Coach orders players to stand up and fight, avoid wasting time
AA photoA Dec. 24 fixture between Beşiktaş and Gaziantepspor witnessed a rare dialogue between chanting fans and a rival coach when the visiting side’s İbrahim Üzülmez gestured to his own players to stand up.
Gaziantep coach Üzülmez, an iconic former Beşiktaş left-back who played for the Black Eagles for 11 years, went emotional when fans started chanting “Mad İbo, lift the team up,” protesting repeated injuries and halts to the game.
“Mad” was the nickname Üzülmez acquired for his persistent pressure on the wing despite his limited talent as a player.
The coach shouted and gestured to his players to stand up. The move was welcomed by Beşiktaş fans, who this time applauded their former star.
“If I’m going to win points by lying on the ground, then I don’t want them,” Üzülmez said after the game, which ended 1-0 to Beşiktaş after Vincent Aboubakar scored.
Still, Üzülmez defended his players, saying the consecutive injuries were not designed to waste time but were just a coincidence.
“My players cannot think that way,” he said. “Such a thing cannot happen on an İbrahim Üzülmez team.”
He also did not hide his ambition to become a Beşiktaş coach in the future.
“Inshallah, God will grant me the chance to serve in this stadium,” he said, triggering negative reactions from Antep fans on social media.
Üzülmez played in Beşiktaş until the age of 37 before he was fired for a fistfight with a friend.
Beşiktaş reached the winter break with 35 points, one less than leader Medipol Başakşehir, with Galatasaray following the duo with 33 points after a 5-1 win against Aytemiz Alanyaspor on Dec. 25.
Another oddity marked the Beşiktaş-Gaziantep game during a penalty kick, when the host’s midfielder Oğuzhan Özyakup grabbed the ball to take it instead of Cenk Tosun, the regular penalty taker. Beşiktaş winger Ricardo Quaresma criticized both players for the discord, before Özyapup missed the shot, failing to provide insurance for the home side.