International week is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Generally that decision revolves around whether itÃ¢ÂÂs international Ã¢ÂÂfriendlyÃ¢ÂÂ week or actually a game that people give two hoots about.
This week fell into the category of the former, but Turkish Delights has a public to serve. So, while completely ignoring the spectacle of TurkeyÃ¢ÂÂs kids against the World Cup runners-up was very tempting, the blog put selfishness aside and sat through 90 minutes of...very little.
If there was one positive to take out of Wednesday nightÃ¢ÂÂs friendly (other than that the score was only 1-0) it would probably be that finally Guus Hiddink has taken a look at a bunch of different players. Until now, the Dutchman had stuck with the group of the players who had previously failed under Fatih Terim.
Hiddink spent his first few months under heavy criticism for a Ã¢ÂÂlack of interestÃ¢ÂÂ due to reports suggesting heÃ¢ÂÂd only watched six Super Lig sides live. It was refreshing to see the likes of Umut Bulut, Ibrahim Akin and Burak Yilmaz, who have all been in good form this season and did their reputations proud without really confirming whether they are quite ready to take the step up.
HiddinkÃ¢ÂÂs biggest worry will be the way in which his side has gifted goals. HollandÃ¢ÂÂs came from a familiar Ã¢ÂÂshoot yourself in the footÃ¢ÂÂ moment, Ismail Koybasi hesitating before gifting the ball to Hedwiges Maduro Ã¢ÂÂ who squared for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to finish.
The only thing to really bring a smile was the sight of Colin Kazim Richards scuffing his lines in front of an empty net. Quite how the former Sheffield United player is still on the books at Fenerbahce is a mystery yet to be solved...
It must be said, most thoughts have already turned towards the weekend with a number of mouthwatering fixtures in prospect.
Bursaspor warm up for their trip to Valencia with a tough game at Manisaspor. While Manisa currently sit in 12th place, their win at Galatasaray last week will have given them a lot of extra confidence Ã¢ÂÂ something that Bursa are currently lacking.
Trabzonspor host Eskisehirspor, who will provide very little to worry the league leaders while the match of the weekend comes with second-placed Kayserispor welcoming Gheorghe Hagi and his boys from Galatasaray. Kayseri are yet to lose at home, conceding just two goals in six games, but Cimbom can take strength from the fact that they have not lost in their last seven encounters against the red and yellows.
In Istanbul, Besiktas and Fenerbahce both know that anything less than three points could put them out of the title race.
Like a lost puppy who has finally found a home, Besiktas's Ricardo Quaresma has described his last two years as a "nightmare" and stated that "At Inter I used to go to training crying, now I go to training smiling". Konyaspor will be handed the job of keeping Q7 on his lead as they sit one point off the relegation zone knowing that a win for either Sivasspor or Bucaspor could push them into the red.
ROUND 13 Saturday Kasimpasa v Genclerbirligi, Manisaspor v Bursaspor, Sivasspor v Karabukspor, Besiktas v Konyaspor Sunday Antalyaspor v Gaziantepspor, Trabzonspor v Eskisehirspor, Ankaragucu v Istanbul BB, Kayserispor v Galatasaray Monday Fenerbahce v Bucaspor
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