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.