Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ankaragucu back in playoff spots after 1-0 win; up next Manisaspor

By Scouse Kanka (seen here disguised as Statto)

ANKARA -- A first half goal saw us beat bottom club Tarsus Idman Yurdu on Saturday to return to the playoff positions in the third tier of Turkish football.

But with league leaders Manisaspor up next we’ll have to drastically improve on what can only be seen as another woeful performance against relegation-bound opposition if our season is to continue beyond April 30 – never mind see us return to the giddy heights of Turkey’s second division.

In the 38th minute of an error-ridden half, Omer Bozan headed into the Tarsus net from short range – the ball passing through the keeper’s hands -- following a ball whipped in from the right-hand corner that bounced out to the 28-year-old midfielder.

What until then had been a balanced game of end-to-end football, appeared suddenly to be swinging our way – fists raised to herald a strike from just outside the box just minutes earlier that flew narrowly over the bar.

And boy did we need something to cheer.

With numbers down on the back of terror warnings and dire performances, the cold had returned with a venom – the afternoon feeling more like a bitter December noon, than a March to summer promise.

But on Saturday, the gloom lifted – albeit perhaps momentarily -- and our hearts began to beat again.

For the first time in what has been eight disastrous games -- which has seen us fall from tight on the tails of the league leaders to a disastrous 8th place – the team again began to look like it had actually played together before.

While Goksu Alas began to provide a teasing available option on the wing, lanky midfielder Salih Sefercik chased and harried, regularly picking the ball up from defense and closing in on the Tarsus goal.

In the 26th minute the 32-year-old hit a rising drive from just outside the area that beat the desperate leap of the Tarsus goalkeeper but passed narrowly over.

At times, it gelled, it appeared coordinated and managed. However… this was not a great fearful giant one-eyed beastie waiting to be floored. This was Tarsus Idman Yurdu, who remain 7 points adrift at the bottom of Tier 3.

For much of the game, they looked every bit our equals, and can only have been lifted by a plucky performance that will no doubt see them travel the 400 kilometers home wondering how they – not us – are facing Tier 4 oblivion.

Saturday April 3 is Manisaspor v. Ankaragucu, and then there’re just four games left to seal our playoff fate.

Come on Ankaragucu.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ankaragucu banned from scoring goals!

Eyupspor 1-0 Ankaragucu

Another embarrassing and gutless performance from these chancers who wear the Ankaragucu jersey. And yet again another match where we don't score a goal. It looks like the TFF have banned Ankaragucu from scoring goals, their can be no other reasonable answer as to why the team sitting 2nd at the January break haven't won in their last 8 games and have only scored 3 goals.

I am starting to believe that these players are been paid sums of money to make sure we don't win promotion. If you remember back 2 seasons ago, we had the strongest team in this league and were almost certain to win promotion. We beat Alanyaspor 5-1 at their stadium and 2 weeks later they knocked us out of the playoffs.

This season the same thing, we have the strongest squad in the league, sitting 2nd in January, all we need is 2-3 players to come in to help us over the line. Instead the transfer ban wasn't lifted, we sacked our manager and replaced him with a guy we previously sacked, and the result is 8 games 0 wins.

I was supposed to be flying out to Ankara tomorrow, but decided to cancel my flight due to the terrorist attacks in Ankara. Im glad i won't be taking in the match with Tarsus as these players don't deserve the support of our fans. They are an embarrassment and can go fuck themselves and the management too.

Sadly i can't see us having a team next season, with the debt increasing, the transfer ban and Gokcek intent on killing us off, their aren't enough powerful people who care about the club that can save us. Gokcek pays them all off.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Return to the Stadium From Hell

A cold day, persistent rain, a million-mile trip to the very edge of Ankara and then beyond and then a 3-1 loss. I love football.

Osmanlispor 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Alex, Spine, Little Oz and me jumped into the car and set off for the long journey to the new look Osmanli Stad. New look for me anyway.

The Old: A photo taken by Cider Kanka at an
Ankaragucu v Bursaspor match years ago
An hour's drive and we finally made it to near the stadium, missed the turn and accidentally ended up in the away section (which is where we needed to be anyway).

The Yenikent Stadium (now re-named Osmanli Stad) has had a roof attached since the last time I was out there. According to Wikipedia it has a capacity of 19,626. Really? It certainly seems a lot smaller than the 19 Mayis Stad which also has a capacity of 19,000-odd.

Anyway, there were about a hundred of us Gencler fans and maybe 5-6,000 Osmanli supporters. The Osmanli lot in the maraton section where all clearly proper Osmanli fans. The lot next to us in Kapalı were clearly bussed in by Gokcek. There was certainly no love lost between us and those to our right.    
With news in the morning of another bomb, this time in Istanbul, it was a fairly sombre mood before kick-off. The Gencler players warmed up in jackets remembering Elvin Buğra Aslan, the Gencler fan who was killed in last Sunday's bomb blast.

The New: Gencler players come
over to greet the away supporters
Various pro-Turkey chants went around the stadium and a few "Allah Rekber" chants from the Osmanli fans. There were also some boos from the Osmanli fans when some of the Gencler fans started shouting "We are all Mustafa Kemal's soldiers". The teams came onto the field with Gencler carrying a Mart 18 commemorative poster and the Osmanli players came out with a "Geçmiş olsun Ilhan Cavcav" banner... Apparently he is recovering from surgery or something.

Kick off and all the politics and stuff went out the window as did all of the Gencler's great football from the last couple of months. This was truly absolutely asleep stuff from Gencler. Defenders with time were kicking it straight to Osmanli players in great positions. It was no surprise when Osmanli scored with a header off a corner. Just a few minutes in a already we were behind.

We still played like rubbish until Ahmet Oguz was given a yellow for no reason. It seemed we finally woke up and started to play some nice attacking football. We were denied by the post and their keeper. We managed to pull one back near the end of the second half. None of us had any idea even who had scored as all the action was way down the other end of the stadium. It seemed to be a goal mouth scramble.

Straight Outta Sincan
Half-time 1 - 1 and downstairs to the prison canteen-style shop (lots of steel bars and a tiny hole where the goods and money are exchanged) for some tea. The analysis... Osmanlıspor are a good team and this is a good match.

During the half-time break the tannoy was turned up to 11 and we were blasted with Ottoman military music.

Second half and again Gencler came out asleep and we found ourselves down 2 - 1 just a few minutes in. We really started to up the ante after that, especially after Irfan Can Kahveci came on. He had some absolutely superb runs down the left wing. There was one run which reminded me of the British soldier running to get supplies in no-mans land in the film "A Bridge Too Far". From inside our own half Irfan had the ball on the left and with a player right next to him the entire time he went at top speed right. Us fans were cheering him on in much the same way as the British soldier cheered on their comrade as he ran full pelt for the supplies. Near to the box Irfan got past the Osmanli player and sent in a short pass to El Kabir who was then shot dead who stumbled and failed to get off a shot.

We continued to attack and attack, like in the fist half the crossbar denied us as did their keeper and some amazingly lucky defenders. It was sort of inevitable when Osmanli scored near the end on a counter attack.

Back to the car and the long, long journey home.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Gencler fail away to Gokcekspor

A short pre-report report. We lost but were not humiliated. More tomorrow.

Osmanlispor 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Ankaragücü continue on (poor) form...

Ankaragücü chalked up 7 weeks without a win with a 0-0 draw at home to İnegölspor today before a sparse crowd.

Fewest fans I've ever seen at a home match.

Be thankful to the terrorists that you didn't have to sit through this.

Terror warnings, a poor run of form and an odd Saturday fixture combined to spare most Ankaragücü fans from another dreadful performance.

The club had four half-decent shots on target in the first half, to İnegölspor's none. İnegölspor did manage, however, to do the horizontal equivalent of powering the ball into row Z - with a shot in front of goal going straight to a winger and being declared offside by a particularly zealous linesman.

Ankaragücü put the ball into the back of the net comfortably in the 51st minute - only to meet an offside decision from the above.

Five minutes later, İnegöl got a few chances of their own, and a beautiful AG counterattack was also declared offside.

Ankaragücü had one chance every ten minutes from then on - a breakthrough foiled by a well-timed tackle by the İnegöl keeper on the left-hand side, a great curving shot that deflected off the post, and a close-quarters encounter that led to an injury to the İnegöl keeper.

No joy for 'Gücü, on another sad day for the country in general.

Monday, March 14, 2016

When a point is hardly worth it

Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Genclerbirligi fan Elvin Buğra Arslan (19) and to all who were killed in Sunday's bomb blast. 
You know that your team is doing well when you draw with Galatasaray and still leave disappointed.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Galatasaray

A glorious day meant that all three Kankas who went to Sunday's afternoon match walked down to Kizilay. It had been ages since we had met up at the Beer Bus pre-match and it was good to see that beer and kofte are still a perfect match.

In the stadium and a decent turnout for Genclerbirligi, although nothing like pre-Passolig days. Galatasaray would normally have completely sold out the away end but this year it was less than a quarter full.

Having won six out of our last seven matches confidence was high that we could take down the Istanbul giants. Possibly for the first time ever, Genclerbirligi were actually the favourites according to the UK bookies.

And so the match kicks off, the crowd were in good voice and... arrrggghhh We started missing sitters.

Campos was the first... the easiest of along the ground passes and he simply stumbled and failed to get a shot off when just a yard or two in front of goal.

Some luck for us when Hopf somehow managed to keep the ball out for what should have been a Galatasaray goal and then Stancu was brought down in the box.

Amazing really. Three penalties in three matches. Stancu stood up and sent the ball straight down the middle.

Galatasaray started to wake up a bit which of course gave us plenty ıof counter attacking opportunities for the rest of the match. Not that we capitalised on any of them. The worst, by far, was in the second half when Aydin Karabulut, who had an otherwise excellent game, managed to get totally clear and then totally failed to even have a shot when he was right in front of goal. If couldn't buy scales big enough to weigh the groans of disbelief and utter frustration from just me, let alone the rest of the Gencler fans.

Either before or after that Galatasaray where given a penalty for handball in the box. 1 - 1. A few more chances for both sides and that is how it finished.

We could have had it, but at the same time we could have been beaten. So I guess we have to be satisfied with the one point. We left Alex downtown and Spine and me headed off to watch the last 30 minutes of the Scotland - France match. It was then that we heard the sound of the explosion. All of the Kankas got home safely. Sadly the same can't be said for all the Gencler fans.          

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Another bomb in Ankara

Just a short post to say that the Kankas who went to the match on Sunday are all okay. The news that is coming in about this evening's bomb in Kililay is just horrible. It makes any thoughts right now about Gencler's 1 -1 draw with Galatasaray seem totally irrelevant.

I'll put up a report on the match tomorrow. In the meantime, gecmis olsun everyone.

Disappointment All Round

Ankaragücü continued underperforming on Friday with a 0-0 away performance against Kartalspor, who are currently languishing in the relegation zone.

Both teams have recently replaced their managers after runs of poor play, and as Kartalspor had a ban on home support (for swearing, just like we had a few weeks ago), only about a hundred masochistic Ankaragücü supporters came over to Istanbul to give their support.

On the plus side, it looks like it was nice spring weather.

The match got off to an extremely slow start, with very few chances of any note in the first 80 minutes(!). Kartalspor were the relatively better defensive side, but their attacks fell apart or came to nowt as soon as they got into the Ankaragücü box.

At 82 minutes, Göksu grabbed onto the shirt of an opposition midfielder, getting a red card for his troubles.

And after that, the game actually began, with both sides having saved their energy to carry out some hair-raising attacks throughout the last ten minutes. No joy for either, though, and with the point each Kartalspor remain likely to get relegated, while Ankaragücü continue to slip out of contention for the playoffs.

Monday, March 07, 2016


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was many UNHAPPY returns to the Stadium for my first match since 17 January due to an End of Term visit to Scotland and a Stadium Ban.

Also, many HAPPY Returns to Maniac Kanka Harun’s beautiful daughter, Hazal, who is no longer a teenager !  (more of the celebration details later).

I entered the Stadium at 1pm during the players warm-up and was ‘greeted’ with some bad mouthing by some of the Maraton fans towards the players.   The players were trying to respond but were pulled away from the fence by the Coach.   Not a good sign before we had even kicked-off !!   It was ominous also that Gecikondu and Maraton didn’t invite the players over pre-match as they ran on to the pitch !

I was joined in the Stadium by Posh Kanka Ahmet, Scouse Kanka Marcus and his colleague and friend, Andy, who hails from SW London but supports NE Spurs !   This was Andy’s first Ankaragucu match and I will give you their one sentence quotes at the end of this report.

Surprisingly, in view of recent results, the Stadium was quite busy with Gecikondu full, Maraton about half full and the away end had 15 poor souls.

It was a frustrating match for us long suffering kankas with Ankaragucu having about 70% possession and firing blanks as soon as they came anywhere near the Sivas penalty area.   Even Ferhat was a spectator for most of the match.   He had two easy saves to make and then just prior to the final whistle he retrieved the ball from the goal when Sivas equalised.   A poor performance from Ankaragucu in terms of scoring goals, and again I will predict that they will miss-out on qualifying for the Play-Offs !

ANKARAGUCU   1       Sivas BBS    1

Goksu was the only outstanding performer for Ankaragucu and he almost set-up the first goal in the 7th minute with a great run down the right wing and crtoss into the danger area, but the shot on goal was blocked.

Goksu’s play obviously inspired Gecikondu who finally ‘woke-up’ and started to sing.   Their silence had been deafening !

Ankaragucu had two golden opportunities in the 17th and 29th minutes when they were awarded free kicks just outside the box, but both were fired into the wall and cleared.

Lots of glum faces at half time, but as we all know only too well, having the lion’s share of possession doesn’t necessarily win matches !

Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu had two more opportunities to open the scoring from free kicks but the 1st was saved and the 2nd was over the bar.

Again, lots of Ankaragucu possession with the final ball being wasted.   Serkan and Emrah had chances but their shots were over the bar with the goalkeeper having an easy time of it.

The match was petering out into a stalemate when in the 90th minute Goksu picked up the ball on the right side of the penalty box and dribbled his way past a couple of tackles before shooting into the opposite corner of the goal.   I for one was speechless and was rooted to the spot in amazement.   A great individual goal by the stand-out player on the field of play !

Then deep into time added on, Sivas was awarded a free kick on the left which was floated into the crowded penalty box.   The Ankaragucu defence failed to defend it and a Sivas player headed in for a shock equaliser, which in effect was their first meaningful attempt on goal.

A pathetic ending to the match.    I hesitate to say ........... ‘against the run of play’, because Ankaragucu’s futile efforts didn’t deserve to win all 3 points.

The quotes of the day were –

Marcus – ‘It wasn’t a game of 2 halves, because both halves were dire’ !

Andy – ‘the passion of the fans was not matched by the players’ !

Off we trudged to the Yeni Sedir Pub to celebrate Hazal’s 20th Birthday which was the only highlight of the day.   Her presence and her smile put smiles back on our faces !

The Kankas devouring Hazal's birthday cake ........... mmmmm ......... yummy !!

The Birthday girl with her 'favourite uncle' !! xx

Next up is the away match to Kartal, and if Ankaragucu keep firing blanks and dropping points it won’t be long before the fans start losing patience, which in turn will surely bring more Stadium Bans as Ankaragucu stutter to close the season down.    We know from past experience how dangerous they are when riled !!

Another season in the 2nd League beckons me thinks !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 05, 2016

"Organised, clinical" Gençler Beat Kayseri; Alex Plays the Odds

Just prior to kick off I was amazed to see Kayserispor, no wins in five, priced to win at 6/5 with a resurgent Gençlerbirliği approaching 3/1. As much as it pains me to take bookmakers money I stuck my bets on (couple of quid on 0-1, 0-2 and Gençlerbirliği ht/ft.)

The opening exchanges of the match were cagey.  The breakthrough came after 20 minutes. Gençlerbirliği were fortunate when a Djalma shot was inadvertently blocked by a Kayserispor arm. The ref pointed to the spot and Stancu calmly scored.  

Following the goal we were comfortable to allow Kayserispor possession and play on the break. This led to a fantastic second goal for Gençlerbirliği on 40 minutes. Şahin clipped a nicely weighted through ball to Djalma who expertly lobbed the onrushing keeper.   

The second half continued in the same vein as the first ended. They had the ball but we had control of the match. In the last five minutes they piled everyone forward and created a few half chances but they deserved and got nothing. This was an organized and clinical away performance, marshalled by the reliable defensive duo Calik and Kulusic. As in recent matches all the players put a shift in. Bring on Galatasaray next week.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

He wasn't arrested

I guess the child didn't have room for "No one can stop us from coming ninth!"

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Two more years for Stancu?

According to the below tweet, Bogdan Stancu has signed up for two more years at Genclerbirligi. Good news if confirmed.