It was another rough week for the Istanbul giants in the Super League. While Galatasaray clinched the three points in the last minute, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş were not able to win despite being the favorites. Both were outplayed by their opponents, Başakşehir and Konyaspor respectively, and this is not the first time this has happened this season. Although Fenerbahçe is a different case than the other two, it is still clear that the big guns have lost their categorical superiority against other teams in Turkey. Now everyone is fair game and "the others" have learned how to compensate for their lack of individual talent with organized strategy.
However, Turkish media is still unaware of this transformation and they are too busy praising Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim's "great commandership," because he put two tall defenders in his opponent's penalty box to score a header. What a great strategy, is it not?
It's hard finding a single opportunity against a defending opponent – the only solution you have is pushing as many tall men as possible inside the penalty box. Terim's team had all the time and space they needed to create opportunities, yet the only thing they could do was cross the ball over and over again.
On the other hand, Beşiktaş's performance against Konyaspor was purely dramatic. They lost the lead in the final minute after coming back with 10 men. But Konyaspor had the game under control and pressed Beşiktaş until the 60th minute when they decided to park the bus against a trailing Beşiktaş. However, it was the biggest mistake Konyaspor could have made because Beşiktaş finally relieved themselves from the intense press and started to regroup in their opponent's half. If it was not for Paolo Hurtado's last-minute equalizer, Konya would have paid for their mistake in one of the most dramatic ways this season.
But Fenerbahçe was the best example of the new era in Turkish football, as they played completely defensive at home against Başakşehir. When it comes to Kadıköy, Fenerbahçe's home, the Yellow Canaries were expected to win like it has been doing so in the last 20 years, but this has changed. It was totally unusual to see Fenerbahçe kicking the ball directly into their opponent's half as if they are a weak Anatolian side playing against Fenerbahçe. Başakşehir had the ball, the control of the game and a disallowed goal. If there was a side that was dominant, it was Başakşehir. This also shows how superior organization is better than individual talent. Fenerbahçe has a lot of individual talent but it played very defensively.
Now, there are two main conclusions that we can derive from this picture. First, "the others" of the Super League can now easily counter individual talent with their talentless but organized strategies and that the big guns lost their structural superiority.
Second, whenever other teams play classic counterattacking, the hegemony returns. In other words, as soon as weak teams stop organizing and start defending only, teams like Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe start to dominate again.
Thus, the new practice of Turkish football shows us that the future will belong to the ones who organize sophisticated, repeatable strategies. This will revolutionize the entirety of Turkish football as everything will be square for everyone, increasing the competition and excitement.