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Ersun Yanal: New Blood or Just The Same Old Story? Ersun Yanal has been a popular Turkish managerial figure for a better part of the last decade; stints with six clubs, including formidable sides Genclerbirligi, Trabzonspor, and Eskisehirspor. Though, it was his tenure with Genclerbirligi that had brought his name to the forefront of the Turkish managerial elite of which he guided the Ankara based club to record breaking stages in the UEFA Cup. Touted as the next big name in Turkish football, he was given the responsibility to help transition the Turkish National team in a pivotal time where Hakan Sukur and the other old boys from the 2002 World Cup had dominated the headlines. For better or for worse, he was given the tough assignment of transitioning the old guard into a fresh, dynamic, younger team to compete on the world stage. Shortly after his dismissal in favour of Fatih Terim he continued his career with the newly promoted Manisaspor, then transitioning over to Trabzon to make a final stop at Eskisehir before his current stint at Fenerbahce. The question remains, is he going to transform the team into a force or will it just be the same defensive, bland rhetoric fans have become accustomed to under Aykut Kocaman? Time will tell, but initial signs aren’t great. Though at week 5 Fenerbahce has 15 goals for this year vs. their tally last season at 6; the touted attacking ‘Ersun Football’ has yet to gain traction despite netting as much as they have. Since Alex’s arrival, Fenerbahce fans are used to seeing a lone striker system bar Aragones’ attempt to transition the team into something arguably ‘modern’. For whatever reason the system hasn’t changed after Alex’s departure. To date, fans have witnessed players ranging between Cristian, Stoch, Alper, Holmen, and Salih taking cracks at the central attacking mid role to no avail. It’s time to face facts that the team just doesn’t have a playmaker anywhere near the level Alex was at. With the squad available, Fenerbahce should have had a two striker system with the likes of Stoch and Kuyt roaming on the wings. However, with Stoch’s loan departure, the squad is left with thin options wide forcing Moussa Sow or Emenike to a pseudo-wing/striker responsibility. Ersun Yanal has a big ask on his plate, he must find a balance with utilizing players to their fullest whilst implementing a system. It’s a big dilemma, you either prioritize a style of play and stick to it, or you set the system in a way that every player gets utilized in their optimal positions. Manager Yanal has a history of getting some impressive form out of players in the past, Fenerbahce fans better hope that he can bring some of that magic to a club that is desperate to earn a title. Burak Yilmaz: Bad times coming? After a fabolous first season at Galatasaray, forward Burak Yilmaz is going through a rather hard period these days. Below average performances, problems with the fans and the possibility of not being considered by Fatih Terim for the first team of Galatasaray anymore. What does the future hold for Burak? September 17th. A bad night for Galatasaray and for turkish football. But probably even a worse night for Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz. The yellow-red's top scorer last season was whistled by his own fans after being substituted by his manager Fatih Terim in the match against Real Madrid, which ended 6-1 in Real's favour. The TV cameras focused Burak's face and it was clear that he was saying something in anger. It didn't take Galatasaray fans all over the internet long to accuse Burak of cursing them and Burak himself seemed to admit this indirectly when he apologized on his twitter account


the other day. The implications of this rather tense situatiion seemed to be visible in Burak's performance in the Istanbul derby against Besiktas on sunday. The Galatasaray forward looked fairly unconfident and failed to score in two one-on-one situations against the keeper making him an easy target for his critcs, who never get tired to claim that Burak's only real addition to the team are the goals he scores. Some of those critics must have been amongst the people who protested Burak after his performance against Real Madrid, where he had missed an open header in front of Diego Lopez to make the score 1-1 at that moment. Considering the fact that the strong and fast forward scored 34 goals in 45 matches for Galatasaray (8 of those in the UEFA Champions League) since his arrival last summer, one may have expected that Galatasaray fans would have been more patient with him. The 28-year-old was one of the leading figures in Galatasaray's domestic and european succes last season after all. Still Burak has a rather hard time pleasing Galatasaray and Turkish football fans in general. The Burak-bashing began in the first few weeks of Burak's debut season at Galatasaray when he helped his team winning a penalty in a Besiktas derby thanks to a dive. Obviously fans of other teams were much less amused than Galatasaray fans, and they kept mocking Burak a lot for all kinds of stuff (like him imitating Cristiano Ronaldo's goal celebrations) for the rest of the season. Meanwhile though, Burak had managed to win over the majority of the GS fans with his goals. A lot of them had been skeptical about what he could to at a big club like Galatasaray, especially because Burak had failed to impress in previous stints at Besiktas and Fenerbahce. More of a winger back in those days, Burak returned to Istanbul as a pure forward. Senol G端nes, Burak's manager at Trabzonspor from 2010 to 2012, had been the first manager to really take advantage of Buraks physical abilities and had turned him into a goal-scoring machine. Burak didn't disappoint in Istanbul this time around and finished last season as the top scorer of the Super League for the second time in a row. Still, after a lot of trouble around Burak's possible switch to Lazio Rome during the summer transfer window, the forward seems to have lost a lot of sympathy from his own club's fans again. The incidents at the Real Madrid match were a clear sign for it. And with some bad performances and crucial misses in the first important matches of the new season, he seems to be an easy target for his critics once again at the moment. Some of them would prefer Galatasaray to play with two active wingers instead of Burak as a second forward who has minimal visible contribution to the team's game as soon as he doesnt score. They think that playing with two forwards and no wingers (4-2-2 diamond formation) just to make Burak fit in is hurting Galatasaray. They're not convinced that Burak is good enough of a forward for manager Fatih Terim to take that sacrifice. The fact that Burak had rather shocking performances against really high calibre teams like Real Madrid seems to prove their point. Considering the rather unimpressive football that Galatasaray is displaying in the recent weeks with their 4-2-2 diamond formation with Burak and Drogba upfront, Terim might very well switch to a 4-5-1 in the coming weeks. The 12-million-Euro-signing of wonderkid Bruma, who happens to be a winger, is one of the biggest indicators for that. It looks almost certain that Burak in his current form is not going to be Terim's striker in that formation. He'll either have to make way for Drogba and sit on the bench or try to


improve his general contribution to the team by running and getting involved in play a lot more. Then Fatih Terim might consider playing him on the right wing, hoping that he still manages to score now and then and also helps the team in other aspects as well. Galatasarays manager hinted on numerous occasions that the latter might be his plan for Burak in the future, for example when he stated that he would have a surprise for Burak next (this) season: running a lot more. As we seem to understand now, this could very well be happening up and down Galatasaray's right flank from now on. Rotational Policy The past few years we've witnessed a Fenerbahce that has been carried by specific individuals on rare occasions. We have seen some brilliant performances that are usually followed by several abysmal showings. It seems that the odds of fielding a player who is consistant is harder than looking for a black cat in a coal cellar. Since the short term success of the club looks very much bleak - only playing for domestic glory, now would be the time to sort things out and to establish a team around 4-5 players and utilize a rotation policy around them. This Fenerbahce squad is full of young exciting players who are awaiting their chance. They do not want to play a handful of games a 'backups', they wish to be moulded into the team so that the next decade will and should revolve around them. Players like Alper, Salih and Mert are the ones who come to mind. It should come as no shock to anyone that certain players on the team who are all but guaranteed their starting spot will eventually loose the desire to work hard for it and, more importantly, set a good example by their hard work rate for the younger players. How is it that Kuyt starts week in and out, even when he plays atrocious? Yet how come Sow is not played for two weeks because his one outburst on twitter somehow disappoints the coach? How come the actions of Raul Miereles are not disappointing when he gets red cards after red cards, but the actions of Caner's outbursts towards referees are dealt with in a swift manner? In any case, it is time for Ersun to make sure that the future stars of this team get their chances and are moulded into this team. I believe that the problem lies within the Turkish/foreign issue. Players on high wages with a reputation that proceeds them will always get a free pass. The first 2 weeks of the season we saw some horrid performances and I myself was one of Ersun's most vocal critics. However, the past 3 games he has made the necessary changes (even though some of them may be questionable such as leaving Sow off the team) which has somehow inspired the players to step it up.

Imparator - Fatih Terim

Date: 17 May 2000. Place; Copenhagen Arsenal plays a UEFA Cup final with Galatasaray. The English opponents find themselves in many goal opportunities through-out 90 minutes and extra time; however even after the dismissal off Galatasaray player Hagi in extra time they somehow manage to not score a single goal. The match then goes into penalties.... Popescu with the chance to score the decisive penalty and the defender makes no mistake, Galatasaray triumph 4-1 in the shoot-out. The technical


management rush onto the pitch and the crowd go wild. The winning team is Galatasaray; the first and only Turkish team to win the UEFA cup.

Date: 20 June 2008. Place; Vienna Slaven Bilic leaves the stadium looking white as a sheet. Just minutes earlier the Croatian was seen jumping around, a Cheshire smile across his face. Croatia where leading 1-0 in a match which could have easily been 3 or 4 nil had it not been for a stubborn defence and rotten luck, when Semih Senturk struck with seconds to go. It’s 1-1 in extra time. Croatia looked devastated before the penalty shoot-out had even started. Turkey wins 3-1 on penalties and Croatia is eliminated. Turkey progress to the Semi-Finals!

Date: 12 May 2012. Place; Istanbul It is a must win match for Fenerbahce, they face fierce rivals Galatasaray at home in a play-off match. Galatasaray can claim the league title if they get a draw or win. Fro m the first minute Fenerbahce dominate in goal scoring opportunities; however they are denied by a resilient defence and an inspired Muslera. The match enters the 90th minute, both teams are already down to ten men after Dia (Fenerbahce) and Ujfalusi (Galatasaray) are sent off for double yellow bookings. It’s a tense meeting between the two, Fenerbahce are desperately trying to do all they can to score. 96:18, the referee blows the final whistle and that it! The match ends 0-0. Galatasaray have won the league at their rival’s home stadium. Whistles can be heard from the opposing fans, the Galatasaray management are on their feet in pandemonium. The players huddle together and celebrate what is a historic title win.

The common factor in those matches? Imparator. Commendatore. Fatih Terim.

Fatih Terim is loved…and loathed wherever he goes. He leaves his mark at whatever club he manages and it’s his unique personality that I love. You either love him or you hate him. You cannot do both at the same time.

For those who don’t know much about him. Here’s a little paragraph about this legend. Fatih Terim was born 1953 and has been actively involved in professional football from the age of 16. He played for only two teams in his playing career, Adana Demirspor 1969 – 1974 and


Galatasaray 1974-1985. He started his managerial career at Ankaragucu where he didn’t have any success. Since then his managerial has seen him manage sides such as: Goztepe, Turkish National Team, A.C. Milan, Fiorentina and Galatasaray. He is currently in charge of Galatasaray in his third term at the club and he’s also in charge of the National team for the third time.

Fatih Terim is a rebellious coach, he has outside-of-the-box characteristics and he refuses to listen and follow conventions. He refuses to have ordinary thoughts and attitudes.

He is a coach who faces the risk of being ‘hated’. He knows all too well that anyone who attempts to do something different, and who dares to implement change faces this risk. He is a typical Turkish character. He sees his players as his ‘children’, at times he can become angry with them, and at others, affectionate. He believes in the need to challenge all the big names in the sports world, and all the common conceptions, with his mind and his in order to be the best he can and to help his teams challenge for the best honours.

He’s a coach that finds it easy to motive his players, to make his players work hard for him and the team. He believes that anything can happen; you can win matches that are against the odds, you can win league titles, honours and recognition if you work hard.

Regardless of what is said about him, in reality Fatih Terim is a very good coach for Galatasaray and the National Team.

• •

He is the most successful manager in Turkey and is regarded as the best manager Turkey has ever produced. Fatih Terim’s Managerial honours (Galatasaray): Turkish League x6. Turkish Cup x2. Turkish Super Cup x4. Uefa Cup x1.


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