Pride, passion and fascinating stories from Asia Minor
After a more than adequate break, the Turkish Super Lig gets back underway this weekend and what better a way to celebrate its return than to take a look back at the best...and worst of the first half of the season? May the Super Lig Awards 2010 begin!
Best Team –Trabzonspor
The Black Sea Storm are doing exactly what their name suggests by throwing around every team that steps into their path. A healthy five point lead was established going into the break after a first half that included a 7-0 away win at Kasimpasa and a 6-1 drubbing of Sivasspor. Not to mention wins over Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Bursaspor.
Top Gaffer – Senol Gunes
Having taken Trabzon to cup glory last year and helping Bursaspor to the league title with a draw at Fenerbahce on the last day of the season, Senol Gunes is hoping to go one better with a league title. Hero-like status awaits with Trabzon’s last league title coming in 1984...no pressure then!
The ‘stop me if you can’ award for best player – Alex De Souza
If this is to be his last year then he sure seems likely to go out with a bang. A stuttering Fenerbahce have had their captain to thank on numerous occasions and the Brazilian is currently leading the goal scoring charts with 12 goals plus countless assists. One of the greatest players to ever grace the league, a player capable of producing the incredible, Alex will live long in the memory for years to come.
The ‘I’m the boss and this is why’ award for top Chairman – Yildirim Demiroren
As far as top name signings go Yildirim Demiroren has outdone himself, and the rest of the league, once again after signing Guti and Ricardo Quaresma last summer Besiktas seemed set to challenge...no, really.
However, a poor first half was clearly not good enough and Demiroren has dug deep into his pockets, presumably full of Euros, to bring in not one but three Portuguese internationals.
Simao has jumped on the wagon from Madrid with Manuel Fernandes and Hugo Almeida completing the trio. Currently 14 points adrift, the new stars will have to hit the ground running if Besiktas are to challenge from 5th place.
The ‘Don’t bank on us’ award for epic failure – Bursaspor in Europe
Five games lost, two goals scored, one point and a -14 goal difference. A well deserved award!
The ‘Sorry? Remind me who you are again’ Award for surprising efficiency – Karabukspor
It’s not often a promoted team ends the first half of the season in the top 10, let alone in sixth place and just six points from a European finish. Some impressive home displays have seen Karabuk more than hold their own and in Emmanuel Emenike they have a striker destined for a big money move this summer (if not in January). With Galatasaray hovering, holding on to the 12 goal Nigerian will be the clubs biggest worry over the next few weeks. A great debut season achievement none the less!
The ‘What on earth are you thinking’ award for transfer lunacy – Galatasaray
Failing to hold on to Elano may not have been entirely the clubs fault, but signing Colin Kazim Richards from Fenerbahce, after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent, certainly was.
Quite what Cimbom were thinking when they decided to sign Cristiano Ronal....Sorry, Kazim Richards, is anyone’s guess. Will I be eating my words come May? I very much doubt it...
The Lifetime Achievement award – Ali Sami Yen Stadium
It may be crumbling, missing a number of seats and in desperate need of a lick of paint but there is only one place that comes to mind when you read the words ‘Welcome to Hell’.
The Ali Sami Yen stadium will write its name into the folklore of Turkish football with a last hoo-rah before Galatasaray’s move to their brand spanking Turk Telekom Arena.
Cimbom’s cup game against Sekerspor is hardly the glamour send off the stadium duly deserves so I will leave it to the video experts at TubeYou to remind us of just how welcoming Hell actually is – with the help of some familiar faces!
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