Former Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic made really interesting statements before leaving Turkey. He said: "I have to confess that it is really hard to be a referee in Turkey. I have never seen in my entire life commentators arguing a refereeing mistake while replaying the incident 20 times. The interesting point is they cannot find a common ground. They start at 10:00 p.m. and it lasts for hours. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and see them still disputing the position. Nuts!"
I did not agree on most issues about Beşiktaş and Turkish football with Slaven Bilic, nevertheless he has a point. Do we really understand how weird Turkish football is? Or are we too inside everything that we cannot see what kind of reality show is going on?
Why in the world would a football community argue refereeing mistakes for hours while no one talks about the quality of the football? Bilic is right, this is completely nuts. We cannot develop young players, our teams cannot get past the first round in or at most the second round in European competition, most of the clubs are in financial crisis but they say "hey, please be quiet, we need to see if that was a throw in or not." Again and again, hour after hour, it is just obvious that they do this on purpose. Like watching the Kardashians or Survivor, they keep people busy with unnecessary things in order to hide the truth. However, the truth is, Turkish football has reached its nadir.
Furthermore, putting referees in the spotlight this much shows how corrupt our football is. Like Mircea Lucescu said when he was in Turkey: "Even Ceausescu's Romania was cleaner than Turkish football." If we had financially fair and less corrupt football, people would not need to focus on referees so much. Nonetheless, these men know how to manipulate the masses and they are eager to sacrifice referees, as if referees would cheat without corrupt executives like them.
However, considering these facts, it is not a surprise that the Turkish national team is regarded as successful for beating Kazakhstan. Maybe Fatih Terim and his friends are living in a parallel universe, where Kazakhstan is "the greatest country in the world," like Borat said. Nevertheless, in my universe, I saw a Turkish national team that could not find a way to open the most basic of defenses of a weak team. Thus, it eventually turns out to be a kick-and-rush game every time Turkey struggles to find opportunities. Now think of all the millions of dollars, "star" players, a critically acclaimed coach and this result. Despite all the madness created by the media, the situation is clear, we do not even know how to find the goal consistently.
"Portuguese way of
On the other hand, Fenerbahçe has made a interesting coaching transfer, Vitor Pereira. He is known for the tough and defensive style that he implemented at Porto and Olympiacos. Like his fellow countryman Jose Mourinho, he also concentrates on winning at all costs rather than building a long-term system. Thus, we might say that Fenerbahçe have chosen a style of football rather than simply a coach. Uğur Meleke from Milliyet explains why Fenerbahçe chose him:
"As far as I understand, Fenerbahçe's decision is not about Pereira, but the Portuguese style of football. They might want to set the language of the dressing room as Portuguese."
Meleke is right about the language's effect on football, and I believe every nation builds its football upon the language that it interprets football through. In Turkey, it is more like an entertainment channel's language. Nonetheless, as George Orwell said in 1984: "First they steal the words, then the meaning." Thus, I appreciate Fenerbahçe's decision to find a new way to interpret football, but it seems that the new interpretation is as pragmatic as the old one. I hope I'm wrong, but I guess Fenerbahçe will be pretty much the same next season.