I think neither Galatasaray nor Beşiktaş fans were pleased with what they saw on Sunday night. Despite Galatasaray's decisive-looking 2-0 win and Beşiktaş's effort to come back after Veli Kavlak's red card, the game was totally horrible. Of course, the Olimpiyat Stadium's conditions were not suitable for a good game but both teams contributed a lot to the unbearable 90 minutes. They had two main goals going into the game; keeping a strong defensive line and making use of the mistakes of the opponent. The difference was Beşiktaş's tendency to directly strike its opponent, while Galatasaray tried to find serious opportunities by attacking more patiently. Nevertheless, this difference did not actually critically impact the game. The game was the antithesis of all the positive football arguments for Turkish football. For me, this match revealed the truth about football in Turkey.
First of all, Beşiktaş's game plan was not different from any other game, a few more defensive concerns maybe, but nothing more. Theoretically, this counter attack game is the only strategy of Beşiktaş and what made this match disappointing was the situation of the opponent. Given that Beşiktaş let their opponents control the game, they can only be the object of the game, not a subject. If Beşiktaş's opponent let them play, then Beşiktaş can play. Seeing as this chaotic strategy is the only plan that Slaven Bilic has, Beşiktaş will continue to get inconsistent results.
Galatasaray did not completely dominate the game but the fear of fast offensive players and a bit of patience were enough to push Beşiktaş's defensive line to a point where they could not strike with enough speed. The same as Beşiktaş, Galatasaray's defense was also so jumpy that Hamza Hamzaoğlu did not dare move his defensive line 10 meters forward, which would have totally finished off Beşiktaş. However, even if Atiba Hutchinson had been in the squad, the situation would not have changed. There is a systematic problem with Beşiktaş's game and this is directly related with Slaven Bilic's game style. Individual performances may have a slight effect, but the reason why Beşiktaş collapsed in the key moments is the paradigm of Bilic.
On the other hand, a 2-0 victory against Beşiktaş was not enough to deduce a bright future ahead for Galatasaray. It looks like Hamzaoğlu will not continue with the reformist plans that Cesare Prandelli brought to the team and will aim for the shortest path to a championship. Galatasaray partly maintains the patient character of Prandelli's game, but Hamzaoğlu's chaotic strategy will "eradicate" this positive feature eventually. Thus, Galatasaray is mainly the same as Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe. Sneijder's creativity, Selçuk İnan's organization skills and Burak Yılmaz's pace, in other words, players' individual skills, are carrying the team right now. Of course, it is still early to speak about Hamzaoğlu's plans but his first month at the club has provided us with some evidence about his plans.
Both Beşiktaş and Galatasaray need to build a systematic relationship among their players. It is not enough to put a player up front and expect him to score goals in today's football. They have to settle a collective skill that will allow these two teams to play with more speed and precision. Both teams are capable of realizing this kind of a strategy. A game revolving around Oğuzhan Özyakup and Jose Sosa would do most of the Super League's work for Beşiktaş and Prandelli's use of Wesley Sneijder and Felipe Melo would be beneficial for Galatasaray.
However, it is actually harmful for both teams to deceive themselves with the good results they have picked up against weak opponents. To play well in the higher levels of football, Turkish teams have to meet with concepts like pass circulation, creating options, control and use of the field etc. Unless, what we observed on Sunday night, which actually occurs every week, will continue until the day Turkish football eventually breaks down.
Tolga Zengin could have reacted better for the first goal. Nevertheless, it was a quick situation and a situation that only a top class goalkeeper could handle. However, he successfully left his area to prevent counter attacks in the second half and this gave Beşiktaş defensive courage to move forward. On the other hand, Muslera commanded his area very well and finished off Beşiktaş's chaotic crosses at the beginning.