Sunday, April 27, 2008

Three points in the bag

Another home game and another three points is added to the total for the season. The win puts CimBom clear at the top of SuperLig with 73 points followed by a couple of teams on 70 points which includes our main challenger now for the title, Sivas.

All in all today was a good performance with no real concerns and in fact we should have won by a bigger margin that the 1-0 as Umit Karan hit the post and there were a couple of other positions where we should have scored but only a desire to score a perfect goal and some desperate defending by kept the score at 1-0. Aykut had a relatively uneventful day in goal as the defense and the defensive midfield played extremely well in denying space and time. Mehmet Topal and Ayhan played extremely well and never stopped running with Ayhan in particular linking the defense to attack very well. Baris was another that caught the eye, what a bargain that boy has been. Using Nonda and Umit in attack was also a good tactic as both are comfortable playing with their back to goaldand screening the ball allowing others to run on. It was noticeable after Hakan came on from Nonda that we lost that outlet and I have to say that as great a player as Hakan has been its time to stop, he looked slow and heavy footed today.

Of course the goal was a result of a defensive mix up and it was such a shame that it happened to those two particular players, oh dear my heart bleeds especially after the Fortis Cup Match at Ali Sami Yen....

So our fate is now in our own hands, 4 more points from 2 matches and we will be the champions irrespective of what any other team does. The hardest game is the away match to Sivas where Umit will be missing, lets hope Lincoln is back to add some experience in the middle of the pitch as well as an attacking threat, lets also hope Sivas will roll over the same way they did just after the winter break, although I cannot see that right now.

Come on Genclirbirligi

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another three points

For once there were some supporters in the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul although I am not sure just how many were IBB supporters. Anyway those that were there saw a relatively straightforward 3-0 win by CimBom.

The win and the three goals scored keeps everything the same except for total points. A lot of people are saying next weekends match will be the decider but I have a feeling that whilst the winner of that match will have an advantage they will not necessarily have a decisive advantage, cast your mind back 2 years when the title went to the last match and the conveniently delayed match in Denizli, not that the gamesmanship there helped. It does mean that the prospect of team without a permanent coach, mostly Turkish squad etc. has a distinct chance of still winning the league and lets not forget that Sivas are still hanging in there.

Back to the match Galatasaray never seemed to be threatened. Even when the score was only 1-0, albeit from an own goal, there was no real goal threat from IBB and once Necati went off that vanished almost completely. The two later goals were of significant benefit as it leaves the advantage at only 1 goal difference. Again the team was all Turkish except for Lincoln, even IBB had more foreigners in the squad than Galatasaray.

So back to the Champions League this week with the semi finals and the possibility of an all English final if Man Utd get past Barcelona.....I bet the Moscow police are looking forward to that!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Shearer of the Bosphorus??

Alan Shearer who was one of the top strikers in the English Premier League caused immense damage to a team he claimed to love with his selfish quest to become the clubs top scorer. Before he retired he had seen off at least one manager, Ruud Gullit, who had put him on the bench for a game against local rivals Sunderland. After retirement he continues to cause problems, every time the team do not win, which is often, the fans call for him to take over and while he has done little to suggest he wants to he also refuses to end the speculation and so undermines managers.

My view is that Hakan Sukur is doing the same at Galatasaray. I really hope the management show him the door and ask him not to come back, of he wants today, when he has coaching experience gained the hard way and preferably well away from Galatasaray. They did that to Bulent and should do the same to Hakan to clear his influence from the club. You cannot afford to hold onto nostalgia for too long.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Getting closer

I have to say that I did not expect such a favorable result in such a manner from the second city today but what a game.

For once the Mafia fell to a very late injury time goal and had the worst of the referring decisions and the faces of the players was joyous to behold.

What does that mean. Well it means that Galatasary go back second but on goal difference or average, but that is only one difference. There are now four games left in the season with a hard finish for Galatasaray, we have IBB away, hopefully Necati cannot play, FB at home, Sivas away and end with G Oftas at Ali Sami Yen. Still no one said it would be easy......

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Top....for a day?

Another game and another three points, Galatasary finally woke up in time to finish off the season. Its going to be hard to win the championship especially as we play Mafia at home and Sivas away but as long as the team keeps grinding out 1-0 wins then we will be okay, in fact 4 wins and we are champions.

Again a totally Turkish team took to the pitch to start the match with only Nonda coming on to replace Umit. Only Lincoln was suspended so where was Song I wonder? Okan Buruk started his second match in succession which I must admit I find strange as he is pretty much finished. But what the hell it was a win.

Team played okay if not spectacular and there were no real scares. It would be better for the nerves though is we could get a couple of goals ahead instead of just the one as the defence does sometimes make me nervous.

No real referee issues today unlike last week apparently. So the spotlight falls tomorrow on Ankara where mafia meets mafia junior, now thats going to be an interesting referee influencing session.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Call that a pitch......

You can always tell when you move away from the big city and travel out into the backward parts of the country because the pitch on which soccer is played starts to resemble a cabbage patch rather than a lawn. Obviously the good people of the second city have been feeding their cows in the stadium because that pitch was nothing short of a disgrace and not fit for SuperLig, which is probably ok because with this weekends results the two teams that play there are heading down the Lig again.

So despite Galatasaray management shooting themselves in the foot by parting ways with Fedkampf just before the weekend games the team managed to get a win which keeps us only 2 points behind Brazilbahce. Whatever you think of Feldkampf he has achieved good results with a limited squad and budget. Despite losing Linderoth and Lincoln to long term injuries and Song to the African Nations Cup and having to use a team mainly based on young Turkish players to be only 2 points behind the Kadikoy money bag means he has done well. He has made the team fitter and faster and even though Hakan is now doing his best Alan Shearer impersonation, that s hangng around long after his sell by date the team has improved and I think we can look forward to the next couple of seasons. Of course the 5-1 loss to Leverkeusen was poor but these things happen, look at Newcastle this season against as well as AS Roma last season and Besiktas Liverpool.

Anyway I though the game today was agricultural to say the least playing on that cabbage patch and skill was at a minimum. The goal from Lincoln was a good one though probably the best piece of skill in the game. Still thats three more points and with Besiktas beating Sivas and CimBom still to host Brazilbahce things are still tight.