Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ankaragücü vs Antalyaspor match preview!

It’s Monday night football in week 7 of the Turkish Super Lig for Ankaragücü as they host Antalyaspor looking to continue their good run and keep up the momentum in the top half of the table.

As Jim said in his match report from the Serik match, it was a disappointing performance from Ankaragücü against the lower league opposition but we need to take into account the amount of changes made to the team with all but Erdem Ozgenc from the first team rested.

Alessio Cerci showed flashes of what he can bring and there is no doubting his ability. If he wants to break into the starting line up however, then he will need to improve on his fitness and the defensive side of his game. Too often he made no attempt to get back and help the team while Serik were on the attack.

Despite the mounting financial issues at Antalyaspor who have lost all of their big signings including Samuel Eto’o, Samir Nasri and Sandro, they have actually had a good start to the season sitting one place below Ankaragücü in 8th and on the same points.

Former Leeds striker Souleymane Doukara has been a good signing for Antalyaspor and will be one of their key players in attack. The powerful Senegalese International has excellent technique and skill but sometimes his finishing and end product can let him down. He will likely be joined in attack by Turkish International Melvut Erdinc.

Ankaragücü will be without the suspended Bakary Kone through suspension but will have Thibault Moulin back from injury. Moestafa El Kabir will play against his former club and Ankaragücü will be  hoping that he can continue his excellent early season form with another good performance. Thievy Bifouma has all the attributes to be a key player for Ankaragücü but he has been a bit frustrating of late with his decision making in the final 3rd of the pitch, we need a big performance from him and he needs to be careful with his disciplinary.

Bruce Dja Djedje has come into the midfield and formed an excellent partnership with the brilliant Ricardo Faty, it will be interesting to see if Ismail goes with the 3 in the middle now that Moulin is back in contention.

The game will be played at the Yenikent Stadium and kick off time is 8pm, as usual for details on how you can watch the match with the Kanka Group please get in touch with Jim.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Serik is a small town on the south coast to the east of Antalya, and their football team play in the Tukish 3rd League, so it was expected that Ankaragucu would brush them aside with a ‘cricket score’ !     However, Serik showed great resilience to almost cause an upset.

They may have been over-awed at first, but in the 2nd half they continually took the match to Ankaragucu and severely tested their defence.    On this performance they must be serious promotion contenders !

ANKARAGUCU    2          Serik    1

Ismail Bey decided to rest his normal attacking trio and gave the fringe players of the squad a run-out.   There was no Hopf, Djedje, Heurtaux, Faty, El Kabir, Mokhtar, Bifouma and Kubilay, but that is no excuse for Ankaragucu’s abysmal 2nd half performance !

Battle Damaged Kanka, Damon, and I met-up at The Anasonn Bar (the Kanka Group was posted absent without leave !!!) and settled down to watch a goal feast.   However, all we saw at first was the Sanliurfa v Yomra match !   Panic stations with the bar staff trying to find the match, but it was down to A Spor TV deciding to switch, showing that match and ours every 10 minutes or so.   Later there was a third match in the mix when the Rize match joined in !!   So, when the Urfa match was shown, all we had was a ‘minu screen’ in the bottom right of the TV screen !    Bloody frustrating !!

Anyway, we saw most of the action and when the first goal came in the 10th minute we were smiling and saying ........ here we go for our goal feast !

It was a goal to savour with Ilhan the provider with an excellent pass for Kehinde to fire in a screamer.   Kehinde had another opportunity 8 minutes later but his shot was high and over.

New signing, Cerci, was controlling the match at this point and on this showing he is going to be a key player in Ankaragucu’s attacking armoury.   His deft touches and control oozed pure class !

Cerci was the inspiration for the 2nd goal on the 22nd minute mark when he took a quick corner on the right with Ilhan.   He played a one-two with Ilhan, and with everyone expecting a shot to the near post, he drove his shot to the far post and in through about 3 confused defenders.   Shocking defending but a peach of a goal nonetheless !

We were still thinking that this is ‘easy’ and expecting another goal before half time, BUT the goal came at the other end on the half time whistle !

A Serik attacker was put through on the left with an excellent pass which evaded Alihan’s outstretched leg, and he shot across Altay inside the right post for a well taken goal.

We were thinking that this was a ‘wake-up call’ for Ankaragucu, but we were sadly mistaken !

It was Serik who came out for the 2nd half firing on all cylinders and they obviously ‘smelled blood’.   They continued to harry and chase every ball throughout the 2nd half and it was backs against the wall for Ankaragucu, with Ankaragucu being restricted to breakaways out of defence.

In the 60th minute, Altay came to Ankaragucu’s rescue with an outstanding save to tip the goal bound shot over for a corner.

At this stage of the match, A Spor TV was jumping between THREE matches, so we were unable to see any action until the 75th minute.

Serik was still in the driving seat and looking likely to conjure up the equaliser.

Ankaragucu did score an ‘offside goal’ in the 78th minute, but we were unable to see the replay due to skipping to the Rize match ..............aaargh !!

I can’t tell you the language we used at this point.   All I can say is that it was uncomplimentary aimed at A Spor TV !!!

So, Ankaragucu ‘escaped from jail’ and avoided extra time, but it was so nearly a night to remember for the Seasiders from Serik.   All credit to them for their efforts, fitness levels and never say die attitude !

Nevertheless, Ankaragucu is into the draw for the next round of the Cup and I’m sure that Ismail Bey will not make the same mistake again of resting so many of his key players at the same time !

Back to League business on Monday night KO 8pm against Antalyaspor at The Stadium from Hell in effin Yenikent.   There will be no under-estimating their opponents for this match with 3 points up for grabs and a chance to move into the Europa cup positions.

I’ll be back at The Anasonn to watch it.

Bring it on !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ankaragucu vs Serik BB match preview!

Ankaragucu are back at home on Wednesday night at Yenikent as they host amateur side Serik BB in the Turkish Cup. This will be an opportunity for some of the fringe players such as Alessio Cerci, Kehinde, Anton Putsila, Erdem Sen, and Mehmet Sak to get some minutes under their belt as they look to break into the starting line up.

Their will be interest in particular in former Italian international Alessio Cerci who was the clubs big signing in the summer but so far hasnt featured much as he isnt fully fit. Questions have always been asked about Cerci and his attitude and also fitness as there is no doubting the players talent. Hopefully he isnt here just for a final pay day and works hard to fight his way into the starting line up.

Ankaragucu again showed tremendous character and team spirit in their 1-0 away win at Erzerumspor thanks to a Kenan Ozer last minute goal. This was despite the team playing 83 minutes with 10 men due to the sending off of Bakary Kone.

The Turkish Cup hasnt been kind to Ankaragucu over the last few years having been knocked out by lower league Opposition. Serik play in the 4th flight of Turkish football an have had an unbeaten start to the season. They have former Galatasaray and Eskisehirspor playmaker Erman Kilic in their team and will be no pushovers.

Looking at the previous 2 winners of the Turkish Cup Akhisar and Konyaspor, it should give Ankaragucu some motivation that a good run could see them go all the way and qualify for European football next season. The league is the priority but a good run in the Cup and an opportunity to win one of Turkish footballs biggest competitions is something that should be the aim for the club and taken seriously this season.

For anyone looking to take in Wednesdays game, it kicks off at 7pm and you will be able to buy tickets on Passolig.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The Genclerbirligi express shows no sign of slowing down !

Yesterday, Gencler travelled to Umraniye and returned with all 3 points.    The Hurriyet headline this morning was ......... Firtina Gibi (like a storm !!).

Umraniye   0       GENCLERBIRLIGI     2

Team – Hakan, Ahmet O, Claro, Arnason, alper, Ahmet I, Selcuk, Yasin, Sessegnon, Jailton and Nobre

Substitutes – Mahmut, Rahmetullah and Nadir

Alper opened scoring in the 61st minute and Nadir made sure of the points in the 83 minute with Gencler now solidifying their position at the top of the Spor Toto League.

Next Thursday Gencler will be involved in the Turkish Cup when they take on Bergama.   Ankaragucu will also be involved on Wednesday when they play against Serik.

Watch this space for details of those, plus next weekend’s league matches.

Can Gencler make it 7 wins from 7, and can Ankaragucu move into the Europa Cup positions ???!!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, September 21, 2018

Erzerumspor 0-1 Ankaragücü match report!

Ankaragücü have started the season in fine form, winning plaudits for their exciting attacking brand of football. Today it was a very different type of football that saw Ankaragücü take all 3 points despite playing 83 minutes of the match with 10 men.

Team - Hopf, Erdem, Alihan, Yalcin, Kone, Tiago, Faty, Dja Djede, Bifouma. Mokhtar, El Kabir
Subs - Korcan, Kehinde, Putsila, Kenan, Sedat, Mehmet, Mahmut, Cerci, Ilhan, Erdem

İsmail Kartal changed the system today chosing to go with a back 3 today with Bakary Kone coming into the starting line up alongside Alihan and Yalcin. Ilhan dropped to the bench to allow for the extra central defender.

Erzerumspor started the brighter with Jasmin having a shot from distance in the first minute but Hopf easily saved. Five minutes later and Ankaragücü faced a massive task after Bakery Kone was sent off for a reckless challenge as the referee consulted with VAR. At firs it looked like the referee got the decision wrong but another replay from a different angle at full time showed it was the correct decision.

Kone has had a disastrous start to his Ankaragücü career and again showed that he is unreliable. It was his poor first touch that led him to make the tackle in the first place. It’s difficult to see a place for him in the team now as he is gifting teams chances every game.

Erzerumspor looked to take advantage and Jasmin had another long range effort that went wide on the 17th minute. Five minutes later Moussa Kone saw his shot saved by Hopf.

Ankaragücü were defending well but finding it difficult to keep hold of the ball. Former Arsenal man Giles Sunu saw his shot go wide on the 40th minute after a good cross into the box. Five minutes later a great effort from Ibrahim was well saved by Hopf.

Half Time - 0-0

Into the second half and it was much of the same. Three minutes in Auremir saw his deflected shot go inches wide. From the resulting corner the ball found its way to the back post for Jasmin but Hopf again made a good save. A minute later and Jasmin saw his shot from distance saved by Hopf.

Five minutes later and Sunu went close from distance but that man Hopf made another excellent save. Ankaragücü were struggling to get out of their half but on the odd occasion they did counter El Kabir, Bifouma and Mokhtar were wasteful.

With 15 minutes remaining Erzerumspor threw everything at it and Emrah almost got lucky but his cross was tipped wide by Hopf.  Munsy had a chance that went wide before Hopf made another brilliant save and then the goal fianally came.....

Despite dominating the game, it was a Ankaragücü who took the lead in the 90h minute with their first shot on goal. Brilliant play from Erdem who played a beautiful ball through for Kenan who calmly finished past Ibrahim to make it 0-1 Ankaragücü and send the fans and team wild in celebrations, their were even emotional tears from Kenan which showed just how much it meant.

A brilliant defensive display from the 10 men with Alihan and Yalcin solid. Brice Dja Djede was outstanding again with another Ngolo Kante type performance. But special mention to man of the match Johannes Hopf with another excellent display.

Next up is a midweek match in the cup and the game will be played at Yenikent Stadium!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Who could have predicted at the end of last season’s catastrophic ending that Gencler would be off to a flying start in the Spor Toto League ?

Five matches in and Gencler have pulled clear of the chasing pack.   Last Monday night.   Gencler won their 5th consecutive match to go 2 points clear at the top.

GENCLERBIRLIGI    3    Elazigspor     1

Second placed Boluspor could only play out a no-scoring draw against Altay.

The ‘born again’ Nobre was on the score sheet again and he seems to have found a new lease of life back with his old Club.

Gencler has scored 12 and conceded only 2 and there is no reason why this can’t continue with confidence obviously sky-high at the Club.    btw, I was going to mention the FOUR  goals which Gencler conceded to Ankaragucu in a ‘friendly’ a few weeks ago, BUT I decided not to !!!

Next Saturday Gencler is away against Umraniye who are stuck in mid-table (KO 2pm).

Let’s keep it going Gencler !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Erzerumspor vs Ankaragücü match preview!

It’s Friday night football for Ankaragücü this week as they travel to another promoted side Erzerumspor who are still searching for their first win in the Turkish Super Lig this season. Despite their poor start to the season Erzerumspor have been performing better than their results show and it will be a tough place to go with a full stadium expected.

Ankaragücü put in another good performance last weekend with a 1-0 win over Akhisar thanks to a fantastic goal from El Kabir. The Moroccan forward has formed an impressive partnership with Youness Mokhtar who added another assist to his account and is one the teams key players.

İsmail Kartal has in the past come in for a bit of criticism from the Ankaragücü fans but he has won them over with the style of football he has the team playing. Ankaragücü top the league in total amount of passes made this season and dribbles per game. While they sit 2nd behind Trabzonspor in pass completion. That is all down to the hard work of İsmail Kartal and the management team who are showing what can be achieved when you bring in the right type of player.

Brice Dja Djede came into the team last week and played centre mid despite his favoured position being right back. He put in an excellent performance and was an example of the attitude of this Ankaragücü team where the players are giving everything and putting the team first.

Thomas Heurtaux who had an impressive debut is set to miss the next couple of games due to an injury he has picked up. Alessio Cerci will come into the team when he is ready according to İsmail Kartal with the player still not 100 percent fit.

Erzerumspor sit 2nd from bottom with 2 points taken from their first 5 games. Last weekend saw them draw 2-2 at Sivasspor. Like Ankaragucu they have a fantastic support who will make quite an atmosphere and they have enough quality in their squad including South African midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala to cause problems for Ankaragücü if they aren’t at their best.

Despite Erzerum being a difficult place to travel too, Ankaragücü still have enough quality to come away with the 3 points. The pace of El Kabir, Mokhtar and Bifouma in attack allow Ankaragücü to play and exciting counter attacking system away from home. We just need to make sure we stay solid at the back with Heaurtux being a big loss due to injury.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As I mentioned yesterday on fb, Ankaragucu had to travel all the way to Afyon last night (350 kilometres) to play their HOME match !

As most of you know, the 19 Mayis Stadium is being demolished at the moment.   The new stadium in Eryman which was to be a temporary home is not ready yet, and the 3rd option was The Stadium from Hell in Yenikent which is not fit for purpose !   So, Afyon Stadium was chosen by the TFF as the venue for Ankaragucu’s home matches until Eryman is ready.

Having said that, I must praise the stadium in Afyon which is a well constructed and compact stadium which has a capacity of 15,000 and the Ankaragucu fans who made the journey yesterday certainly made their presence felt !

As for the match itself, Ankaragucu dug deep and scored a memorable goal against a well drilled and organised Akhisar side who probably felt that they deserved a share of the spoils.

ANKARAGUCU    1             Akhisar    0

The Kanka Group met-up at The Anasonn Bar in Kizilay – Maniac Kanka Harun, his beautiful daughter Hazal, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet and Nurer Kanka.   We also welcomed 2 new members to the group, Kenan and Oguz.

Team – Hopf, Pinto, Alihan, Heurtaux, Djedje, Erdem O, Faty, Mokhtar, Bifouma, Ilhan and El Kabir

Substitutes – Sedat, Putsila and Cerci

The first 10 minutes of the match was played in the midfield area with both teams sizing each other up and trying to keep possession.   However, the match exploded into action in the 11th minute with a sweeping move on the left.   The ball was played into Mokhtar just inside the box on the left and with the cheekiest of back-heels, the ball was passed to the inrushing El Kabir who sent his shot just inside the left post to send us all up celebrating and high fiving !   Definitely a candidate for goal of the season !

Ankaragucu tails were up and they surged forward looking for No2, but shots were blocked and the Akhisar goalkeeper was in fine form.

Approaching the half hour mark and Akhisar was searching for a way back into the match and it almost came, but a timely interception by Alihan prevented the equaliser.

Almost on the half time whistle and another let off when a cross came in from the left but Alihan to the rescue again when he skied his clearance into the arms of Hopf !

The 2nd half was all end-to-end with some excellent football played by both teams.    Akhisar came out with all guns blazing, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for holding firm.

Heurtaux made a saving tackle as an attacker was about to shoot and  Pinto hooked away a dangerous cross.

Ankaragucu also went close when a sweeping move resulted in the shot going into the side netting.   Bifouma should have scored when he rounded the goalkeeper and sent his shot wide and high.    El Kabir also had a chance but was well tackled as he was about to shoot.

At the other end, Hopf pulled off 3 saves from goalbound efforts and on this form it will be difficult for Korcan to win back his place between the sticks !

Sedat sent in a screamer of a shot which went just past the post.

Into time added on and it was constant Akhisar pressure searching for the equaliser, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for holding out and weathering the storm.

This was an excellent team performance from Ankaragucu against a very good Akhisar side.   So, 3 points brought back to Ankara and consolidation in mid-table which is probably more than we could have hoped for at the end of last season.

Ankaragucu is now playing football and no more hoofing the ball anywhere more in hope than anything else.

Next Friday Ankaragucu will be away to bottom of the league Erzurum KO 8pm, so we will be back at The Anasonn to hopefully celebrate another win and see Ankaragucu move into the top half of the league.

Can we start thinking about qualification for next season’s Europa Cup I wonder ??!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, September 10, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With International footie dominating the scene for the past week and this week, the Ankara ‘Big 2’ decided to play a ‘friendly’ yesterday.

After Gencler’s excellent opening 4 league matches, they were given a reality check yesterday by the ‘new’ Ankaragucu.

ANKARAGUCU    4          Genclerbirligi     0

The match was played at the Ilhan Cavcav Training Arena in Bestepe, Ankara.

Ilhan Parlak opened the scoring in the 1st half.   However, Ankaragucu had to wait until 10 minutes before the end to make the match safe when Kehinde scored Nadeem’s words ......... a belter !

2  late goals followed near the end from Erdem Sen and Kenan.

The result must have put a smile on the face of Ismail Bey as he continues to ease all the new signing into the team.

Gencler Coach, Erkan Sozeri, will have received a warning that there is still a long way to go before they can be sure of returning to the Super League at the first time of asking.

League action resumes on Saturday when Ankaragucu will be at home in ‘The Stadium from Hell’ against last season’s Turkish Cup Winners Akhisar.

More of the same please Ankaragucu !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, September 03, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

A blast from the past for Bellshill Kanka Nadeem to enjoy !!!

Ankaragucu is learning week by week that playing in the Super League is going to be a long hard slog of a journey !

Last night Ankaragucu played some neat football but they found the door locked by a strong and well organised Kasimpasa defence.   Ankaragucu had the lion’s share of possession, especially in the 2nd half, but as we all know, possession doesn’t necessarily win matches, as Ankaragucu discovered.

We also have to accept that this is a ‘new’ Ankaragucu team and they will need a few more weeks to gel together and build their confidence.   Also, they must find their killer touch in the final third which was missing last night.

Kasimpasa     2                       ANKARAGUCU     1

Team – Hopf, Erdem, Kubalas, Kone, Pinto, Moulin, Faty, Bifouma, Parlak, Mokhtar and El Kabir

The kankas, Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet and I, met up at The Anasonn Bar to watch the match in the company of lots of Ankaragucu fans.

The match was only 5 minutes old when the danger men of Kasimpasa, Trezeguet and Diagne, made their presence felt.   Trezeguet almost scored with a bullet of a header from a right wing cross, but the ball went just past.

3 minutes later and Ankaragucu were handed a lifeline when the referee awarded a dubious penalty.   I’m not sure if I would have given it !!   Anyway, up stepped El Kabir who sent a tame shot to the left which Ramazan read and easily saved.   A golden opportunity spurned which could have moved the match in a different direction !

3 minutes later and Ankaragucu paid the price of their profligacy.    Kasimpasa broke on the right and a cross was sent in where Diayne was ideally positioned to leap between two defenders and power a header in to open the scoring.   An excellent piece of opportunism.

Kasimpasa had the ball in the net 4 minutes later but the referee had spotted a push on an Ankaragucu defender and the goal was disallowed.   A lucky escape ?!

On the half hour mark and a Kasimpasa screamer of a shot was just over and Kasimpasa was looking the more likely team at this stage.

Kasimpasa’s Veysel was lucky to only receive a yellow card after mouthing off to the referee, and then Bifouma was given a yellow for ‘diving’ in the box with all the players and fans screaming for another penalty !

Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu started as they had in the 1st half with all out attack.   New striker Kubilay replaced Parlak.

A chance for Ankaragucu arose in the 51st minute with a one-on-one (I think it was Kubilay) and Ramazan who stuck out a foot from the shot and the ball was cleared.

There was no doubting Ankaragucu’s endeavours at this stage, but the Kasimpasa defence was soaking up all the attacks and frustrating Ankaragucu’s ability to find that killer touch in the final third.

Half way through the 2nd half and Pinto went off injured and was replaced by Djedje.

The match became more of an end-to-end contest with 15 minutes remaining.   Both teams had shots on goal with El Kabir having two attempts well saved by Ramazan.  

With 10 minutes to go, one last throw of the dice was made with Cerci relacing Mokhtar, but there was to be no equaliser.

5 minutes to go to the end and Ankaragucu was still pressing forward, but the 2nd Kasimpasa goal came at the other end with a mix-up in the Ankaragucu defence allowing Trezeguet to make the game safe or Kasimpasa.

With the match well into time added-on, and with Kasimpasa seemingly thinking it was all over, Bifouma found space on the left.   The defence backed-off and he fired in a great shot to the near post to put some respectability on the scoreline.

So, Ankaragucu find themselves in mid-table with 4 points form 4 matches.   Kasimpasa go 3 points clear at the top of the league with their win yesterday.

There will be international footie next weekend, so some respite for Ismail Bey to work with the new signings and prepare for the next match at home to Akhisar.

Akhisar is currently 2nd bottom of the league on 2 points but we can not read too much into that statistic.   Last season’s Turkish Cup Winners will be no pushovers and we should also bear in mind that they are also in the Europa Cup Group Stage.

A win against Akhisar will cement the mid-table position, so let’s look on the positives and await Nadeem’s pre-match assessment.

In other news, Genclerbirligi defeated Osman...spit....lispor 1-0 at The Stadium from Hell on Friday night to stay top of the Spor Toto League.   Gencler and Bolu are both on 12 points at the top, but Gencler has a superior goal difference.

As I said above, there is international footie next weekend so Gencler will be at home against bottom of the league Elazig in 2 weeks time.   Bolu will be home to much improved and undefeated Altay and we will be looking for Altay to take points off Bolu !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim