Fasten your seatbelts, Denizli is in the house

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 27.11.2015 23:56
Updated 28.11.2015 00:01
Fasten your seatbelts, Denizli is in the house

It is now obvious that the Galatasaray administration never wanted to work with former coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu, considering they found one of the traditional Turkish football world's most iconic figures to replace him in Mustafa Denizli (above). It was clear proof of chairman Dursun Özbek and his crew's approach to football, getting someone in to save the day because Hamzaoğlu was not cunning enough to do it. Yes, Galatasaray have been led into financial crisis thanks to bad policies implemented by former administrations but the solution to this shouldn't be sacrificing the future of the football club just to bring in an arch pragmatist.

Of course, I respect Mustafa Denizli's career and his achievements in Turkish football. Nevertheless, as his Champions League, UEFA League and national team career shows, he was never a good enough coach to bring international success to Turkey. His traditional and pragmatic methods may very well bring domestic success to Galatasaray, given he preached these methods on the most popular football show in Turkey before he became Galatasaray coach. But, if local success was the benchmark for Galatasaray, why did they sack the coach who brought them three trophies last season for not being successful in the European arena.

On the other hand, if Mustafa Denizli is the most effective coach to boost team's performance in the short term, why he did not get involved in the team's training camp before the crucial Atletico Madrid game or why he sat right next to the chairman when he could have been coaching his team against the Spanish giant. All of those questions and their logical answers point to the same issue, the Galatasaray administration has no other goal than surviving another election and they did not want to make a disastrous start with their new coach.

This is why I always demand that Turkish clubs should adhere to financial restrictions and a more formal structure. Even though these clubs may seem to be working with professionals for financial and administrative issues, given there is no clear law to impose a formal structure that would make the clubs act like decent companies, the clubs are still being ruled by elites in their communities. They do not face serious consequences for not obeying financial fair play rules or undemocratic processes in their congresses. Thus, a Turkish club is like an oasis in the desert for well-known businessmen to make financial tricks. It is hardly the place for an ambitious and idealistic coach to try and compete with Europe's giants.

However, considering Wesley Sneijder accused former coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu of not training the team well, and seeing as Hamzaoğlu was sacked because of his comments about a player, Mustafa Denizli should be aware of the hierarchy among the players. I have my own suspicions about Denizli, but I will not let them kill the possibility of a good future for Galatasaray. If he can put an end to the privileged-players era, that alone would be great achievement for the club. Hence, let us see how the Denizli era will play out. I hope it will not be the third time we watch the same movie, Galatasaray doesn't have the mental, physical and financial credit for that.

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