Trabzonspor flying high in Süper Lig as rivals fumble
Turkish Süper Lig leader Trabzonspor extended its points difference with the closest rival to 10 points after Week 14 games, bolstering its fans’ hopes that the 28-year longing for the league trophy will be over this season.
The Black Sea side, which claimed its sixth and last league title in the 1983-1984 season, beat Karagümrük 2-0 to improve to 11 wins and 36 points, with no losses. Not only did the leader win, but it also saw its opponents dropping points.
Konyaspor lost 3-2 at Gaziantep and Hatayspor was thrashed 4-0 by Sivasspor in an away game, remaining on 26 points separated by goal difference.
Three Istanbul clubs, which collectively claimed all league titles but one since Trabzonspor’s last trophy, continued their sub-par performances, slipping further away in the title race.
Defending champion Beşiktaş suffered its fourth league loss in a row in a 4-0 humiliation by Giresunspor at home, while Galatasaray failed to end its winless streak in a goalless draw at Malatyaspor.
Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, failed to capitalize on the previous week’s derby victory over Galatasaray and salvaged one point at Göztepe in a 1-1 draw.
Beşiktaş coach Sergen Yalçın, whose side is now trailing the leader by 16 points, reportedly handed in his resignation, but the club board said on Nov. 29 that it had no current plans to part ways with the ex-Beşiktaş star.
Trabzonspor’s performances have impressed fans and pundits alike, with former Turkish international Rıdvan Dilmen saying that the club “has a 97 percent chance” of winning the league title.
However, Abdullah Avcı, the Black Sea side’s coach, is cautious about not getting carried away.
“My players did everything right. I’m very happy that they have reflected what we had trained for onto the pitch,” the former Turkish national team coach said after the Karagümrük match.
“But the three points we won here tonight did not win anything else for us,” he added. “[The upcoming] Adana Demirspor game will be a difficult one; our sporters should continue to be behind us. We still have minor issues we have to work on and the league race is not over yet.”
Avcı said being perceived as the champion did not mean much.
“I know the types of mind games played off the pitch, but I will continue to focus on the game itself,” he said.
“Trabzonspor is a club that has always been competitive. The Trabzonspor community is ready [to win the title] and we will continue to fight in the best way possible until the very end.”