Monday, September 03, 2007

Fenerbahce Will Use Weekend Break to Re-Group

Fenerbahce Will Use Weekend Break to Re-Group
By Nathan L. Redd

After a disappointing 1-1 draw against Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor on Sunday, the Fenerbahce coaching staff will use this weekend's break to re-group. Zico has shuffled the lineup several times in the team's first four games, but he still has not find the right eleven that he wants on the pitch. Despite a dearth of goal scorers, Fenerbahce's offense has sputtered in the beginning of the season.

Fenerbahce's back line is arguably one of the strongest in European futbol, but Roberto Carlos, Onder Turaci, Edu Dracena, and Diego Lugano allowed Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor's forwards to penetrate and get several good looks at Volkan Demirel. OFTAS's counter attack on Sunday also found the Fenerbahce defense struggling to get back to provide assistance for Volkan.

Zico knows that the team is still coming together after a string of off-season injuries and international competition. Lugano is still finding his fitness after spending most of the summer player in the Copa America tournament, and star Stephen Appiah has still yet to return to the pitch. Alex de Souza has just recently gained his fitness after an early summer injury. Zico and his staff know the weekend off will provide a much-needed rest for the afore-mentioned stars, while the rest of the team has a lot of fundamentals to work on. Kezman still appears uncomfortable with his position at the top, and last week he took out his frustration in the media. Kezman criticized fans and media who have put too much pressure on him by saying "leave me alone and let me do my job."

With the team off this weekend for international competitions, the team must come together and work hard with crucial league games and UEFA Champions League games on the horizon. Fenerbahce will host Caykur Rizespor next weekend at Sukru Saracoglu before a pivotal UEFA Champions League first leg against Inter Milan in Kadikoy. Zico knows the recent performances against Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor and Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor won't be enough in the Champions League. He recently stated "Every game is a new challange for us. In the Champions League we are going to face the champions from different countries. Of course there are no weak teams in this competition. Inter seems to have a huge advantage because that club is very experienced. But I believe that if we make a good start, everything can happen." Fenerbahce will need a new perspective in order to meet the challenge of the upcoming games.


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