Beşiktaş won the Russian roulette, but last 2 games will be harder
by Arda Alan Işık
ISTANBULMay 10, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Arda Alan Işık
May 10, 2016 12:00 am
Super League leaders Beşiktaş faced their archrivals Galatasaray, who have had a terrible season this year, on Sunday night and managed to get away with three points. The game was supposed to be won by Beşiktaş, given they were 28 points ahead of their opponents and have played much better all season. Nevertheless, for almost 70 minutes plus the final minutes of the game, Galatasaray were the most effective and dominant side. Even though they had no sophisticated strategy to make their domination count, they found opportunities and pushed Beşiktaş into their half. But overall it was a typical Turkish game where the quality of the game was terrible and the football was extremely chaotic.
First of all, Beşiktaş continue to surprise their fans and whoever supports them this season for their beautiful football. In the first half of the season, the team was clearly the most effective and visually enjoyable side in the league, but in the second half the championship stress has shown. Coach Şenol Güneş buried his forward-thinking strategies in the ground and focused on conceding less goals. Added to that, Beşiktaş's well-organized and holistic approach was transformed into a traditional counter-attacking game where Beşiktaş roll the dice every game.
The Galatasaray game was no different from the recent picture of Beşiktaş and coach Şenol Güneş. The team was paralyzed against a wild and unpredictable press from Galatasaray and striker Mario Gomez had to come into the middle of their half to touch the ball. Given Galatasaray's press was not a well-organized tactic or a precursor of a general strategy, there were lots of opportunities for Beşiktaş to find space. Nonetheless, the Eagles were so afraid of conceding a goal that sometimes eight players gathered in front of their penalty box, making them unavailable to organize a counter attack. Until Şenol Güneş made substitutions in the second half, Beşiktaş were lost and their players' individual talent and their opponent's inability to turn energy into effectiveness saved them from a catastrophe. On the other hand, Galatasaray seems to have lost every aspect of being a professional football team this season. Players only pick the big games to show off their skills and do not even bother in other games in the other games. If Galatasaray had shown this energy from the beginning of the season, they would have been in a much better position than they are in now. However, of course the main problem is still economic and administrative issues, which makes me hesitate to comment on the players' performance. But, Galatasaray still have one of the best squads in the league and with the right coach and with rational, reproducible strategies, the team can achieve much more than just playing Russian roulette.