Monday, February 26, 2007

Offensive Offense: Fenerbahce Falls 1-0 to Antalya

Call it fatigue, call it lack of creativity. Just don't call it good futbol. Fenerbahce had a grand opportunity to move nine points up in the Turkcell Super Lig over the weekend, but instead laid an egg in Antalya and fell 1-0. Despite having the most prolific scorers in Turkiye in Mateja Kezman, Tuncay Sanli, Semih Senturk, and Alex de Souza, Fenerbahce has now scored a grand total of two goals over the last three league games and half of their season total losses of four have come in the last two weeks.

Zico was worried about his team's stamina coming into the game following the draining 2-2 draw (and elimination) vs. AZ Alkmaar in Holland in the UEFA Cup. However, Fener has more concerns than just fatigue with only 12 Super Lig games remaining. Despite only losing by one goal, it seemed as if Fener was never in this game. Only twice was Antalyaspor goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba challenged, looking as if he could have pulled up a chair and taken a nap in goal during much of the game.

Even more disappointing was the fact the rivals Galatasaray and Besiktas both lost prior to Sunday's game, meaning that a win would have catapulted Fenerbahce nine points up in the Turkcell Super Lig standings with only 12 games remaining. Fenerbahce knew of the golden opportunity headed into Sunday's game, but instead rewarded the fans with unimaginative, uncreative, and unproductive futbol. Fener may find themselves disappointed after being eliminated from Euro competition, but there is only one way to fix that: win the Turkcell Super Lig and get back to Champions League next year. With the way that Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, and Besiktas are all playing, it appears that none of them are interested in getting to Champions League next season. With Kayserispor, Konyaspor, and Genclerbirligi all within striking distance of the top, it's possible that the Super Lig could be represented by someone other than the big four for the first time in history next year. Maybe this is what it would take to light a fire under Fener.

Fenerbahce has 12 Super Lig games left to prove that they aren't the Chelsea of Turkish futbol - a team loaded with talent that fails to reach their potential.

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