Monday, November 26, 2012

Turkey did not have to worry about legal or illegal exodus of stars. Like Greece, football in Turkey was slowly rising, yet, far from making impression. No big imports among the players, but foreign coaches – yes. Malcolm Allison was still coaching Galatasaray. If names can win... Well, let's see. From Second division Ankaragucu and Diyarbekirspor earned promotion. Not exactly earth-shakers. On the bottom of First Division four clubs fought for survival, Giresunspor securing the last place early. Two clubs from Adana, Adanaspor and Demirspor, plus Zonguldakspor were lucky to survive. The unlucky one was old and respected club – Goztepe (Izmir). They were 15th not even by worse goal-difference – matching record in everything with Adanaspor left survival or doom to be decided by more goals scored – Adanaspor scored 30, Goztepe only 21. And doom it was for them, joining Giresunspor to the lower level. Up the table it was fairly equal battle as well – 5 points divided 11th and 4th place in the final table, but the competitive level was not so great. Scoring was low in the whole league, 10 out of 16 clubs greatly preferred ties to winning, finishing with 10 or more tied matches during the season. Fenerbahce hold the record, finishing half of their seasonal games tied – precisely 15 out of 30. The only change was visible at the very top – there were 4 clubs, now there were 5 contenders. To a point, two of the big clubs slipped down – Besiktas ended 4th, thanks to better goal-difference. Galatasaray finished unusually low – 5th, yet, with the same points as Besiktas. In fact, Basiktas clinched the upper spot by only one goal better than Galatasaray, but neither club played serious role this season.

With Malcolm Allison at the helm Galatasaray fell out of the championship race. Empty handed and therefore gloomy looking.

Altay (Izmir) finished at 3rd place – they never really competed for the title, but nevertheless had fine season. In fact, one of the finest in the whole history of the old club. Founded in 1914, they never won a title. To this very day, 1976-77 is one of their two best achievements in the Turkish league – bronze medals, won for a second and, so far, last time.

Fenerbahce, coached by Yugoslavian coach, Tomislav Kaleperovic, finished 2nd. They lost only three matches during the campaign, but their 15 ties denied them the title. Seemingly, defensive-minded team, playing safe. At the end, safety was not good enough, for they finished 4 points behind the champions.