Monday, August 28, 2017

Elazigspor 2-0 Ankaragucu - Match Report!

Ankaragucu sit 2nd from bottom with only 2 points from their opening 3 PTT Lig games after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Elazigspor last night. Pressure is now mounting on Ismail Kartal and some of the first team players due to the nature of the defeat and how bad the team played.

Team - Emre Koyuncu, Erdem Ozgenc, Gencer Cansev, Yusuf Abdioglu, Mehmet Sak, Anton Putsila, Cheikhou Dieng, Ilhan Parlak, Lanre Kehinde

Subs Altay Bayindir, Mert Aydeniz, Alihan Kubalas, Alaadin Okumus, Enes Kubat, Kibong Mbamba, Ferhat Culcuoglu, Kenan Ozer, Sercan Kaya, Mehmet Akan

Ismail Kartal much to the anger of the Ankaragucu fans dropped Kenan Ozer for Lanre Kehinde who made his debut while Ilhan Parlak still found his place in the team. He then decided to play Ilhan out wide, a position that needs pace and someone who can beat their man, both of which Ilhan cant do. Emre Koyuncu also came in for the injured Korcan Celikay. Leaving Altay Bayindir on the bench is a mistake, the youngster is one of the most highly rated Goalkeepers in Turkey and if Ankaragucu want to keep him, he cant be 3rd choice.

When a team wins promotion it always makes sense to build the team around their key players from that season. Instead Ismail let Muhammed Gonulacar, Omer Bozan, Cenk Kaplan, Alihan Kubalas, Muharrem Ozan and Serkan Balci leave. If you are going to let those key players leave then their replacements must be of a higher standard.

Instead based on the first couple of games only Anton Putsila and Cheikhou Dieng look to be the next level up. Yusuf Abdioglu in defence was all over the place last night and Mehmet Sak was the same. You just have to look at the Ankaragucu bench to see the amount of new players who are making no contribution while picking up a salary.

The good news is there is enough time to turn things around with only 3 games gone, but Ismail Kartal isnt the man to take this club forward. Its not an opinion based on 3 games, just ask Gaziantepspor and Fenerbahce fans what the think.

It took only 30 seconds for Elazigspor to create the first chance. A long ball over the top while Yusuf was caught sleeping let the Elazig forward in on goal but Emre made a good save.

On the 4th minute Putsila fired a 30 yard shot on goal but it went wide of the post.Then came the big moment of the game 10 minutes later. Lanre Kehinde making his debut against his former club got into a tussle for the ball, he then got up off the ground and proceeded to headbutt the Elazig defender in the face. An instant Red card and he has already received the backlash from Ankaragucu fans on social media. It will be interesting to see how the club deals with this selfish individual.

It took only 10 minutes after that for Elazig to take the lead. A corner to the back post was flight on for Mertan who again was unmarked to head the ball into the net to make it 1-0. How can a team at this level leave a man unmarked at a corner???

Ten minutes later it was almost 2 as Welliton outpaced Yusuf but again Emre made a good save. The score remained that way for the rest of the first half.

Jeffrey Sarpong came on in the 2nd half for Elazigspor and made an instant impact. Firstly he rounded Emre before hitting the side netting. He went 1 better minutes later though when Welliton went past Mehmet Sak who again was caught napping and crossed the ball to the back post for a Sarpong tap in to make it 2-0.

Sarpong and Alpastan both had long range efforts for Elazigspor while Ilhan and Kenan had chances for Ankaragucu at the other end.

Full time 2-0 Elazigspor and overall a horrible performance from Ankaragucu. Awful defending, hopeless attacking play and lack of discipline. The team now have a break with the International games coming up and will need to reflect on the last 3 games. Anything but a win in the next match over Balikseir and Ismail will be gone.

Gencler fight hard but Fenerbahce take home the points

A really short report because I have to get up in a couple of hours to go on yet another holiday.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Fenerbahce

Bernard, Spine, Oz Kanka, Laura and
John are all smiles after the equaliser
Gencler finished the game with nine men after two silly sendings off. I'll let others decide as to whether they were deserved...

Fener went ahead early on after we scored an own goal... way too soft.

We got back into it after a penalty and then we had the first sending off. Bloody annoying

Then Fener scored again with about 15 minutes to go and then we got our second red.

A much better performance from Gencler but still we aren@t sure whether Umit Ozat really knows what he is doing.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Elazigspor match preview!

Ankaragucu are again away from home as they face another tricky match at Elazigspor on Sunday night. With 2 draws in their first 2 games of the season the team from the Capital will be looking for their first win of the season which would see a respectable start to the season.

Elazigspor pulled off a big upset last weekend with a 2-1 in at Eskisehirspor and will be looking to continue that form into the weekends game. They did however lose 2-0 at home against Altinordu on the opening game of the season, while Ankaragucu shared the points with Altinordu last weekend.

As the PTT Lig has shown all too often, results from the previous week mean nothing for form. Anyone is capable of beating anyone in this league with only Caykur Rizespor and Umraniyespor the teams who have remaining 100 % records.

Some good news for Ankaragucu this weekend in regards to team news with Lanre Kehinde receiving his licence and is available for the weekends game. Ilhan Parlak has yet to find the net and with Muharrem Ozan Cengiz signing for Altay midweek, it looks like Kehinde will be a big player for the club.

Despite drawing the first two games of the season, there has been a lot of positives to take for İsmail Kartal. There is enough quality in the squad to challenge for the playoff places but they need to be more solid at the back and concentrate for 90 minutes. The forward line also needs to be more clinical in front of goal as they have squandered to may chances in the first 2 games.

Anton Putsila will again be the key man for a Ankaragucu. Having only trained with the team twice last week and then making his debut, he impressed with a good performance at Altinordu. He just has that extra bit of quality to unlock the opossing defences and can create something from nothing.

The game again will be shown live on BeIN Sports and we will have the match report straight after the game.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Things aren't looking good for Gencler

Genclerbirligi have two (sort of) close away matches this season. One of them is at Karabuk (which will be in February approximately). The other was tonight, a Monday night. Kick off at 9:45 pm. Last train back to Ankara had left well before the final whistle. Thanks TFF.

Konyaspor 3 - 0 Genclerbirligi

No home fans for this one as Konya supporters were banned after their performance at the pre-Season Super Cup match against Besiktas during which a flick knife was thrown at Besiktas players and fans invaded the ground.
A radio. Similar to the one that Oz Kanka listened to the match to.  

As for us, about 20 brave souls ventured to Konya for what was, as I predicted, a slaughter.

Listening to a radio commentary of the match wasn't the easiest of things as I still have little idea of who our players are. So it was in the fifth minute or so I got extremely excited only to freak out when it was Konya who almost scored.

Konya was definitely on the front foot at first with our only (very slight) chance coming from a free kick that Kahlili put wide.

It really wasn't a surprise though when Konya went ahead about 25 minutes in. A fast attack, fast pass and goal.

Konya continued to attack and the social media comments from the Alkaralar crowd started to sound just a touch frustrated.  

The comments were along the lines that we weren't getting more than a pass or two together, some players appeared totally lost, Palitsevich started the match sending out an SOS signal.

Not looking good and then just before half time Konya scored again. All doom and gloom.

It was no surprise that Gencler coach Umit Ozat made three changes at half time. The bloke really doesn't know who should be in the first team (as we mentioned last week).

It almost paid off in the first minute of the second half but somehow former Ankaragucu keeper Serkan Kirintili kept it out.

Rest of the half was all depressing. Konya got another and the Gencler fans started calling for Ozat to resign. With no home fans it was easy for Ozat to hear them. He gave them a clap. Not much else you can do I guess.

And that was that. Next week we are at home against Fenerbahce. We may well be in for one hell of a pasting.

PTT Lig Week 2 Review!

Only 2 teams have a 100% record remaining in the Turkish PTT Lig as it looks set to be another competitive season with everyone capable of beating each other. Caykur Rizespor and Umraniyespor are the two remaining sides with both overcoming difficult games at the weekend to go joint top.

The Friday night games saw Istanbulspor make it 4 points in their first two games with a 1-0 at Denizlispor, while Samsun won by the same scoreline at Manisaspor. Newly promoted Istanbulspor will be delighted with the start they have made but we're somewhat fortunate to escape with all 3 points. Denizlispor had a number of chances in the game but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. Samsunspor were made work for their victory at Manisa and ran out deserved winners.

Onto the Saturday games and there was a 7 goal thriller in Erzerum as Erzerumspor won 4-3 at home against Balikesirspor. The visitors were 3-1 up until a late fight back from Erzerum where last weeks villian Hamza Younes became the hero with the winning goal.

Caykur Rizespor showed again why they are favourites for the title with an excellent 3-1 win at Adana Demirspor. Goals from Suleyman, Kewuke and the impressive Paraguayan Samu saw Rizespor fight back from a goal down to take all 3 points.

Giresunspor caused a bit of an upset with a 3-0 win over Adanaspor who will be angered by the actions of their star striker Magaye Gueye. The French striker headbuted one of the Giresun players after an exchange of words between the two which left his team with a mountain task. Giresun took advantage and will be delighted with the 3 points in what was an even game up until that point.

Sundays first match saw Elazigspor cause an upset with a 2-1 win at Eskisehirspor thanks to a much debated penalty which look d harsh. Huseyin Acar gave the home side the lead but goals from Erman and Tom gave Elazigspor the 3 points much to their delight in front of an empty stadium due to the ban.

Ankaragucu came back to the capital with a good point at Altinordu after a 1-1 draw. Anton Putsila scored on his debut for Ankaragucu to level the match after Alican had given the home side the lead.

The result of the week goes to Gaziantepspor after their brilliant win in the derby with Gazisehir with most pundits including myself not giving them any chance before the game. Alpay Kocakli scored the only goal of the game and gives this young a Gaziantepspor side some hope that the can fight against relegation.

Umraniyespor tonight won 1-0 at Boluspor with Emircan scoring the only goal sending them joint top. It was a deserved win and Boluspor were lucky to come away with a respectable scoreline.

Ankaragucu sit 11th after the fist two games and won't be too disappointed but will be looking to take all 3 points at Elazigspor this weekend.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Altinordu 1-1 Ankaragucu - Match Report!

Ankaragucu are still searching for their first win in their return to the PTT Lig but they can be happy with their overall performance tonight. There were clear improvements from last weeks home draw against Erzerumspor and İsmail Kartal will be hoping the team can push on and take all 3 points against Elazigspor next week.

Team - Korcan Celikay, Erdem Ozgenc, Gencer Cavsev, Yusuf Abdioglu, Mehmet Sak, Arif Morkaya, Mbamba Kibong, Anton Putsila, Cheikhou Dieng, Ilhan Parlak, Kenan Özer

Subs - Emre Koyuncu, Mehmet Akan, Alihan Kubalas, Sercan Kaya, Sedat Agkay, Alaaddin Okumus, Ferhat Culcuoglu, Mert Aydeniz, Muharrem Ozan, Enes Kubat

There was a place in the starting line up for new signing Anton Putsila and if today is anything to go by, the Ankaragucu fans are in for a treat with hints of Marek Sapara about the Belarusian international.

Ankaragucu started the match brightly with both Cheikhou Dieng and Kenan Özer looking lively in the wide areas. It was Altinordu however that had the first chance of the game with a glancing header going inches wide of Korcan's post.

Kenan Özer had the first chance for Ankaragucu as he cut inside his man in the box then fired into the side netting. Ilhan Parlak was angry that his team mate didn't pass the ball as he was standing in space but Kenan went for glory himself.

Then came the opening goal, and what a poor goal to give away it was. The defence allowed the brilliant Murat Ucar to dance past them before cutting back the ball to an unmarked Alician Ozfesil who fired past Korcan. There were five Ankaragucu defenders in the box marking no one while Alihan was standing alone. If Ankaragucu want to challenge for promotion these are the mistakes they need to cut out.

Altinordu nearly doubled their lead on the 40th minute mark after poor defending again but this time the headed effort was straight at Korcan who held onto the ball.

Five minutes later came the equaliser, and what a goal it was too. Nice build up play from Ankaragucu saw Kenan spin his man before passing to Putsila who took one touch before firing his shot low into the bottom corner from outside the box giving Erce no chance in the Altinordu goal.

There were still time for 2 further Altinordu chances in first half stoppage time. The first effort hit the cross bar and the second Korcan managed to deflect the ball away. Both chances came down the left hand side of Ankaragucu defence. Mehmet Sak looks a very good player going forward but to often was posted missing with his defensive duties.

Half Time

Altinordu 1-1 Ankaragucu

Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu replaced the wasteful Mbamba with Sedat Agkay who made a big difference and had an excellent game. He almost scored within minutes of coming on but his shot was tipped wide for a corner.

Sedat and Dieng both had efforts from long distance go over the bar as Ankaragucu searched for that 2nd goal. Anton Putsila and Kenan then combined to set up Dieng whose shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Erce.

Altinordu went close again on the 71st minute after another glancing header went just wide of the post. With 5 minutes remaining they had a deflected shot that just went wide.

There was time for one last chance for Ankaragucu in the final minute. Erdem Ozgenc hit the crossbar with a well taken free kick from 30 yards.

The game ended 1-1 and a result that both teams can be happy with. Altinordu is a difficult place to go and they won 2-0 at Elazigspor last week who in turn won 2-1 at Eskisehirspor tonight. Ankaragucu need to sign another striker as Ilhan Parlak doesn't look like he will be the 15-20 goal man the club need.

Next up is another away match at Elazigspor next Sunday night. We will have the preview midweek of that match and the rest of the PTT games.

Altinordu 1-1 Ankaragucu match highlights!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Altinordu - Week 2 PTT Lig preview

A tough task awaits Ankaragucu this coming weekend as they travel to Izmir on Sunday for their match with Altinordu. These are two clubs worlds apart in terms of history, size and the way the clubs are run.

Ankaragucu are a household name within Turkish football without having achieved many major honours in their history. They do however have a large and faithful fanbase and still maintain the traditions that were installed in the club when they were first formed in Istanbul many moons ago.

Altinordu on the other hand, are a small club from Izmir who have spent their history in the lower leagues in front of a couple of hundred fans each week who don't have many expectations other than watching their beloved team play football.

When you look at both clubs, one who can attract crowds of 23,000 each week, have expectations of playing in the Super Lig every season, and are based in the Capital City of Turkey, while the other a small team with very few fans or sources of income, you could be forgiven for thinking the Ankara club shout be lightyears ahead commercially off field. You would indeed be wrong.

While Ankaragucu have  experienced years of financial difficulties, corruption, lack of commercial income and uncertainty over their future, Altinordu on the other hand have been an example to all clubs on how a club should be run.

They have a Turkish only signing policy with the aim to develop young players and send them on for profit. They have a top class training facility in Izmir for their First Team and youth academy which has produced some fantastic young players such as Cengiz Under, Caglar Soyuncu and Berk Özer.

Cengiz now plays with Roma having signed from Basaksehir in the summer for a record €15 million, while Soyuncu is playing in the Bundisliga with Freiburg.

A Turkish only signing policy puts the club at risk due to having such a small pool to chose from compared to every other club. The chairman Mehmet Ozkan is proud of their policy and even claimed they wouldn't sign Lionel Messi if they had the chance.

Not only do they have this policy in place but it's very rare that any players in the first team is over the age of 21. Last season there were occasions where every single player startin the game was a product of their youth academy.

One thing Ankaragucu can be proud of is their youth academy, they have produced many talented young players but it looks doubtful that many will be given a chance under İsmail Kartal. The team looked solid last week in the opener against Erzerumspor and we don't expect many changes this weekend. Anton Putsila has joined the team and could come in but both Nduka and Kehinde miss out due to injury.

Altinordu won 2-0 at Elazigspor and look a strong side who will cause problems with their pace and skill in attack. Mbamba Kibong will be a big player for Ankaragucu again and the fans will be hoping he can be more effective in the final third along with the wide players and Ilhan Parlak.

In the weekends other games Denizlispor host Istanbulspor and it will be another tough game for the home side. Istanbulspor were excellent in their 2-2 draw against Eskisehirspor and I expect them to take all 3 points in this one against a poor Denizli side who were thumped by Adanaspor.

Manisaspor are at home against Samsunspor and will be looking to improve on their awful showing against Caykur Rizespor last week. Samsunspor are capable of taking something from this one but will need to improve in the attacking field after their 0-0 draw with Gaziantep BB.

Erzerumspor will fancy their chances at home to Balikesirspor after a good performance in Ankara last weekend. They will however need to take their chances and Hamza Younes could find himself on the bench after a couple of sitters against Ankaragucu.

Giresunspor will provide tough opposition this weekend for Adanaspor who won 3-0 at Denizlispor on the opening game. Magaye Gueye will again be the key player after scoring two goals in that match and looks to be a step above this level.

Adana Demirspor have a difficult home tie against Caykur Rizespor the early pace setters and will need a huge performance if they are to take anything from that one. Rizespor have this week been linked with a move for former Man City forward Robinho.

Eskisehirspor should take all 3 points at home against a poor Elazigspor side and will have to do it in front of an empty stadium due to the ban after the crowd trouble in the playoff final with Goztepe.

It's the Gaziantep derby this weekend and unfortunately the only winners here are the municipal side. Gaziantepspor have lost all their key players and had their team bus repossessed this week. They are playing with youth players and lost 3-0 at home to Umraniyespor last weekend.

Finally Umraniyespor host Boluspor on Monday night in what should be a tight match with two good sides who have plenty of attacking options.

The Ankaragucu match will be shown live on BeIN Sports on Sunday at 8pm Turkish time.

Big crowds for the first week of the season

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ankaragucu sign Anton Putsila!

Anton Putsila was today granted his license to play with Ankaragucu and has joined the team for training. The Belarusian International is a huge coup for the club having played for Hamburg and Freiburg in the Bundisliga, while also playing under İsmail Kartal at Gaziantepspor.

Capped 50 times for his country the 30 year old plays in the number 10 position and is seen as the key playmaker in the Ankaragucu midfield. Having watched the match with Erzerumspor he is exactly what the team was missing.

Lanre Kehinde is yet to receive his licence and his move has still yet to be completed but the club are hopeful it will be done in the coming days.

PTT Lig Week 1 Roundup!

I was pretty much bang on the money with Week 1 predictions as Caykur Rizespor already set an early benchmark at the top, while poor Gaziantepspor look too be facing and impossible task of avoiding relegation.

Ankaragucu kicked off the PTT Lig 2017/18 campaign at home against Erzerumspor and with both sides having overhauled their squads, the 0-0 scoreline was a fair reflection on the game. Ilhan Parlak missed two golden opportunities for Ankaragucu although one of them should have resulted in a penalty after his effort was hand balled off the line. Hamza Younes also had two great chances at the other hand end but failed miserabley with his finishing.

Next up it was Caykur Rizespor who I believe are the favourites having kept their key players from last seasons Super Lig team. They swept Manisaspor away with a 4-1 win, two of the goals coming from ex Ankaragucu player Ozgur Cek, a sole goal for Ogulcan Caglayan and an own goal sent their fans home happy.

The Istanbulspor vs Eskisehirspor was a 4 goal cracker and the home side showed they will be no pushovers this season. Just a couple of years ago Istanbulspor were playing amateur football while Eskisehirspor were playing in the Europa League. It was Eskisehir who took the lead through Ofoedu. Onur Kolay and a Mehmet Celik scored two goals in 5 minutes to put Istanbulspor 2-1 up before Hasan Acar gave Eskisehirspor a share of the points.

Adanaspor got off to a flying start with a comfortable 3-0 win over Denizlispor. A brace from former Everton forward Magaye Gueye and a Bahuttin Kose strike gave them all 3 points.

Their rivals Adana Demirspor had a hard fought 2-2 draw Balikesirspor and will be disappointed they didn't take all 3 points having lead. Savas Yilmaz and Robert Tambe twice gave them the lead before the impressive Foxi Kethevoama and Mehmet Boztepe gave he home side a share of the points.

Samsunspor played out a 0-0 draw with Gaziantep BB in the first competitive game at their new stadium. The Samsun fans will be hoping for more goals in their next home game.

Rydell Poepon will again play a big part in Boluspor's season and he got off the mark in their 2-2 draw with Giresunspor. Boluspor were heading for all 3 points until a last minute striker by Fatih Atik levelled the game. A cracking match where both sides had plenty of chances.

Gaziantepspor have a beautiful new stadium but sadly their were only a couple of hundred fans who attended their opener with Umraniyespor. The team have serious financial problems and have a transfer ban in place. They look to be facing the same fate as Kayseri Erciyesspor which is a shame as they have a lot of history within Turkish football. Umraniyespor ran out 3-0 winners with Ibrahim Akdag scoring a double.

The last game of the week was Elazigspor vs Altinordu and it was the visitors who ran out 2-0 winners with an impressive performance. Two brilliant goals from Mirkan Aydin and Fatih Aktay were enough to see off Elazigspor and Altinordu will now welcome Ankaragucu at home this Sunday.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It could be a very frustrating season

First touches were missing and two open chances squanded. asdfghj

Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Karabukspor

More horses than supporters.
Bloody hot here in the capital but that did mean that we enjoyed an ice-cold refreshment at the Alerta beforehand. The Passolig system is slowly but surely destroying us Gencler Kankas. Just Spine and me today.

Passolig is also destroying the Gencler crowds. I'd guess at a couple of thousand last night.

Anyway, just as we were trying to figure out who our new players were... and also getting used to the new black strip, one of our more familiar players, Ahmet Oguz, buggered up at the back, the ball was passed on and Karabuk found themselves one nil up after just two minutes.


Slowly we came back into it and we managed an equaliser from a well taken free-kick from Khalili.

It was fairly even for a while but we lacked a certain something. As we made changes the team seemed to play strategically better but as Spine pointed out it doesn't seem as if Umit Ozat really knows who his first 11 should be.

We probably should have won it. In both halves we had real scoring opportunities but fluffed them. Karabuk had one almost certain goal hit the post.

In the end though the game ended with us attacking and some real sloppy first touches had the crowd groaning in frustration. It won't be the last time this season.    

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ankaragucu 0-0 Erzerumspor match report!

Ankaragucu kicked off their 2017/18 League campaign with a goalless draw at home to Erzerumspor.  The club managed to lift the transfer ban yesterday which meant the new signings were all free to play. Only Alihan, Korcan and Ferhat started the game from last seasons squad. The club also completed the signings of Cheikhou Dieng from Basaksehir and Erdem Ozgenc from Bursaspor. Also completing his move was Mahmut Akan from Karabukspor.

Team - Korcan Celikay, Yusuf Abdioglu, Gencer Cansev, Alihan Kubalas, Mehmet Sak, Arif Morkaya, Mbamba Kibong, Ferhat Culcuoglu, Cheikhou Dieng, Ferhat Kiraz, Ilhan Parlak

Subs - Emre Koyuncu, Altay Bayindir, Mert Aydemir, Kenan Özer, Alaaddin Okumus, Enes Kubat, Muharrem Ozan, Erdem Ozgenc, Sercan Kaya, Mahmut Akan

A decent crowd despite Passolig of just over 8,000 were in attendance tonight, however there were about 12,000 missing from last seasons numbers. A small part of that was due to it being a Friday night game, but the major issue was a Passolig. Unfortunateley unless you sign up you can't get into the stadium. The fans who did turn up yet again made a fantastic atmosphere.

With 8 new players starting for Ankaragucu the fans got a taste of what is to come and it looks like the big focus will be on improving the attacking play. The team have now went 5 games without scoring a goal if you include pre season.

The first chance of the game came for Ankaragucu and it was a free kick from Ferhat Kiraz which was easily saved by Kaya in the Erzerum goal after 2 minutes.

Ten minutes in and Erzerumspor should have taken the lead. Hamza Younes just had Korcan to beat but he somehow miss hit his shot and fired high and wide. Replays showed he was clearly offside but it would have counted.

Gokhan Karadeniz fired a shot wide of goal on the 18th minute from outside the box as Erzerum were starting to look dangerous.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Ankaragücü's play tonight was the decision making and final ball. On 25 minutes Mbamba broke free in midfield and drove forward with a man at each side. Ferhat was free on the left and was in a great position but he played the ball out to the right and the move came to nothing.

Mbamba was impressive with his power and was the main driving force going forward from midfield. He wasted the ball far to often though and will need to work on this moving forward.

Then the main talking point of the first half came just a minute later. A mistake in the Erzerum defence let Ilhan Parlak in who rounded the keeper and his shot on goal was cleared with a handball. Unfortunately neither the referee or linesmen saw it and the penalty appeals were denied.

The score remained 0-0 going into half time which was a fair result with both sides having a chance each to open the scoring.

Only a minute into the second half and Hamza Younes had another chance but again fired his shot wide of the post with only Korcan to beat.

Ankaragucu nearly took the lead on the 61st minute through and own goal but the ball went wide of the post. Then on the 78th minute Ferhat Culcuoglu played a nice ball through for Ilhan Parlak but again he fired his shot wide and was having a similar night to Hamza Younes.

Erzerumspor had one more chance late on from Lokmon whose bullet header was just over the bar much to the delight of the concerned Ankaragucu fans behind the goal.

So week 1 and a share of the points which was a fair result and I think both sides will be happy. Ankaragucu will be delighted with their defensive display and it looks like Gencer Cansev, Arif Morkaya and Yusuf Abdioglu are all nice additions in that area. Mehmet Sak also impressed at left back.

In attack the team will be hoping Lanre Kehinde and Nduka Ozokwu return to action soon and add much needed firepower.

Some news just in from Muhammed Erdogan at Sporanki, he has advised the club are set to sign Gaziantepspor playmaker and Belarusian international Anton Putsila in the coming days. The club will also look to sign another defender.

Next up for Ankaragucu will be a tough away match at Altinordu next weekend. Yusuf Abdioglu and Arif Morkaya will face their former clubs.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

PTT Lig Week 1 preview - Ankaragucu vs Erzerumspor

The long awaited return of competitive league football returns this weekend in Turkey and first up on centre stage is Ankaragucu vs Erzerumspor on Friday night. Both clubs were promoted from Lig 2 last season and have overhauled their squads which makes it difficult to predict the favourites at this stage.

It wouldn't be Ankaragucu if things were to go according to plan and with only 3 days until the game it's still unclear who will be eligible to play for Ankaragucu. As it stands there are only 12 registered players for the club with all the news signings awaiting clearance to play. The reason is due to the transfer ban still yet to be lifted with Mehmet Yiginer claiming the club need 6 Million Lira by tomorrow or none of them can play.

Mehmet Yiginer was very vocal last night on Bursa TV where he challenged the Ankaragucu fans who haven't signed up to Passolig yet. As it stands their are only 7,925 Passolig holders and they would be the only fans eligible to enter the stadium. With the game being played on a Friday night we can brace ourselves for a poor turnout of about 5,000 fans maximum which is another embarrassment for Turkish Football which we will talk about in more detail later.

Former captain Aydin Toscali was also the bearer of harsh words from Yiginer as he stated that Aydin rejected his proposal of receiving his owed money in instalments. Some Ankaragucu fans have been vocal against Aydin questioning his loyalty while others have leapt to his defence.

Back to matters in field and İsmail Kartal is in a difficult situation where he doesn't know which 11 players will take to the field on Friday. If the ban isn't lifted he will be forced into playing some youth players alongside the likes of Alihan, Kenan and Muharrem.

If the transfer ban is lifted then it makes the managers life a bit easier but will still be a difficult match. Ankaragucu have struggled in pre season and İsmail Kartal has been honest enough with his assesment. He said that the team isn't anywhere near where they want to be due to fitness and the number of new players that have arrived.

Of the new players that have arrived Mbamba Kibong has looked the pick of them. His powerful running from midfield along with his use of the ball will be key for Ankaragucu this season. Lanre Kehinde looks like a useful signing but struggled due to the lack of creativity and chances made for him by the midfield and wide players.

Nduka Ozokwu and Ilhan Parlak both arrived late and will be the ones responsible for supplying the ammunition for Kehinde along with Kenan Özer and Enes Kubat. The club are also still looking to sign Cheikhou Deing from Basaksehir and held talks today.

Erzerum like Ankaragucu have had a large turnaround in players over the summer and will also take time to gel and settle in. One of their key players is someone who knows the Turkish Leagues and what's required if they are to challenge for promotion. Mert Nobre the former Besiktas and Fenerbahce Captained the team to promotion scoring 12 goals. His experience and quality will be invaluable if Erzerum are to take anything from the game.

The game will be played at the 19 Mayis Stadium and will also be shown live on Bein Sports 2 after they bought the rights from TRT. Let's hope Ankaragucu take all 3 points and get off to a good start.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

PTT Lig 2017/18 Season Preview!

We are only 6 days away from the start of the new PTT Lig 1 season in Turkey and it looks set to be another competitive year with a number of teams capable of promotion. It's difficult at this stage to predict the favourites as most clubs have overhauled their squads with a number of new transfers.

Every season in Turkey teams make big changes to their squads due to players contracts coming to and end and their being no real structure or future plannng due to miss management and financial problems. It's common to see teams lose their star players for nothing due to them running down their contracts or clubs failing to pay their wages.

A perfect example of this is Adana Demirspor who are a club with a fantastic and loyal fanbase who despite failing to meet expectations each season still turn up in their numbers to follow their team. They have signed an incredible 20 new players, but even more incredible that 21 of last seasons squad have left the club including Mickael Pote.

The Frenchman was the clubs top scorer for the last two seasons and topped the PTT Lig charts with 24 goals last campaign. Apoel Nicosia moved to snap the powerful forward up in the summer and he will be a big loss for Adana who will be looking for Atabey Cicek to fill the void after his loan move from Basaksehir.

Caykur Rizespor, Adanaspor and Gaziantepspor were the 3 sides relegated from the Super Lig last .season and the first two have a chance of going straight back up with Rizespor the early favourites if
.we had to pick. They have somehow managed to keep hold of Leonard Kweuke despite interest from teams in the Super Lig. They have also kept the majority of last seasons squad together and can rely on former Ankaragücü keeper Gokhan Akkan who has impressed with his performances between the sticks. It's important when teams are relegated that they maintain the quality players they had in their team and there isn't too much movement in th squad unless it's necessary and Caykur have done exactly that.

Gaziantepspor on the other hand are in big trouble financially and are struggling to even put a team on the pitch. Okan Cinar has moved to Besiktas, Ilhan Parlak has signed for Ankaragucu and Nabil Ghilas is now playing for Goztepe. You have to feel for Gaziantepspor as they have been a Super Lig side for a number years and have just moved into a beautiful new stadium but are facing 2 releagations in successive seasons.

Adanaspor should be there or thereabouts this season as they have some quality players for this level such as Magaye Gueye, Vladimir Koman and Vinicius to name a few. They haven't lost too many players from last season apart from Roni who has went back to Brazil after his loan spell.

Of the promoted clubs from Lig 2, Ankaragucu, Erzerumspor and Istanbulspor all have a chance of making playoffs but at the same time could also be dragged into the releagation zone. That's how tight the division is between top half and botto.

Ankaragucu have made some good signings but the issue they have is that the transfer ban hasn't been lifted and they have only 2 days to pay 6 million Lira otherwise none of the new players can play against Erzerumspor next Friday in the season opener. Kibong Mbamba, Ilhan Parlak, Nduka Ozokwu, Lanre Kehinde, Yusuf Abdiuglu and Arif Morkaya are just a few of the new players the club has agreed contracts with.

Erzerumspor will be looking to experienced striker Mert Nobre again to lead the squad to the playoffs and they have wasted no time in adding to the squad. Hamza Younes and Haris Habra look interesting signings and they can also count on the backing from a vocal and large home support.

It's been a while since we heard of the name Istanbulspor and seems like a lifetime ago that the club were playing in the UEFA Cup. Years of financial problems and playing in the lower leagues finally came to and end after they were promoted at the end of the season. They have former Turkish wonderkid Muhammed Demirici in their squad and have signed Konyaspor winger Ali Dere as they look to challenge for a place in the Super Lig.

Eskisehirspor narrowly missed out on promotion last season after loosing in the playoff final against Goztepe. They still have enough quality in their squad to be considered one of the favourites for promotion but the transfer ban imposed means they can't add to their squad. Hasan Ayaroglu will return from a successful loan spell at Kastamonuspor. On the way out is Ruud Boffin who signed for Antalyspor and Kamil Korecki who signed for Trabzonspor.

Altinordu are one of the most well respected clubs in Turkey due to their incredible youth program and community work. They have produced some quality young players such as Cagalar Soyuncu and  Under who has just signed for AS Roma. They also have a policy of signing Turkish only players with the view of developing them and selling for profits. So far it's a policy that is working and drawing many plaudits.

The PTT Lig has some other historical teams such as Samsunspor, Elazigspor and Denizlispor with decent fan bases but who have al struggled in the lower half of the table due to financial problems. Samsunspor have just moved into a new stadium, Elazigspor have lost highly rated Hamidou Traore to Karabukspor and Denizlispor face a fight for survival due to finances.

The PTT Lig has everything for fans who are fed up with corporate modern football. It has lots of goals, hostile atmospheres, comical defending and much more. Like the Super Lig their are plenty of empty seats in the stands due to Passolig with many fans still refusing to go and keeping to their boycott.

Next Friday night Ankaragucu vs Erzerumspor will kick off the PTT Lig campaign at the Osmali Stadium in Ankara. Let's hope we start with a home win.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Ankaragucu 0-0 Hacettepe match report!

Ankaragucu completed their pre season schedule today with a 0-0 draw with Hacettepe in what can only be described as another boring dull encounter under new coach İsmail Kartal. It's early days and he needs time but that's now 0 goals in last 3 games with hardly a shot on goal.

Team - Korcan, Alaattin. Yusuf, Alihan, Mehmet, Ferhat, Arif, Kenan, Nduka, Ilhan, Kehinde

It took 34 minutes for Ankaragucu to create their first chance of the game. Ilhan Parlak was put through on goal, he cut inside his man and overhit his pass to Kehinde who still got his shot away but the ball was cleared off the line.

The only other chance in the first half was when Kehinde went past his man in the box but his shot was easily saved by the keeper.

The second half was up their with the most boring awful games of football I've seen. Only one chance  and that fell to Hacettepe but the headed effort was into the side netting.

İsmail Kartal has his work cut out as the league campaign starts next Friday night at home against Erzerumspor. He will be looking for a much better performance and will be hoping to bring in 2-3 new players especially in attack.

The club also announced that Ali Sinan Gayla has been released and is free to find a new club. We wish him all the best.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Ankaragucu set for double swoop!

With only a week remaining until the season starts there is still a lot of uncertainty at Ankaragucu as to how the squad will look. Both Henrique Da Silva and Samuel Owusu who were both on trial have been told they won't be offered contracts with the club and have left.

İsmail Kartal today confirmed that both Omer Bozan and Muhammed Gonulacar are free to leave the club due to disciplinary problems. Omer is wanted by Hatayspor and Bugsasspor while Harun Aydin is also set to sign for Bugsass.

Arda Karademir and Metin Aydin are both set to sign for Adliyespor after their contracts ended last month.

The transfer ban still hasn't been officially lifted although İsmail Kartal said he is expecting it to happen in next few days. He also wants to bring Tonia Tisdell back to the club along with team mate Lukasz Szukala from Osmanlispor. It would be a massive coup for the club if they pull that off.

Ankaragucu will take on Hacettepe tommrow night at 18:00 in the TSYD Cup, the game will be played at Ostim Stadium.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Ankaragucu sign Ferhat Kiraz!

Ankaragucu today completed the signing of Yeni Malatyaspor midfielder Ferhat Kiraz on a free transfer. The 28 year old ex Bursaspor man who started his career with Genclerbirligi can play in midfield or defence and becomes the lates signing for İsmail Kartal whose side kick of their campaign next Friday at home to Erzerumspor.

One player on his way out of the club is Cagatay Ceken who signed in the January transfer window from Sivasspor but only managed 2 appearances. Ankaragucu also hope to completed the signings of Cheik Dieng from Basaksehir and Hasan Aslantas by the weekend.