Spyin' Kop: Galatasaray at home (27/09/06)

Posted by Rhi on September 24, 2006, 11:32:45 PM

Another season, another European campaign and another (hopefully) memorable European night at Anfield! This year’s draw brought us PSV Eindhoven, Bordeaux and Galatasaray in the group stages. After two goalless draws on Matchday 1 (Gala were at home to Bordeaux), comes our first home game of the Champions League proper, and it’s the team from Pot 4 (lowest seeds) Galatasaray! But don’t let that fool you – they are as tough an opponent as any we could have faced in this year’s competition. Admittedly, they’re a much more intimidating prospect in Istanbul than they are away from home, but a tough game is almost guaranteed for both players and fans. We’ll have to sing up to try and keep their lot quiet.

Liverpool v Galatasaray
Matchday 2
Wednesday 27th September 2006
KO: 7.45pm

The Club

Galatasaray Sports Club

Nickname: Lions or Cim Bom
Formed: 1905
Address: Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey.
Capacity: 25,000
Manager: Erik Gerets (Former Belgian full back)

Note: All their European “home” games will be played at the Ataturk Olympiat Stadium (now where have I heard that name before?), Istanbul. This is due to the Ali Sami Yen not meeting UEFA regulations. The Ataturk holds 80,000 people. I’m told it would be quite a good venue for an European Cup Final, but I’m not convinced…
Club Honours

Turkish League Championship: 16 (1961/62, 1962/63, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2005/06)

Turkish Cup: 14 (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1973, 19766, 1982, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2005)

Turkish Super Cup: 10

UEFA Cup: 1 (2000)

European Super Cup: 1 (2000)

Brief History

Galatasaray Sports Club was founded in the autumn of 1905 by Ali Sami Yen and friends from Galatasaray High School, after they were disappointed to see only non-Turkish teams competing in the “Istanbul Football Union”. Their aim was to found Turkish football teams who would “play together like Englishmen, to have a color and a name and to beat the non-Turkish teams”. They succeeded in doing this and Galatasaray have developed into the most successful club in their country’s history. As well as this, they are also the only Turkish team ever to win an European trophy, winning the UEFA Cup, 4-1 on penalties, against Arsenal back in 2000. Not only that, but they went the entire cup run unbeaten – not bad! The Super Cup subsequently found its way to Turkey after they beat Real Madrid 2-1.

Their stadium carries the name of the founder of the club “Ali Sami Yen” and it’s famous for it’s hostile atmosphere and slogan “Welcome to Hell” (obviously, they’ve never been to Goodison).

However, as stated previously, their European encounters these days are held at the Ataturk stadium, which was temporarily their home during the 03/04 season. This was not a popular move amongst the fans of Gala nor of the other Turkish teams (I can only assume that the reason for this was the struggle to actually get to the ground!). As the Ali Sami Yen is still undergoing some work to bring it up to UEFA standard, they will continue to play their European ties there for the time being.

In 2005/06 Gala had a very successful season. They had the brilliant experience of clinching the title from their fierce rivals, Fenerbahce in the last minute of the football season! They also set a club record 83 points, despite losing two of their best rated stars, Flavio Conceciao and Frank Ribery in the pre-season. So despite a slow start to the current league campaign, it’s fair to say that Gala are a team on the up.

Now for a bit of the Liverpool connection! Ex-red Graeme Souness once managed Gala and famously but controversially placed a Gala flag in the centre spot of the pitch after they had defeated Fenerbahce in the Turkish Cup Final. Another ex-red, Rigobert Song currently stands firm in the centre of the Gala defence. I’m sure a warm welcome awaits him at Anfield.

I visited their “GScimbom.com” site for some more discussion…

Rhi: How is your league season shaping up?

Oguz: In the 7th week, Fenerbahce has 16 points, but they played against impotent teams. They have a bad fixture. And Vestel Manisa is second, they have the last Turkish Natinonal manager, Ersun Yanal. ( Sacked..  ) I think there is one only player in that team, you know, Zelenka. (From Sparta Prag)

Ugur: For now, Fenerbahçe has 16 points and they are leader, with an extra match. And the second is a surprise team, Vestel Manisa. I am sure you have not heard about them.

Sarafoglu: As of right now, we are not getting the results we would like from our team. Unfortunately, our biggest rival Fenerbahce is in first place.

Rhi: What are your expectations for this season, both in your league, cups and in Europe?

Oguz: We couldn't start well this season. We won only 2 matches, 4 drawn, 1 defeat. The last match Trabzonspor defeat us, 3-1. We were really bad in the last match. ( Tranzon have Marcelinho, Gokdeniz, Musampa, Szymkoviak you know.)

Ugur: Galatasaray always plays for the top. But actually we could not start very well this season. But cup and CL are not related with the championship. So we will try hard for the cups.

Sarafoglu: As a very proud supporter of Galatasaray, we expect to win the championship in our Turkish League and the Turkish Cup Championship. Before I tell you our expectation in Europe you must understand that our goal in Europe is not like any other Turkish team. We have won games against very popular and strong teams in the past. Realistically, our goal is to get through the first group stage and then move on to play teams that will meet up to our level. We might not play the style that our fans enjoy in our league but it's a totally different when we play in European competition. So, I would suggest that your fans as well as our supporters to expect a different style of play. What I mean by that is simply you should be very cautious not to undermine our teams strenghts by examining our League results. In Turkey we have a saying as that we are the "CONQUERORS OF EUROPE" and there is a good reason for that saying which I don't want to get into right now but I'm sure you will find out.

Rhi: Many reds will not know much about Galatasaray, maybe you could give us a short account of how you play, your tactics, style, formations etc?

Oguz: Gerets prefers attacking football, so we have really uneasy times, in every matches. But we have really good forwards and strikers, but they aren't ready, so we have problems in attacking..

We use 4-4-2 system. ( Generally diamond )

Sabri-----Song---------Tomas-------Orhan (Song has a injury, Emre Asik will play.. )
Hasan Sas----------------------Arda Turan
------------Sasa Ilıc----------------------
---------Umit Karan---Hakan Sukur--------

Maybe Gerets prefers a defansive system, because it will be a hard match for us.

Hasan Sas-------------------------Arda Turan
-------------Sasa Ilıc(Umit Karan)------------
-------------Hakan Sukur-------------------

Ugur: Galatasaray generally use 4-4-2 system.

Hasan Şaş--------------------------Arda
-------Ümit Karan----Hakan Şükür--------

Our coach Erik Gerets says "For me, to score 5 goals and give away 4 goals more important than to score only one goal." I think you get the idea.

Sarafoglu: Most of the time we play a 4-4-2 formation. It would be wrong to tell you the tactics and style we play because I think thats your homework to complete before the match and also because I'm not your detective.

Rhi: Who are your most important players?

Oguz: Hakan Sukur is 35 but still he is most powerful striker. Umit Karan is a really good finishing, but he isn't ready, as % 100.

Goals from Hakan Sukur in 05/06:
http://video.galatasaray.org/200506/30/16042006_galatasaray.3.rizespor.1_hakansukur.mpg http://video.galatasaray.org/200607/cl/09082006_galatasaray.3.mboleslav.0_hakansukur.mpg

From Umit Karan:
http://video.galatasaray.org/200506/06/18092005_vmanisaspor.1.galatasaray.3_umitkaran.mpg (Van Basten (: )

http://video.galatasaray.org/200506/17/16122005_kayserispor.0.galatasaray.2_ukaran_uzun.m pg (Thierry Henry (: )

See a goal from song (40 M (: )

Ugur: Hakan Şükür and Ümit Karan are the most effective attacking players. Arda, the new talent, and Hasan Şaş can dribble easily. And Song is the best deffender of the Turkish League.

Sarafoglu: I consider all of our players as very important players. We play as a team and we win as a team. Of course there are key players to our success but again you guys should educate yourselves about who they are.

Rhi: And your worst?

Oguz: We have some deficient, bad players you will see in the match 

Ugur: We had some bad players but Gerets changed the squad. Now we are pleased with all of our players. 

In my opinion, there is not a special player who plays very bad in our team, maybe Cihan and Necati. But sometimes the team could play very bad all together, unfortunately. We hope they won't play like that in the next match. 

Sarafoglu: I apologize but I cannot answer this question because whoever wears our red and yellow shirt tries his best under his own capabilities. But, if you were to take a poll today amongst the Galatasaray fans of the worst player the winner would most likely be Cihan.

Rhi: How about your young players, is there anyone who’s tipped to set the World alight?

Oguz: We have very talented young players, like Ajax. Our young teams (Under 18, under 16 ..) have lots of talented players.

Now, Arda Turan (AMR/L/C) is really talented and ready. He is 19.

And I want to write a list, you can hear them in next years.
Aydin Yilmaz
Ugur Ucar
Oguz Sabankay
Mehmet Topal
Mehmet Guven

Ugur: I wrote something about Arda Turan. He is very quick player. And he is only 19 years old. And there is another one, Ferhat. He is a leftback player. He is also talented but not as much as Arda. He is also 19.

And the other young players are Sabri , right back or midfielder, Mehmet Güven and Mehmet Topal, deffensive midfielder center, Özgürcan Özcan, forward, etc.

Sarafoglu: I have two words for you ............. ARDA TURAN.

Rhi: Which of our players do you think will cause you the most problems?

Oguz: I think Gerrard, Riise and Kuyt will cause us the most problems.. Maybe Peter Crouch..

Sarafoglu: Probably Peter Crouch and Gerrard.

Rhi: You all seem very proud of your “hell” in the Ali Sami Yen, but Anfield is famous for it’s European nights, so who do you think will make the most noise? ;)

Ugur: Of course, we are proud of our "Hell". But we won't play in Ali Sami Yen. The match well be played in Atatürk Olympic Stadium. And you know this stadium, in 2005 you won the CL Cup there. And I think you should give some informations, tips about Atatürk Stadium as an objective person. Because most of our supporters don't like it.

Sarafoglu: Are u kidding me? What kind of question is that? When we say hell, it's certainly just that for our opponents and heaven for us. Listen, you guys have very good supporters as well, but it just does not compare to ours and the primary reason is that football is like a religion to us in this country.

Rhi: What about songs and anthems… Liverpool have You’ll Never Walk Alone, do you have something similar? Or any other chants for us to listen out for… maybe you could translate one for us?

Ugur: We have many songs. You will hear them in the match, even in Anfield. I think the translation doesn't work. Because it won't make the same sense for you. As you know the anthems and songs are special. Even in the same country, supporters don't feel the same with the other clubs' songs, except Fenerbahçe. Because they don't have any special songs. They just take other songs and sing. (:

Sarafoglu: We won the championship 4 years in a row .........
and we became the kings of Europe..............
The truth is written in history......................
And that history is written by GALATASARAY

Rhi: How much do you know about the English league? Maybe so we can get a rough idea of the Turkish league, you could compare your club to one in the English league, in terms of history, success etc?

Oguz: We can watch your league, we know a lot of things about it.

I support Arsenal in your league. After Arsenal, I could support Liverpool, because I knew your history and I love reds (:

I hate Chelsea, I hope they will smash.

Ugur: We watch the PL in one of our privite TV channels. So we know many things about your league. I think our teams are similar. Both Galatasaray and Liverpool don't have very special players but as a team we are very dangerous.

But unfortunately I support Chelsea in the PL. So we are opponent again. (:

Sarafoglu: Our overall knowledge about football is exceptional in this country as I told you before. Football is a very important part of our daily life. We like to follow many different leagues around Europe as well as the entire world. I must say the English League is probably our favorite since you guys play the fast pace game with many touches constantly attacking the goal. That's not only fun for us, I'm pretty sure it's fun for any football supporter. We are also a very historic team. We were born in 1905 and had many success stories throughout the history, the most notable was winning the Uefa Cup and the Super Cup. If you're interested about our past success stories use search engines such as google or yahoo to look up our history and success stories.

Next, I would definitely not agree to compare our team and our passion for our team to any other team because that's asking me to do something impossible. We live and breathe Galatasaray in Turkey and not to disrespect any of your teams but I don't think that exists in England. We are the one and ONLY GALATASARAY. Again, don't get me wrong because we don't think teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are bad teams but I will never think my team as another team in another country because it would be betraying my team that I love.

Rhi: As I’m sure you all know, many Liverpool supporters visited Istanbul in 2005, when we won the Champion’s League… do you have any memories of Liverpool supporters out there? Do you have any other memories of the game itself?

Ugur: Sorry about that but I don't have any memory about the game. But I had an English teacher from London. and again I'm sorry, because he were a Chelsea supporter, too. (:

Sarafoglu: We were happy for you guys to win the Champions League but really it was none of our business since we are all about Galatasaray. We are glad that your supporters enjoyed their stay and celebrated their victory.

Rhi: How do you expect our group to finish? And who do you think will win this year’s competition?

I prefers being 3. to being 2. Because I know If we will be second in group C, we can't continue anymore.

We have really bad coefficient in last five years, we need get points from UEFA, it will be easy.

Certainly, my dream is 1. but we need defeat you in Anfield, it is hard.

I hope it will finish like,

1. Galatasaray
2. Liverpool
3. PSV
4. Bordeaux

But to be honest, even I don't believe myself.  I think in the end it will,

1. Liverpool
2. Galatasaray (or PSV)
3. PSV (or Galatasaray)
4. Bordeaux

And I hope we will win the competition. But if I'm wrong, then I hope Chelsea will.



Rhi: Would you care to predict a score for our match?

1-1 or 1-0 (GS) 

Ugur: I think the game will be 1-1, drawn. Or you will win 2-1, 3-2, at the worst.

Thanks for your interest.

First match result...............1-1
Second match result ..........2-1 GALATASARAY WILL WIN

Some very good answers and I think it’s very obvious that they have a great passion and love for their team. So thanks very much to the mods and admin at GScimbom!

© Rhi 2006

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