Tuesday, October 02, 2007

7 Matches, 0 Defeats: A Big Morale Boost For Fenerbahce

7 Matches, 0 Defeats: A Big Morale Boost For Fenerbahce
By Ozgur R. Nazilli

Who would have thought that Fenerbahce would be undefeated after 7 European games? 3 games from last year and 4 games this year, and the result is 3 wins and 4 draws, and the last 4 games are Champions League games, so they are against the "crème de la crème", not some mediocre teams. Zico and his students can be criticized for many things, but underachieving in European competitions is not one of them.

Another astonishing statistic is the number of shots Fenerbahce has on the goal. Fenerbahce have upped the already impressive number of 20 shots on goal against Inter to 23 in the game against CSKA Moscow. So now Fenerbahce is the 3rd in the Champions League group stages in the "number of shots taken" category with 43 in 2 games.

The most disappointing performance on the pitch was unfortunately from Edu. Even though his two mistakes cost us two goals, I still support him 100%. Central Defense, Edu's and Lugano's poistion, is the hardest one to play in futbol, except maybe the goalkeeper, because one small mistake and your opponent is one on one with the goalkeeper. Edu has been giving some very solid performances this year, evidenced by Dunga inviting him to the national team squad, and I am sure he will continue to perform well as long as he is given the chance. I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Edu only hadn't passed to Volkan and instead kicked it out, but what's done is done. Our message to Edu as Fenerbahce Worldwide is that he should put this match behind him, not worry too much about his mistakes, and continue to put his best effort as he usually does. We know his quality and appreciate his effort. One or two mistakes every 10 or so games is easily ignorable.

Another very important and positive aspect of this game is that Volkan, who had a nightmare of a season last year due to some poor performances and the following waves of criticisms, is finally becoming his old self again. Even though Fenerbahce conceded two goals, one was from a penalty kick and the other was a one on one position, in which Volkan did his utmost to stop the CSKA player, deflected the first shot, but by sheer luck, Krasic was able to score on the follow up. During these days, while Serdar is out with an injury, it was vital for Volkan to give in some good performances, and he has been able to live up to the expectations. The Fenerbahce fans can now start trusting him again.

After 2 Champions League games, Fenerbahce is the leader in Group G, with 4 points from possibly the hardest two games of the group stage. It is a very positive start to the Champions League, and we can only hope that Fenerbahce continues to perform this well. My personal belief is that if Fenerbahce can get 6 of the remaining 12 points, we can easily progress to the next round. And it is not an impossible task. 2 home games against CSKA Moscow and PSV Eindhoven are prime candidates for the games that we can earn the 6 points. And worst comes worst, 4 points from the 2 home games and 2 points from the 2 away games should easily be enough to put Fenerbahce into one of the two top spots of the group.

Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

(photo courtesy of Antu.com)


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