Murat Öztürk is a journalist with the Turkish daily Karar and works at transfermarkt.com.tr. He writes exclusively for SPORT BILD about the big clubs in the Super League and the Turkish national team.
It’s already the end of March, so I do not have to worry about what I’m going to write this month.
This is because, unfortunately, events that take place in Germany within a year can be observed in Turkey in about a week.
For example, the suspension of Mesut Özil in Fenerbahce. Or negotiations for a TV contract for the league. But another time …
Today is about our national team. They played in the play-off game for the World Cup on March 24 in Portugal.
A week before the game, Stefan Kunts gave an interview to some Turkish media, which is quite unusual for us. “We have nothing to lose against Portugal. We had the strength and courage to impress,” he boasted.
In short: Kuntz was full of confidence. All of us, all of Turkey, were on the go. Stephen Kunts will finish the job, we thought. So we waited for the game. Teams announced, we experienced the first shock. In defense, Kunts really chose the triple chain.
Only spectators over the age of 60 can remember the last matches of the national team with 3 members of defense. I think it’s a shot in the leg to make such a decisive decision in such an important game. In fact, Kunts owe it to the back force to reach the playoffs.
What’s weird: Kunts wanted to use Sardar Aziz in the first eleven instead of Osan Kabak. But Zardar did not want to play in this system.
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The assistant coaches wanted to see Dorokhan in central midfield because he is tougher and more defensive. But Kuntz probably wanted to be creative – Orkun Kökçü came on the field.
So if you ask me, we lost the game because of Kuntz’s selection to central midfield. There was no sign of the Salhanoglu-Cox team in central midfield.
The deployment of Galatasaray Sixes-Man Berken Kuttlu on the left-back was also a fast-paced topic on social media. Berken von Kunds was called up to the national team as a left-back, not because Ferdie was injured.
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Now to the game …
Portugal were in control throughout the game and we had nothing to say during the game. They scored two goals and lost 7-8. We could not even get close to the opponent’s goal.
It was a big coincidence that Portugal were playing one of their most enjoyable games until the goal of Burac Yilmas. So they panicked.
If Burak had converted a penalty in the 85th minute, we would still be on our way to the World Cup. But Burak was wrong.
So we were spared …
Stefan Kunts learned something from Portugal’s games against Ireland and Serbia, which led to Portugal losing points.
Ireland and Serbia played a three-man defense in those games, snatching points from Portugal. Until then, all is well. Unless these teams have played all the qualifying matches using this system, that is the difference.
So in my opinion Kunds’ idea that if they can do it we can do it too was completely wrong.
Importing a system can take years, and nothing works in just one game.
Kuntz gambled on something and lost in this game. Thanks to his decisions in Turkey, he is currently the center of all criticism.
“We had more chances than Portugal. My team played brilliantly in the second half. We can be proud of this team,” he said after the game incredibly.
Even the esteemed authorities laughed at it, and all thought to themselves: “We must have seen another game.”
Well, dear Stefan, it should not have been easy for Portugal with us.
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