Turkish Football News

Besiktas simply not good enough tonight

Besiktas simply not good enough tonight

On the eve of one of their most important matches of the season, the Super Lig club was let down by its own players.

Besiktas came into tonight’s match knowing they have set a new club record; this was the first time they’ve advanced to the knockout stage of the Champions League. However, it was evident by tonight’s 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich that the club are in need of a serious overhaul if they are to progress further in the future.

Senol Gunes’s men simply didn’t have the self-discipline to match the cold-blooded German team who were in control from the beginning of the bout. To make matters worse, in the 16th minute of the first-half, Besiktas defender Vida made the heinous decision of lunging feet-first from behind to attempt to get the ball from Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, who was clean-through past the last defender and one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The result was a direct red card and ultimately the Black Eagles paid heavily for this.

This is a tie that is decided over two-legged matches, one at home and one away. In other words, you can come back from a goal down early in the first half (assuming Lewandowski would go on to score) however to play almost the rest of the match (over 74 minutes left after the red card) with a one-man disadvantage is something you would expect to see at the lower levels of professional football, certainly not in the Champions League.

In addition to this, the average age of Besiktas is 29.3 years. Let’s take a look at tonight’s starting line up and each player’s age;Besiktas starting eleven's age.

It’s not difficult to see this team has players who are too old to be competing seriously at this cut-throat level of the sport. If the Black Eagles are serious about their intentions to make progress in the Champions League and not chalk this down to a fluke season, they must look to younger players who can rejuvenate the team with more talent and can last for a full 90 minutes without tiring or giving up, as was evident tonight. Players like Ryan Babel seemed to shut off in the second half. Pepe and Adriano were slow to react to most rebounds. Fabri, on the other hand, was arguably the best player on the pitch. The Spaniard made a number of good saves as the Germans attacked without mercy. It would not be a reach to say the scoreline could have been much worse.

Either way, hopefully Vida will take this as a learning lesson and reflect on his bad decision at such a crucial moment so as not to repeat it again in the future. It will be interesting how Senol Gunes and his men bounce back from this as they have another important game coming up this weekend against local rivals Fenerbahce, in one of the most heated derbies in Turkish football.

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