What happened to the big guns?

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published

This weekend was a total disaster for Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, the big three of Turkish football. Galatasaray was destroyed by Trabzonspor with four goals, Fenerbahçe could not prevent Kayserispor from an epic comeback in Kadıköy and Beşiktaş lost two points against a completely out of form Bursaspor with a late goal. Each game has its own story, but one thing remains clear, the big guns are stalling right now, and it is only a matter of time for them to go in to a spin. Nevertheless, Fenerbahçe's case is different than the other two and even though they are in the worst position, they have the most potential.

First, let's start with the greatest catastrophe of the weekend, Galatasaray's downfall in Trabzon. It was literally the most one-sided affair of the season so far, Trabzonspor totally dominated the game. The ironic part is, Trabzon coach Ünal Karaman achieved success this game by strictly using Fatih Terim's strategy last season. If this game had been played last year, the result would have been most likely a draw, since Galatasaray did not have the pressure it has now last year. But this year things are different, Terim's team plays almost all their games as favorites, and this directly affects the way they play. Terim has not created a good possession strategy for Galatasaray yet, and the consequence of this is being exposed to counter-attacks due to poor organization in midfield. Now all teams in Turkey know how to defeat Galatasaray, and this is a grave danger for any team competing for a championship, as we have seen last season in Beşiktaş's case.

On the other hand, Beşiktaş did not suffer from multiple personality disorder this time, but their game was extremely dull. Although they took the lead with Oğuzhan Özyakup's great assist to Ryan Babel in the second half, the team's offensive effort was crippled. Since Bursaspor took sufficient measures to stop Ricardo Quaresma from unleashing chaos in the wings, Beşiktaş's whole offensive scheme was downsized to Oğuzhan Özyakup and later Caner Erkin's individual efforts.

However, it was obvious that Beşiktaş was not playing well, and coach Güneş made the big mistake of replacing Tolgay Arslan with Necip Uysal, making his midfield very defensive. Then Bursaspor increased their pressure and finally found the goal close to the final whistle. This game should be a lesson for Güneş - chaos cannot be a solution for his team's tactical confusion.

Last but not least, Fenerbahçe's defeat against Kayserispor in their home allowed the dissidents of coach Philipp Cocu to finally call for a change. Fenerbahçe have already lost three of their four games, and they are lucky that their opponents' bad performance did not widen the gap between them. But still, unlike Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, they are on the right track of building an organized, repeatable game. Cocu is now struggling to find the optimal squad for establishing his game and considering the transfer season was very active for Fenerbahçe, this process will take a bit more. Fortunately for him, the Super League is taking a break this weekend, and he will have a chance to revise his strategy. I think Fenerbahçe fans should be patient, because unlike their rivals, their team tries to play a consistent game.

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