Turkish Tales

by   |   09/06/2019  14 Comments  [Jump to last]

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.

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Reader Comments (14)

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 10/06/2019 at 04:55:12
HaHa, Andy

I don't think you were the only one hitting the Raki if your hosts were comparing Tosun to the great Gerd Muller.

In fairness, my eldest is pals with a Besiktas fan and he too is scratching his head wondering why Tosun is not scoring 20.

Maybe we're missing something...

David Pearl
2 Posted 10/06/2019 at 13:51:33
Did you ask them about Under?

Tosun scores goals, he works hard... but doesn't seem to find the space to make a difference. I'm sure there is a player in there but maybe with another team. Let's face it, with the amount of crosses Digne provided, he should be in his element. If we get Gomes, I hope he improves his passing from deep because we are short of players that can actually pick a pass. If we can get Onyekuru and Vlasic back to take a look at them on top of Zouma (maybe another loan) and Gomes, I'd be happy.

Did you bring back any Turkish Delight, Andy? That's one of the reasons I'm laying on the couch right now looking like Frankenstein's monster from a bad tooth.

Andy Crooks
3 Posted 10/06/2019 at 14:47:48
I did bring some back, David. Hope your tooth calms down!

The Turkish fans see Onyekuru the way we see Gomes. He is ours and wants to be, Henry wants to be with them.

I just found the international language of football fascinating. I thought the admirable Steve Ferns was unique but, having had the deplorable misuse of Tosun explained to me in deep tactical detail, I know he has a Turkish equivalent. I think there is a nationalism in Turkey, which I am uneasy about in some ways, which makes them see Tosun as more than a footballer.

Also, the wedding of Ozil with the president as best man caused a good deal of hilarity. The president dishing out advice to a vastly paid footballer was just jaw-dropping.

It was also interesting to note the pride that relatively poor people take in seeing Turkish young men earn fortunes abroad.

Sam Hoare
4 Posted 10/06/2019 at 15:06:21
Ha! Sounds like a good time had by all Andy. I apologise if you were bored by the Turkish Sam Hoare!

It's interesting what you report about Tosun. I was one of the few suggesting that he could get 15 goals last season. I think his biggest problem was that he didn't bag a goal or two in the first few games (when he was actually playing well) and confidence affects strikers even more than most. he was snatching at chance a little after that.

I would not be wildly surprised (or disappointed) to see DCL and Tosun start as our first choice strikers next year. Finding goal scoring machines who will do for the team what Silva needs his strikers to do is very hard indeed; not alot of reliable goalscorers out there with their eyes on a spot at Everton.

If a good bid comes in for Tosun then they may let him leave but otherwise he may yet get a second (or third?) bite at the toffee apple.

Paul Bernard
5 Posted 12/06/2019 at 12:52:49
Andy and Darren, I too think we are missing something with Tosun - but its explainable.
Silva has sacrificed a pure goalscorer in Tosun who may also need a partner up front, for the more 'target man' like DCL.

Its one of those situations were you would take DCL's hold up and link up play with Tosun's finishing and movement.

I remember thinking the same about Anichebe/Vaughan hybrid.
Personally I hope Cenk stays and gets decent time like a run in the team.
To bench him then expect him to come on and score 1-2 goals every game is harsh, even if he did then he would be nothing more than a super sub - he cant win really.

Ray Roche
6 Posted 12/06/2019 at 18:03:44
I was in Turkey three weeks ago, all the waiters and staff at our hotel were football mad and they couldn't understand why Tosun wasn't getting a game. He was worshipped there, and they think Everton are crazy not to be playing him.
Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 12/06/2019 at 22:10:56
Love this, Andy. I had no idea you were such an international sophisticate... certainly the TW authority on Turkish!

I'm surprised about the Tosun reaction too, but like Darren says, maybe we're all missing something. Or maybe it's just Cenk who's missing. Anyway, when you catch up on your sleep I'd be interested to hear how Ersin thinks we're misusing him.

As for Henry, I'm not surprised at all. Any fan base is going to latch on to his kind of excitement. No wonder he feels welcome there.

Brian Williams
8 Posted 12/06/2019 at 22:28:04
I think the reason Tosun's not scoring like he did in Turkey is quite obvious, although seemingly not to the Turkish supporters.
It's the same reason some people look at some premier league footballers and claim "I could do that."
The premier league is extremely difficult to play in.
Admittedly not all players playing in it are master technicians but the standards required to score goals, probably the hardest part or the PL game, is very high, a lot higher than in the Turkish league.
Tosun doesn't have the last "nth" percent to be a regular scorer in the premier league.
I personally don't think we, or Silva, are missing anything at all in my opinion Tosun's just not quite good enough.
Whether "not good enough" amounts to lack of pace, lack of athleticism, lack of technical ability or otherwise he, unfortunately isn't quite up to being a 15-20 goals a season scorer in the premier league, IMHO.
Mike Jones
9 Posted 12/06/2019 at 22:36:00
Like Kenny, he is not going to take us to the next level. Not good enough. Let’s not romanticise. I want top 4.
Jamie Crowley
10 Posted 12/06/2019 at 23:08:07
Tosun to my eyes isn't a fit in the Silva system.

I don't think he's a bad footballer. He just doesn't do well what a striker needs to do well, under Marco.

Don Alexander
11 Posted 12/06/2019 at 23:10:18
Nail on head Brian (#8), we need forwards that make the likes of the top four get into a worried sweat before and right through match-day.
Andy Crooks
12 Posted 14/06/2019 at 00:13:28
Mike G, Paul @ 5 and Jamie @ 10, pretty much sum up the view of the admirable Ersin. Cenk is a goal hanger and never in a million years a target man. He doesn't run the channels. He is there to play off a work horse. The team must be set up for Cenk, as it was in many ways for Lukaku.

Now, we both know that Silva will never, ever contemplate this. Cenk must play alongside Calvert-Lewin. That isn't going to happen, rightly in my view. So Cenk Tosun is done at Everton. He is an Allardyce man and is now as redundant as the fat man. Still a good player and top man. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong set-up, Mike.

Mike Jones
13 Posted 14/06/2019 at 00:22:03
He's not very good. End of.
Jim Jennings
14 Posted 14/06/2019 at 00:41:21
Interesting. My mate is a Gala fan and has consistently said that Onyekuru is talented and fast but doesn’t work hard enough. He says he was not that popular with the fans until he scored the goal that won the league. He couldn’t believe the money we paid for Cenk.

Different strokes for different folks but I’m with Brian Williams (8). A quick search will show you some of the over-the-hill and mediocre ex PL players who were among the top scorers in the SuperLiga last season, which should give you an idea of the difference in quality between the two leagues.

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