As the big guns of Turkish football are in disarray and struggling to make transfers to boost their performance, Trabzonspor returns to the top ticket with young talents and hard work. Manager Ünal Karaman's team is now the dear of almost all Turkish fans because unlike the big guns, Trabzonspor takes its power from their own resources. Last year they were the most enjoyable team to watch and players like Yusuf Yazıcı, Abdülkadir Ömür, Abdülkadir Parmak and Uğurcan Çakır showed everyone that fancy transfers are not necessary to be successful. This year, with some slight changes, Trabzonspor continue their way in both the Süper Lig and the UEFA Europa League. If they can cling to their energy and creativity until the end of the season, this year can be Trabzonspor's year.
The team has one of the most talented midfield lines and a game that allows this line to maximize its creativity. Jose Sosa is the playmaker of the team while Abdülkadir Ömür and Anthony Nwakaeme are the opportunity-makers on the wings. The team is built to create time and space for Ömür and Nwakaeme, so that they can serve good balls inside the penalty box, where giant striker Alexander Sörloth waits for a cross. This may seem a primitive plan, but at least it is a plan, something a lot of Turkish teams lack. With this plan and the creativity of the Sosa-Ömür-Nwakaeme line, it is extremely hard to stop Trabzonspor from scoring.
However, defense is the place Trabzonspor needs to spend more time if they want to own this year. Individually there is not a great problem with the defensive line; it is a good combination of young, energetic players and old, experienced players. Nevertheless, manager Karaman has not utilized a consistent defensive strategy and yet the team's defensive performance is more dependent on the opponent's ability to stretch the Trabzon defense. In friendly games, Trabzonspor conceded lots of goals because they lacked a proper defensive strategy. But the Turkish Süper Lig is primarily a defensive league, in which all teams have to defend well, unlike Eredivisie or the Belgian Division A.
To have a proper defensive strategy, Karaman does not need to sacrifice his team's attacking efficiency. He can hit two birds with one stone if he can engage his defense in attacks and approach his game in a more holistic way. In other words, Trabzonspor should not defend for defending's sake, but defend to get the ball back and attack. Almost all competitive teams in Europe today aim to intercept the ball immediately after it is lost, to prevent the opponent from building up an attack and to relaunch an attack. With its creative and direct players in the midfield, Trabzonspor must create a decent supply network for his attacking options as they will lose the ball a lot. The key to that supply network is the defenders, who should stay close to the attackers and press fiercely rather than running back to their goal. If Trabzonspor can build such a strategy, they can not only win the Süper Lig but also the Europa League.
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