Thursday, July 30, 2020

Ankaragucu saved by the vote!

Ankaragucu were thrown a lifeline yesterday after the TFF announced that there will be no relegation and the league will be extended to 21 teams for the 2020/21 season and 20 teams in the 21/22 season. There had been talk for months that no relegation would take place, but it was confirmed after 13 of the Super Lig clubs had voted on Tuesday against any relegation.

That means Ankaragucu, Kaysrispor and Yeni Malatyaspor will remain in the Turkish Super Lig while Hatayspor and Erzerumspor will join them after winning promotion. The winners of the playoff final from Adana Demirspor vs Fatih Karagumruk will also go up.

The Turkish Super Lig is in a bad way financially at the moment, and things are going to get worse when you take into consideration the implications of Covid-19. The sensible decision was to save the 3 clubs from relegation and protect the teams from joining a host of other former Super Lig clubs who face bankruptcy.

Fans of other clubs have criticised the decision stating that 21 teams is too much and no thought has went into the process. Ankaragucu fans however wont care, as they will be watching Super Lig football again next season.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Denizlispor 0-1 Ankaragucu!

Ankaragucu only had pride to play for on Saturday as they had already been relegated the week before. Ilhan Parlak scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for the team from the Turkish Capital. The club will now find out in the next couple of days if they will be relegated to Lig 1 along with Kayserispor and Yeni Malatyaspor. The TFF will decide if relegation stands this season or extend the league to 21 teams due to the coronavirus.

Team - Korcan, Cebrail, Milos, Kulusic, Fatih, Lukasic, Sedat, Saba, Mikhalak, Scarione, Orgill
Subs - Emre. Orkan, Adiguzel, Berke, Ilhan, Rivas, Mahmut, Ender, Imdat

There was a debut for Turkish U19 International Fatih Tultak who played at left back which is an unnatural position for the young centre back. Milos also made only his 2nd start for the club and made the team of the week. Gelmin Rivas came on and set up the winner for Ilhan Parlak while Ender and Ferdi Imdat from the youth team both got run outs.

The question that needs to be asked, is why we persisted so much with the likes of Ricardo Faty and Dever Orgill, when Milos and Rivas contributed more in the limited amount of games they played. So many wrong decisions this season from choosing managers (5 in total over the season), team selections and signings.

Hopefully we have some good news to bring you later this week in regards to relegation. In other news Dever Orgill has reportedly agreed a pre contract with Sivasspor who qualified for the Europa League.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Ankaragucu relegated to Lig 1!

The inevitable relegation to Lig 1 was confirmed for Ankaragucu last night after a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Antalyaspor. The club has now suffered 3 relegation's in the last 8 years and President Fatih Mert has an extremely difficult job on his hands due to the financial problems and threats of another transfer ban from Fifa.

Team  - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Lukasik, Faty, Mikhalik, Saba, Scarione, Rivas
Subs - Korcan, Mahmut, Atila, Fatih, Cebrail, Sedat, Ender, Milos, Orkan, Ilhan

Gelman Rivas was handed his first start for the club after Gerson Rodrigues had his contract terminated during the week, while Dever Orgill missed out due to suspension.

Before we discuss the match, i think its important to go back and look at the Gerson situation again. The Luxembourg international was dismissed from the team last weekend just before the Galatasaray match due to punching Ante Kulusic. The exact same scenario happened just a year earlier when Mostepha El Kabir was sent him, also before a Galatasaray match. Both players were key players for the club with Gerson arguably along with Kitsou the best player in the squad. 

Now what Gerson done was wrong, and deserved punishment, but the players were asked by the clubs senior management if they were willing to forgive the player to allow him to play last nights match against Antalyaspor. The players refused and Gerson had his contract terminated. Ankaragucu had a number of opportunities last night but couldn't take any of them which is extremely disappointing especially after this decision.

On the other hand, Gerson is a player who clearly has talent and is said to be wanted by a number of Turkish Super Lig clubs including Besiktas. However his behavior has been questioned in the past at other clubs, and also with Ankaragucu. You just need to look at his Instagram and it paints a picture of someone who wants to be a film star instead of a footballer.

Ankaragucu didn't play that bad last night, but it was a reflection on how the rest of the season went. Plenty of effort and defended well, but poor in attack with no end product. The first chance of the game fell to Kitsiou who saw his header cleared off the line.

Oscar Scarione had long range effort saved by Kaplan just minutes later, before Rivas and Faty both missed chances to give Ankaragucu the lead. Antalyaspor rarely threatened in the first half, but had a great chance on the 35th minute but Balci blasted over.

Saba Lobjanidze again showed some nice skill and used his pace but when he gets into the final third his play is awful. Too many times he failed to find his man in the box, and then had a chance just before half time but dragged his shot wide.

The one player in this team you have to feel sorry for is Stelios Kitsiou. Again he put in a good performance but had nothing to show for it. He had a chance before half time after creating an opportunity for himself but his shot was deflected just wide.

Into the second half and the best chance of the game came when Thiago Pinto put in an excellent cross for Rivas who volleyed and connected well but his shot was straight at the Keeper Kaplan. He should have scored.

Dogukan and Adis Jahovic had chances for Antalyaspor but one went over the bar and Freidrich made a good save from the other. Ricardo Freidrich then made another excellent save from Fredi after a good counter attacking move from Antalyaspor.

Ilhan Parlak fires well over has been said far too often this season, and he wasted another great chance when he came on. This will hopefully be 1 of many players to move on from Ankaragucu in the summer.

Ricardo Faty had a horrendous last 10 minutes of the game. Firstly he had Freidrich to thank for bailing him out for an awful pass he made. And then a few minutes later he had the best chance of the game to give Ankaragucu the lead. From only 5 yards out and just the keeper to beat he shot straight at Kaplan and that was game over.

Antalyaspor went up the other end minutes later and took the lead through Adis Jahovic who made it 1-0 and gave the visitors all 3 points sending Ankaragucu down into Lig 1.

The end to a bad season for Ankaragucu, but it doesnt say a lot for the Turkish Super Lig when a club who had so many problems off the field, financially and a change of President, that it took until the 2nd last game for them to go down.

Ankaragucu signed 15 new players on the last day of deadline day in January. Only 4 of them started yesterday, Saba, Mikhalak, Lukasik and Rivas. It was also only Rivas first game. The recruitment hasn't been good enough, but when you are left with 1 day to sign new players this is the end result.

The club as usual went through 4-5 new managers in a season too, none of them good enough. This needs to stop and there needs to be some stability. Fatih Mert has to bring in a young manager with a good pedigree that knows the club. Hakan Kutlu and Hakan Keles have both been mentioned. They also need to use the Youth Academy which has been deserted over the last 5 years.

Bringing through young players both from Turkey and abroad and selling them on for profit is the only way the club can survive and see some stability again. Its going to be an interesting few months before the season starts. Lets hope Ankaragucu can bring in the new Manager and players early and dont leave it until the last couple of days again.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Ankaragucu vs Antalyaspor match preview!

Its do or die as they say on Sunday as Ankaragucu host Anyalyaspor knowing that only a win will give them hope of staying in the Super Lig and other results must also go their way.

Ankaragucu gave themselves a lifeline last weekend with a 1-0 win over Galatasaray thanks to an Oscar Scarione penalty. Sadly the performance has been overshadowed again by off field problems with Gerson Rodrigues sent home from the squad due to punching Ante Kulusic in training.

According to reports, this was due to Rodrigues questioning Ibrahim Uzulmez in which Ante Kulusic spoke up and it ended up in a heated argument before Rodrigues threw the punch. The Luxembourg International has been a key player for the club since signing in January but his attitude and behavior seems to be an issue at any club he plays for.

The Ankaragucu management team met this week with the team who refused to forgive Gerson, and the decision was made to terminate his contract. The team will also be without Dever Orgill for Sundays match due to suspension.

This leaves Ibrahim Uzulmez with the decision of giving Gelmin Rivas his first start for the club, or playing Ilhan Parlak. Hopefully Gelmin is giving the nod as Ilhan just isnt good enough to lead the line with his poor control and touch and link up play.

Stelios Kitsiou was rumored to have signed with Antalyaspor after news broke yesterday on Twitter from various Turkish media outlets, but both the player and club have denied this. Kitsiou has been one of the teams most important players and the timing of the news is far from ideal an thankfully has been rubbished.

Antalyaspor are one of the form teams in the Super Lig since football has resumed. Only 1 defeat since they returned with wins against Besiktas, Alanyaspor, Rizespor and a draw at Trabzon shows how difficult a task it will be for Ankaragucu. The experienced Adis Jahovic will be the man to watch as he is one of the best finishers in the Super Lig. Ankaragucu actually tried to sign him in January but due to being unable to lift the transfer ban until the last day they missed out.

With Antalyaspor having nothing to play for, and Ankaragucu fighting for survival the extra motivation should be there for the team. They have also asked for Gerson to be removed from the team, its now up to them to show that it was the correct decision. Konrad Mikhalak and Saba Lobjabidze will be key players in attack and will need to take any chances that come their way.

At the back for Ankaragucu Pazdan and Kulusic were back to their best last weekend and will have Kitsiou and Pinto on either side. Ricardo Faty has come in for a lot of stick from the Ankaragucu support at times, but there is no doubting his effort and work rate. Another big performance will be needed if Ankaragucu are to take all 3 points.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

After the abominations in Konya and Denizli last night when top of the league Basaksehir lost to Konya 4-3, and 2nd top of the league Trabzon lost to Denizli 2-1, Ankaragucu’s future in the Super League is hanging by a thread  !

So, even if Ankaragucu win their last two matches against Antalya and Denizli, they must rely on other results to assist their ‘escape’  !

Ankaragucu is still propping up the league on 29 points.

Above them on 32 points are Malatya, Rize and Kayseri, with Konya one point better off on 33 points.   Denizli is probably looking safe on 35 points.

Rize and Malatya play each other on Sunday and that match has a draw written all over it.

Kayseri travel to Basaksehir and Denizli travel to Alanya on Saturday.

Konya appear to have the most difficult task facing Trabzon away on Saturday.

Basaksehir and Trabzon are still fighting it out at the top of the league, so they will both be looking to bounce back to form after last night’s results.

So, depending on next weekend’s results, it may well come down to the last day of the season on Sunday 26 July to see who is making the drop.

After last night’s shock results I’m wisely not making any predictions.   I’ll keep my thoughts secret to prevent giving any team the kiss of death  !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 13, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

A great result last night in Ankara leaves the door ajar for Ankaragucu to record a famous escape from relegation.     BUT..........only if they can conjure up two more victories in their last two matches, and hope that some of their fellow strugglers slip-up.

The end of the season at both ends of the league table are on a knife edge with still all to play for.   There would have been few punters putting their money on an Ankaragucu win last night against last season’s champions, but for followers of Ankaragucu, we have never given up hope, especially with our famous fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude.

Of course, Galata....spit.....saray is not the same team as last season, but that does not detract from the result last night and Ankaragucu’s determination to refuse to lie-down  !

ANKARAGUCU       1                 Galatasaray         0

Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Pinto, Faty, Pukasik, Saba, Scarione, Michalak and Orgill

I only managed to see the highlights, and it seems to have been one of those end-to-end matches with both goalkeepers kept busy.   Scarione, Orgill and Pazdan had chances and I noticed that Pazdan was also busy in defence with his renowned blocking tackles.

Ricardo had another good match in goal and is quite rightly forcing our other excellent goalkeeper, Korcan, to warm the bench.

The crucial goal came in the 60th minute when a penalty was correctly awarded when an Ankaragucu player was tripped in the box.    Scarione made no mistake with his trademark accuracy  !

With 3 successive defeats, Galata.....spit.....saray is now struggling to qualify for the Europa Cup, BUT we care   ???!!!

With those 3 vital points, Ankaragucu took closer order in the league with the bottom 5 who all play tonight, Rize, Konya, Denizli and Malatya all having difficult matches against teams in the top 5.

So, if Ankaragucu needed motivation then perhaps they will have it later tonight  ?!

Ankaragucu has another home match next Sunday against Antalyaspor which falls into the category of ‘only a win will suffice’   !!

Their destiny is in their own hands now.   Win the remaining two matches and hope for the other 5 teams to slip-up.   Will they manage ‘The Great Escape’   ??

As always, watch this space for the answer.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Gencler took a massive step to secure their Super League status last night in Izmir.    It’s not a done deal yet, but who in their right mind would bet against them retaining their position in the Super League  ?!

Goztepe         1                 GENCLERBIRLIGI           3

Team – Ozbir, Ozgenc, Ramols, Toure, Polomat, Ozdemir, Yilmaz Dikmen, Candeias, Sio and Stancu

Gencler only had 4 shots on target, but they made 3 of them count with their two hit-men doing the biz.

Sio opened the scoring on the half hour mark and Stancu bagged the 2nd on the half time whistle.    Substitute Sessegnon sealed it with a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, and Ozturk scored a consolation goal for Goztepe in time added on.

So, with only 2 matches to go, this welcome win puts Gencler 5 points clear of 3rd bottom Kayseri.   However, the bottom 6 clubs all play tomorrow and Monday which will no doubt change the situation, but as I said, this was a crucial win for Gencler.

First up is Ankaragucu against Galata......spit......saray tonight with Ankaragucu looking like the red hot favourites to go down.      The others (Rize, Kayseri, Konya, Malatya and Denizli) all play on Monday with Konya and Denizli playing against the top 2 (Basak and Trabzon), and Malatya hosting Beshiktrash.

Next up for Gencler is a home match against Beshiktrash next weekend.

As always, watch this space for the outcome.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, July 09, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I was unable to watch the match last night, but it seems that Ankaragucu’s mini-fightback will only delay the inevitable of relegation to The Championship League.     For those of you who were able to watch it, please correct me if you disagree  !

Goztepe           2              ANKARAGUCU           2

Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Ante, Pazdan, Pinto, Faty, Lukasik, Sedat, Ilhan, Rodrigues and Orgill

Under normal circumstances this result would have been classed as acceptable since Goztepe have always been a difficult nut to crack at home.

However, with Ankaragucu propping up the league, one point is insufficient to mount a late revival similar to what Kayseri has achieved   !

Orgill’s goal drought vanished last night as he opened the scoring with a well worked goal after 15 minutes and we could have been forgiven for daring to think of 3 points.      Pessimism returned 10 minutes later when Goztepe was awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge in the box.

Wilczek despatched it, and then Aydogdu put Goztepe ahead in time added on in the 1st half, with an excellent constructed headed goal.

Hopes were raised 15 minutes into the 2nd half when Ankaragucu was awarded a penalty after a needless foul on the goal line on the right which was gratefully put-away by Rodrigues into the right corner of the goal.

From the brief highlights which I was able to watch, Ankaragucu could quite possibly consider themselves unlucky not to have snatched victory from the jaws of yet another 2 points lost.

It was Scarione (returning to the team as a substitute) who almost did the damage with 3 excellent efforts, two of which were only just wide, and the third an excellent save from Beto.

So, It’s back to Ankara to prepare for the visit of deposed champions Galata.....spit......saray on Sunday who will be in no mood to take their foot off the gas.    They may well not be champions this season, but they still have a fight on their hands to win a place in the Europa Cup next season.    An intriguing encounter is guaranteed and a last chance for Ankaragucu to keep their season alive.

As Vitoria Kanka Miguel said to me last night ...........’it is still mathematically possible for Ankaragucu to avoid the drop’ ...............but, with only 3 matches left to play, the clock is ticking  !!

Tonight, Rize (3 points ahead of Ankaragucu) play Kayseri (5 points ahead of Ankaragucu).    Also, Konya (4 points ahead of Ankaragucu) travel to Gaziantep.

As always, watch this space for the outcome.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, July 08, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Just when I’ve written Gencler off as relegation fodder, they bounce back and leave me with ‘egg on my face’  !!     All credit to them for refusing to surrender their Super League status.

GENCLERBIRLIGI       1                Fenerbahce           1

Team – Nordfeldt, Ozgenc, Toure, Ramos, Pehlivanoglu, Ozdemir, Baiano, Candeias, Dikmen, Yilmaz and Stancu.

As I said to Nadeem a few weeks ago, the difference between Gencler and Ankaragucu is that Gencler has Stancu and Ankaragucu has Orgill  !!

He was the difference last night when he opened the scoring on the hour mark.      Fener.....spit.....bahce had the lion’s share of play in the 2nd half and Belozoglu eventually equalised with 10 minutes to go.     However, Gencler held on to win another valuable point in their quest to avoid being sucked into the relegation zone.

Having said that though, they can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet with 3 difficult matches coming up, starting with Goztepe away on Saturday.

It is generally accepted by some of us that Ankaragucu and Malatya will be going down, but who is going to join them remains to be seen  !!

Keep watching this space for the outcome.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 06, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Malatyaspor          0                GENCLERBIRLIGI        0

Team – Nordfeldt, Pehlivanoglu, Toure, Ramos, Ozgenc, Ozdemir, Baiano, Candeias, Ayite, Yilmaz and Stancu

Genclerbirligi fought out a no-scoring draw in Malatya last night and I’m secretly pleased that I wasn’t able to watch it.       Malatya had zero shots on target and Gencler had one  !!     An exciting match  ?      Mmmmmm....... doubtful  !!

So, some Gencler supporters might have been celebrating winning an away point in Malatya last night, but the realists will not be fooled by Gencler’s league position.    Some might say that ‘we are almost safe’ and others might say ‘but not quite’.     Much will hinge on the 4 remaining matches to find out which of the teams in the relegation zone has ‘the bottle’ to climb out of danger.

There are 7 teams who could drop down, with Ankaragucu being the favourite.   The other 2 places are not so easy to estimate, but looking at Gencler’s 4 remaining fixtures, I would not bet against them sliding into the relegation zone, eg, with Fener, Goztepe, Sivas and Beshiktrash coming up, it will require a mega effort to collect points from those matches.

Of course, it is not mission impossible, but much will depend on the home match against Fener......spit....bahce tomorrow night.

Watch this space for the outcome.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, July 05, 2020


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With only 4 matches left to avoid relegation, there is little or no hope left for Ankaragucu to remain in the Super League next season.     However, some supporters may still dream of a miracle in the next 3 weeks, and of course, it is still mathematically possible to stay up, but for the realists among us, the door slammed shut last night in Ankara  !!

ANKARAGUCU      1                  Alanyaspor       4

Team – Ricardo, Atila, Pazdan, Kulusic, Kitsiou, Faty, Pinto, Lukasik, Saba, Michalak, and Orgill

Unfortunately, Scarione is injured and our playmaker was sorely missed last night  !

Ricardo was in fine form to deny Alanya in the 1st half, but Ankaragucu had a golden opportunity to go in 1-0 up at half time when Ankaragucu was awarded a penalty just before the break when Orgill was brought down in the box.

Orgill took the penalty and his shot to the left was easily saved.    How to score from a penalty was ably demonstrated by Alanya’s Bakasetas in the 2nd half with a ferocious shot to the right which gave Ricardo no chance.

I must admit to having high hopes for Orgill this season, but I very much doubt if he will be around next season  !!     After all, a strike rate of 4 goals in a season is an unacceptable statistic for a supposed striker  !!

Ankaragucu paid for their profligacy with the impressive Cisse opening the flood gates in the 64th minute, and 2 minutes later it was all over when Bulut added the 2nd.

The penalty which I mentioned followed 10 minutes later, before substitute Rivas scored for Ankaragucu.   Fernandes put the nail into Ankaragucu’s coffin just before the final whistle.

So, Ankaragucu remain the team propping up the league on 25 points.   The 3 teams above them all play tonight and could possibly isolate Ankaragucu even further.

The Konya v Rize match has a draw written all over it, while improving Kayseri has the wherewithal to cause an upset when they host Beshiktrash.

As for Ankaragucu, the summit is beyond them now.   It looks like the slide downhill to The Championship League with a visit to Goztepe on Wednesday, followed by a home match against Galata.....spit.....saray next Sunday.

Sad to say, I have cancelled my new order of optimism pills  !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim