savindir. It would stay that way until half time.

Into the second half and with the Ankaragucu away fans trying their best to cheer the team onto victory, the team couldn't give them that winning goal. Altay were reduced to 10 men with 12 minutes remaining when Husamettin Yener was sent off for his second bookable offence.

Ankaragucu threw on both Hasan Ayaroglu and Emir Ozbey to try and grab the winner but it was all to late and the home side hung on for a share of the points.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. With the teams above Ankaragucu all drawing apart from Bandirma who won, it was a good opportunity to close the gap. Instead it was another boring draw against a poor side. Thats 5 games played 4 goals scored. Not good enough !!!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Altay SK match preview !

Ankaragucu are in Izmir tomorrow night as they take on much improved Altay SK in what is a must win match. Although a poor start to the season with 1 win and 3 draws, Ankaragucu remain unbeaten in 12 games under Muammer Ozdemir if you include pre season. The coach has addressed the defensive issue the team had last season, but its the forward line and midfield that need much improvement if Ankaragucu are to challenge for the playoffs.

Both sides were in action midweek with Ankaragucu winning 2-0 at home against Golcukspor, while Altay won the Izmir derby by beating Karsiyaka on penalties. It will be a big test for Altay to see weather that match has taken a lot out of he legs of the players after over 120 minutes of play.

Altay are much improved from last season where Ankaragucu beat them 4-2 at home and 2-0 away. Ankaragucu on the other hand have lost some of their best players and are relying on a team full of youngsters this term. The good news for Ankaragucu is that Levent Kale is getting more minutes under his belt and is getting closer to match fitness. Hasan Ayaroglu is back in training and will be back in the next few weeks, and both Selim Teber and Serhat Gulpinar were rested midweek.

A draw wouldn't be a bad result in Izmir but Ankaragucu need to start winning games and send out a message to the rest of the teams in this League. The standard of teams in the league are very poor and all teams are capable of beating each other. Last season you had Alanyaspor and Altinordu who hardly lost a match. This season after only 4 games there are no teams that haven't dropped points.

Former Ankaragucu midfielder Semavi Ozgur will line up in the Altay team, the Bulgarian born Turk is one of the most experienced players in the Altay team and will be one of their key players. For Ankaragucu Mehmet Erdem Ugurlu is the creative spark in midfield who can create chances and also score goals. I would expect the coach to go 5 in midfield again with Levent dropping back onto the bench for this one.

Team i would go for is:

Gokhan, Aytac, Gurkan, Volkan, Mehmet, Harun, Selim, Serhat, Orhan, Mehmet, Umut

Both Orhan and Mehmet bring much needed pace to the team. Gokhan Erdogan has failed to impress which really leaves the coach without other options in the wide areas until Hasan is back.

Kick off is at 7pm Turkish time tomorrow.

Genclerbirligi v Balikesirspor match preview ... er... sort of

Genclerbirligi press spokesman Hakan Kaynar on Friday put the pressure on Alper Ulusoy, the newbie referee for Sunday's match, saying he hoped the refereeing mistakes Gencler suffered from last season won't be repeated in the match against Balikesirspor.

"I wish him well," Kaynar said of Ulusoy who will be making his Super Dooper Lig debut on Sunday. "He won't forget this match. Hopefully we will," Kaynar said, hopefully referring to the refs performance and not our team's.

"We can't get out of our heads the referee mistakes made last year, just can't - the comedic penalties, five minutes to take a corner, the unfathomable cards..."
Can't get you outta my head, said Kaynar.

After wishing Ulusoy the best of luck Kaynar went on to lament the new ticketing system that was supposed to lead to safer stadiums, but instead has just emptied them.  

"If you say that it is now safer to go to a match then the stands for a match during the day should be full of children,"  Kaynar said.

"We played two seasons with almost full stands," exaggerated Kaynar. "Problems with the ticketing company and problems with the promotion of football matches have deprived us of enthusiasm (from the fans) that is essential (for the team). For example, the role played by our fans in our victory over Trabzon last season was huge," said the spokesman referring to last year's brilliant match where we came from two-nil behind to win three-two.

"This lack of enthusiasm (at matches) is a disadvantage for all teams," he said.

Kaynar also talked a little about stuff on the field but you could have cut and pasted that from any press spokesman's pre-match presser in the past 20 years.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Besiktas fan's view of Passolig

Are you still confused as to what Passolig is and why the crowds this season are way, way down? We have had a few articles on the matter. In fact I ought to get them all together in one place (next week's job). 

But today I want to link to an excellent article in English on a Besiktas site by a fellow called Emrah Dincer. The article gives a brief history of how Passolig came into being. 
One of the things the law changes in theory was the ownership of the responsibility of unwanted incidents. Normally, after an incident (usage of profanity, fans on pitch, objects thrown on pitch, fight among fans etc) the club(s) were punished by fines ranging from a few thousand euros to having to play without fans or having to play in another stadium far from home. This specific chapter of the law was giving the clubs a new responsibility in exchange for being responsible for all incidents. The troublemakers now will be responsible from their own actions individually instead of the club; but the club has to implement the necessary infrastructure to determine who are the trouble making individuals. The description in the law is rather vague, and it is not really clear what kind of “infrastructure” is necessary.
 After the massive Gezi protests in the summer of 2013; where it became evident that many of the fan groups, especially Çarşı was influential in the resistance against the government, was Passolig announced. Cameras and other security devices would be installed to all stadiums by the same company who will collect all personal information from anyone who goes to a football game. The cost of the infrastructure would be paid by the fans who are buying tickets to games.
Dincer goes on to talk about how a very small bank with good connections to RTE managed to get the contract to supply the cards to us all... and us in return all becoming clients of his tiny bank. Then follows some good points on the hassles of the new system, failures of technology at the stadiums (something Flying Dutchman Kanka has experienced first hand) and the general fears that fans have over the control of their personal infomation... Dincer doesn't fail to remind us that many Besiktas fans fave life imprisonment for being involved in the Gezi protests last year. 

Dincer also found one weird implication that I hadn't known about, or thought about. 
There were also impracticalities about the system. For example when obtaining this card one has to declare which team one is supporting and can only buy tickets to games of that club. That means somebody does not have the chance to go see a random football game unless that somebody is a registered fan of one of the clubs playing. The application and approval process is just too much hassle for people who only see a few games a season. 
Dincer ends with more questions than answers... because no-one knows what is going to happen. My bet... football will lose. 

Please click on the link to read Dincer's full article What Passolig is, and what it is not  

Ankaragücü - Gölcükspor Match Report

Team - Ishan Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Aytac Oden, Gurkan Alver, Mehmet Tasci, Orhan Evci, Harun Aydin, Mehmet Erdem, Levent Kale, Umut Nayir, Muhammed Gonulacar

Subs - Gokhan Akkan, Ramazan Adiguzel, Metin Ilhan, Ali Sinan Gayla, Gokhan Erdogan, Emir Ozbey, Teoman Erkan

This kanka was all alone for the 2nd round cup match against 3rd league side Gölcükspor, and not just within the Kanka group. The turnout was very poor in general, probably linked to the continuing differences between the fans and the management, the chilly weather and the Wednesday evening kick-off. Sol Kapalı had about 20 fans at most, Gecekondu was not a third full, Maraton had very few fans, and I didn't spot a single fan in the Gölcükspor end the entire match!

On the other hand, the Bekar Evi boys in Saatli had all turned out, and a mid-week after-work game is certainly the only time you'll see Ankaragücü fans in smart suits...

The game was, to put it mildly, a breath of fresh air after seeing Gücü's first two games at home. Knowing that they were the better side, the team didn't make so many mistakes under pressure, and so the football flowed, with a man always there to receive the ball and some pretty nifty passes and runs.
Photo (from Ankaragucu.org.tr): Metin Aydın takes a throw-in with a spacious but still loud Gecekondu behind

The team was dominant in possession and tactics throughout the first half, but at first it looked like the result might not reflect the play, as Ankaragücü's strikers lost their composure inside the box while Gölcük made a couple of sudden one-man counterattacking runs that sent the defence sprinting back but came to nothing.

The 17th minute saw a Gücü freekick just outside the Gölcük box, which was masterfully curled past the defensive wall but anticipated by the keeper. While Ankaragücü's midfield kept sending good balls upfield, there was else nothing worthy of being called a chance until the 35th minute, when Mehmet Taşcı sent a well-aligned cross over to Levent a few metres from the goal, only for the shot to just clear the bar. From then until half time, Ankaragücü played pinball in and near the box, bouncing the ball off defenders and looking dangerous but not getting anything in.

At the start of the second half there was a lull: not due to the efforts of the midfield, who were keeping balls coming through, but because the Gölcük team had gone all out to defend, and Ankaragücü seemed comfortable taking things at their own pace. A piece of inspiration struck the Yenidoğan drummer in Maraton at around the 60th minute, and almost all the fans in Marathon moved over to the fence, while most of the Gecekondu fans came and joined them. Whilst the fence got shaken so hard it looked on the brink of collapsing, the combined noise the two tribunes made spurred Ankaragücü on, and two players broke free in the 68th minute, beating the defender and goalkeeper with a classic last-second cross and Erdem's brilliant placement.

From then on, the team had several good chances, not least from set pieces as Gölcük became increasingly desperate in their defending. The win was confirmed in the 89th minute by Umut, who managed to get in several shots on goal this game. It looked as though he would be denied again when the goalkeeper stopped the shot, but he was there for the rebound and put it away.

Altogether, the small crowd gave Gecekondu a chance to try out new songs, all three main groups of fans applauded one another giving Mehmet Yiğiner a hard time, and Ankaragücü got a chance to take a breath and start playing some more convincing football than what we've seen up until now this season.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Iceman Cometh

Genclerbirligi have a new coach, the 42rd in the 36 years Ilhan Cavcav has been at the club.

And naturally enough, it's not one of the high profile names the club has been linked with in the last few weeks. It's Irfan Buz, as we hinted last week.

Born in Istanbul in 1967, Buz moved to Germany as a youngster where he played for minor teams before moving to Turkey where he played for Sakaryaspor and Vanspor, according to his Wikipedia page. As a coach his most recent job was at Bursaspor. He's just the sort of man Cavcav likes to work with: keen to build a reputation and low-key enough to be dispensable.

So while we of course wish Mr. Buz the very best of luck at Gencler, it's also worth recalling some facts about his new post.

In 36 years Ilhan Cavcav has employed 42 coaches, according to my calculations based on this Radikal newspaper article.

But that's not the really shocking number. Since Cavcav likes to give people a second chance to be fired, he has actually changed coach 59 times in those 36 years. People who've worked for him more than once include recent occupants Mesut Bakkal and Fuat Capa.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Fall rotate band members like I change my socks and they continue to produce wonderful music, guided by the eccentric genius of Mark E Smith:

Ilhan Cavcav: The Mark E Smith of Turkish Football? Discuss.

Note to readers: Fall reference in second blog post? Job done, football blogging cliche achievement unlocked.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Golcukspor match preview !

President Mehmet Yiginer today called for the Ankaragucu fans to remain patient and stop the negative comments. This is in response to both home games where a section of the support has turned on Yiginer and his management team. Yiginer even banned the Sol Kapali tribune leader and increased season ticket prices much to the anger of the fans.

In his statement today, Yiginer said that the team is still unbeaten and only 3 points off the leaders. The team will improve and they need to address the problems in the forward areas. He also said that Ankaragucu were on the way to finishing when him and his management team stepped in. No one else was willing to help.

Although i agree with Harun in that Yiginer should sue Melih Gokcek for the damage he has done to the club, i also agree with Yiginer in that we need to stick together and get behind the team. As he said no one else has come forward to help the club so we should be thankful that he has kept the club alive.

Tomorrows match see Ankaragucu take on amateur side Golcukspor at home and fans can enter the stadium with their season tickets the club have announced. Golcukspor beat Maltepespor 2-1 in the last round showing they will be no pushovers. They were beaten 1-0 at the weekend against Diyarbakirspor in the amateur league.

The league is the priority for Ankaragucu but a cup run can bring much needed money to the club. A home tie against a Super Lig club or even an away match could be a big boost to the club. It will be an opportunity for Muammer Ozdemir to play guys such as Emir Ozbey, Metin Ilhan, Gokhan Erdogan and Levent kale to help with match fitness and give them the opportunity to impress.

Scoring has been the problem for Ankaragucu this season, this is an opportunity to score some goals and give the players confidence going into the weekends match at Altay. Players such as Serhat Gulpinar and Selim Teber should be rested for this game for that reason.

Lets hope we are celebrating victory tomorrow night and progressing into the 3rd round of the Turkish Cup.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Muammer Ozdemir happy with performance !

Ankaragucu coach Muammer Ozdemir was happy with the way his team performed in the 0-0 draw with Hatayspor at home last night. Now if i hadn't watched the highlights i would have maybe thought Damon and Jim were being a bit harsh on the team. However they are both usually spot on and from what i saw of the match we were rubbish.

The coach spoke of the game saying we only have 4 experienced players in Serhat Gulpinar, Selim Teber, Levent Kale and Mehmet Erdem. That part of course is true. Ozdemir believed the team played at a high tempo and had 8 good chances to win the game. Of course he forgot to mention the chances Hatayspor had.

The good news is that Levent is getting closer to match fitness which will be a massive boost to the team, whilst Hasan Ayaroglu is back in training after a hernia operation. Hasan is an interesting player, when he first broke onto the scene big things were expected of him. Injuries have held him back, but if he can get back to full fitness and play consistently then he could fill the void left by Emre Tasdemir.

Ankaragucu host Golcukspor on Wednesday at the 19 Mayis Stadium. We will have more details on that later. .

No idea how Gencler pulled that one off

Until Ankaragucu or Hacettepe get back into the top flight, hopefully sometime soon, the closest us Genclerbirligi fans get to a derby is when we play Es-Es. They even have the same colours as us (how's that for superficiality). So in order to get Gencler fans to go to the away match, the TFF put the match on a Friday night with the match finishing after the final train has left Eskisehir for Ankara. So even if I had a Passolig card it would still be one heck of a pain to go to the footy. Thanks TFF.

Eskisehir 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi

The weather has turned a bit cold in the last few days and faced with watching with the Alkaralar crowd at the Beer Bus or joining KaraKizil at the Su'dem pub I went with the sitting inside without cigarette smoke option, thus abandoning my Alkaralar comrades. KaraKizil had also abandoned their boycott of Lig TV. It seems that last week's decision to listen to the radio broadcast of the match in protest at the industrialisation of football was made by one drunken fan with access to the @karakizil twitter account. He was certainly given a lot of stick for the tweet... but ... One out, all out!

Last week: After listening to the match on the radio, KaraKizil came
over to the Beer Bus at half time to berate us splittists who wanted
to watch the match on the telly. Note Genclerbirligi's new manager
on the telly. (Archive photo)
Get to the pub to find Spine and to find that Eskisehir were all over us. This was a team possessed and for the first 15 minutes of the match I wasn't sure if we had the ball for more than 10 seconds at a go. Our keeper Thomas Dahlin was forced to make some very good saves and on one occasion we had the post to thank. Scary stuff, especially for a number of youngsters who had come through the ranks at Gencler and were playing their first match.

We had a sort of attacking run at about the 30 minute mark which an Eskisehir defender seemed to have got control of. He attempted to blast it out of the box only to whack the ball straight into Ugur Ciftci. The ball bounced off Ugur and looped over towards the goal where their keeper seemed to keep it out. The goalline referee then called it as having gone over the line. It was the correct decision and one that silenced the small crowd.

Second half and it was again all Eskisehir. Attack after attack, desperate defence from us and great goalkeeping by Dahlin, oh, and another ball hit the post.

Then, right towards the end, an Eskisehir player made a rare mistake and had the ball stolen by Ugur Ciftci. He threaded it through to Stancu who somehow managed to lose the ball, get it back and then make what was probably Genclerbirligi's only shot at goal all night. Goal!!!

Totally and utterly unfair for Eskisehir, but for us... quite a laugh.

It was one hell of a good match. Really nice football. We were outgunned but still somehow managed to get the win. How, I have no idea.

At the pub, Orcan explained KaraKizil's new political stance towards the club: "We don't like the chairman, but we like the manager."                


ANKARAGUCU   19          Hatayspor    14

Greeting Kankas and Kankies.

This was the type of Headline used by he now defunct News of the World to attract punters to their newspaper.   My question is ......... did it work for me ?    Oh, errrrrmmmm ...... I don’t mean the phone hacking, I mean as ‘an attention getter’ ?!!

OK, enough bullshit.   Now to the boring stuff ............

ANKARAGUCU   0     Hatayspor    0

The High Flying refers to the number of hoofs out of defence to nowhere by both teams.   The High Scoring is high on my ‘wish list’.   Exciting is obviously sarcasm which I will mention further later in this report.   The Fog refers to what it seemed like the players were playing in on a clear, cool, Septermber evening in perfect football conditions.

We welcomed a new kanka to our group yesterday.   Tony joins us from Weegieland (sometimes referred to as Glasgow) and I’m sure he will become a regular if there are more ‘exciting’ games like this one !!

Also, there were Naaarich Kankie Lucy, Cider Kanka John and your headline grabbing reporter.

Another disappointing turnout with Gecikondu three quarters full, Maraton only a quarter full and about 50 brave souls in the away end.

With Levent back in the starting line-up alongside Umut we were full of expectation, however, it proved to be a false dawn – perhaps he is not yet 100% fit, or perhaps we are expecting too many miracles from him ?!

To be fair, both teams came out of the traps in attacking mode but the match slowly petered out into a yawn with only a header from Umut past the post on the 22nd minute mark and a shot on goal near half time from our No30 which went past.

My comment at half time was ..... an easily forgettable 1st half, but thankfully Gecikondu was there to entertain us !

The 2nd half was also one big yawn, but we were awoken from our slumber and yawning on 4 occasions.

On the 60th minute, a Hatay attacker was clean through in the box but a timely tackle came in to save the situation.   15 minutes later Hatay’s tall No9 missed a great chance when his header sailed over when it looked easier to score.   Hatay should have sealed the points 2 minutes from the end when a header was sent over the bar from a great postion.

The only time Ankaragucu came close was on the 81st minute mark when a great goal bound shot was acrobatically saved by Hatay’s goalkeeper.

Turning to the sarcasm mentioned earlier, and with 5 minutes to go, Gecikondu and Maraton began sarcastically applauding every touch of the ball by Ankaragucu players.   It’s the first time I’ve witnessed this and it was something I hope we will not see again !

Then with 1 minute to go the main talking point of the match.   Apparently, Mehmet Yigner (Chairman of Ankaragucu) had criticised a section of the Ankaragucu supporters last week by calling them ‘idiots’.   So, Gecikondu and Maraton took their revenge and loudly shouted ‘idiots’ to the Directors sitting in Protocol.   We may hear more of this in the coming weeks, but not a good sign for the Club on top of all the other problems we have had to endure over the past 2 years.

A hasty retreat was made back to The Chopin Bar where at least we were cheered with the sight of newly promoted Balikesir beating Galatasaray 2-0 ..... ho ho ho hee hee hee !

What next ?   Hmmmm ...... a difficult away match against Altay beckons next weekend.   Will Ankaragucu lose their unbeaten record or will they go for 4 draws in a row ?    The excitment is hard to suppress !!!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Hatayspor match preview !

Ankaragucu host Hatayspor tonight at the 19 Mayis stadium in Ankara as they look to get their title challenge back on track. Both teams are considered amongst the teams who will be up their challenging for the playoffs and the league title. Ankaragucu have started the season with 1 win and 2 draws whilst Hatayspor have the same record.

According to the Ankaragucu fans who travelled to Sariyer last week for the 1-1 draw, there were some positives to take from the game. Ankaragucu dominated the match but for poor finishing would have won quite comfortably. The one criticism i had of the coach for that match was playing Umut Nayir on his own with only Mehmet Erdem as the other attacking player in the starting line up.

Levent Kale continues his battle for full fitness, as the likes of Gokhan Erdogan and Teoman Erkan push for a place in the first team. Hasan Ayaroglu is back in training but this match will come to early with the youngster missing over 6 months due to injury. Emir Ozbey can count himself unlucky not to have featured so far after his impressive showings in pre season.

Tonights match will see our new Kanka Tony take in his first game. Tony for his sins is a Celtic fan from Scotland who has moved to Ankara with his partner. Hopefully the team take all 3 points and give Tony a winning debut. Im sure he will enjoy the atmosphere created by the Gecekondu and other tribunes.

Hatayspor are a decent side but this is a match Ankaragucu should win quite comfortably. They drew 2-2 at home against Pazarspor last week so they are there for the taking. As me and Jim say, the only way to win this one is by attacking !!!

My predictions are a 2-1 win for Ankaragucu !!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ankaragucu news roundup!

First of all the Turkish Cup 2nd Round draw was made today and Ankaragucu were handed a home tie against Golcukspor who are an amateur side form Kocaeli. The game will be played on 24th September and no doubt it will be one of those ridiculous day time kick offs when everyone is at work.

In other news, Sol Kapali fan group leader Ramazan Kaya has been banned by the club much to the anger of the fans. We reported last week about the fall out between Mehmet Yiginer and Sol Kapali after the Inegolspor match. We didnt expect it to go this far.

Another day in the circuis that is called Ankaragucu.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gencler window shop for coach

Genclerbirligi's next coach, the sixth in four years, may be Sergen Yalcin, according to media reports. 

Club owner Ilhan Cavcav (78 and running the club since 1977) has invited Yalcin to Ankara for talks after Ersun Yanal rejected an offer to return to the club he left in 2004. 

Sergen, best known for being the first of only two players to have worked for all of the four "big clubs", was most recently trainer at Gaziantep. He also does a lot of TV commentary and has an unhealthy friendship with TV presenter and reality-show millionaire Acun Ilicali. 

All this talk of (by our standards) famous coaches may well prove to be hot air. Past experience suggests Cavcav will flirt with a number of high-profile candidates before settling on someone cheaper and more malleable. Lurking in the background of many of the media reports is the name of Irfan Buz, who worked as a deputy to Christoph Daum at Bursaspor.

Meanwhile, former coach Mustafa Kaplan, fired after two games in charge, is also sticking to the script for times like these. He's "not angry with anyone," according to the same Turkish reports. "I love the chairman and this community.

Signing off on my first solo posting for this blog...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sariyer 1-1 Ankaragucu match report !

However we have all to often saw their are no straight forward games with Ankaragucu. That was the statement that i made in the match preview and unfortunately i was proven correct. Ankaragucu travelled to Istanbul in which should have been a routine 3 points against Sariyer, instead they came home with a share of the points after squandering countless chances.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Aytac Oden, Gurkan Alver, Mehmet Tasci, Harun Aydin, Serhat Gulpinar, Selim Teber, Orhan Evci, Mehmet Erdem, Umut Nayir

Subs - Ishan Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Ilhan Metin, Teoman Erkan, Gokhan Erdogan, Muhammed Gonulacar, Levent Kale

The team surprisingly only made 1 change from last weekends disappointing performance at home to Inegolspor. Orhan Evci replaced Gokhan Erdogan in midfield while Levent Kale was left on the bench. With the team already having 3 defensive played in midfield it was surprising to see Orhan another defines minded player introduced into the starting line up. It was up to him and Mehmet Erdem to support Umut Nayir who would play up front on his own.

The Ankaragucu fans were banned by the Sariyer council from attending the match as they thought it would be dangerous, and that was the only explanation given. The utter contempt that the Turkish fans are treated with is really starting to piss me off. There were still some Ankaragucu fans who managed to take in the match buying tickets in the home end though.

The first half was all Ankaragucu with Umut Nayir wasting to excellent chances, Mehmet Erdem having a couple of efforts and Orhan Evci also blowing an excellent chance.

The new coach Muammer Ozdemir seems to have brought some stability to the defence, but up top and in midfield there are some issues that need to be addressed. The team is to slow and doesn't create enough chances. Losing Mehmet Cakir and Emre Tasdemir was a massive blow, but we need to move on. There must be some attacking players in the youth team who can provide that cutting edge in attack and that creative spark thats missing.

Half time ended Sariyer 0-0 Ankaragucu

It took only 3 minutes into the second half for Ankaragucu to take the lead through Umut Nayir. Ankaragucu were awarded a penalty and the big forward made no mistake by slotting it past the keeper who dived the wrong way.

From then on you would be expecting Ankaragucu to go on and extend their lead. Instead Eser Yayla equalised for the home side 10 minutes later.

Ankaragucu had more chances to win the match with substitute Levent Kale missing two good chances. The game finished 1-1 and its another 2 points dropped for Ankaragucu in a match they should be winning. In the leagues big match of the day Inegolspor and Goztepe drew 3-3 in a 6 goal thriller.

Next up for Ankaragucu is the home match with Hatayspor next weekend. Unfortunately i don't see us taking any points from that match. Its also worth noting that the Sariyer squad and Ankaragucu squad are both worth the same amount in value. Both estimated around 2.5 Million Euros. The question we must ask, are we expecting to much from this team and just going by the name? We have lost the majority of our players with the ones remaining either coming from the youth team or coming to the end of their careers.

Muammer Ozdemir will come in for some criticism, but that should be aimed at the management team. They hired him after him being out of work for a number of years, and they didn't lift the transfer ban either. Unfortunately this Ankaragucu team isn't capable of mounting a title challenge this season. Only Hasan Ayaroglu has to come back from injury and it isn't enough to ask one 20 year old to change the many problems the club have at the moment.

SHOCK! Genclerbirligi off to an average start to season, coach sacked

What a wonderful day for football. Nice and sunny but not too hot. Perfect for pre-match beers as well. Spine and Flying Dutchman were already at the Beer Bus as was David and his old man Arch.

Poor old Arch had been in the country for just a few days and wanted to go to a top flight match while in town. Sorry about that Arch. We don't want your kind at the footy.

So 4 pm came along and Spine and Flying Dutchman headed off to the stadium (see previous story)
and at about the same time the Alkaralar crew started to fill up the Beer Bus. Alkaralar are, like me and many football groups around the country, boycotting the new Passolig system.

At the pub it was like the beginning of every season as we greeted our long-lost friends, including Tanju, the head of SBS Australia's Turkish language section.

It was strange though to be watching Gencler playing at home and not being there. The last time I remember being at a pub watching Gencler at a home game was six years ago when we boycotted a Turkish Cup match because Cavcav set an exorbitantly high price for the tickets.

The match started and there was a certain smugness from the fans at the club as we saw the empty tribunes.

Genclerbirligi 1 – 2 Bursaspor

The footy started and while Bursa attacking but with not much danger and then Gencler started playing nice footy, especially down the left-hand side. Tosic was coming up often and sending in nice crosses or setting up something else. It was nice footy and we were looking dangerous. It was only fair that it was from the left side. A corner was taken, Mervan used his head to send the ball into the box where Stancu made no mistake heading it in.

Cheers went up at the Beer Bus. A few moments later cheers went up at the Eski Yeni pub a few doors down. The Karakizil group were not only boycotting the Passolig system but they were boycotting Lig TV as well – both being members of the industrial football complex - and so they decided to listen to the match on the radio in a pub that refuses to have Digiturk. 

You have to admire their principles and Spine has offered to help them out in the future if need be.

“If they ever fall out with TRT radio or whatever, I can live tweet the game or sms them,” Spine said.

One-nil up, sun shining, beers in hand – life ain't bad.

We were still looking good for the rest of the first half but the second half was a disaster as Bursa finally decided to play some decent stuff. The first goal we “ate”, as the Turks say, was thanks to a passing mistake. The second was just from the pressure, the number of attacks. One of them had to go in and eventually it did. We just wanted it to end. It did and we had lost. Not a great first home match of the season for Genclerbirligi.

We retired to the Araf pub for post-match drinks and at some stage during our first beer news came in that Cavcav had sacked our coach! Just two matches into the season. Mustafa Kaplan can feel pretty hard done by. The club hasn't bought any big players and sold off a couple of pretty decent players like Jimmy Durmaz. Gencler had drawn their first match away and lost on Saturday... not really sackable figures. It certainly wasn't fan pressure to sack him, there were no fans at the match to put any pressure on. Not only that but Kaplan was the coach of our sister club Hacettepe last year and earned them promotion.

But that's Cavcav.


Spine reports:

"Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.” ­ JG Ballard, High Rise (1975) 


While we may like to deplore Gated Communities, there is something in the idea of a perfect suburban retreat – safe, friendly and clean – that attracts many. Settlements like Ankara's ParkOran, with its guards, security cameras, convenient mall and private gym, are popular in Turkey and globally. Built on the site of the housing estate for parliamentarians (which may have been Turkey's first, certainly premier, Gated Community), ParkOran reflects the way this mode of living has spread. Once only the elite elected representatives of the people could expect (or need?) to sleep behind walls of protection. Now, the Gated Community experience is available to wider and wider sections of the middle classes.

PassoWorld, it seemed to me after three and a half beers at the Beer Bus on Saturday afternoon, represents a land­-grab on behalf of those who value safety and security over life and its inevitable vicissitudes. It is a new system that regulates and commercialises Turkish football supporters in ways you can read about elsewhere on this blog. On another level, PassoWorld is the answer to the following question: "If we can sleep, bathe, holiday, exercise and stroll in regulated security and comfort with no alarms and no surprises, why should we be anxious when we step outside our Gated Communities and into our national culture?"

The questions that will be posed in a few years, of course, will be: "Why does my national culture seem to run from me, receding off into nastier, more dangerous places? And why do those places seem so fascinating?"

Entering PassoWorld

 “No longer will it be Orwell’s vision of a boot stamping on a human face. We’ll have something highly subservient and ingratiating, where the tyranny is imposed for our own good . . . The New Totalitarians come forward, smiling obsequiously like head-waiters in third-­rate Indian restaurants, and assuring us that everything is for our benefit . . . So one gets this smiling tyranny, which is something my characters rebel against.” ­ JG Ballard, interview with Independent on Sunday, 2003

The process of entering PassoWorld begins many weeks and miles from the match. Turks who have visited Europe understand immediately: this is a footballing Schengen visa and the canny traveler will assemble forms and identification months before kick-­off. Applying for a UK visa involves sending money to a faceless bureaucracy that won't answer your phonecalls and won't promise to get back to you on time, if at all. So it is with PassoWorld. They take your money smoothly enough. Everything else is hassle.

On matchday the less­-than­-canny supporters were immediately obvious. The five banks of PassoWorld booths were ten-­deep with queues of the naïve, the confused and the increasingly annoyed. Many people thought they could still buy a ticket for a football game from a booth at the gate on matchday. Such innocence in an era of internet-­enabled ease and comfort!

Flying Dutchman Kanka made a new German friend as he waited to load a ticket onto his card. PassoWorld says the electronic process “enables a more speedy entrance to games, without waiting in queues”. When he finally joined us in the stand in the 34th minute, I forgot to ask the Dutchman if he could confirm this. He mumbled something about useless Window­s-based systems on crappy laptops.

But with a season ticket and a few beers already pre­-loaded, I can say that my own experience of entering PassoWorld was a delight. I'm probably the kind of person it was made for. There don't seem to be many of us though. Even with five minutes to kick off, there was no one, and no lines for anything. Security was so feather­-soft I even got a lighter into the game for the first time in years. There's a quick frisk at the main gate by police before you walk the concourse to the stadium.

In this empty and silent zone there are guys with handheld Motorola card readers who will sidle up to you and ask to see your card. They check it against their machines, but for what I am not sure. If anyone is wondering about the future transferability of PassoCards, I don't think these guys looked closely enough to check the picture ID.

Then it's on to the newly­ expanded turnstiles, painted a garish yellow. At the turnstile, the card­dude has gone. It used to be that ordinary punters couldn't be trusted to swipe and push, because the gate would jam. The guy who knew the foibles of the system is out of a job now, thanks to smoothly revolving new gates.

Show your barcode to the laser, and you're in. Again, no photo ID check that I saw. A message pops up saying “Iyi Seyirler” (Enjoy the Match).

Yes, I've obscured my seat number. I didn't use it anyway. Also, if I had more mental energy, here I would insert a section on the way this pop­up phrase stresses non­participation, spectacle, and passivity, but it's Sunday morning and none of you are reading this far anyway. So. We're in the stadium, and here's what we saw:

Experiencing PassoWorld 

“I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again... the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.” ­ JG Ballard

One way to explain PassoWorld brings is to list what is missing.

People. I'm told Gencler have sold about eight hundred season tickets this year, compared to about five thousand last year. And I reckon the crowd was indeed about a fifth of what it was last season. Sparse is the word.

Police. The weight of policing at Gencler matches has been steadily dropping over the years, as the orange-­bibbed stewards took over. Calling them stewards is probably wrong. These aren't supporters who have taken on roles given out by the club. They're members of the army of professional security guards that has grown so fast in Turkey in the last decade. Still, there were far fewer police. And my eyes may have deceived me, but I'm pretty sure the 20 or so cops sitting by the away team dugout on the far side were women.

Constable hand­held Camera. Has gone. There were no policemen on the touchline filming the crowd to record their misbehaviour. I guess PassoWorld doesn't have misbehaviour. In fact, the cameras have reversed direction. For the first time I saw LigTV cameras on the Maraton touchline, facing the match, not the crowd. Was this a LigTV attempt to show the match with a full crowd in the background? If so, it failed because the protocol area looked pretty sparse too. Or was it that LigTV feels safe enough in PassoWorld to put their cameras near the public?

Hipster beards and dreadlocks. The absence of Karakizil and Alkaralar deprives the stands of many things, not least of which is a kind of sartorial diversity. The crowd was older, more soberly dressed, and generally more sedate. Where were the carefully­-sourced shirts from obscure community­-run Ugandan football clubs? Where were the new group T­-Shirts or scarves this year? Who was giving out slightly ranty fliers campaigning about something or other important? Had no one thought to locate and bring an Ivory Coast flag to make Jean­-Jacques Grousseau feel at home? Nope, those kind of people have gone. Their influence lives on in odd ways. The half­-time music is still The Clash and Ais Ezhel, for now.

Drums and shouty people. Yes, those slightly unruly-­looking young men have gone. Your mobile phone is safe, people! (Not that I've ever had anything lifted at a Gencler match, but you do wonder sometimes.) Those guys used to love to sing and jump and take off their tops and hug each other. Sometimes they'd run around the whole of Maraton doing peculiar moves in response to the crowd behind the goal, singing all the while. They'll have to do that elsewhere now. Oh, and tubby male cheerleader Nedim, who loves the club so much he'd spend the game with his back to the match, yelling at the crowd, he's gone too. His perch is a climbing frame for kids.

Wonderfully convenient PassoWorld payment systems. They're missing too. I didn't ask the guy selling sunflower seeds if I could pay with my card, but I saw no sign of a POS machine. Same story at the teastand: cash only please.

In short, Gencler matches under the Passo system are less colourful, less weird, less noisy and less fun. My first impression of the 2014 team was similarly underwhelming. But ­ Kaloo Kalay ­ the ref now uses shaving foam to mark free kicks!

Exiting PassoWorld

....is easily done. Very quickly I was back in the OtherWorld, and soon I was in Kizilay. I saw a car crash, and a beggar with no arms on the pedestrian bridge. I saw leftist students folding up red flags on their stalls as they wrapped up a campaign for something or other.

Within minutes I was in a bar where a bearded hipster in a carefully-­sourced St. Pauli top came up to me and said: “Hello, Passolig.”

I smiled, and replied with as much certainty as I could muster: “My name is Spine.”

“The twentieth century ended with its dreams in ruins. The notion of the community as a voluntary association of enlightened citizens has died forever. We realize how suffocatingly humane we've become, dedicated to moderation and the middle way. The suburbanization of the soul has overrun our planet like the plague.”  ― J.G. Ballard, Super­Cannes (2000)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Sariyer match preview !

Ankaragucu will be looking to improve on last weeks performance at home against Inegolspor with the 3 points at Sariyer. The team travel to Istanbul for Sundays match against newly promoted Sariyer in which should be a comfortable win for Ankaragucu. However we have all too often saw that there are no straight forward games with Ankaragucu.

Last Sundays match with Inegolspor should have been a full stadium with the fans cheering the team off the pitch at the end of 90 minutes, instead it was half full and things turned ugly with the fan groups protesting against the management. After the match president Mehmet Yiginer spoke of his disappointment at Sol kapali who he claimed had asked for ticket prices to go up in order to help the club.

Sol Kapali denied this was the case with fans claiming management have put the ticket prices up in Sol Kapali in order to keep them away from the stadium.

There wasnt much to cheer about during the game either as both teams huffed their way to a 0-0 draw. Ankaragucu had goalkeeper Gokhan Akkan to thank after he saved a second half penalty.

Since Muammer Ozdemir has taken over he has improved the defence which was so often the cause of dropped points in the last couple of seasons. He has reunited Volkan Geyik and Gurkan Alver who have formed a good partnership since youth level. Both Aytac and Mehmet are solid defenders who wont cause their opponents mutch concern going forward.

If Ankaragucu are to mount a title or playoff challenge this season they must address the lack of goals and chances created from the midfield and attack. Losing Emre Tasdemir and Mehmet Cakir has been a big blow for the team and with Hasan Ayaroglu out injured it leaves only Umut Nayir and Levent Kale in attack.

The coach has already said Levent Kale isnt ready to start a game which leaves me asking why Emir Ozbey has been left out the squad? The young  striker was in fine form during pre season but hasnt even made the bench in the opening 2 games.

Sariyer have the potential to cause Ankaragucu problems, they have former Ankaragucu duo Muhammed Turkmen and Serhat Aykuz in their squad. They also have former Diyarbakir BB forward Mert Somay who will need to be watched.

The game kicks off at 5pm on Sunday and we will have live updates on our facebook page so tune in. Im off to catch my flight back home to Glasgow after another great holiday in Turkey. :-)

Monday, September 08, 2014


 Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John and Eski Kanka Jim collecting their Kombine Tickets from the Ankaragucu HQ in Tandogan last Saturday.

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Apart from the last 10 minutes of the match, this was one of the most boring matches I have ever witnessed and it never really ignited until Levent came on to a standing ovation in the 80th minute.    We can wonder why Levent did not come on sooner, but the fact that he didn’t warm-up with the rest of the team pre-match should give a clue to his lack of fitness or perhaps he is still in recovery mode from his injury last season.

ANKARAGUCU   0      Inegolspor    0

The Kankas met-up at The Chopin Bar for pre-match ‘refreshments’ – Cider Kanka John, Paddy Kanka Paul, Ahmet Bey, yours truly, and we met Apple Kanka Erman inside the Stadium.

Not the attendance I expected for the 1st home match of the season with Maraton only half full, Kapali barely a quarter full and about 100 in the away end who tried unsuccessfully to make themselves heard.   A full Gecikondu put paid to that idea !

With Levent on the bench, it was left to Umut to play The Lone Ranger with all of his knock-downs and foraging coming to nothing.   Consequently, most of the play was in midfield with both teams cancelling each other out and getting in each others way.   You coulld say they were like headless chickens !
It took until the 32nd minute for the first genuine chance of the match when an Ankaragucu attack down the right produced a right wing cross which was scuffed past the post.

So the half time whistle came as a welcome relief and the only excitement I had experienced at this stage of the match was the sight of the introduction of the new swish double turnstiles at the old Gate 7 and 8 which have been re-numbered 11, 12, 13 and 14.   Snake like queues may now be consigned to history ?!

The 2nd half opened up with more purpose from both teams and the first chance came to Umut 5 minutes in.   A break down the left and the early cross, but Umut couldn’t direct his header downwards and the ball subsequently sailed over the bar.

2 minutes later at the other end it was almost Inegol taking the lead when Gokhan palmed the ball out at the edge of the box from a cross.   However, the ball only landed at the feet of an Inegol attacker who sent the ball past the stranded Gokhan for a certain goal.   Fortunately, there was an Ankaragucu defender (couldn’t see who) guarding the goal line and he hoofed the ball clear.   Phew !   Close call !

Inegol’s 2nd chance of the match arrived 8 minutes later when they broke away down the left and as the attacker approached the goal line he made to shoot but was felled by an Ankaragucu defender.   The referee was well positioned and pointed immediately for a penalty.   The penalty was placed to Gokhan’s right and was on target, but he guessed correct to make a great save at full stretch.

The match then resumed its midfield mediocrity until the 80th minute when fans favourite Levent came on, but despite some feverish attacking, Ankaragucu couldn’t make the breakthrough.

So, in the final analysis, it wasn’t enough in the 2nd half from Ankaragucu.   However, if they continue to play next week where they left off last night, then we can still be optimistic of picking up 3 points in Sariyer.

Back to The Chopin Bar we went to watch the Germany v Scotland match, but that’s another story !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Inegolspor match preview !

After an excellent opening 2-1 win at Kahramanmarasspor on Sunday past, Ankaragucu take on Inegolspor at home this coming Sunday at a packed 19 Mayis Stadium. It is expected that there will be a crowd of over 20,000 for the first home game of the new season. This will be a much tougher test for Ankaragucu against a very good Inegolspor side who won 3-1 at home against Pazarspor in their first game of the season.

Home advantage should spur Ankaragucu on as the Ankara crowd can be like the 12th man for the team as they  so often have been through the clubs 105 year history.

New coach Muammer Ozdemir got off to a winning start to his Ankaragucu career last week. He made a big decision to go with 5 in midfield and leaving Levent Kale on the bench. His decision was justified as Ankaragucu returned to the capital with the 3 points.

With the team being at home this time, will Muammer go with the same team or bring Levent into the starting lineup? I think he will go with the same team as Inegolspor are a tough side and the match could be won in the midfield battle. With both Serhat and Selim at the tale end of their careers and short of pace, another body in the middle of the park makes sense. Young Harun Aydin filled that role on Sunday.

In the wide areas both Mehmet Erdem and Gokhan Erdogan should continue as Hasan Ayaroglu continues his recovery to full fitness. In defence Gurkan Alver and Volkan Geyik have struck up a good partnership over the years and look more solid than last years duos.

Young Gokhan Akkan returned to the number 1 position in goal after Bayram transferred to Manisaspor. He looked comfortable on Sunday and knows he needs to show consistency this season with backup Turgut Kirveli waiting for his chance.

Im sure the Kankas will be attending the stadium nice and early to avoid the Queues. Jim will have his first match report of the new season and hopefully it will be full of goals and good news.