Turkish teams learn no lessons from humble opponents

Published 21.09.2019 01:40

Most of my readers criticize me for being too pessimistic and some of them even accused me of praying for the failure of Turkish teams. After my last piece, where I merely warned Galatasaray before its match against Club Brugge, I received the same kind of criticism. My favorite comment on Twitter said: "The author looked at the half-empty part of the glass from all angles."

It is true that I do not praise but criticize most of the time since I care about the improvement of Turkish football. However, the optimistic fans must explain how to see the glass half full, after Turkish teams picked up only one point in four games in Europe.

Let's face it, although Turkey produces talented footballers, it, unfortunately, does not produce talented managers. There are only a handful of managers who Turkey exported to other countries and most of them went to lower-standard leagues.

While the role of managers in global football became much more prominent, Turkey continues to a footballing country that is very centered on individual talent. Even though there is a consensus on the importance of a contextual approach to strategies and tactics among the top leagues, most of the executives, managers and players in Turkey still believe that it is the sum of talented players that bring success.

That is why almost all football columnists criticize today the lack of squad depth when commenting on this disastrous week. They still believe that it is the footballer's talent that brings the ball from point A to point B, while the rest of the world already switched to specific set pieces to do so. If the others were wrong and Turkish teams were right, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor should have beaten their opponents, seeing as they had a better squad. But that was not the case; Turkish teams could not establish their superiority on the field as their opponents had very specific and effective plans to win. Now, with a worsening international performance and an even worse financial performance, how can one see the glass half full when thinking about Turkish football? No money, no proper administration and no sporting strategy will only bring failure. It is as easy as two plus two makes four. Without first acknowledging the widening gap between Turkish and European football we cannot reverse this situation. We must first accept the fact that there are fundamental problems with the way Turkish football is being ruled and it needs a radical change. We must start all over again before we reach the point of no return financially.

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