There is a powerful myth in Turkish football which suggests that once the title race heats up, do not expect good quality football. Regrettably, it is also accepted by the people in the footballing business and they claim that their inability to entertain fans with high-quality games are justified with the competition.
There were two big games this weekend, and it seemed both were affected by this poisonous attitude. Especially the one between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray considered the flagship of the Turkish Super League. The quality of football in the match was so poor, it was mocked by the fans of other teams.
The derby, which was marketed as a "world derby," turned out to be a game between two mediocre European teams.
Today, I would like to crush this myth of justified bad football and show how the idea is indeed, paradoxical.
First of all, a good game may not always bring good results but it is the most crucial element in getting good scores. The reason why people think that good football and good results negate each other is that they have been exposed to only one version of entertaining football, chaotic.
Now, I am strategically opposed to chaotic approaches mostly because the unpredictability it brings to the game only strengthens the importance of individual talents. However, I must admit that chaos can be entertaining, and technically, it is unpredictable entertainment wherein the results are also unpredictable. But, in a big industry like football, it is unacceptable to put all your money at risk in the name of entertainment and chaos cannot be the only way to entertain people.
Before I get to my second argument, here is a quick question for you: Do you like the game Manchester City, Barcelona or Liverpool play? You may have different views on this, but for most people, they play a very entertaining brand of football. But do they play chaotically? You may come up with different points here as well, mostly targeted at Liverpool; but my answer would still be a clear no. These teams have well-organized plans, combined with a great sense of collective action. It may make their game very predictable, but also very dangerous and entertaining at the same time.
The reason for that is simple, just the way we like a sense of excitement coming out of unpredictability, we also like to watch beautiful works of art, and eleven players executing a perfect game under one great mind is art in itself. Moreover, as I claimed, it is much safer in terms of results, since chaos cannot promise anything. So when people claim that we cannot expect good football when the stakes are high, they are just admitting Turkish league's inability of producing good football. Good football has always a better chance of producing good results and the myth of bad football for good results is at best an oxymoron.