Firstly, I just wanted to send my condolences to Chris and the Wade family. I know myself and Jim haven't felt like doing the match reports and reviews of late due to the tragic passing of young Matthew. The tributes from both Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi fans in particular of late have shown how well loved he was and part of the Gencler family. He wont ever be forgotten by the Ankara football community. RIP Matthew.
Its been 10 years since Ankaragucu last won a match against Trabzonspor. A sole strike from Robert Vittek gave Ankaragucu a 1-0 victory but since then it has been 5 defeats and 3 draws. That Ankaragucu team under Roger Lemerre had some quality players in Marek Sapara, Jan Rajnoch, Geremi, Stanislav Sestak, Jerome Rothen (who was terrible at Rangers but managed to have a successful spell at Ankaragucu) managed to avoid relegation after a good run towards the end of the season.
Fuat Capa was sacked after the embarrassing performance and 3-1 defeat at the weekend against Goztepe. There is no doubting Capa had a tough task as Ankaragucu manager with the large turnover of players, lack of pre season preparation and Covid. But he has had plenty of time at the club and his signing policy and tactical decisions in particular are what led to his demise. His comments after the game that the International Break has saw a good performance against Goztepe in the first have are evidence that his expectations of an Ankaragucu team are not in line with what the club and fans expect.
The club will now look at candidates from both Turkey and abroad with the most likely option of it being someone local. The Fatih Mert era has failed with every managerial appointment so far and sadly most dont have confidence that he will chose the right man this time around.
Mustafa Dalci who was assistant manager at the club when Mustafa Resit Akcay was manager, and lasted only 2 months as Komurspor manager will now take charge of the clubs match with Trabzonspor on Friday. Fatih Mert denied that he will be the clubs new Manager and instead said he will be Assistant and work with the new manager when he is appointed.
The problem for any new Manager looking to take the Ankaragucu job, is the mess that Fuat Capa has left. The new signings mostly dont look anywhere near the quality of what is expected of a Super Lig team. The players also look unfit and there is no money available to strengthen the team. Will any manager want to damage their reputation?
Ricardo Freidrich, Michal Pazdan, Ante Kulusic and Stelios Kitsiou were all key players forming a solid defence along with Thiago Pinto. None of these players have played any where near their best under Fuat Capa except Pinto who has missed a lot due to injury.
From the new signings Sahverdi, Atakan, Borven and Paintsil have showed glimpses of potential. Assane and Voca cant show anything until the are fit, Sarlija has been playing out of position and the likes of Bolingi, Adzic, Mucahit havent been anywhere near good enough. We should also see the end of Saba Lobjanidze playing for the club, a football player who doesnt score goals or create assists is useless in attack.
Trabzonspor have had their own issues this season losing key players such as Jose Sosa, Alexander Sorloth, and John Obi Mikel without replacing them with similar quality. Benek Afobe and Lewis Baker have come in from England but Afobe in particular has come in for some criticism. Replacing Sorloth is a difficult task.
The Black Sea outfit are one of the most entertaining sides to watch in Turkey but also the most frustrating. With the demise of the Istanbul teams there was an opportunity for them to win a title, but they blew it on 2 different occasions much to the disappointment of their loyal fans.
Eddie Newton was sacked as manager a couple of weeks ago and has been replaced with Abdullah Avci which is a good appointment for the club. He will be looking to bring in some stability to the squad and started with a clean sheet and 1-0 victory over Erzerumspor at the weekend.
The good news for Ankaragucu is that despite being rooted to the bottom of the table with 0 wins to their name, no club in the Turkish Super League are unbeatable. If Ankaragucu can at least be well organised and find that team spirit they could get a result, but they will need to be at their best.
For this match i would look at a 4-4-1-1 formation to suit Alper Potuk and be solid at the back. Let us know your thoughts.
GK - Freidrich - Im starting to lose my patience with Ricardo and he needs to up his game otherwise his place is under threat. I would give him 1 more opportunity for him to get back to last seasons form.
RB - Cebrail - I would be looking to push Kitsiou further forward as we dont have any other wide players we can trust at the moment both defensively and in attack. Cebrail has come under some criticism in the past but he has also had some good performances too and if the team keeps its shape i think he will be fine.
CB - Pazdan - Unusual poor performance from him at the weekend, he will be extremely disappointed. But a new manager and fresh start. Its vital he forgets about last week and focuses on the challenge ahead.
CB - Erdi - This was a toss up between Erdi and Sarlija as both have struggled. I do however think when both are at their best and not making mistakes Erdi is the better player. If we can limit him to making decisions and just allowing the midfield to try and create while also giving him protection i think he will be much better. He is also very strong in the air.
LB - Pinto - If he is fit we need Pinto back ASAP as he is one of the biggest attacking threats in the team with his delivery into the box which is key for Borven who has proved he can score goals if given the opportunity.
RM - Stelios Kitsiou - Both Saba and Adzic have failed to score a single goal or add an assist and we are 3 months into the season. I would work with Adzic and give him a place on the bench but Saba should be released from his contract. Kitsiou gives you balance in the team as he can help Cebrail defend but also is a big attacking threat going forward.
CM - Atakan Cankaya - The one thing i expect of any Ankaragucu is commitment and Atakan is one of the few players who can hold his head high. He still has a lot of improvement and parts of his game to work on but his work rate and breaking up the play is something we need especially protecting the defence when Cebrail and Pinto go forward.
CM - Daniel Lukasik - I was tempted to go with Sahverdi but i have opted with Lukasik due to his experience and we have seen in the past he can be a reliable player in midfield. I actually think he was unlucky to come off at the weekend and the team looked worse when he came off.
LM - Joseph Paintsil - First game back last week was frustrating and he will be looking to improve on this weeks outing. Has the ability and pace to cause problems on the counter attack. Decision making is key and getting close to Borven creating chances.
CAM - Alper Potuk - Wasnt happy at getting left out of the team at the weekend and was poor when he came on. The formation with two defensive midfielders and a more conservative wide player in Kitsiou allows Potuk to go and play and concentrate on creating instead of tracking back into his own half as he doesnt have the fitness to cover the full pitch. He needs to get close to Borven and make sure he isnt isolated and create chances for the big Norwegian.
CF - Torgeir Borven - If you create chances for him he will score. He is a penalty box striker and the team need to find a way of creating for him. It shouldnt even be up for debate who starts between him and the useless Bolingi.