When this piece was written, Turkey had not faced Iceland for the most crucial game in the World Cup qualifiers yet. Thus, I do not intend to speculate over the chances of Turkey against Iceland because I know that in one way or another, it will not make a huge difference. Rather, I foresee a dramatic end to the Turkish national team’s free-fall, and the outcome of it will force Turkey to make a decision. The truth is, even if Turkey beats Iceland and makes it through the World Cup, with the current panic and blindness in the football administration, the team will not make further advancements. Then, the energy derived from this frustration, anger and fear must be transferred the right way. The reason why I am being pessimistic about the future of the Turkish national team and Turkish football in general is the horrible decision-making record of the Turkish football administration. Following the terrible form of the national team, the Fatih Terim administration could not offer any solutions other than speculations of implementing foreign player limits again and the hysterical appointment of Mircea Lucescu to save the day. They have no plans for raising the youth, uplifting the football economy or creating a successful national team other than offering lots of money to people who immediately understand that they are appointed to save the day.
Thus, whether or not Turkey beats Iceland does not interest me, since I see no value in it for the long term. For how long can Turkey continue to hope to save the day, while ironically failing to do so almost every time? How many tournaments and trophies does this country have to miss to learn that the price of constant success is constant effort towards long-term plans? Turkey is very familiar with the current scenario, and honestly, the country is fed up with it. The people are fed up with macho statements and behaviors glorifying the illusionary power of the national team. What is lacking in Turkey’s football administration is sincere and honest effort and accepting the fact that the current practice failed and that a new, revolutionary football practice is needed.
At this point, football is not rocket science, and there are tons of other examples to be inspired by. Germany, Spain, England, France and many others managed to build a scientific, sustainable and competitive football strategy to take them to the top of this game. The reason why Turkey is not one of them is that Turkish football is run by people who have no long-term vision or ideals. Nevertheless, we are heading towards a point where the people who run football will have to make a choice. Their system cannot last forever, and either they will reform the way they run football or the people will force them to do so.