The Turkish national football team's mini friendly marathon against Iran, Tunisia and Russia gave mixed signals about the team. Although the team is made up of mostly young and promising players, their performance as a team was inconsistent at best.
Mircea Lucescu's students had great individual moments which gave hope to fans but at the same time their inability to cooperate and play collectively alerted the careful observers.
Here, Lucescu must take the blamed for not paying enough attention to strategies and trying players without a certain context does not have any value.
A coach's primary duty is to evaluate and assess his players' performance in a specific tactical context. A coach cannot simply throw his players on to the pitch and try to evaluate their performance in the ensuing chaos. In that case, there would not be a difference between a scout and a coach, because it is the former's duty to evaluate and assess a player's overall performance and skills.
Thus, Lucescu's strategy in the friendlies was fundamentally wrong, since he did not try to establish a specific strategy or tactic. His players were simply shooting in the dark without guidance, hoping that their individual efforts would suffice to keep them in the squad.
The Romanian's chaotic auditions only increased anxiety and egoism on the pitch, because without a certain strategy to follow, players thought that they had to show their individual talent at every given opportunity. Therefore, simple mistakes were widespread and players could not cooperate on the pitch.
However, still, the players proved that they are capable of operating sufficiently if they have a decent strategy. When evaluated and assessed from a scout's perspective, their capacity as a team is promising.
Players like Cenk Tosun, Cengiz Ünder, Yusuf Yazıcı, Oğuzhan Özyakup and Çağlar Söyüncü offer a bright future. Lucescu is aware of their talent and tries to utilize them individually. Defensively, he has a solid backline with goalkeeper Serkan Kırıntılı and defenders Hasan Ali Kaldırım, Şener Özbayraklı, Çağlar Söyüncü and Kaan Ayhan.
Lucescu mostly opted for this backline in the friendlies and I cannot say that they have performed badly. But the real problem is in the offense, and Cengiz Ünder was the only player who secured his position in all three games. Lucescu changed his attacking options and the midfield in every game - apparently because of a lack of decent choices.
Yet, it again comes to the same issue, that Lucescu does not guide his players well in offense or offensive strategy. Without a pre-planned strategy, players simply cannot operate well in the attacking half because cooperation in the offense is harder than defense due to decreased time and space. Thus, to create a sustainable offensive threat, Lucescu must invest in a strategy before investing in certain players.
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