20 August 2013

Match Preview: Arsenal vs. Fenerbahçe, UEFA Champions League

Hopefully these lunatics behave on Wednesday.
(Photo courtesy David Jones)
Hey, Turkish fans, remember when you were every lazy soccer nerd's tip (including mine) for the up-and-coming league in world football? Remember when we were all excited about the deafening match atmosphere that made Anfield in the 1970s sound like, well, Anfield these days? Remember how pumped everyone was about the rising quality and competitiveness of Turkish teams in Europe?

Yeah, well, congratulations, you've officially fucked the duck -- now you're Italy, with none of Serie A's lingering cachet from the glory days. Enjoy your new status as bar trivia answers for serious soccer dorks.

What may be most embarrassing for Fenerbahçe fans, in particular, aside from being the the one nobody can remember from the Three Tenors-like trio of Turkish teams anybody has heard of outside of the country*, is that even if they somehow win on Wednesday, they could easily be booted from the competition once again, given that they've already been banhammered by UEFA for match fixing for the second time in three years.

While it's probably still not as embarrassing for them as the time Graeme Souness stuck a Galatasaray flag in the middle of their pitch after they lost the Turkish Cup to their hated rivals in a second leg at home:

It's still gotta be pretty fucking embarrassing. Good stuff, gang -- you cheated, you got caught and now you're like Alex Rodriguez playing while his appeal is going on, despite the entire sporting universe wishing he'd just crawl down some convenient hole and die already. I hope YouTube breaks in Istanbul and every clip is just the one of Souness I embedded above. Want to watch Maru the cat? Fuck you, more Souness! Or what about crazy Russian traffic stuff? FUCK YOU, MORE SOUNESS!

Because, really, who gives a hummingbird's fart about Fenerbahçe, besides their delusional asshole fans? Yeah, OK, we have to pretend to give a shit about them, because they're the official second-fiddle team in Turkey, but who'd watch them over Galatasaray? Gala have a fine, funky selection of past-it players from top European leagues, like Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder, Felipe Melo and, most importantly EMMANUEL MOTHERFUCKING EBOUE.**

Fener have appropriately boring losers like Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles, and, as I mentioned, are staring massive penalties and a European ban in the face. What the fuck are you assholes even doing here? Get off the field and let us get beat by a team that's in slightly less disarray than us. Fenerbahçe had a good domestic season last year, by the embarrassingly low standards of the Süper Lig, finishing second behind - who else? - Galatasaray. They also made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League before getting bounced by Benfica. Oh, and they won their domestic cup, which must have been hard, given that the final was against mighty Trabzonspor.


Starting 11s, maybe:

Arsenal: Szczesny; Mertesacker, three redshirts from the original Star Trek TV show; Ramsey, Wilshere and an inanimate carbon rod; Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud. The injury crisis is getting bad, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'D HEARD.

Fenerbahçe: Demirel; Yobo, Alves, Gönül, Kaldirim; Baroni, Topuz, Meireles, Erkin; Emenike, Kuyt.


* Pavarotti, Domingo and CARRERAS. It's CARRERAS. And yes, I know the one most people forget is Besiktas, but let's face it, nobody forgets Galatasaray.

** I'll admit right here that I miss that crazy bastard. Always good for about eight completely needless bookings, several outlandishly bad dives, and maybe one or two amazing plays a season. Shine on, you defensively worthless diamond.


  1. Jon really hates the guys, huh?

    1. Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.

    2. Meant to say "these" but of course, I had no time to type the extra two letters. I was ready to start a Jon hates Turks meme.

  2. Inanimate carbon rod could do a job.

    1. Would still be better than Silvestre