I have always had some interest in Turkish football because I worked with a Galatasary supporter many years ago. I love the country and have been in Istanbul over the last few days meeting a friend from Bursa.
My pal has no interest in football but we went out with a few mates of his for dinner and, my God, they do. I think everyone has a double and, if so, Steve Ferns, Sam Hoare, Mike Gaynes, in fact half the cast in this site do.
First of all, Henry Onyekuru. He is not our player, not any more. After a slow start, he is a hero. This is the thing, though, they see him as a player just starting his career in Turkey, and this is a huge, huge thing. Drogba, is a hero but he represents the old Turkish football.
Ersin, who is a Turkish Steve Ferns, sees Onyekuru like Lookman (there is a strong interest in German football). The biggest thing I noticed is the admiration of Liverpool FC. I think we are seen as Besiktas and I did try in my, lamentable Turkish (who am I kidding) to raise this a positive.
Finally: Cenk Tosun. He is universally admired. I cannot imagine Spurs fans feeling the same way over Bale. The view was that he is a goal machine that Silva doesn't get. He is, apparently, a top man a top character and – forgive this, Darren Hind – like der Bomber.
I have had quite a few flights and Raki over the last 24 hours so please forgive any nonsense.