It is time recreate the philosophy of Turkish football

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published

I do not like to say "I told you so," but if you read my piece before the Turkey-Ukraine game and then watched the paralyzed performance by Turkey, you would know that Turkey and Fatih Terim fell into the traps that I mentioned before the game. It was obvious that Borussia Dortmund winger Emre Mor would be the everything in Turkey's game plan, given Terim somehow regards this kid as an omnipotent demigod. Added to that, it was even more obvious that Ukraine would develop some preventive strategies and cripple the Turkish game plan. Thus, the game almost happened exactly as I predicted, while Turkey had no idea about how they were going to score and desperately consumed Mor's skills, Ukraine simply stopped Mor on the wings and played their original counter-attacking game.

First of all, the only creative solution that Terim found for his team's dull offensive performance was doubling the strikers and putting a key playmaker, Hakan Çalhanoğlu to the left wing to feed them. You see, the team has no sophisticated pattern to carry the ball into the opponent's half other than goal kicks, and Fatih Terim traps his best man, who can organize the game, to the wings. The logic of Fatih Terim again failed when the question of "how are we going to feed the wingers " occurred while Ukraine dominated the midfield and did not even let Turkey play with the ball for more than 15 seconds continuously in the first half. Thus, a penalty and a classic counter-attacking goal almost finished off Turkey before one-thirds of the game had passed.

Later, thanks to dead balls and Ukraine's coach Andriy Shevchenko's decision to slow down his team, Turkey managed to get one point. Nevertheless, the side should be happy with this result is, given Turkey lost a precious two points at home. If this game had been played in Ukraine, the result could have been much different.

However, the main problem of the national team is still the same as when Fatih Terim took charge and it has not changed with the occasional success or failure, Turkey does not have a collective, sustainable and sufficient strategy to score or defend. Turkey have talented defenders, playmakers and attackers, but they do not have a creative defensive or offensive strategy. Please tell me, when you have every ingredient you need and various beautiful recipes can be found all around the world, if the food is terrible, whom should you blame? Let me guess, the cook right? Then why is the mainstream media still backing Fatih Terim and his primitive methods? Because Turkish football is Fatih Terim and Fatih Terim is Turkish football, unfortunately, this country does not have another football philosophy.

With the money, manpower and love of football in the country, Turkey could have done much better in the last decade. Nevertheless, Fatih Terim and the ruling philosophy of football needs to change first, as Uğur Meleke from Hürriyet puts beautifully: "Terim's method of harvesting energy from hate does not work anymore, and the same energy can be harvested from love too. This is the national team, not Terim F.C., the national interests should be the priority not personal disputes."

As long as Terim and the people in Turkish Football Federation, media and government who think football should be played with hate and chaos do not change their mind, it is impossible to build a football philosophy in Turkey that can compete with the best in Europe. Turkey has all the ingredients, all they need is the right chef and the right recipes.

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