After struggling for its single goal against Andorra, the Turkish national team erupted against Moldova. Şenol Güneş's team crushed its opponent with a solid performance, putting in a far more dynamic, efficient effort.
Although not much had changed in terms of strategy, two key factors created a huge difference between two games: Playing an away game and fielding a better squad. The former allowed Turkey to relieve pressure and the latter gave more creativity to the forward line. Combined with the unexpected defeat of Iceland against Albania, it is fair to say that the national team now has the wind at their backs before the last crucial stage of the qualifiers.
Playing away games has been the strong side of Güneş's team, as was evident in the last six games. It was not a surprise to see the performance improve in Moldova. The more interesting part is the offensive efficiency the team found with Deniz Türüç.
Against Andorra, Güneş tried to use Lille winger Yusuf Yazıcı as a loose playmaker, who would make runs to all available spaces and be a passing option to his teammates. Nevertheless, due to the team's lack of experience in playing a possession-based game, Yazıcı could not function as Güneş wanted him to. He made the right runs, but the team did not know what to do with those runs.
In Türüç's case, however, the mission was much simpler. Unlike Yazıcı, Türüç was assigned as a hidden striker, although officially positioned in the right wing. Güneş's team seemed like a 4-4-2 at defense, but when going forward it transformed into 4-3-1-2, with Türüç playing the role of a hidden striker.
The plan was to bring the ball to Türüç, while the opponent's defense was busy dealing with Cenk Tosun and Kenan Kahraman. With the tough midfield trio, Ozan Tufan, İrfan Can Kahveci and Dorukhan Toköz at the back, Türüç found numerous opportunities and threw the opponent's defense out of balance. When he created time and space for the strikers, Cenk Tosun was ready to make a comeback, eventually scoring two goals and making an assist.
I think a fast dribbler like Türüç functions better with Güneş's current strategy, as he needs speed more than control nowadays. Although I object to his uncontrollable, chaotic counterattacking approach for the long term, it was nice to see him create solutions to the urgent problems of the Andorra game.
Rather than blindly crossing the ball into the opponent's penalty box, the team tried to be more creative and bravely circulated the ball in narrow spaces. This means that the team is confident and talented enough to play like this.
As the current standings stay in Turkey's favor, Iceland will be forced to play extra offensive in the next game. This means that manager Güneş can simply use this game's strategy against Iceland and grasp the ticket to EURO 2020. However, the real test is still against the teams which defend willfully and Turkey must build an efficient possession game for the long term regardless.
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