Is ‘Big 3’ domination in Turkish football over?
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s top tier football league, the Spor Toto Super League, has been experiencing something new this year as trio -- Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe - look far away from the leaders spot.
The first half ended in the league as Medipol Başakşehir, league’s dark horse Istanbulite football club, are the leaders with 35 points, with four other teams, including Trabzonspor, Yeni Malatyaspor, Kasımpaşa and Galatasaray are following with 29 points.
Beşiktaş, last year’s fourth-placed team, are at the 7th spot with 26 points. Fenerbahçe, on the other hand, are having the worst season of their history as they are in the 17th place after collecting only 16 points, winning only three matches so far.
With so many other teams such as Başakşehir, Trabzonspor and Kasımpaşa eyeing the league title, is this the end for Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, who are also known as the Big 3?
The Big 3’s domination looks to be over as every team managed to cause problems in the first half of the season to the Istanbulite giants.
Asked about the current situation in the league, football pundit Serkan Akcan, beIN Sports TV commentator and columnist at Turkish sports daily Fanatik, told Anadolu Agency that Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, can’t rule the league anymore as the other football clubs are competing well.
“There was a cliché; ‘even a big team’s jersey can end the league in the third spot’ but this cliché doesn’t exist anymore,” Akcan said.
“If a team wants to end the season in third place, it should firstly do the right planning. For example, you should pick the right players for your team and make them act properly to the spirit of the club. Naturally you have to manage your club well firstly then you’ll succeed on the pitch,” Akcan said.
In this regard, Akcan exemplified league leaders Medipol Başakşehir manager Abdullah Avcı, saying he has been making right choices to pick the right players for the club and this club’s management has been finding right professionals as staff so the club became successful in the league.
Last season’s Super League winners Galatasaray are in the fifth spot with 29 points. Galatasaray are the most time winners of the Turkish league with 21 titles.
Rivals Beşiktaş are in the seventh place in the league table, they collected 26 points in the first half of this season. Beşiktaş have lifted the league trophy 15 times.
Meanwhile, Fenerbahçe, which have 16 points in 17 league matches, are in a big trouble as they are in the relegation zone. This season Fenerbahçe’s title dreams has turned into a nightmare.
Having claimed the Super League title the last time in 2014, Fenerbahçe have won the trophy 19 times, but now they seem to be struggling with getting out of the relegation zone.
The last time when other than the Big 3 lifted the league trophy was back in 2010 when Bursaspor did it, beating Fenerbahçe in the championship race.
Akcan stated that Medipol Başakşehir have a “formula to be successful” as they have a right board of directors, manager and players but Fenerbahçe have been doing exactly the opposite.
“Now Fenerbahçe are in the 17th place in the league as they didn’t hire the right manager and sign right players,” he said.
Akcan said that it’s the right time for Medipol Başakşehir to win the title since it’s hard to trap the Big Three in the same season but Başakşehir need to sign a striker in mid-season to proceed firmly on their road to title.
Başakşehir’s defense was also a reason to smile for them as they only conceded 8 goals in 17 matches, unlike Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, which conceded 68 goals altogether.
League’s top scorer
Akcan also praised league’s current top scorer Mbaye Diagne for his performance as the Senegalese striker scored 20 goals for Kasımpaşa in 17 matches.
“Diagne has the most extraordinary striker performance in recent years. He’s a wonderful player. Now if he played for Fenerbahçe, this club could be among the first three on top. If he played for Galatasaray, this team could lead the league by landslide. If he played for Beşiktaş, this club wouldn’t face any crisis that they are suffering from today,” Akcan said.
He added that the Big 3 have trouble each in the striker position and Diagne surely would be a remedy in this context.