The plan that I wrote one day before the game worked perfectly, Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş destroyed Galatasaray with the center made up of Oğuzhan Özyakup, Atiba Hutchinson and Tolgay Arslan. Even though Tolgay went out in the 65th minute when Beşiktaş was fiercely bombarding the Galatasaray goal, Güneş did not opt for Anderson Talisca. Rather, Güneş valued the talent of his game more than increasing the individual talents in the game. The results were groundbreaking for Beşiktaş and Turkish football; Güneş not only defeated the league leaders, but also buried the myth of individual talents deep into the ground.
However, the interpretation of this game in Turkish football media was again horrible, but not surprising. Many columnists argued that it was the best game by Ricardo Quaresma, while he himself enjoyed more than everyone the fruits of having losing the initiative to the Özyakup, Hutchinson and Arslan trio. Thus, claiming that Quaresma was the star of this game could only be called absurd, given his cross-frenzy would only work for Galatasaray's favor. The proper way of interpreting his performance must include the fact that Quaresma finally learned to make runs behind the opponent's defense and finally created another threat than wing crosses for the opponent's defense.
On the other hand, those who did not understand his plan saw Talisca's absence as a defensive worry for Güneş. Nevertheless, the real power of this new game appeared with full force in the second half, proving that Talisca's absence made Beşiktaş's attacks more effective. Between the 45th and 70th minutes of the game, Beşiktaş could have found at least five more goals, and the opportunities they wasted were capable of driving any Beşiktaş fan mad. But the point is, although Galatasaray coach Igor Tudor prepared many precautions in the center, Beşiktaş managed to delve into the depths of his defense with ease. The reason is simple: Tudor was prepared for a Quaresma and Talisca-based strategy, and if Beşiktaş chose to play their original game he could have easily stopped it. Güneş saw this threat in the dull Yeni Malatyaspor game last weekend and abandoned that strategy before it was too late.
The true value in this game for both Beşiktaş and Turkish football is both theoretical and practical, given Beşiktaş finally played a collective game with great efficiency. Nonetheless, the other annoying habit of our football media, which is the disproportionate praise of the game due to results, should not make Beşiktaş feel too confident about their game. They still have many problems, especially the lack of support of defense in the build-ups and the time and space it creates for the opponent's forwards. Without dealing with those problems and Quaresma-based game, Beşiktaş will not be able to compete in the Champions League. However, if Güneş can develop this game further, he can write history.
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