Monday, May 17, 2021

Ankaragucu players terminate their contracts!


The familiar story of players not being paid their salary sadly returns to Ankaragucu as Zvonimir Sarlija becomes the first player to terminate his contract. Its believed 4-5 other players have also taken the decision as salary's haven't been paid for 5 months. 

Sarlija is reported to have been paid only 20K of his 360K Salary and is now free to sign with other clubs with Ankaragucu still having to pay his outstanding salary. Sarlija signed for the club in the summer for 300K and is one of very few players who the club could have commanded a fee. Unfortunately as so often the case, the club will now receive nothing and Sarlija becomes a very expensive signing for a club who was relegated. 

The other players who refused to play in the weekends game are unnamed at this stage but believed to be both Turkish and Foreign. Looking at the team line up Endri, Alper, and Ibrahim could be among those players. 

Hikmet Karaman took a pop at an incident that happened 5 weeks ago but wouldn't say what the said incident was, he believes this was the reason the club were relegated. Its also believed he has had a fall out with Thiago Pinto as he kept him on the bench against Alanya despite having no recognised left back to chose. 

Karaman himself has come in for criticism for taking so long to play Man of the Match Mert Topuz and insisting on Freidrich and Korcan who both continued to perform badly all season. He also failed to play any other youth players at the weekend and instead gave opportunities to failures such as Assane, Orkan, Saba, Sahverdi who have no futures with the club. 

The clubs elections will take place later this month as Fatih Mert has stepped down and it looks like Faruk Koca will be a candidate and potentially Mehmet Yiginer. 

Neither candidate is good new for Ankaragucu. I have no doubt both have the right intentions, but they have proven they dont know how to run a football club. 

Emre Gural has also announced on his Instagram that he has left the club as his contract wont be renewed. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


A trip to Trabzon was a bridge too far for Gencler yesterday as they were comprehensively outplayed and so return to The Championship League next season.


Having said that, there can be no doubting Gencler’s fighting spirit, but their undoing occurred in January, February and into March when they went 11 matches without winning and dropped into the relegation zone.


Trabzon dominated the match yesterday and Gencler can thank Nordfeldt for an outstanding display between the sticks to keep the score line respectable.


Trabzonspor             2                       GENCLERBIRLIGI              1


Team – Nordfeldt, Polomat, Arda, Mert, Johansson, Toure, Soner, Yilmaz, Ayite, Berisbek and Stancu


Substitutes – Lima, Mugni and Ilker


It was all Trabzon in the 1st half and Trabzon almost took the lead after 15 minutes when Nwakaeme hit the post from a shot just outside the box.       2 minutes later and the woodwork saved Gencler again when a shot came in and hit the crossbar.


The Trabzon barrage continued and Nordfeldt saved a goal bound shot by Nwakaeme and then a point blank shot inside the 6 yard box.


However, the break through arrived just before the half time whistle when a mistimed tackle by Arda allowed Ekuban through and he sent his shot inside the left post with Nordfeldt unable to reach it.


Gencler had one shot on target in the 1st half when Ayite’s shot was saved by Ugurcan.


Into the 2nd half and Trabzon was stunned after only 5 minutes when Ayite avoided 2 tackles and sent his fierce shot from just inside the box on the right into the net with Ugurcan well beaten.


Trabzon continued to dictate play and Nordfeldt made 2 crucial saves to frustrate them.    Then Trabzon thought they had restored their lead in the 70th minute but it was correctly ruled offside.


Trabzon continued to press forward and 5 minutes later Nordfeldt to the rescue again to save another goal bound shot.


Into the last 10 minutes and was looking increasingly like a 1-1 stalemate, and then Trabzon scored in the 83rd minute, but again it was correctly ruled out after the referee had consulted VAR and confirmed that Nwakaeme had fouled Arda before the final shot.


However, the winning goal arrived 3 minutes later when Afobe was played through with only Nordfeldt to beat and he made no mistake.    Claims were made for offside, but the replay clearly showed that Polomat had played Afobe onside.


Gencler did have a chance to score in the 75th minute when a shot from Stancu just outside the box hit the top of the crossbar and went out of play.


So, Gencler can have no complaints with the outcome, but as I have said many times here this season, there can be no criticism of their fighting spirit.       They have a strong defence but they will perhaps be looking at strengthening their midfield for next season.


As we know from experience, there are no easy matches in The Championship League and it is very difficult to bounce straight back up.


On the upside, at least there will be the Ankara Derby to look forward to next season with Ankaragucu also relegated   !!


As always, watch this space when hostilities resume   !!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


An unsurprising end to Ankaragucu’s Super League status yesterday   !      With their two midfield generals missing (Alper and Endri) and striker Borven still injured, there was no danger of Ankaragucu staging a fiery exit, although Badji did have a few chances which were scorned.


The match was dictated by a slick Alanya side and Ankaragucu have Man of the Match, Mert Topuz, to thank for keeping the score line respectable, especially in the 2nd half when it was all one way traffic   !!


ANKARAGUCU              0                     Alanyaspor             1


Team – Mert Topuz, Atakan, Kulusic, Pazdan, Erdi, Ali Kaan, Diousse, Saba, Cetin, Paintsil and Badj


Substitutes – Alperen, Geraldo, Lukasik, Orkan and Embiya


Alanya made it quite clear from the start that they were here to attack and gave Ankaragucu two scares in the opening 10 minutes when they carved open the Ankaragucu defence, but their final efforts were off target.


However,  they punished terrible defending in the 23rd minute when Davidson headed in from a right wing cross.    Mert made his only mistake of the match by committing himself for the cross too early and he was nowhere near it.    As for the 4 defenders who were defending the cross, errrrrrrmm ............. posted absent asleep   !!!!


10 minutes later and it was almost 2-0 when Erdi passed to an Alanya attacker who said ......thank you very much he passed to a colleague.     But, thankfully Mert was able to save the shot.


Badji had two chances in the 1st half.    Some nice footwork by him to avoid 2 tackles before his shot was blocked, and again he made space for a shot, but it was weak and easily saved.


As I said earlier, it was all one way traffic in the 2nd half and Mert Topuz was immense in saving goal bound shots – 6 times he pulled off great saves to thwart the Alanya forwards.    He will probably be 1st choice goalkeeper next season in my opinion !!


Having said it was all one way traffic, Ankaragucu must shoulder some of the blame when they kept giving possession away with panic passing and hoofing long balls out of defence which were swallowed up by the Alanya midfield and another attack mounted.


Badji did have another chance to equalise near the end but his shot just inside the box was saved.


So, where does Ankaragucu go from here ???     As Nadeem mentioned in his summary (one post back) there will be lots of players packing their bags for pastures new and finding a Club which pays a salary on a regular basis   !!!     


As we know from a few years ago, life in the Championship League isn’t easy and lots of teams will relish the chance to come to The Eryaman Stadium to take the scalp of Ankaragucu  !!


Club elections are due shortly, so we must wait and see what transpires, and see if it will it affect Ankaragucu in a positive or negative way.


As always, watch this space for details and Ankaragucu news throughout the summer months.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, May 14, 2021

Ankaragucu 2020/21 Season Summary!


Its been a hugely disappointing season for Ankaragucu as they have been relegated twice in the last 2 seasons. Last season the club were fortunate to keep their place in the Super Lig due to the Covid outbreak, but they have paid the price this season for failing to learn from previous mistakes. 

We will now take a look  at the performances of the Management team, Staff and Squad from this season while also looking at who still has a future at the club. 

Faruk Koca - We start at the very top and Faruk Koca is the person who will take most of the responsibility. Although Fatih Mert is seen as the President of Ankaragucu, it is Faruk Koca who makes most of the decisions in the background. Although I do believe he has the best interest of the club at heart and wants to see a successful Ankaragucu, Faruk has failed to address all the areas which make a successful football club. Apart from Hikmet Karaman, every managerial appointment has been a failure, he has failed to appoint an experienced Sporting Director or Scouting team and has been interfering too much in team decisions. If Faruk wants to be the main decision maker he needs to step up and take responsibility instead of hiding behind Fatih Mert. However i dont not believe Faruk is the right person to take Ankaragucu forward as he has proved he doesnt know how to run the club. 

Fatih Mert - He will be as disappointed as any Ankaragucu fan with how things have turned out under his leadership. He has made mistakes and he will be the first to admit that. With no experience running a football previously it was a huge task to take on the responsibility of a club like Ankaragucu. Fatih Mert reluctantly took over as president almost 2 years ago and in that time has saw the club relegated twice. The difficulty for Fatih Mert is that he wasn't allowed to make all the decisions he wanted to as Faruk Koca was making them in the background. Who knows how successful his leadership would have been if he could make all his own decisions, we will never know but it looks likely he will step down from his position later this month. 

Transfer Committee - The club have signed 60 players since returning to the Super Lig nearly 3 years ago. Of those 60 signings most of the successful ones were under the Yiginer leadership such as Tyler Boyd, Stelios Kitsiou, Thiago Pinto, Michal Pazdan and Stelios Kitsiou. This season you are looking at Borven, Endri, Alper, Ibrahim and Atakan as the only signings you can give pass marks too. We are talking 10 players from 60 as the success rate which is unacceptable for any club. We are also looking at only Endri and Atakan as players we can potentially make profit as Borven and Alper will likely terminate their contract due to unpaid wages. Ankaragucu cant continue with this type of transfer policy if they want to move forward and return to the Super Lig. 

Youth Academy - The only positive from this season is the work of Cengiz Paca and Levant Kale in the youth team. The team has some good young players such as Berke Gurbuz, Kaan Cinkaya, Yusuf Eren Goktas, Arif Emre Eren, Hakan Ozturk and Sirozhiddin Astanakulov who all have potential to break into the first team in the future. The club needs to start giving more opportunities to some of these youngsters and build for the future. The Ankaragucu Youth Academy is the heartbeat of the club. 

Ricardo Freidrich - Ricardo had a good start to his Ankaragucu career last season but has failed to find that same consistent form this season. He has been in and out of the team due to injury and poor performances. He is one of the most likeable players in the team and has a great positive attitude, but he isn't good enough to play in the Super Lig and Ankaragucu should move on and find a young Goalkeeper from Turkey with better quality. 

Korcan Celikay - Also struggled with consistency with some good performances when he came back into the team, which were followed up with poor performances in important matches. Korcan has been a good signing for the club and played his part in the club winning 2 back to back promotions, but he needs to be moved on and the club should focus on bringing through younger Goalkeepers either from the academy or lower leagues. 

Zvonimir Sarlija - One of the most frustrating players in the team. Zvonimir when he just concentrates on defending and focuses on the game is a good player. But too many inconsistent performances and his constant diving and play acting is not something you expect to see in a defender. If Hikmet Karaman stays as manager and Zvonimir can work on that side of his game he could be an important player in helping the club return to the Super Lig, but its whether he will want to play in Lig 1 that also needs to be taken into consideration. 

Erdi Dikmen - Wasn't ready to play Super Lig football. The 24 year old is still very raw and makes too many mistakes. Needs an experienced defender to play beside him and a consistent partner too. To often the centre back pairing was changed during the season and Erdi felt the pressure. Lig 1 might be his level and he still has an opportunity to have a career with the club but he needs to work on his positional sense and concentration. 

Michal Pazdan - Disappointing season for Michal who was a consistent performer for Ankaragucu previously. Struggled when he came back into the team after injury and the sending off on his return effectively ended his Ankaragucu career. One of the highest earners in the team Pazdan will move on in the summer and likely be owed a lot of money by the club. 

Alperen Babacan - Signed in January by the club from Lig 1 Akhisar where he was deemed not good enough. Strange signing by Ankaragucu as he has only been involved in 1 substitute appearance. Clearly not good enough to play for the club. 

Ante Kulusic - Returned to the starting line up in the second half of the season and the teams performances and defence improved. A leader on the pitch but at 34 we have seen the best of Ante and his performances towards the end of the season were inconsistent. Another who will likely be moved on in the summer. 

Atilla Turan - Works hard but his crossing and passing are woeful and defensively suspect too. Ankaragucu should look at the youth team for the back up left back position as Atilla has had plenty of opportunities and failed to take them. 

Thiago Pinto - Has been a good servant for the club and plays a big part in the teams attacking play with assists and crosses into the box. Not the strongest defensively and has had a lot of issues this season with his fitness which has saw him in and out the team and failing to complete 90 minutes. Its time for Thiago and Ankaragucu to part ways as its unlikely they will be able to afford the salary of a player coming to the later part of his career. 

Stelios Kitsiou - Had an injury which kept him out for a month. When he returned it took him a while to reach the high standards that he usually delivers. Once he was fully fit Kitsou was the best player in the team. Unfortunately the last couple of key games in the season he made a couple of errors which is unlike him. Kitsiou is a player i would like to keep but he will likely be snapped up by another Super Lig team.

Idriz Voca - Failed to live up to the expectations and largely goes missing in games when he is given an opportunity. The club could look to keep him and see if Lig 1 is more his level. Has potential on the ball but needs be stronger and more involved in the game if he wants to succeed at the club.

Atakan Cankaya - Has played in so many different positions for the club with Centre back the position he was most successful. The club and player see him more as a midfielder though and he has attracted interest from Fenerbahce who want to sign him in the Summer. Needs to work on his passing and game management if he is to be successful at Super Lig level. Has a great attitude and commitment but we never seen the best of him due to an injury he picked up.

Assane Diousse - Was seen as a bit of a coup when Ankaragucu signed him in the Summer but has failed to live up to those expectations. Fitness played a part in his inconsistent performances as he does have ability especially when it comes to long passing. But simple things like a short pass or final ball let him down as did his work rate and reading of the game. Will return to St Etienne in Summer. 

Daniel Lukasik - Didn't reach the heights of last season and another who struggled with consistency due to injuries. Daniel has shown his love for the club in the past and could be an important player for the club next season with his experience and if he can get back to full fitness. 

Ali Kaan - Signed from Akhisar in the Summer and came with a good reputation but has struggled to break into the team and will likely be part of the squad for next season. If he stays it could be a big opportunity for him to get more game time and develop.

Ibrahim Akdag - Became a big player for the club since his move in January with his work rate and attitude. Was part of the midfield trio with Endri and Alper. He did all the dirty work and defensive side of the game that allowed Alper and Endri to go forward and create. Hopefully he will remain at the club for next season. 

Sahverdi Cetin - Big things were expected when Ankaragucu were said to have beaten Besiktas to his signing in the summer. Struggled to make any impact and looked slow and unfit in any games he did play. Technically he has the ability to be a good player, but needs to improve on his stamina and work rate if he wants to make it. It will be interesting to see if he stays at the club for next season. 

Ender Aygoren - Came into the team towards the end of last year and had a few good performances before being injured. Another who could see more time next season depending on the clubs financial situation. 

Endri Cekici - One of the better players this season with his work rate and ability with the ball. Needs to add more goals to his game and be more ruthless with his finishing. Gets into good positions and had a lot of chances but his finishing was poor. If he can work on that side of his game he will be a very good player for the club and will likely attract interest from other clubs. 

Alper Potuk - First half of the season looked unfit and uninterested under Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci. Was then suspended by the club and his Ankaragucu career looked over. When Hikmet Karaman took over he gave Alper another opportunity and he was the best player in the team showing why he is regarded so highly in Turkish Football. Had his problems with injury which along with his attitude is the only thing stopping him playing at the highest level. If he can keep a positive attitude like he did in the second half of the season he will be back playing in the Super Lig. Its unlikey Alper will want to play in Lig 1 next season. 

Joseph Paintsil - Has the talent and scored 11 goals in a poor Ankaragucu team. His attitude and temperament let him down though and its something he will need to work on if he is to play at a higher level in his career. Works hard but doesn't make the best decision and can be very greedy. His overall numbers in goals and assists will improve if he works on this. Will return to Belgium after his loan in the summer. 

Saba Lobjanidze - If he took just half of the opportunities that came his way this season, Ankaragucu would still be in the Super Lig. Scored only 3 goals despite playing 36 games and missed opportunity after opportunity. His crossing and final ball were woeful too and another example of poor recruitment by the club. His one asset is his pace but he doesn't know how to use it often running the ball out of play and running into other players. Another player on a high salary that will likely move on in the Summer. 

Geraldo - Was brought to the club in the January transfer window to help boost the attack. Sored 0 goals and had 0 assists. Took a while to get up and running to due to lack of fitness. When signing any player in January especially in a relegation battle with little time left, how any club could sign a player who wasn't match fit is beyond belief. 

Orkan Cinar - Clearly has talent but another who makes poor decisions and his fitness is unacceptable for a professional football player. Looks like someone who isn't hungry enough to succeed at the game and will hopefully be moved on in the Summer. 

Torgeir Borven - For some strange reason Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci decided against making Borven the first choice striker. As soon as Karaman showed faith in Borven he became the main player in attack scoring 10 goals and his overall work rate and attitude was excellent. This was despite not being paid his salary. Ankaragucu were on great form and looked set to stay in the league until Borven got injured where the club have failed to win a single game. 

Aliou Badji - Has shown flashes of what he can do, but has been unlucky with injuries. If he was fully fit and playing every week he could have been an important player but will now move back to his parent club Al Ahly in the Summer. 

Emre Gural - Scored a couple of important goals and a few assists but like so many of the squad struggled with fitness and stamina. Ankaragucu should look to their academy instead of bringing back players such as Emre and Orkan. 

Hikmet Karaman - Almost pulled off the impossible in guiding Ankaragucu from the bottom of the table to safety. Unfortunately wasn't enough as issues off field with players not paid in 5 months, loosing Badji and Borven and rumored interference from Faruk Koca upset the harmony of the squad. We would love Hikmet to stay on at the club but with so much going on off the field he may opt to move on. Everything will depend on the clubs upcoming elections this month. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Kasimpasa 3-1 Ankaragucu - Match Report


In what was described as the biggest game of the season for Ankaragucu and a must win match at Kasimpasa, the team failed to turn up and a poor refereeing performance sealed the teams fate of playing Lig 1 football next season. 

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Sarlija, Kulusic, Pinto, Atakan, Endri, Alper, Paintsil, Saba, Badji

Subs - Mert, Pazdan, Erdi, Assane, Ali Kaan, Sahverdi, Geraldo, Lukasik, Atilla, Embiya

Only 6 minutes into the game poor defending from Ankaragucu down the left hand side lead to a dangerous attack. Hajradinovic went past Atakan and Pinto and then threw himself to the ground with minimal contact but Mete Kalkavan pointed to the spot. The soft decision then went to a VAR check which proves it wasnt a clear decision but Mete stuck to his decision and awarded the penalty. Up stepped Florian to make it 1-0.

Ankaragucu had the ball in the net a minute later when Sarlija scored but Endri was correctly ruled offside. Then disaster struck as Sarlija at the other end made a mistake down the left hand side again, and the ball made its way to Anil Koc who put the ball past Freidrich to make it 2-0. 

Hikmet Karaman would have worked on the defence all week and asked his players to keep things tight at the back. Within 12 minutes two dreadful deffensive mistakes led to a penalty and a goal. 

Five minutes later Endri had a free kick from 35 yards saved by Ertugrul as Ankaragucu looked to get back into the game.

Saba Lobjanidze was a player Ankaragucu were looking for a big game from last night as his form his been poor for months. Instead we were served one of the worst performances from and Ankaragucu player you will ever see. He was through on goal and never got a shot away, miss controlled the ball the whole game, never found a single team mate with a cross or pass in the final 3rd. It was an awful performance and hopefully the last time we see him. 

Sarlija had another effort from the edge of the box just before half time but his shot was straight at Ertugrul.

Half Time 2-0

Into the second half and Ankaragucu were pushing forward looking for a goal. First Kitsiou volleyed over from the edge of the box, then Badji had a good chance but headed wide, before Kitsiou set up Endri in the box but his shot was saved by Ertugrul.

There was still time left for Saba to fall over the ball, miss control and waste chances before Paintsil had a chance at the edge of the box but he shot wide. 

Aliou Badji then pulled one back for Ankaragucu as he the ball found its way to him unmarked in the box and he finished calmly past Ertugurl to make it 2-1.

Geraldo then crossed the ball into the box for Saba who was unmarked and only the keeper to beat, but again as he so often has this season he headed the ball straight at Ertugrul. Kasimpasa then went up the other end on a counter attack and Yildirim made it 3-1 much to the delight of the Kasimpasa team as it means they will now be playing Super Lig football next season. 

An awful night for Ankaragucu as they are now relegated from the Super Lig for the 2nd time in 12 months under the leadership of Faruk Koca and Fatih Mert. The whole season has been a failure, from the Transfer policy, performances on the pitch and performances off the pitch by management. 

Hikmet Karaman was close to guiding the team to safety, but when you have a squad of players who havent been paid in 5 months, a long with poor quality its pretty much an impossible task for any manager. 

We now move onto next season and can only hope Ankaragucu can address all the off field issues first otherwise its going to be another journey back down the leagues. 




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Last night was a night of drama at the bottom of the league with Gencler snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and keeping their super league status dream alive until the last match of the season on Saturday.


I was unable to watch the match as I was watching the pathetic attempt by Ankaragucu to beat Kasimpasa to keep their season alive !!


GENCLERBIRLIGI             5                  Goztepe         3


Team – Nordfeldt, Johansson, Mert, Diego, Polomat, Piris, Furman, Berisberk, Ayite, Karakas and Lima


Substitutes – Soner, Stancu, Yilmaz and Toure


Down 2-0 approaching half time, Gencler fought back to win 5-3.     However, I remember saying in the first half of the season that Gencler had 2 very good proven strikers in Stancu and Sio, and one of them came off the bench last night to score 3 goals  !!


Approaching half time, Diego scored to give Gencler some hope of turning things round in the 2nd half.   4 minutes into the 2nd half and Ayite found the equaliser, but Goztepe restored their lead 1 minute later.


Enter Stancu off the bench to bag a hat-trick in the 56th, 70th and 82nd minutes.      My first reaction was to think ......... if only Ankaragucu had a striker of his calibre, and even if Gencler are relegated next weekend, he will always be remembered for his heroics last night  !!


As things stand at the moment, Denizlispor, Erzurumspor and Ankaragucu are confirmed as relegated.


So, with Kayseri winning a point against Basaksehir last night they will go into the last match next Saturday against fener....spit.....bahce hoping to save their season.   They have 41 points and Gencler 38.   So, Gencler must win their last match in Trabzon.    A tall order for both Kayseri and Gencler, so it will be a tense finale to the season.


Incidentally, I’m sure eyebrows will be raised in the Gencler Camp in the knowledge that Basaksehir had 75% possession last night against Kayseri and not one shot on target  !!!    It’s my suspicious mind   !!!


As always, watch this space for the outcome next weekend.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 10, 2021

Kasimpasa vs Ankaragucu match preview!


Tomorrow night is quite simple for Ankaragucu, win and we go into the last match of the season on Saturday still with a chance of staying in the Super Lig. Lose and we will be playing in Lig 1 next season. Saturday night at Fenerbahce was just another in a long line of disappointments for the fans as the team suffered an agonising 95th minute defeat thanks to more amateur defending. 

Ankaragucu had started the match so brightly and could easily have been 3 or 4 up against Fenerbahce. But poor finishing and the failure to convert chances into goals allowed Fenerbahce back into the match and eventually take all 3 points back to Istanbul.

The starting 11 for Ankaragucu have done well in the first 45 minutes of the last few games, but as soon as the team makes changes in the 2nd half the drop off in quality is apparent. Attacking midfielders such as Alper Potuk and Endri Cekici are replaced with the likes of Assane, Voca and Lukasik who are all defensive minded. Up front we only have 1 fit striker in Badji who isn't even fit enough to play 90 minutes due to his recent injury. 

And then we have the wide players like Saba and Geraldo who continue to waste any chances they have and havent delivered an acceptable performance in months. Paintsil has been better of late and just needs to be more consistent with his numbers. 

Alper Potuk who was outstanding again at the weekend against his former team scoring the goal for Ankaragucu and was involved in every positive forward move came off injured midway through the second half. Its unclear whether he will be available for tomorrows game and would be a huge loss if he is out. 

The defence again failed to keep a clean sheet at the weekend, but Hikmet Karaman will be more disappointed at his defence for the 2nd goal. Three central defenders Sarlija, Kulusic and Erdi were all on the pitch and failed to deal with a cross into the box, leaving Valencia unmarked. At this level how can one of the most dangerous players on the pitch be left alone in the box with 3 central defenders on the pitch?? 

Kasimpasa will take encouragement from their last 2 results, a 3-0 win against Alanyaspor, and 1-0 win at Erzurumspor now puts them in a strong position to stay in the Super Lig. Two clean sheets in those matches too will give them confidence. 

They have some good players in Yusuf Erdogan, Haris Hajrodinovic, Isaac Thelin and former England International Danny Drinkwater. Fode Koita and Armin Hodzic are both out due to injury. 

Ankaragucu won 1-0 the last time the two sides met this season and will be hoping for a similar outcome tomorrow night. 

Kasimpasa will likely go with the 4-2-3-1 formation and we will take a look below at how we think Ankaragucu will line up.

GK - Freidrich - Unlucky to be on the losing team against Fenerbahce and a much better performance from the Brazilian who made some good saves. Only issue is his Shoulder injury and will likely face a late fitness test. 

RB - Kitsiou - At fault for another goal at the weekend and really needs to deliver a big performance. Kitsiou has been outstanding for Ankaragucu but he will be unhappy with his last 2 performances. 

CB - Sarlija - Form of late has been unacceptable but we don't have any other options with Erdi at fault for a goal only a minute after coming on against Fenerbahce and Pazdan has been poor too. 

CB - Kulusic - Same as Sarlija

LB - Pinto - Should come back in for Atilla at LB who worked hard but just gave the ball away the whole game against Fenerbahce.

CM - Ibrahim - Took another knock and will face a fitness test too. Lets hope he recovers in time as he has become a very important player.

CM - Endri - Need more from him in the final 3rd of the pitch in terms of assists and goals. Has 2 games left to become a hero if he can help keep the club up.

CM - Alper - We are waiting on news to see if he will be fit, but for the most important game of the season im hopeful to see Alper on the pitch.

RW - Paintsil - We need goals and assists from Paintsil. His work rate has been good of late but needs to add those goals to his game on a more consistent basis. 

LW - Saba - Its between Saba and Geraldo for that final place in the team. Saba has done it in the past and we need a big game from him. 

CF - Badji - The only fit striker, hopefully he can manage the 90 minutes as Ankaragucu looked much stronger when he was on the pitch on Saturday against Fenerbahce. 

Sunday, May 09, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season last night and now look destined for relegation.


Now that we are well into the run-down to the end of the season, all the matches are kicking off on the same day and at the same time, therefore I was unable to watch this match.


Gencler sent out an attacking line-up last night so it was a surprising result bearing in mind that Fatih is a mid-table team.


Fatih Karagumruk           5                       GENCLERBIRLIGI         1


Team – Nordfeldt, Polomat, Diego, Arda, Johansson, Soner, Mustafa, Ayite, Piris, Yilmaz and Stancu


Substitutes – Furman, Karakas, Berisberk and Altiparmak


Fatih raced into a 2 goal lead before half time, and then added 2 more plus a penalty before the end.


Gencler scored a consolation goal by Karakas near the end in 90 plus 3.


Gencler remain in 2nd bottom position in the league and are now 5 points behind Kayseri in the 5th bottom position and safety.       So, with only 2 matches left Gencler must win them and hope that Kayseri can drop points.


That will be easier said than done with 2 difficult matches coming up for Gencler.     First up is a home match against mid-table Goztepe on Tuesday, followed by an away match against 4th top of the league Trabzon next Saturday.


Denizlispor has already been confirmed as relegated, but the 3 other teams are still fighting it out.      So, Tuesday’s results should give a clearer picture of  the situation.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu lost their way in the 2nd half last night, and not for the first time this season, conceded the winning goal just before the end of the match.    Having looked as though they would share the spoils, it was a bitter pill to swallow.


This defeat moves Ankaragucu back into the relegation zone which means that, with 2 matches remaining, their Super League status is not totally in their own hands.


They sit in 4th bottom position on 38 points, 2 points behind Kayseri and 5 points behind Kasimpasa and Antalya.    So, that means that Ankaragucu is now looking at Kayseri to drop points, and at the same time, win their remaining 2 matches against Kasimpasa and Alanya.


A tall order perhaps, but all is not lost ...........yet  !!


ANKARAGUCU             1                       Fenerbahce            2


Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Atilla, Ibrahim, Endri, Alper, Paintsil, Saba and Badji


Substitutes – Atakan, Pinto, Geraldo, Lukasik and Erdi


It was a promising start by Ankaragucu as they rushed into the lead in the 2nd minute of the match when Alper punished a slack back-pass and steered his shot inside the right post.


Ankaragucu continued to attack and Alper had 3 more chances to increase the lead, but two shots and a header were all off target.


As half time approached we could have been forgiven for thinking that 3 points was a possibility, but all it took was a simple mistake to allow Fener to go in at half time with a spring in their step.


Surely it’s not too difficult to understand that if there isn’t a colleague free at a throw-in then the sensible thing to do is to send it back to a defender or the goalkeeper to keep possession and build another attack in a different direction   ??!!     The whole idea of having a throw-in is to keep possession   !!!


Ankaragucu had a throw-in near the half way line and Kitsiou elected to propel the ball along the line in the hope of finding an Ankaragucu head.     However, with everyone covered by Fener players, the ball went to one of them and was quickly played across the field to Valencia who outpaced the Ankaragucu defence as they tried to scuttle back.     He then made a cut-back from the right to the unmarked Ozan on the left who had the simplest of task of firing in the equaliser.


Shortly after the resumption Alper had another chance to put Ankaragucu ahead again, but as he bore in on goal on the right he elected to shoot  but it was well saved by Harun.     If he had looked up before shooting, he would have seen 2 unmarked Ankaragucu colleagues on the left waving their hands frantically for the cross   !!


It was mostly all one way traffic towards Ricardo in the 2nd half as Ankaragucu fought a rearguard action to at least win one point.     Ricardo was in excellent form as he saved time and time again, especially in the 64th minute when he saved a point-blank header in the 6 yard box.


The last 10 minutes of the match was nail-biting stuff with the Ankaragucu defence under constant pressure.    Passes were going astray and they were conceding free kicks on a regular basis as they tired in the closing minutes.


Ricardo and the defence were destined to become heroes as the match went into time added on, but football can be cruel sometimes.     It was 90 plus 5 on the clock when a Fener cross came in from the right.    Erdi looked to have it covered, but he missed the headed clearance and Valencia just behind him didn’t.   He said ........... thank you very much .............. as he headed in for the winner   !!


Although Fener had 70% possession which was mainly from their 2nd half performance, Ankaragucu will look back on this match with regret that they didn’t put the sword in during the 1st half when they had so many chances.     However, there will be no time for dwelling on the ‘if only’ and ‘maybe’ matches with 2 crucial matches coming up this week.


First up is the away match against Kasimpasa on Tuesday and finally a home match next Saturday against Alanya.


The only tactics which Hikmet Bey can employ now is quite simple, ie, .............. attack, attack and attack   !!!


Let’s keep the faith   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Fenerbahce - Match Preview!


Hikmet Karaman has performed miracles since returning to Ankaragucu back in February with the club rooted to the bottom of the table. Since then he has revitalised the club bringing organisation and a real togetherness that was missing. The last couple of weeks have been very challenging with only 1 win in their last 6 games. Can Hikmet galvinise the squad again for the remaining 3 games and pull off one of the biggest miracles in the clubs history?

Whatever the outcome, Hikmet Karaman has done a fantastic job and Ankaragucu fans can only wish he was installed back at the start of the season. This is an example of 2 more big mistakes by Faruk Koca and the management team who instead went with Fuat Capa, and then Mustafa Dalci as his replacement. 

Koca along with the transfer committee will take the majority of responsibility for the position Ankaragucu are in at the moment. The club have made too many bad signings, and loan signings that have failed to deliver consistent performances. 

We have 2 Goalkeepers with neither able to make the Number 1 position their own due to the many mistakes. Kitsiou has been very consistent at Right back but was signed under the old regime, as was Thiago Pinto. The only consistent centre back this season has been Zvonimir Sarlija but he still has games where he is more interested in diving and acting than defending. The new signings in that area of the pitch Erdi Dikmen and Alperen have failed to prove worthy signings.

In midfield we have Voca and Assane who have played more games as substitutes than games started, Sahverdi Cetin who came to the club highly rated looks well out of shape and struggled in the matches he has been given an opportunity. Wide players such as Orkan Cinar and Geraldo show flashes' of skill but offer nothing in terms of assists or goals and have 0 between them. 

Jonathan Bolingi had his loan deal cut short in January that bad was his spell with the club. So many poor signings with not enough good ones that we can look at as a good investment where the club can make money if they decide to sell. 

Saturday night is another huge night for Ankaragucu as they look to cause an upset against Fenerbahce who are 4 points behind leaders Besiktas with 2 games remaining. The last time the 2 sides met Fenerbahce were too good for Ankaragucu on the day with a convincing 3-1 win. Ankaragucu will however take encouragement that they did win 2-1 at home last season and will be hoping for a similar outcome. 

Fenerbahce have some quality players in their side such as Jose Sosa, Ozan Tufan, Mesut Ozil, Dimitris Pelkas, Irfan Can Kahveci and of course our very own Altay Bayindr, but no Turkish Super Lig team is unbeatable and if Ankaragucu play to their best and have some luck on their side we can take the 3 points. 

Early team news has been difficult to come by as the Ankaragucu official website has only been updated once since last week and that is in regards to the upcoming AGM.

Aliou Badji is set to return which will be a big boost to the team having a striker to call upon again. Unfortunately it looks like Borven is out again as he continues his recovery. Atakan Cankaya will be available for selection. We are still waiting on an update in regards to Ibrahim Akdag and Geraldo.

Possible Team

Goalkeeper - You could toss a coin to decide who plays in goal between Korcan and Freidrich. It would be nice to see Mert Topuz given his opportunity but its unlikely Hikmet Karaman will throw in a youngster for his Debut in such an important match.

RB - Kitsiou - Made a big mistake last week which is unlike him. He will be looking to make up for that mistake with another big performance.

CB - Sarlija - Last couple of games he hasnt been at his best, he needs to concentrate on defending instead of throwing himself to the ground. He is a big boy and acts like a mouse. He is more than capable of delivering quality performances. 

CB - Kulusic - Pazdan sadly looks finished and Erdi has failed to take any chances he has had. Leaves Kulusic to partner Sarlija. 

LB - Thiago Pinto - Should slot back in at his preferred Left back position as the combination of Atilla at LB and Thiago further forward has never worked. 

CM - Ibrahim - If Ibrahim is fit he will start, he has been an important player in that defensive midfield position. If he doesnt make it then Lukasik will start. 

CM - Endri - My only criticism of Endri is his finishing. He gets into good positions but wastes any chances that comes his way. He just needs to relax and take those chances. The rest of his overall play has been good. 

CM - Alper Potuk - He has been outstanding for Ankaragucu and is the key player who can get them out of this situation. He will be hoping to get one over his former team at the weekend. 

LW - Paintsil - We just need the good Paintsil to turn up. He is another important player for the club but needs to be unselfish and disciplined. 

RW - Saba - Was very poor against Basaksehir but that was his first game back from injury. We really need Saba to step up and give us a good performance as its been a while since we seen one. 

CF - Badji - Should return to the starting line up after injury and will be a welcome addition. He adds that physical presence up front that has been missing.  

Monday, May 03, 2021

Basaksehir 2-1 Ankaragucu match report!


Ankaragucu hit the self destruct button as they have so many times this season leaving Hikmet Karaman with and almost impossible job to keep the team in the Super Lig with 3 games remaining. Ankaragucu move back into the relegation zone after Kasimpasa won 3-0 at home to Alanyaspor and Malatyaspor vs Kayserispor finished 1-1.

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Atilla, Lukasik, Endri, Alper, Saba, Pinto, Paintsil

Subs - Korcan, Atakan, Assane, Emre, Embiya, Pazan, Erdi, Ali Kaan, Sahverdi, Voca

Freidrich came into the team to replace Korcan after his mistake last week and both Paintsil and Saba returned to the starting line up. Borven and Badji remain out but the later is expected to be back for the Fenerbahce match at the weekend. 

Ankaragucu started the match brightly and were awarded a penalty on the 8th minute after Bolingoli was adjudged to have hand balled the volley from Kitsiou. The referee however consulted with VAR and overturned the decision. 

Minute later Atilla headed over his own bar from a Basaksehir corner at the other end just before Ankaragucu took the lead. 

A brilliant move down the left as Pinto picked out Alper on the edge of the box who volleyed his shot on goal but the ball came back off the post, Paintsil was first to react as he calmly controlled the ball and curled it past Volkan to give Ankaragucu the lead. 

Five minutes later a great move involving Paintsil and Alper who saw his shot tipped onto the post by Volkan. Im going to use this save as an example of how valuable Goalkeepers are to their team. Volkan used all of his height and got his finger tips to the ball which would see his team go onto take all 3 points. 

Two minutes later Aleksik saw his headed effort easily saved by Freidrich before Chadli saw his shot hit the side netting as Basaksehir started to pile on the pressure. Basaksehir were having the majority of the possession in the first half but Ankaragucu were defending well and looking dangerous on the counter attack. 

Half Time 0-1

Into the 2nd half and Basaksehir looked like a team fighting to stay in the Super Lig while Ankaragucu showed once again why they are in the relegation zone. The lack of intensity or basics like failing to keep the ball played right into Basaksehirs hands. 

The equaliser came on the 63rd minute as Aleksik volleyed his shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner. He had plenty of time to shoot but there wasn't a lot of power in his shot as Freidrich dived but couldn't reach the ball. 

Basaksehir looked like the only team that would go on and win the game as Ankaragucu were creating nothing in attack and losing the ball at every opportunity. On the 84th minute Freidrich missed a ball at a Basaksehir cross and Junior headed over the bar. 

A couple of minutes later Ankaragucu hit that self destruct button again as we have so often seen this season. Kitsiou tried to beat Junior in his own box, but the Brazilian took the ball from him and placed his shot past Freidrich. This is coming back to my original point with Volkan Babacan early in the game. Freidrich dived toward the ball but his arms were too short to reach the ball and couldnt stop it from going into the back of the net.

A big problem this season for Ankaragucu has been the form of both Korcan and Freidrich. Neither are making big saves to win the team points. We cant lay the blame solely at both of them as the squad takes collective responsibility, but if Ankaragucu are to progress next season they need to sign a Goalkeeper or 2. 

Kitsiou has been one of the most consistent performers in the team, but you cant make those kind of mistakes in the Top Division. 

Ankaragucu had 1 more chance to share the points at the end as Alper volleyed another effort at the back post but Volkan made a good save. 

Basaksehir take all 3 points and it now looks very bleak for Ankaragucu who face Fenerbahce, Kasimpasa and Alanyaspor in their last 3 games. 




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler was given a football lesson last night by a very average Galatasaray team which doesn’t bode well for Gencler’s run-in to the end of the league with only 3 matches left to save their season.


Gencler could manage only 1 shot on target in the whole match and that was easily saved by Muslera who could have been forgiven for dozing off at times during the match   !!


In Marcao, Galatasaray had the Man of the Match, and he was outstanding in the heart of the defence sweeping up anything that came his way.     The Gencler attack had no answer  !!


GENCLERBIRLIGI            0                    Galatasaray            2


Team – Nordfeldt, Johansson, Arda, Diego, Pehlivan, Piris, Soner, Yilmaz Lima, Candeias and Stancu


Substitutes – Sio, Polomat, Yildirim, Ilker and Berisbek


It was all Galatasaray in the 1st half with 75% possession but they couldn’t muster a serious shot on goal until just before half time when Halil shot form outside the box in the centre to inside the right post with the shot just out of Nordfeldt’s reach.


It took until the 50th minute for Gencler’s first goal attempt, but Sio headed wide from a corner.


2 minutes later and the inevitable 2nd goal arrived.    A free kick was sent into the box and came off the head of a Gencler defender straight to Emre who angled a volley into the top left with Nordfeldt well beaten.


12 minutes later and Galatasaray made it 3, or so I thought.    It was a well constructed ‘goal’ when Babel took the ball to the goal line on the left and sent in the classic cut-back for Emre to angle a half volley inside the right post.    However, the referee hesitated and received a message in his earpiece and apparently VAR spotted a hand-ball by Babel before the cut-back was made.   


Galatasaray continued to press forward searching for the 3rd goal, but Nordfeldt made 2 excellent saves from goal bound shots before the final whistle.


Apart from Nordfeldt, Gencler was posted absent last night and on another day, Galatasaray could have won by a wider margin  !!


Gencler remain stuck in 2nd bottom place and will soon run out of options to save their season if they don’t take something from Saturday’s away match against mid-table Fatih Karagumruk.       The last 2 matches are against strong opposition in the shape of Goztepe and Trabzon so the picture is not very bright.


Can Gencler stay on the tightrope without falling off   ?       As always, keep watching this space.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim