Sunday, February 28, 2021

Hatayspor 4-1 Ankaragücü


I’m still too angry to talk about this match after another embarrassing defeat this time 4-1 at Hatayspor. It all started soo well when Borven gave Ankaragücü the lead after nice build up play from Endri and Saba. But a moment of absolute madness and selfishness from Joseph Paintsil saw Ankaragücü again have to play a large part of the match with 10 men.

Hatayspor were too good for Ankaragücü especially with 10 men and Babajide Akintola got a standing ovation for his performance scoring 2 goals along with Mame Biram Diouf to give Hatayspor all 3 points.

The contrast between these two clubs are quite significant. One has managed to build one of the most entertaining teams in Turkey with excellent scouting and picking up bargains. The other (Ankaragücü) have now signed nearly 40 players in the Fatih Mert era and not one of them has performed at an acceptable level.

On Wednesday we move onto Galatasaray who are the form team in the league and another uphill task for Ankaragücü.

Friday, February 26, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler won’t have a better chance of halting their winless sequence of matches than they had today at the Eryaman Stadium when they played against 10 man Malatya for 50 minutes.


It is now 9 consecutive matches played without winning and Gencler must now seriously consider playing next season in The Championship if the elusive win doesn’t come soon.


With 69% possession today they only managed 3 shots on target, and with all due respect to Malatya, they probably won’t have a better chance than they had today against a very average Malatya team.


GENCLERBIRLIGI           1                 Yeni Malatyaspor              1


Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Arda, Mustafa, Pehlivan, Candeias, Piris, Soner, Lucas Mugni, Ayite and Sandro Lima


Substitutes – Polomat, Yilmaz, Yildirim and Sertn


Both teams were set-up for attack, but it was Malatya who looked more likely to open the scoring in the first 20 minutes until a vital decision swung the match the other way.    


In Gencler’s first serious attack, Ayite broke free, but as he was about to enter the box and shoot, he was brought down by Semih and went sprawling into the box.     The referee immediately produced the yellow card, but before the free kick could be taken he received a message in his earpiece.      He then consulted VAR and returned to the field to produce a RED card and off Semih went.


Gencler took control of the match at this point and almost opened the scoring 8 minutes later when Soner had a great chance.    A cross came in from the right and Soner shot inside the 6 yard box only to see his shot well saved for a corner.


5 minutes later following yet another Gencler corner, there was a quick clearance and the quick break was on.   Kaya and Tetteh raced away together with the Gencler defence caught out and Kaya made an inch perfect pass to Tetteh who shrugged off a defender’s challenge and shot inside the right post.


Gencler continued to attack the 10 men and Johanssen was unlucky to see his shot from just outside the box hit the bar.     Then, just before the half time whistle Soner had his free kick from just outside the box well saved for a corner.


Hibs loanee, Stevie Mallan, had a fairly quiet 1st half and was replaced by Ankaragucu ‘olde boy’, Umut Bulut.


Into the 2nd half and 10 man Malatya was weathering the Gencler attacks and it seemed to me at this stage of the match that they would hold out for all 3 points.    However, Gencler received a helping hand from Lady Luck in the 60th minute.     Ayite sent a screamer of a shot from just outside the box which hit the post, bounced off, hit the grounded goalkeeper, and ricocheted off him and in.


10 minutes later it was Gencler’s turn to see RED when Ayite brought down Tetteh from behind when he was in full flow and heading for the penalty box.   


5 minutes later and Malatya missed a golden opportunity to win the match when Mustafa was put through one-on-one with Nordfeldt, but his shot went just past the post.


Gencler move off the bottom spot of the league at least until tomorrow.     If Ankaragucu can take at least one point off Hatay then Gencler will once again prop the league up.


Two upcoming crucial matches for Gencler to haul themselves out of trouble.    However, unless they can find inspiration in the final 3rd to score goals, it will be a big ask.    They travel to Gaziantep on Tuesday and are back at home next Sunday against Basaksehir.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Hatayspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!


The last few games we have been must win games for Ankaragucu against fellow relegation candidates Erzurumspor, Kayserispor and Rizespor. Unfortunately Ankaragucu took only 2 points from those games and leave themselves a mountain to climb with the run of fixtures coming up. 

First up is a tough away match against high flying Hatayspor who have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion to the Super Lig. The good news for Ankaragucu is Star player Aaron Boupendza is suspended for Hatay after picking up a yellow card in their last match. Boupendza has been arguably the best player in the Super Lig this season since his remarkable 100k move to the club in the summer. 

Boupendza is just one example of the excellent scouting work that has went on at Hatay with the likes of Adama Traore, Rayanne Abaid, David Akinola, Mame Biram Diouf and Moahmmed Kamara all impressing. 

Mohammed Kamara was picked up on a free transfer from Menemen in the Turkish 2nd tier while Boupendza a 100k signing from the 2nd tier in Portugal. While Ankaragucu continue to sign failure after failure and build a team with loan signings, Hatay have got it right and Boupendza is in talks this week over an 8 Million Euros move to Krasnodar in Russia. 

Hikmet Karaman took control of his 2nd Ankaragucu match last weekend and will be disappointed they never took all 3 points against a poor Rizespor side. Team selection with Atilla and Saba both starting was a big mistake and those two should not find themselves in the starting line up this week if Ankaragucu have any hope of taking anything from the game. 

A change of formation may be the right move for Karaman with 4-4-1-1 an option. Endri can come into that left midfield position and Saba can take his place on the bench. Sarlija will return from suspension while Badji is also available for selection after he picked up a knock.

The last time the two sides met Ankaragucu won 2-0 at home and will be hoping or a similar performance this time round. They are 5 points from safety and its looking more unlikely as the weeks go by that the team can get out of this relegation fight. 

The key factor for Ankaragucu in this match will be keeping it tight at the back and taking any chances that come their way. Hatay are a very good attacking side and its important Ankaragucu keep their shape and dont give away any silly chances. 

My Team

Korcan -GK- Has cemented his place as Number 1 under Hikmet Karaman and will need to be at his best as he will likely be busy this weekend.

Kitsiou - RB - Hopefully with the last 2 full games under his belt he is getting back to full fitness whcih will come at a crucial time for the club.

Sarlija - CB - Will return to the starting line up after suspension and a welcome addition.

Kulusic - CB - Played in the last 2 games and will likely get the nod ahead of Erdi.

Pinto - LB -Need him to be fit, a key player when he is in the team but too often injured this season.

Lukaskik - CM - Again one of the first names on the timesheet and his experience will be vital tomorrow. 

Voca - CM - Slowly getting better with the run of games in the team. His passing forward can be vital for the attacking players when playing on the counter attack.

Endri - LM - Should come back into the team ahead of Saba. Important if he is given the opportunity that he keeps the ball and creates for the attacking players. Also vital at set pieces. 

Geraldo - RM - Has shown in his short spells when coming on that he is good with the ball and can also put a good cross into the box for the likes of Borven and Badji.

Paintsil - FW - Paintsil works had and i would like to see him in a more central position just off the main striker who he can support, but also fall back into midfield when we are defending. 

Borven - Striker - Played the last two games and scored an important goal at the weekend. Best finisher in the team and should keep his place in the team.

Monday, February 22, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu scorned a great opportunity to make a genuine attempt to exit the relegation zone tonight in the Eryaman Stadium.


With 72% possession in the 1st half they should have had the ammunition to put the match to bed against an average Rize team.   However, they finished the match with 55% possession and ran out of ideas how to break down the Rize defence.


ANKARAGUCU          1                       Rizespor             1


Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Erdi, Atila, Ibrahim, Voca, Saba, Lukasic, Paintsil and Borven


Substitutes – Endri, Pinto and Geraldo


Ankaragucu shot themselves in the foot in the 2nd minute of the match with some schoolboy defending from Rize’s first attack.    A pass was made inside the Rize half to the left where an attacker had all the time in the world to control the ball and send in a cross to the back post which should have been dealt with by Erdi.    However, he allowed Donsah first bite and he sent in a header just inside the right post with Korcan flat-footed probably expecting Erdi to clear the ball.


Ankaragucu was up to their old negative tactics of having lots of possession in their own half and midfield, but clueless what to do with the ball in the final third  !     Also, the 4 Ankaragucu corners were weak and sent straight to Rize defenders at the near post with none of them going into the danger zone where the Ankaragucu attackers were waiting.     This is something for Hikmet Bey to resolve   !!!


Ankaragucu eventually had a shot on target on the half hour mark but Paintsil shot tamely at the goalkeeper when he really should have buried it   !


Half time approaching and I must confess to thinking that we would lose this match when Borven showed his predatory instinct 2 minutes into time added on.    Ankaragucu had a free kick just outside the box on the right which was sent into the danger zone and headed clear by a defender straight to the unmarked Borven.    He calmly stroked the ball in to the right with the goalkeeper stranded.


Ankaragucu only had one other serious effort in the 2nd half when Endri’s goal bound free kick just outside the box was well saved.    From the resultant corner, Kulusic (I think) headed just past the post.


Korcan saved a goal bound shot at the other end when he saved at the near post from a free kick on the right.


Ankaragucu move above Gencler at the bottom with both on the same points.     However, with Ankaragucu still 5 points off the safety zone the future is looking gloomy.  


Taking only 1 point from fellow strugglers Rize and Kayseri last week does not bode well for the run-in, especially the next 5 matches against quality opposition.    Hatay (6th), Galata.....spit.....saray (1st), Fatih (8th), Goztepe (10th) and Trabzon (4th).


It goes without saying that Ankaragucu must take something from those matches starting with the visit to Hatay on Saturday.


As always, we live in hope   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, February 21, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler slumped to defeat in Denizli yesterday and have now gone 8 matches without winning.


They were outplayed in the 1st half and conceded to an excellent goal of individual brilliance.


Gencler stepped up their momentum in the 2nd half but for all their efforts only managed one shot on target out of 12.    The others were wild shots sent high and wide with no danger for Cenk in the Denizli goal.


It was pleasing to see old Ankaragucu Captain, Hakan Kutlu, on the touchline for Denizli.    No criticism of Hikmet Karaman intended, but he is the next Ankaragucu Coach  (I told you first  !!).


Denizlispor            1                       GENCLERBIRLIGI          0


Team – Nordfeldt, Polomat, Toure, Arda, OmurCan, Piris, Soner, Ayite, Furman, Candeias and Sandro Lima


Substitutes – Mugni, Srdan, Pehlivan and Ilker


It was clear from the outset that Denizli was determined to attack and they set out 4-3-3 to do it.


Rodallega hit the post with a shot just outside the box in the 13th minute, and that set the scene for the 1st half with Gencler pinned back in defence for the most part.


5 minutes later and Mesanovic picked up a pass on the half way line and made for the penalty box.    With 2 defenders playing catch-up, he still had time to look up and guide his shot just inside the right post with Nordfeldt just managing to get his fingertips to the ball.    A classic striker’s goal   !


Rodallega and Sagal were a constant threat throughout the match and again Rodallega was unlucky on the half hour mark when his goal bound shot was deflected at the last second for a corner.


The only moment of danger for Denizli came half way through the 2nd half when Soner had a great chance to hook the ball into the unguarded goal at the far post, but somehow he contrived to miss the ball completely and it went out of play.


Rodallega had 2 more chances to increase the lead for Denizli.     The first was well saved by Nordfeldt and the second was a long range shot which hit the post and was then saved by Nordfeldt.


Gencler’s confidence must be shot to pieces and they could very well end up bottom of the league tomorrow night if Ankaragucu beat Rize.     However, they have a glimmer of hope with a home match against struggling Yeni Malatya next Friday.    The stark reality is that with time running out, Gencler must start winning points.   One point from their last 8 matches is a relegation statistic   !!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, February 19, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Rizespor match preview!


We have been saying it for a month now, but Monday nights match with Rizespor is another must win match for Ankaragucu if they are to have any chance of staying in the Turkish Super Lig. Spirits are high after a hard fought point against Kayserispor last weekend despite playing 70 minutes of the match with 10 men due to the Michal Pazdan sending off. 

Its another match against a relegation candidate on Monday as Ankaragucu host Rizespor knowing only a win will be acceptable as the team need to start picking up 3 points. Hikmet Karaman marked his return as manager and you can already see the togetherness of the squad, and his influence in the training ground. Some of his tactical decisions were the reason Ankaragucu took a point from last weekends match. 

Michal Pazdan will miss out due to suspension after his ridiculous challenge that let his team mates down. It could signal the end of his Ankaragucu career unless he proves in training that he deserves a second chance. Atakan Cankaya picked up an injury and will also miss out. 

Ante Kulusic marked his return to the team for the first time in 5 months with an excellent performance at the back. He will likely come into the starting line up with Erdi Dikmen due to the suspension of Sarlija. Pinto should also return which is a boost for the team. 

Borven was given the nod up front and will likely start again as Hikmet kept faith with the Norwegian for 90 minutes last week. It will be important for Ankaragucu to create chances for Borven and Endri Cikici replacing Emre Gural could be an option. 

Daniel Lukasik has shown how important he is to the team in midfield and will hopefully come back into the starting line up alongside Voca. They will be vital to protecting the defence while getting the ball forward quickly to the attacking players. 

Rizespor have only won 1 of their last 11 games in the Super Lig and lost 2-0 at home against Erzurumspor last weekend. They won 5-3 the last time the two sides met after a controversial sending off of Alper Potuk. 

Thankfully for Ankaragucu the man who played a huge part in that victory Loic Remy misses out due to injury. Former Ankaragucu players Gokhan Akkan and Konrad Mikhalak will both likely start with the former in particular a key player for the club. 

Brian Samudio is a player i have always liked for Rizespor and will be one of the main dangermen in attack. This is however a game Ankaragucu should be winning and have more than enough quality to take the 3 points. 

Predicted Team

GK - Korcan  - Man of the match last weekend with multiple important saves. He will keep the number 1 jersey for the time being. 

RB - Kitsiou - Looked rusty in the first half last week, but he was outstanding in the 2nd half and will be regaining that match fitness at an important time.

CB - Kulusic - Will make his first start after an impressive return to the team last week. His experience could be invaluable for the remainder of the season.

CB - Erdi - Will likely start due to suspensions of Pazdan and Sarlija while Atakan is out injured. Needs to keep things simple and concentrate for 90 minutes. Hopefully Kulusic next to him will be a help.

LB - Pinto - Should return to the lineup after missing last weeks game. 

CM - Voca - Played ok last week but still feel he has more to offer, hopefully with a run of games we will see the best of him.

CM - Lukasik - One of the first names on the team sheet when fit. 

RW - Paintsil - Played well last week, want to see more from him in attack this week as a lot of his work was done defensively due to the team playing with 10 men.

LW - Saba - For me he has 1 more game otherwise he will be dropped to the bench. He has had 1 good month the whole season back in December and is now back to poor passing, poor finishing and just running up and down the pitch. 

CAM - Endri - Surprised last week when Emre took his place in the team. He was poor and Endri should come back in and take his place. 

CF - Borven - Worked hard last week without any service in attack. Hopefully this week we can be on the front foot and create chances for him.

Monday, February 15, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler is still searching for their first win since the 6th of January after 6 defeats and 1 draw in their last 7 matches.


They were no match for Beshiktrash today in a snowy Ankara as they toiled to deal with the crisp passing and fast breaks by BJK.


Cenk returned to Besiktas from England and he put the match to bed late in the 2nd half with 2 goals after heroics by Nordfeldt to keep Gencler in the match with a string of excellent saves.


GENCLERBIRLIGI           0               Besiktas            3


Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Arda, Toure, Polomat, Soner, Furman, Candeias, Lucas, Yilmaz and Ayite


Substitutes – Stancu, Sertn and Ilker


Besiktas was straight into attack from the off and they scored a sublime goal in the 3rd minute.   Ghezzal was about 25 yards out on the right when he received a pass.    He drifted past a defender’s attempted tackle and fired in a bullet to the top left corner of the goal with Nordfeldt diving in despair.


Nordfeldt was the hero in the 21st minute when he saved a certain goal when one-on-one with an attacker.


Gencler had their only genuine chance of the match on the half hour mark when Candeias was one-on-one with the Besiktas goalkeeper, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper as he rushed out to narrow the angle.


The 2nd half was mostly all about the continued heroics of Nordfeld as he thwarted Besiktas on numerous occasions.     However, he could do little about the 2nd goal when Besiktas broke fast on the left and a precise pass was played into Cenk who stroked the ball in with Nordfeldt helpless.   VAR was used, but the goal was allowed.


3 minutes into time added on and the Gencler defence was caught out again with a fast break.    The ball was played to the left goal-line where Arda should have dealt with it, but he somehow got himself in a tangle and was robbed of the ball.    It was cut-back to the unmarked Cenk who gave Nordfeldt no chance with his shot inside the right post.


The statistics don’t favour Gencler who had only 1 shot on target in the match as opposed to Besiktas who had 9.


Gencler is back in action on Saturday when they travel to bottom Club Denizli who have 18 points.    Gencler sit in 3rd bottom place on 20 points, and sandwiched between them is Ankaragucu on 19 points.


It’s a big ‘6 Pointer’ and is sure to be a tense struggle.   


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Kayserispor 0-0 Ankaragücü - Match Report!


Hikmet Karaman had an eventful first game back as Ankaragücü manager today as his side had to play most of the game with 10 men due to a moment of madness from Michal Pazdan. At one point it looked like Kayserispor would go on and win comfortably, but some excellent tactical decisions from Karaman and hard work from the team saw the game end 0-0 and a valuable point for Ankaragücü.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Sarlija, Atilla, Atakan, Voca, Paintsil, Saba, Emre, Borven

Subs - Freidrich, Erdi, Orkan, Kulusic, Assane, Ali Kaan, Badji, Lukasik, Endri, Geraldo

Kayserispor started the match brightly and looked a lot livelier than Ankaragücü who couldn’t keep hold of the ball. Kayseri were pressing Ankaragücü every time they had the ball with the likes of Atakan, Emre Gural and Sarlija giving away possession cheaply. 

The home side had the ball in the back of the net after only 3 minutes when Uğur Demirok fired home from 5 yards but Kitsiou was adjudged to have been fouled at the back post and the goal was ruled out.

Ten minutes later former Ankaragücü player Ilhan Parlak saw his weak effort easily saved by Korcan. Only a few min after that he almost got lucky when his cross was sneaking just under the crossbar but Korcan tipped the ball over. From the resulting corner Uğur again was unmarked and had a great chance but fired over.

Then came the big moment in the game. Emre gave the ball away with Kayserispor on the counter attack down the left hand side. Aaron Lennon got to the ball first but Pazdan dived in with a reckless challenge and was shown a red card. A stupid decision by Pazdan with all his experience in such an important game for the club.

Aaron Lennon had the best chance of the game after he beat Atilla and only had Korcan to beat, but the experienced Goalkeeper somehow managed to produce an excellent save and keep the score level. On the 32nd minute Kayserispor had another unchallenged effort in the box but they were again off target.

Ilhan on the 36th minute saw his shot from distance saved by Korcan who was having a good game and keeping the fight for survival alive.

Ankaragücü had to wait until just before half time for their first chance of the game when Saba set up Voca but his shot was deflected wide.

Half Time 0-0

Into the second half and another chance for Kayserispor, this time Lukassen but his shot was deflected over the bar. Ararmovski then saw his free kick saved by Korcan before Ankaragücü had a great chance on the counter attack with Saba and Paintsil but the former again wasted the final ball. 

Campagnaro had a shot from distance saved by Korcan and then in the dying minutes of the game both Sapunaru and Maglica but both wasted their chances and Ankaragücü hung on for the point.

After the match Hikmet Karaman kept the whole team on the pitch and congratulated them for their performance. Next up is Rizespor a week on Monday and another 6 pointer against another struggling team.

A lot of praise is due to Ante Kulusic who game on as a sub for the injured Atakan. His first game in 6 months and he played a big part along with Korcan and Lukasic taking a point from the game.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Kayserispor vs Ankaragucu match review!


Its been a positive week for Ankaragucu after the appointment of Hikmet Karaman who returns for his 4th spell at the club. His arrival has been met with the approval of Ankaragucu fans who see him as the perfect candidate to take Ankaragucu to safety and avoid the drop. 

Like most Turkish Coaches, if you look at Hikmet Karamans CV you will notice that this is his 22nd position as Manager since his first club Zeytinburnuspor in 1998. A remarkable amount of clubs for any manager but this is the Norm in Turkey. 

You have to look beyond that to see, the experienced coach who speaks Turkish, English and German which will be a big factor in his move to Ankaragucu with so many foreign players in the squad. Instead of using an interpreter, he can communicate with the players himself. 

He also has a wealth of experience in guiding teams to safety having done so many times in the past with the likes of Erzurumspor, Ankaraspor, Kayserispor and previously with Ankaragucu. Hikmet is also known for his man management skills which is invaluable especially with teams struggling with confidence. 

His greatest achievement in the game is taking a struggling Kocaelispor from the relegation zone to safety and winning the Turkish Cup in 2001. It meant Kocaeli qualified for the UEFA Cup where they met Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side and produced one of the biggest results in Turkish Football history as they won 4-1.

Even at the age of 60 Hikmet Karaman is still learning and trying to better himself in the game. You just have to look at his Instagram and Linkedin accounts and you will see the amount of self learning and training he puts himself through. 

Saturday is arguably the one of the biggest games in many years for Ankaragucu as they take on fellow relegation strugglers Kayserispor. A defeat in this match would almost certainly see Ankaragucu play in Lig 1 next season which would be financially damaging for the club.

Its a clean slate for every player in the Ankaragucu squad to play his part and prove that they deserve a place in the starting line up. The likes of Torgeir Borven and Sahverdi Cetin both have the opportunity now to fight for their place in the team. Both have the talent but have been mostly starved of opportunities by Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci.

Early team news is that Joseph Paintsil and Endri Cekici both return from suspension, while Stelios Kitsiou and Michal Pazdan are both back and available too. It looks like the game will come to early for Daniel Lukasik.

Dan Petrescu and his Kayserispor side have been on good form since the start of January and have only lost 1 of their last 5 games. They have beaten Malatyaspor, Denizlispor, Basaksehir and Kasimpasa since the new year too. 

The good news for Ankaragucu is that Denis Alibec one of their Key players is out for the rest of the season with injury. Kayserispor have signed Kevin Luckasen in the January window who comes in as his replacement, while Aaron Lennon the former England International will be looking to help his team to safety. Former Ankaragucu player Ilhan Parlak will also be in the squad and hoping to get one over his former team. 

Hikmet Karaman will no doubt be spending the next few days watching over footage of the previous Ankaragucu games. Their needs to be a settled back 4 from now until the end of the season otherwise Ankaragucu are going to concede silly goals every  week. 

Building a foundation at the back and having all his midfielders and attacking players available should at least give Hikmet food for thought. Every single Ankaragucu fan will be behind him and the team and hoping he can guide us to safety.

Team Prediction

Goalkeeper - Ricardo Freidrich - Was rightly dropped and hopefully the spell on the bench will have done him good and he can get back to the form he showed last season.

Right Back  - Stelios Kitsiou - If Ankaragucu are to stay up its imperative that they get Kitsiou back to full fitness. Big player for the club.

Centre Back - Zvonimir Sarlija - My one criticism of Sarlija is he dives too much. He needs to concetrate on being a defender and show how good a player he actually is. 

Centre Back - Michal Pazdan - Again he needs games to get his fitness back, but a steady partnership with Sarlija can be key to Ankaragucu staying up.

Left Back - Thiago Pinto - I think Thiago will also benefit from a settled defence and playing in the same position every week.

CM - Idris Voca - He is the one player in midfield who can pass both short and long. With a run of games under the right manager he can be an important player. 

CM - Atakan Cankaya - With Lukasik out Atakan can been the ball winner in the middle of the park but needs to show discipline and improve on his passing game. His work rate is invaluable to the team.

RW - Joseph Paintsil - Comes back into the team after his suspension. Needs to stop letting his team down and concentrate on scoring goals and creating chances which he has proved he is good at. 

CAM - Endri Cekici - Great to have Endri back after his suspension. Not his ideal position but he is the only player possibly along with Alper who can play in this position. Alper has so fair failed to impress. 

LW - Saba Lobjanidze - After a great month in December, Saba has been back to his old self of poor crossing and finishing. Another key player who needs to find that consistency again and start finding the net. 

CF - Torgeir Borven - Create chances for him and he will score goals. Hopefully Hikmet Karaman can be the one to bring out the best of him.

Sahverdi Cetin, Geraldo and Badji all have the opportunity to fight for their place in the team too but need to improve their fitness first. Ibrahim until he stops getting booked every game and starts concentrating on his game will need to fight for his place in the team.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Hikmet Karaman makes Ankaragucu return!


After another poor performance and result at the weekend, Mustafa Dalci resigned from his position as Ankaragucu manager. After a good run of results in December, Ankaragucu have won 1 and lost 7 of their last 8 games. Dalci at least had the decency to walk away and allow a more experienced manager to come in and try and save Ankaragucu from relegation.

Former Ankaragucu manager Hikmet Karaman who was last with the club in 2009 when i first started supporting the club, has agreed a 1.5 year contract with the club and will take charge of his first match on Saturday against Kayserispor.

Karaman is a manager who can motivate players and get the best out of them. He has faced similar tasks in the past and has been successful. Hopefully he can start with the game against Kayseri which is a must win match against another relegation rival.

We will have the match preview of that match later in the week, but for the time being, good luck to Hikmet Karaman and welcome home!

Sunday, February 07, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Relegation was always likely, even after last season’s reprieve, but now even more so with Ankaragucu seemingly cut adrift at the bottom of the league alongside Denizli and 6 points away from the escape zone.   Granted, 6 points may not seem much at first glance, but with Ankaragucu’s recent performances, there can be little hope for a miracle escape.


Ankaragucu’s 2nd Coach of the season, Mustafa Dalci, has now gone after this recent match, and  there is little hope at this stage of the season of bringing in a competent Coach to wave a magic wand   !


ANKARAGUCU          1                      Sivasspor         4


Team – Korcan, Atakan, Pazdan, Erdi, Pinto, Voca, Saba, Ibrahim, Emre, Alper and Badji


Substitutes – Kitsiou, Orkan, Borven and Geraldo


The writing was on the wall as early as the 9th minute when Ankaragucu gave away a needless penalty.    A Sivas attacker was heading into the penalty box on the left with Erdi by his side on the goal side.    Then Pazdan came in from the other side and looked like he stood on his foot, but in my opinion the attacker looked to be running out of space and the ball may well have gone out of play.    However, the referee blew for a penalty against Pazdan and Max stepped up to send in a bullet to the centre with Korcan diving to his left.


Then another crisis in the 20th minute when the referee blew for another penalty against Ibrahim who had tackled a defender just inside the box.    Ibraham looked to have won the tackle but in the process the ball ricocheted up and hit his arm before the ball was cleared.   The referee obviously had a message in his earpiece and therefore called for VAR.    After consulting it himself his disallowed the penalty.   It was obviously ball to hand, but the new rule on this subject is confusing, even for referees, but thankfully common sense prevailed in this case.


At this stage of the match Ankaragucu was still in it and 5 minutes later they should have equalised when Badji received a pass in the 6 yard box but sent his weak shot straight at the goalkeeper.   Then one minute later and it was Emre’s turn to have his shot saved by the goalkeeper.     Badji had another good chance on the half hour mark when he received a long range pass and then blasted his shot wide of the left post when he should have done better.


Further chances fell to Ankaragucu before the half time whistle but Emre was caught dithering when Pinto sent him a perfect pass, and then Saba had a volleyed shot just outside the box which flew over the bar.


The 2nd half was only 2 minutes old when Sivas scored No2 and it was a great piece of skill by Kayode with help from the Ankaragucu defence.    He received a pass from inside his own half and went scurrying down the left wing.    He cut inside into the box and eluded Erdi’s feeble tackle and wrong footed another tackle, and then sent the shot inside the left post with Korcan grounded for some reason.    He was probably expecting the shot to be sent to the right post ??!!


Geraldo was the only Ankaragucu player who looked as though they had a football brain, and once he is up to full fitness I’m sure he will be an asset to the team.    He set-up the Ankaragucu goal in the 65th minute with  good work down the right.    He reached the goal line and played a perfect cut-back for Orkan to shoot.    The goalkeeper and defender tried to clear the shot but only helped the ball in.


If we were expecting the equaliser we were sadly disappointed 3 minutes later when Sivas restored their 2 goal advantage.      There was a fast Sivas break on the left and when the cross came in there was only Pinto there to defend against 2 attackers.    It was too easy for Sivas and the ball was stroked in with Korcan helpless.


3 minutes from the final whistle and Sivas made it 4 with what I thought was a blatant offside.    The linesman agreed with me, but he was over-ruled by the referee.     However, by that stage in the match Ankaragucu was a well beaten side.


However, it could have been so different if they had taken their chances and had the players to actually convert all their chances.


It is a sad reflection that Ankaragucu had 64% possession in the match and yet managed to lose by such a large margin  !!


I have to say that most of the possession was in midfield with their annoying habit of passing from one touch line to the other, and then back making a triangle of passes and going nowhere !!  


It really is pitiful, pathetic and inexcusable, and so boring to watch.     Even at 4-1 down in the 90 plus 2 stage of the match, they were still doing it.     Hopefully the new Coach will instil a more direct and forceful attacking policy.     Let’s hope it’s not too late  !!


Next up is an away match against much improved Kayseri next Saturday afternoon.   


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, February 03, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


It was probably the most boring match I have ever watched tonight as two teams stumbled to a no scoring draw, and if they had extra time it would still be a no scoring match.    Aaaargh  !!


Fair enough, if you are a Genclerbirligi supporter you will be feeling ecstatic tonight to have finally won ONE point after 5 consecutive defeats   !!!


Konyaspor        0             GENCLERBIRLIGI           0


Team – Nordfeldt, Polomat, Arda, Toure, Omurcan, Piris, Yildirim, Candeias, Furman, Yilmaz and Stancu


Substitutes – Sio, Berisberk and Ayite


It was strange not to see Mustafa Kaplan on the touchline, and I wonder if he has been ‘shown the door’   ??!!      Mehmet Altiparmak was the Coach tonight, but we will see if that is permanent or temporary   !!


The action was mostly in midfield and only one dangerous moment in the 1st half when Arda saved a certain goal with a timely interception to put the ball out for a corner with a Konya attacker hovering ready to tap-in.


Konya had numerous chances to score in the 2nd half but most were blasted over or well past the post.


Furman and Polomat had the only two chances for Gencler in the 2nd half but the goalkeeper deflected Furman’s shot out for a corner and Polomat shot past the post.


In my opinion, both of these teams will be fighting it out at the end of the season to avoid relegation alongside Denizli, Ankaragucu, Kayseri and Erzurum.    It will prove to be quite a scrap with 4 teams being relegated this season  !!


Next up for Gencler is a home match against Beshiktrash on Monday 15 February.    Another backs against the wall match for Gencler perhaps   ??!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, February 01, 2021

Erzurumspor 1-0 Ankaragücü match report!


Ankaragücü moved a step closer to relegation back to Lig 1 today after another disastrous performance and 1-0 defeat against relegation rivals Erzurumspor. It wasn’t just the result that was disappointing, but the manor of the performance of the players and Manager Mustafa Dalci.

Team - Korcan, Ali Kaan, Erdi, Sarlija, Pinto, Assane, Ibrahim, Atakan, Saba, Paintsil, Badji

Subs - Freidrich, Alperen, Pazdan, Voca, Endri, Sahverdi, Berke, Alper, Embiya, Borven

As soon as the starting line up was announced I knew today was going to be a tough watch. Mustafa Dalci who watched his side go from 2-0 up midweek against Alanyaspor and failed to bring on an extra man in midfield, decided to go with the 3 defensive midfielders against a poor Erzurumspor side. Again Assane got an opportunity despite failing to impress in any of his outings this season.

Then there was Ali Kaan starting again at right back after the Management failed to sign a right back, incredible after the sheer volume of players the club have signed. The club also failed to sign a Number 10 after Roman Bezos turned down the club midweek and the club failed to pay the extra 150,000 Euros for Zahid. There were 3 other players who I won’t name that the club have failed to sign too. They now have until tomorrow to make further signings before the transfer deadline.

The first half was a bore fest with neither team threatening in the early stages. Assane and Ibrahim both had half chances but Sumski easily saved both.

Just before half-time Korcan made one of the saves of the season with an outstanding save from a Ricardo Gomes point blank header. A few minutes later Schwelchen went close but his volley went inches wide.

Half Time 0-0

Into second half  and another brilliant save from Korcan this time from Osman and it was all Erzurumspor at this stage.

Then came the opening goal, and it was all thanks to Zvonimir Sarlija who again put his play acting before his actual job of defending. A long ball was won by Erzurum after Sarlija dived, El Kabir played in Novikovas who set up Ahmet and he put the ball past Korcan to make it 1-0. Ive said a few times this season that Sarlija and Atikan role about and act like they have been shot and we have  now paid the price.

Erzurum were soon down to 10 men when Boumal was sent off for a second booking. Incredibly Dalci still stuck with 1 man Badji up front and again the team created nothing.

It was infact Erzurum who went closest to scoring again when El Kabir was through on goal but brought down by Endri who was sent off for being last man.

Joseph Paintsil was also sent off in injury time for talking back to the referee, just another example of his bad discipline which you can add the likes of Alper, Bolingi and Ibrahim too.

So 3 points for Erzurum and wins for Kayserispor and Denizlispor leave Ankaragücü 4 points from safety. Now they have to do without Endri and Paintsil for next week against Sivasspor. A huge 24 hours for the club on the transfer front. If they don’t add 3 quality players it’s goodbye Super Lig.