Friday, May 20, 2005

Le Guen....goes to Turkey? For those of you that have followed the amazing story of Olympique de Lyon and their 4th straight Ligue 1 championship have to scratch their heads a bit with regards to Le Guen's move from Lyon to Febebache, after he left Lyon the rumors were rampant with regards to where he would end - PSG being high on everyone's list , the other rumor was that he would end up as an assistant to Wenger on the Arsenal bench. But he surprised many of us with a move to Fenebache in Istanbul....the quetion becomes why?

Le Guen's stock could not get much higher. He has demonstrated success taking a strong team and ensuring they continue to play at a high level. He has made strong player moves, with the only real disappointment was not having deeper runs in the Champions League. Therefore a move to Turkey is a strange one to say the least. While Istanbul is a hidden gem when it comes to football - the Fenebache vs Galatassary rivalry I would argue is second to none with regards to domestic leagues, for those of you that are not aware: Galatassary is on the European side of Istanbul while Fenebache is on the Asian side making this not only a huge city rivalry but a "continental" rivalry. The Turkish clubs have had minor recent success in the Europe - Galatassary winning the UEFA cup in 2000 (over Arsenal). But the overall talent level and competition is not high. The competition while fierce, remains well below what is found in England, Italy, Spain, Germany or even France.

If Le Guen is able to bring European glory to the Bosphorus Straights then all the power too him. But the odds are stacked against him. Turkish clubs do not have a historic track record in Europe - Portugese clubs have greater success than Turkish clubs....and their is a reason for this. I fear that Le Guen is going to fall into the waste lands of European Football and will have to redevelop his resume to get back into the top leagues of europe. Le Guen should have waited it out, until the major leagues end their seasons and the manager turn over starts in earnest....then I am sure that he would have received calls from European clubs looking for an up and coming manager.

Good luck in Istanbul, but you should have looked closer to home....

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