An endless cycle of meaningless football

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 01.06.2015 23:54

It was a boring, disrespectful and ugly season, just like the last 15 seasons of highest level Turkish football that I was able to watch. Two major Istanbul giants and a less powerful Beşiktaş competed for the top, like a scenario written for a film. Trabzon, Bursa and Başakşehir knew their places at the table and were out of the competition long before the second half of the season. Gençlerbirliği, Gaziantep and Eskişehir satisfied their duties very well too - they did not even put extra effort to get to the Europa League zone. Balıkesir, Karabük and Erciyes also did what they had to do and quietly bid farewell to the Super League. To make a long story short, it seems that everyone in the industry is satisfied, except the fans.

Firstly, the champions of the league, Galatasaray, reached the trophy without enough game quality and enthusiasm, and fans were not thrilled at all to watch them. Added to that, the fact that even with such play they got the trophy, we can easily say the competition for the top was worse than mediocre. Nevertheless, Galatasaray was the most stable and consistent team in terms of Super league standards and they deserved their success.

On the other hand, this does not change the fact that they ruined a bright future with Cesare Prandelli for short-term success. The club was ready for a change, both technically and economically, but they chose to preserve the present conditions by putting Hamza Hamzaoğlu in charge. As a coach, I respect Hamzaoğlu, but the thing that he represents and tries to rescue is harmful for Galatasaray in all aspects. Added to that, this championship not only justifies Ünal Aysal's unacceptable spending and, more precisely, transfer policy, but also legitimizes irrationally powerful jokers like Abdürrahim Albayrak. So, tell me which is more beneficial for Galatasaray - millions of dollars of spending for local success and no productivity or patience and promising strategies for international success and young players?

Secondly, a similar case, Fenerbahçe, suffered from structural deficiencies and one-man rule this season. Aziz Yıldırım's active involvement in tactics and squads is not a secret and İsmail Kartal never worked in a free environment. Thus, it is hard to evaluate Kartal's performance under these circumstances. Nevertheless, Ersun Yanal was able to implement his own strategies even though he was under Yıldırım's strict pressure. He both achieved success and left a compact team for Kartal, but it looks like Kartal could not show the same bravery. He tried to revive the old Fenerbahçe soul with his old players, focused on winning at all costs and did not even think about building a self-sufficient game. Therefore, Fenerbahçe looked like an old fart who sought his privileged position.

Despite there being no concrete opposition to Yıldırım in the Fenerbahçe administration, I believe most Fenerbahçe fans want to turn a new page for the club. Yıldırım's autocratic approach to the club disturbed a lot of Fenerbahçe fans in the past, but especially after the match-fixing scandal, Yıldırım consolidated the power of the club behind him. Now it is time for Fenerbahçe to question Yıldırım's administration.

Finally, the biggest loser of the season, Beşiktaş, mentally broke downed again. Yes, the club had no stadium, it had a young and inexperienced squad and there was a financial crisis at hand. But none of these excuses justifies the question of why Slaven Bilic could not put at least a decent game together in two years. You do not have to have great opportunities to implement simple strategies, all you have to do is organize and utilize the material at hand. To be honest, Beşiktaş had enough material for the Turkish Super League and it is obvious that Bilic could not make use of it. So I do not object to the club's decision to find a new coach, but the thing I will definitely object to would be blaming Bilic for all mistakes and justifying Fikret Orman's administration. They are responsible for the failure this season and, more importantly, the worsening situation of the club's economic profile. Orman and his crew came to power by promising Beşiktaş fans to change the club's awful system left from Yıldırım Demirören. However, if they are going to follow the same path as Demirören, Beşiktaş is going to suffer more in the long term.

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