Beşiktaş gave mixed signals

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 27.07.2018 22:11

Beşiktaş's first official game was a tough one to evaluate, since the physical and the technical deficiencies of their opponent, B36 Torshavn, were profound. Added to that, Beşiktaş came to Faroe Islands without Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe, Domagoj Vida, Oğuzhan Özyakup or Gokhan Töre and players like Vagner Love and Alvaro Negredo were on the bench. Thus, the squad was not first choice, but there were still plenty of primary players to make sure that coach Şenol Güneş's plans work efficiently. Yet, it's not certain whether Güneş's game plan worked, because Beşiktaş's offensive efficiency was not enough to generate enough opportunities against a weak opponent.

First, all Beşiktaş fans must face the truth, Anderson Talisca is gone and Beşiktaş cannot play as if they have a talented target man like him. Right now none of the four strikers of the team; Cyle Larin, Negredo, Love or Mustafa Pektemek is able to fill Talisca's shoes. They are also not able to play the role of Cenk Tosun, whose departure to England hurt Beşiktaş a lot last season. Thus, the current strategy of the team, somehow crossing the ball into the penalty box is no longer efficient, because they have no effective finisher.

Beşiktaş needs a strategic shift, like Şenol Güneş made in his first season. Just like in 2015, the expectations for the team are not sky-high and they are not going to compete in the Champions League. This gives Güneş a great opportunity to shape a new offensive strategy. But unfortunately there has not been much offensive creativity against B36 Torshavn, and the usual crossing strategy was used. Larin, Babel and Jermain Lens could not make the right runs to find opportunities from those crosses, because unlike Tosun or Talisca, they are not the right players for this strategy.

On the bright side, the way Güneş used Adriano in midfield was delightful. Without Özyakup orchestrating the attacks, Adriano was delivering the key balls as the playmaker. His technique and game vision is more than enough to make him a great playmaker in the Turkish Super League, and in post-Talisca era that is what Beşiktaş will need this season more than anything. If Özyakup can also operate with Adriano in midfield, and Gary Medel doing the hard work behind them, Beşiktaş can have a great midfield line this season.

However, it all comes down to the same question again, what can Şenol Güneş with this potential? His last two seasons in Beşiktaş were not underachieving as a strategic leader of the team and the game he built around Talisca and Quaresma failed him last season. Now, he can turn low expectations into an opportunity and produce a talented attacking plan as he did with Trabzonspor, Bursaspor and his first season with Beşiktaş.

Likewise, Adriano's new role is a positive move for making an effective offensive strategy but the team must get rid of the simple crossing plan that they internalized in the last two seasons.

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