Monday, December 24, 2007

End of the First Half: The Season So Far, Part 2

End of the First Half: The Season So Far, Part 2
By Ozgur R. Nazilli

Now that the holiday season has crept in, the Turkish Super League news will also go into a deep slumber, with the occasional transfer rumor making the silence a little more bearable. However, there is always the first half of the season to discuss, and Fener fans will not tire easily from hearing about it, seeing as how it has been the most successful first half ever for the century-old club.

Nevertheless, the first few weeks of the season were far from being glamorous for Fenerbahce. Even though Fener had qualified for the Champions League by beating Anderlecht, there were protests, although muffled, amongst the fans against the poor form the team was showing in the league. Truth be told, the discontent could not be easily labeled as unwarranted, since Fenerbahce was 7 points behind their arch-rivals Galatasaray, with only 2 wins out of the first 6 six league games. The situation was far from hopeless, but the fans, dreading being pushed out of the title race this early on, were going as far as asking for the resignation of Zico. This was hardly news for Fenerbahce, or for any other Turkish club for that matter, since it is almost the custom to kill off the manager first, whenever things get bad. This had been extra true for Fenerbahce for the past year and a half, as most people saw Zico as an "intern" who did not know enough of "European" football, and were ready to see him get fired as soon as he made even the slightest mistake.

Now, about 4 months after those troubled times in the Turkish Super League, almost all the fans are pressuring the Fenerbahce Board to renew the contract of Zico as soon as possible, and it is not because they have suddenly started liking the way he dresses. After the weak performances of the first 6 weeks, Fener players pulled themselves together and managed to win 9 out of the next 11 games of the first half of the season, including 3 derby wins. When this was coupled with the historical success Fener achieved at the Champions League, the fans were more than happy to keep seeing Zico at the head of Fenerbahce. The question is: How long will Zico enjoy this positive wave before the general attitude changes for the worse again? This might seem like an unnecessarily negative way of looking at things, but anyone who has watched the Turkish League with a critical eye can see this trend easily: Things go well, all the players and the manager are heroes in the eyes of the public and they should all be awarded the key to the city, things change for the worse, we should have the heads of everyone responsible, starting from the manager of course, and start looking at new players and/or manager(s) to attract to the club, in order to start the vicious cycle all over again. This has always been the case with the Turkish clubs, and it will most likely be the case for the foreseeable future.

So what triggers this inefficient cycle? Or rather, what keeps the gears oiled so the events always unfold this way, regardless of the team in question? What can be, and most likely, should be done in order to prevent this from happening? How did Fenerbahce manage to break this unfruitful chain, and to what extent did this contribute to the success they are enjoying this season?

Check back in a few days for the answers to all of the aforementioned questions in Part 3 of our "Season So Far" series here on Fenerbahce Worldwide.


you can watch the match in brazil.

11:09 AM  

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