Beşiktaş are now four points ahead of second-placed Başakşehirspor and have widened the gap between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe with seven and 10 points. This, even though there are still 13 weeks until the end of the season, signaled that Beşiktaş are slowly isolating themselves at the top of the league. Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe both sacked their coaches and replaced them with more pragmatic and renowned ones, but this move will not help them catch Beşiktaş or even Başakşehirspor in the long run.
Nevertheless, Başakşehirspor, who will whatever happened be the fans' champions this season, is a different case and it is still a mystery whether they can comeback after two weeks without a win. But the point is, despite the fact that coach Şenol Güneş has become more pragmatic than ever this season, Beşiktaş are now enjoying their long-term investment and plans with Güneş.
First of all, as I have advocated many times in this column, long-term plans with scientific methods always have more of a chance to bring success than short-term plans with lots of shortcuts. Both Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray did not let their coaches have enough time and material to build a time that can compete for all competitions. Fenerbahçe started the season by sacking Vitor Pereira, and after two months of preparation, it was obvious that it was an immature decision by Fenerbahçe.
Then they appointed Dick Advocaat, obviously again to save the day, and indeed Advocaat saved the day, but the Fenerbahçe board forgot that the season runs until May and saving just one day would not be enough. Thus, now Fenerbahçe are left with a very simplistic counter-attacking strategy that almost every opponent has learned how to prevent.Galatasaray, on the other hand, did not show courage coach Jan Olde Riekerink needed, and let their coach who brought them the Turkish Cup and Super Cup last season be destroyed by the fans and the media. However, since 2015 the club has been in a financial crisis and no one had known Riekerink when he accepted the job, because no one whose name was known wanted it. The team was struggling in the league and there were simply not enough economic resources to maintain a high quality team. But amid this crisis, Riekerink managed to win two trophies and let Galatasaray survive this catastrophic period, eventually making him a darling of the Galatasaray fans.
Nevertheless, in Turkish football you can drop from heaven to hell in just two games, and those who write pompous praise of you may become your greatest enemies in short order. Now, Igor Tudor, a renowned ex-player and an aspiring manager has been appointed, and you can guess why the Galatasaray board appointed him, to save the day.However, even though I am one of the biggest opponents of Beşiktaş's play this season, I have to admit that their financial and organizational order is the best among the Istanbul giants, and they are the closest team to the point where I want to see all Turkish teams - prosperous and stable.
The team has grown steadily and did not make drastic changes during chaotic times. I would like to see Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş making braver decisions about his team's game, right now Beşiktaş is also playing a very pragmatic game where individual talent is the main facilitator, but at least there is a squad structure and long-term plan, which alone is enough to dominate the Turkish league nowadays.
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