Wednesday, 30 January 2013
This year might be the year of the snake in the Chinese zodiac, however, in Turkey it is looking like the year of lion with Galatasaray's successful January window signings.
First Wesley Sneijder rejecting his contract at Inter Milian to join the Istanbul club for around ten million euros and now former Chelsea player Didier Drogba has signed for the club on a one and a half year deal.
According to one source, club agent Ceylan Çalışkan stated that Real Madrid manager José Mourinho played a crucial role in persuading Drogba to sign for Galatasaray.Çalışkan revealed that Mourinho messaged Drogba to sign for either A.C. Milan, Schalke 04, and of course Galatasaray.
The Ivorian had not been paid three months worth of wages by Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, the ramifications lead to him leaving as he had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave if he wasn't paid.
The Lions were able to purchase Drogba on a free transfer and the Ivory Coast international will join his new team after the African Cup of Nations.
Although the finances did a lot of talking with regards to both deals, this not the kind of situation where the likes of Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o joined Anzhi because of the high wages. As any world football fan will know, Galatasaray is steeped in tradition and national and international success from winning eighteen Süper Lig titles and winning the Uefa Cup back in 2000.
Things have changed for the club, in previous years they were experiencing a huge amount of debt problems and were playing in a crumbling Ali Sami Yen Stadium, nowadays they have a world class stadium, the Türk Telekom Arena as well as numerous sponsorship deals such as Nikon which will help improve the clubs interests in the Far East. They also sit comfortably in Deloitte's football money league table.
This new era at the club has to be down to the club president Ünal Aysal who took charge in 2011 and who is known for being a 'European minded man'. He recently stated that whatever the fans want they will get, and so far in this January transfer window has kept his promise.
These two signings in particular have put Turkish football on the map which is a breathe of fresh air, as the national game was in crisis following the match fixing scandal involving Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım.
With a forward thinking president and manager Fatih Terim at the helm, it could quite possibly be the year of the lion.
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 12:43
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
In week nineteen of the Turkish Süper Lig, Galatasaray beat local rivals Beşiktaş 2-1 at the Türk Telekom Arena.
The Lions got off to a bright start and went ahead in the third minute of the game, Umut Bulut crossing in from the right hand side to Emre Çolak who volleyed the ball past former Rangers keeper Allan McGregor from close range.
Just before the stroke of half time, Galatasaray went ahead again, Spaniard Albert Reira nodding the ball past McGregor from Selçuk İnan's notorious swinging freekick.
The Black Eagles scored within a minute of the second half, Tomáš Sivok heading the ball past Fernando Muslera to pull one back for the visitors.
New signing Wesley Sneijder came on for Emre Çolak who made his debut in the traditional Parçalı colours. Brazilian Dentinho also made his debut for Beşiktaş who left Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk to join the Black Eagles.
The game turned ugly when Felipe Melo allegedly spat at Oğuzhan Özyakup, from watching the game on an online stream it was hard to tell, originally I thought he had headbutted the player. Melo after the game said that he was innocent and that the replay shown from various angles would show that he didn't spit.
However, Oğuzhan Özyakup says different and maintains that he has team mate Manuel Fernandes as a witness as well as Selçuk İnan. After seeing the incident again I'm still not sure; the incident originally occurred when Melo was brought down by the former Arsenal academy player.
Melo is known for having a fiery side and so far as a Galatasaray player has been well behaved, this is something that he will have to learn to deal with, otherwise he'll be a liability with his uncontrollable outbursts.
The Lions could of gone ahead again in the game, Hamit Altıntop was in a perfect opportunity to make it 3-1, however his effort went over.
Sneijder had little to do on his thirty minute debut, however, with the introduction of Ivorian and ex Chelsea player Didier Drogba who is Galatasaray's second signing of the month, the pair will be dangerous for any opposition to handle.
The victory over Beşiktaş keeps Galatasaray in first place with thirty six points, their city rivals sit in third place on thirty one points and are level on points with Fenerbahçe who are second.
In week twenty of the Süper Lig, Galatasaray travel to the north western city of Bursa to play seventh placed Bursaspor, the last time both sides met, Galatasaray won 3-2 at home. They will be looking to extend their league at the top and take advantage of the managerless Green Crocodiles.
GALATASARAY: Muslera,Sarıoğlu, Kaya, Dany, Riera, Hamit Altıntop, Selçuk İnan, Melo, Emre Çolak (Sneijder 57 mins), Elmander ( Hakan Balta 69 mins), Umut (Engin 58 mins)
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 14:56
Monday, 21 January 2013
After weeks of speculation of will he or won't he move to Istanbul, Wesley Sneijder has finally moved to Galatasaray.
The Dutch midfielder was paraded around the streets of Istanbul with hundreds flocking to the streets to see their first new signing of the January transfer window.
Sources have claimed that the Turkish giants have agreed a £8.3 million deal with Milan club Internazionale for the Dutch international.
Even before Sneijder had touched down onto Turkish soil, there were groups of people waiting for the former Inter player, turning up in the traditional parçalı colours and welcoming their new January signing in style.
A large amount of television crews, cameras, and flares went off and at times the police struggled to keep the crowd in order, some even got on top of the car that Sneijder was travelling in [as pictured above].
The twenty eight year old revealed that he snubbed Premier League giants Liverpool as he wanted to play Champions League football and also win silverware. He is already excited in playing in next week's derby clash against Beşiktaş at the Türk Telekom Arena.
Sneijder has not featured in the Nerazzurri squad since September after refusing to accept a two million euro pay cut on his contract that ran until 2015.
Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni stressed that the Dutch midfielder had primarily been left out of the squad due to tactical reasons.
This week Inter owner Massimo Moratti encouraged Sneijder to make a serious decision with regards to his career at the Milan club, however, the midfielder decided to snub Moratti's advice and join the current Süper Lig title holders.
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 12:26
Saturday, 19 January 2013
Yesterday Galatasaray played their Istanbul neighbours Kasımpaşa and were beaten 2-1 by the newly promoted Süper Lig side.
Swedish striker Johan Elmander gave the visitors the lead in the eighteenth minute, from striking low from inside the box. However, their lead didn't last long, Senijad Ibričić made a darting run into the Galatasaray box and held off the likes of Semih before drilling a low shot into the left hand corner of the goal to make 1-1.
Five minutes into the second half the Apaçiler went in front thanks to Tabaré Viudez, the former Nacional player made a sprinting run from the right hand side and hit a thunderous effort from about twenty yards beating his fellow countryman Fernando Muslera to make it 2-1 to the home side.
Kasımpaşa could have got another goal due to some rather calamitous defending by the Lions, Özer Hurmacı setting up a perfect opportunity for the home side, luckily the likes of Dany and Reira were at the right place at the right time to prevent the Apaçiler extending their lead. In addition, Viudez almost got his second goal from being given loads of space to run into the box, however his effort went inches wide of the goal.
Although the Lions remain top of the Süper Lig, from watching this game in particular, Terim has to bring in new some faces, the never ending debate of Wesley Sneijder wearing the Parçalı colours still remains. Although according to many British newspapers, the Dutch international is prepared to take a pay cut and play for a top Premier League club, the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United have been named as potential moves for the Inter player.
The Lions will face Istanbul opposition once more, this time they play Beşiktaş at the Türk Telekom Arena in week nineteen of the Süper Lig.
GALATASARAY: Muslera, Sarıoğlu, Semih, Dany, Riera, Hamit Altıntop (Aydın Yılmaz 46 mins), Melo (Yekta 73 mins), Selçuk İnan, Emre Çolak, Elmander (Umut Bulut 65 mins), Burak Yılmaz
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 11:55
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Yesterday Galatasaray played their final warm up match, this time they played Bundesliga Second Division side VfR Aalen at Medical Park Antalyaspor's ground the Mardan Sports Complex and lost one nil.
The weather conditions made it at times quite frustrating for both teams to play in with the constant down pour of rain as well playing on a water logged pitch.
The Lions dominated in the early minutes with Burak Yılmaz going close, minutes later he was denied by one of the Aalen defenders who saved his goalkeeper who had come out to prevent Yılmaz from scoring. The likes of Emre Çolak and Elmander also had chances to put the Istanbul club ahead and to some extent the weather saved VfR Aalen on the day with the slippery conditions on the pitch.
About six or seven minutes into the second half two dogs ran onto the pitch (the only exciting thing to really happen in the game) and were carried off by the stewards. Minutes later the game resumed and the German side started to make chances. Italian striker Marco Calamita received a perfect through ball and made a darting run past the Galatasaray defense, substitute keeper Eray İşcan saving the former Kaiserslautern player's effort.
Aalen kept on attacking and finally beat Eray İşcan in the eighty six minute of the game, Brazilian striker Cidimar shot from about twenty or thirty yards out sending the ball sailing into the bottom right hand corner of the goal to give the visitors a late victory.
GALATASARAY: Muslera ( İşcan 46th min.), Sarıoğlu, Zan, Nounkeu (Hakan Balta 46th min.), Albert Riera (Birinci 72nd min.), Altıntop (Aydın Yılmaz 46th min.), Felipe Melo (Kurtuluş 46th min.), Selçuk İnan (Baytar 46th min.), Emre Çolak (Özçal 72 min.), Burak Yılmaz (Yıldırım 46th min.), Johan Elmander (Umut Bulut 46th min).
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 14:21
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Galatasaray played their first friendly in the winter break against Alanya side Alanyaspor at the Alanya Milli Egemenlik stadium.
The TFF Second League club took the lead in the twenty third minute from an Adem Gökçe freekick which was drilled passed Galatasaray's second choice keeper Ufuk Ceylan into the right hand corner of the goal.
Nine minutes later the Istanbul side pulled one back thanks to Burak Yılmaz converting from a penalty, the Turkish international was brought down by one of the Alanyaspor defenders in front of the referee who had no choice but to point to the spot.
The home side went ahead again seven minutes later, Semavi Özgür scoring from close range; the Süper Lig side responded two more minutes later, Burak Yılmaz passed to Baytar who then set up Aydın Yılmaz.
In the early minutes of the second half, Emre Çolak whipped in a cross for Engin Baytar on the right hand side, Baytar's shot was parried by the Alanyaspor keeper and rebounded off the cross bar. Elmander was in the right place at the right time and scored from close range to put the Lions ahead.
Within a few minutes later the Lions sustained their lead once more, Albert Reira making a darting run into the eighteen yard box, Elmander dummied the Spaniard's pass and Aydın Yılmaz beat the Alanyaspor keeper for the second time to make it 4-2.
The goals kept on coming for Galatasaray, six minutes later Emre Çolak passed to Reira who ran into the penalty area and running past the Alanyaspor defense and dribbling the ball past the keeper to make it 5-2 to the visitors.
The sixth goal came from Swedish striker Johan Elmander, Emre Çolak again setting up the goal from running down the wing and passing the ball to Elmander who easily tapped the ball passed the bewildered Alanyaspor goalkeeper.
GALATASARAY : Ufuk, Sabri, Semih, Nounkeu, Balta, Aydın Yilmaz, Baytar, Kurtuluş, Riera, Umut, Burak Yılmaz.
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 15:14
The Lions travelled to the north-eastern city of Trabzon to play seventh placed Trabzonspor on the 23rd of December.
The game finished 0-0 with Galatasaray making quite a few decent chances, with the likes of Reira and former Trabzonspor player Burak Yılmaz going close.
Karadeniz Fırtınası (The Black Sea Storm) as Trabzonspor are known as, also had some good chances, former Fenerbahçe player Olcan Adın was denied by Galatasaray fan favourite Fernando Muslera, tipping over Adın's long range effort. He had another effort later on, but was flagged for offside.
Former Spurs player Didier Zokora tried to put the home side in front from shooting from long range, however his effort went wide.
Galatasaray continued to attack with Burak attempting to put the away side in front, however his efforts continued to go wide or were saved by Onur Kıvrak.
The game got nasty when a missile from the crowd was launched at Burak Yılmaz and was struck to the ground. Trabzonspor's centre back Giray Kaçar went over to see if Yılmaz was ok and in the process got struck by what looked like a smoke bomb or flare. Both were fortunate to continue and not sustain any serious damage.
In the last part of the second half the home side started to attack and really test Muslera, Polish international Adrian Mierzejewski tried lobbing the Uruguayan keeper, however his effort went over. Moments later, Brazilian Alanzinho struck the ball from about twenty yards out, Muslera being on top form made a comfortable one armed save to deny the home side the lead.
Trabzonspor had a last minute corner which was taken by Mierzejewski, Emerson received the ball and tried to swing in a shot from an angle, Muslera got to the ball and cancelled out the Brazilian's effort.
The first half of the Süper Lig has now came to a close, Galatasaray remain top on thirty three points, city rivals Beşiktaş are in second place on thirty points. Trabzonspor as previously mentioned, are in seventh place with twenty four points.
Galatasaray will play their first Süper Lig match of the new year against city neighbours Kasımpaşa who hail from the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul at the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium.
GALATASARAY : Muslera, Eboué, Kaya, Nounkeu, Altıntop (Elmander 76 mins), Melo, Riera, İnan, Burak Yılmaz, Bulut (Kurtuluş 62 mins), Amrabat (A.Yılmaz 62 mins).
Posted by Aslan Tourist at 08:30