Second layer of socks... check
Long Johns... check
Winter boots... check
Right, that's the bottom bit down. Now for upstairs.
Ski undershirt... check
Gencler top... check
Woolly hat... check
-50 degrees jacket... check
And so attired Little Oz Kanka and I set off into the fog that engulfed Ankara all day on Sunday. We were damn well prepared but it was still bloody freezing at the 19 Mayis for the 7 pm kick-off. Despite all this there was a half decent-sized crowd (going by recent attendances, not pre-Passolig attendances). The Fener fans pretty much filled their away section behind the goals and us Gencler lot made a decent, if not spectacular, show of force.
Did I mention it was cold?
We met with Alex at the Soul Bar in Kizilay (excellent food and beers at good prices) and had our usual pre-match discussions.
Being a Liverpool fan, Alex was particularly interested to see if Fenerbahce were going to play former Man. United players Nani and Van Persie. As some of you may have realised having read this blog over the past 10 years, I don't actually know much about football, and so I asked Alex, with genuine, if naive, interest as to whether he liked Nani and Van Persie. Alex merely said that he may be testing this evening the non-swearing rule that the Genclerbirligi fans self impose.
Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Fenerbahce
It was only a couple of minutes into the match when I understood what Alex was on about. In just those few minutes, Nani had managed to piss off the entire Gencler crowd.
Nani went down on what probably was a foul but quite possibly wasn't. Either way it was nothing much. Nani though was writhing around on the pitch right in front of the Gencler fans in a way that only the most one-eyed Fener fan could interpret as being "I'm hurt". He wasn't hurt of course because as soon as one of the Gencler players said as much he bounced back onto the balls of his feet and looked like a prize fighter. That was that. The crowd was going to give him shit for the rest of the night. He asked for it too, play acting a few more times... arguing away with the referee, pushing Gencler players around. He also played some very nice football... but he is basically a dick.
The match itself was a bit niggly, with the Fener players seemingly put off. The referee was giving everything to Fener at the start and I have to say that for a team coming second last in the league and having sacked our coach last week, we weren't doing too badly against one of the best sides in the league.
Oh, by the way, I think we have signed Mustafa Kaplan as our new coach (note: this news may be out of date by the time I manage to publish this post).
The Fener fans were impressive with their singing and we were having great fun in winding Nani up when... bang... someone got through our defence and put a cross was in. Header and goal.
One-nil up and it looked very, very unlikely that we might pull it back.
I think we played bravely, it was a damn sight better than the absolute rubbish we put on against Sivas last week, but if it wasn't for some great saves from Hopf we would have lost this by much more.
As the match wound down a large section decided to ignore Nani for a bit and instead called on Cavcav to resign.
Match over and ... the players shuffled off, as did we, not really disappointed but a bit depressed. The Fener fans were still singing away as we walked out. I had to laugh though. The Fener fans had sung their hearts out for the entire match. They were fantastic. And the Fenerbahce players were so grateful that after the match they walked straight into the tunnel without even acknowledging their supporters. I hope there are some traumatised kiddies because of that.
But back to us.
We are in one hell of a bad situation at the moment. If we don't get a result against Eskisehirspor next week things will not be good.
It was bloody cold tonight... and Nani is a bit of a dick.