Pride, passion and fascinating stories from Asia Minor
Note pad? Check! Camera? Check! El Clasico? Check!
Without a doubt the single most impressive display of football I have ever seen.
That was of course a reference to Barcelona’s ass-whooping of Real Madrid on Monday night. I was one of the fortunate 100,000 who packed the Camp Nou to witness total football at its ultimate best but also, surprisingly, joined by a number of famous faces from Turkey!
Legendary coach Fatih Terim and Ntv pundit Ridvan Dilmen enjoyed the showpiece occasion along with Television presenter Acun Ilicali.
However, the most notable appearance was from Manisaspor manager Hikmet Karaman. Equipped with video camera and note pad, Karaman was obviously here to learn from the contrasting styles of two top class managers.
‘The difference between the two systems is fascinating. One team passes the ball around in an attempt to tire out their opposition while the other soaks up pressure before breaking into a counter attack’
We can only salute such dedication to the sport, and more so upon hearing that Hikmet was set to board a 6.45am flight to get back to Izmir via Munich, all in order to make Tuesday’s training session.
Back in Turkey this weekend, Besiktas kept themselves in the title race with a hard earned victory over Galatasaray. The Black Eagles had not won at the Ali Sami Yen since the 2002/03 season but snatched a 2-1 win thanks to Guti and Mert Nobre.
It was more bad news for Galatasaray, and not just because Harry Kewell actually scored. Fans ripped up seats in the soon to be demolished stadium before calling for Chairman Adnan Polat to step down.
While reports suggest Elano has been flogged back to Santos, a loss for Cimbom at rock bottom Kasimpasa this weekend could signal the end for some notable others as well.
At the top, leaders Trabzonspor kept their two point advantage over Bursaspor with a comfortable 3-1 win at Gaziantepspor thanks to a Burak Yilmaz brace and Jaja.
The Green Crocodiles put their 6-1 Champions League humbling behind them in beating Kayserispor 2-0 – a game which even saw a goal from Sercan Yildirim. The striker has looked distinctly lost in recent weeks but even Arsene Wenger, at his visually challenged best, could have seen the delight on the striker’s face.
The performance of the week 14 came from this seasons surprise package Karabukspor. Currently in 7th place, the newly promoted side are more than standing their ground in their debut season and promptly put five past Ankaragucu on Sunday.
Emenike’s double took his goal tally to 10 for the season, joint top with Fenerbahce’s Alex, and added more weight to claims that an offer from Galatasaray could be on its way in January.
A goal or two against Fenerbahce this weekend would more than please his possible employers.
WEEK 14 RESULTS Galatasaray 1-2 Besiktas, Istanbul B.B 0-1 Fenerbahce, Karabukspor 5-1 Ankaragucu, Bursaspor 2-0 Kayserispor, Bucaspor 1-0 Antalyaspor, Eskisehirspor 2-1 Manisaspor, Gaziantepspor 1-3 Trabzonspor, Konyaspor 2-2 Kasimpasa, Genclerbirligi 1-1 Sivasspor
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