Tudor's gamble did not pay off

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 23.10.2017 20:51

The biggest game in the Turkish football, Galatasaray versus Fenerbahçe, was a disappointment in terms of football quality. Although the referee Cüneyt Çakır's decisions are being roasted by both sides, the truth is that both managers chose to play a careful, defensive game.

This attitude was not surprising for Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman, given his team are not ready yet and they tend to be a counterattacking team currently.

Nevertheless, Galatasaray were a ready project. Their high-end pressing, offensive model had brought them to the top of the Turkish Super League, but coach Igor Tudor's decision to reshape his team defensively seemingly backfired.

It is a usual practice for coaches in Turkey to play noticeably more defensive in crucial games and it is even more usual to watch this practice backfire.

The number one mistake almost all coaches do is that while they think their defensive reinforcements make their team more balanced, actually it breaks down the usual game of their team.

Given that Galatasaray had done a very good job in the first eight games of the league, their strategy was settled and the players were accustomed to it.

When Igor Tudor changed the formation and added an extra defender to the defensive line, he not only diminished his team's offensive power but also created a domino effect in his usual strategy.

What made Galatasaray's game so effective in the first eight games was that they were able to press their opponents fiercely in their halves. But against Fenerbahçe, Igor Tudor positioned seven men around their penalty box, building blocks to prevent Fenerbahçe sneaking in to their defensive line.

This led to a serious decrease in the efficiency of their pressing game, given the players who were supposed to be pressing on offense were covering their positions on defense.

Thus, although Galatasaray started the game as the attacking side, their way of attacking was not the same as in the first eight games and eventually they did not pose a serious threat against Fenerbahçe.

This game was a clear lesson for Tudor, showing him how important it is not to disturb the usual strategy of his team.

Cheap tactics to save the day can only bring good results in chaos, and given chaos can bring anything, it cannot be reliable. I understand the pressure Tudor was exposed before the game, but the real quality must be shown in this kind of events.

If Galatasaray want to be champions this season, it is the game they played in the first eight games that will bring the trophy to them. Otherwise, Tudor must keep in mind that many coaches were lost in the search of cheap ways to the trophy, because they simply do not exist.

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