For the first time after a year, Fenerbahçe fans finally feel that their team can compete for the Süper Lig trophy. The team started the season with a great morale boost and used the momentum really well to climb to second place in the league. What differentiates last season and this season have been the team's increased confidence and the efficiency of the talented feet in the attacks. Nevertheless, both of these features are not sufficient for long-term success and combined with the defensive weaknesses of the team, it is only a matter of time for Fenerbahçe until they lose their momentum. The derby this weekend, if the defensive problems are not solved, could be a tragic turning point for the team.
The readers of this column know that I value collective action more than individual action, but minimum talent is still required to execute collective actions. The two center backs of the team against Ankaragücü last week were Mathias Jorgensen and Adil Rami, who made serious mistakes that led to a goal. Jorgensen is a limited player in terms of passing skills and Rami is completely out of form, as he has not played football for a long time. Still, manager Ersun Yanal thought that they were the best options for the center of his defense and only after Rami totally failed, he replaced him with Jailson Siqueira before the half-time whistle. Even this picture shows that Fenerbahçe has serious trouble with the "human resources" department.
However, the problem does not end with the quality of the players; the more important part is that Fenerbahçe does not have a proper defensive strategy. Yanal is aware of this fact but he is not able to solve it yet. Against Ankaragücü, the situation became so dire in the second half that Yanal had to use five defensive midfielders to cover defensive deficiencies. Although Ankaragücü had serious financial and administrative issues before the game, Fenerbahçe simply could not secure the game until the full-time whistle. Getting three points despite this alarming performance was a plus for the team's confidence, but it should also be the last warning for Yanal to fix this issue before the crucial derby.
Even though it is experiencing offensive dullness, Galatasaray is still a serious opponent that can punish simple mistakes easily. Fenerbahçe's defense is the perfect opportunity for Galatasaray to revive its failing attacking performance, and Fatih Terim must be aware of this fact. Thus, Ersun Yanal must find a solution to the defensive vulnerability of the team before losing their momentum. Otherwise it would be extremely hard for them to reboot the team's confidence, which was severely damaged last season.