What do you do with a problem like Sabri? by Ejber Özkan
This past six weeks or so since Galatasaray successfully won the Turkish league and cup double has been proved to be a watershed for their fans on social media.
The Galatasaray Twitterati were on cloud 9 just a few weeks ago but are bordering on hysteria today with regard to the lack of transfer activity. It hasn’t helped that the main rivals likely to contest the title this winter have laid down heavily on major transfers including Van Persie, Nani, Gomez etc.
The amount of money spent in comparison for the Lions marquee summer signing Lukas Podolski for example is actually quite close if you look at the KAP announcements.
But one star transfer is simply NOT enough for most fans.
The fact is that Galatasaray have a pretty good spine, from Burak Yilmaz, Wesley Sneijder, Selçuk inan, Semih Kaya and of course Muserla seems to have gone a miss. The current team is not nearly as bad as is being made out.
The problem that lead to this escalation is that while Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş were busy filling their squads, the only activity that occurred in the Lions camp was that Sabri got a pay rise. This infuriated the twittersphere and caused much discontent across the fan base.
How dare Galatasaray pay their double winning captain any money at all, (the rumour is that he actually went through the whole season without being payed). How dare they give him a pay rise? (when he played in every game in the second half of the season). One of the major factors that set the team on the road to the title was that the defence improved and didn’t concede for the last six games. In fact looking at his statistics in the second half of the 2015 season shows he was heavily involved in the teams turn around.
You’d think that they’d just finished bottom of the league if you had the misfortune to follow any Turkish based fans on social media. Simply put that mob rule pertains the demands that they would be happy for the club to pay Zlatan a staggering 7 million euros a year but one of their own that has been at the club for 10 years can get torn to shreds for accepting the going rate for a double winning captain.
Ok so he’s not perhaps got the technique and skill of a Zannetti or Roberto Carlos and is more likely to find the back of the stand than the back of the net but if you want heart and character you’d do far worse to look past his direct involvement in firing Cim Bom towards the title last winter with his sheer enthusiasm and will to win.
Yet Galatasaray fans continue unabated with every new purchase by Fenebahçe and Beşiktaş. The anger grows on the club and demands continue.
There is no doubt that Galatasaray need to strengthen for the European campaign (let’s face it Umut Bulut is really showing his age and would not seem a decent backup striker) but the reality is that despite the Turkish league looking stronger than ever it’s highly unlikely that any team outside of the big three will be title winners and considering the same group of players have won three out of the last four championships it would be foolish to write this side off.
It will be an interesting month. After the recent 4-0 friendly loss to (not so nice) Nice the management have been put under enough pressure to at least look at the options out there.
Don’t get me wrong Sabri is long overdue replacement but perhaps we are focusing on the wrong problems…
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