Following their confident qualifying campaign, Turkey have plummeted in this year’s European Championships, as they now sit on the brink of exiting the completion after the group stage. The Turks take on the Czech Republic later today, with both teams battling for the slim hope of qualifying as one of the four best third-placed finishers. Czech Republic currently sit on the line of qualification, with just one point to their name. Turkey will need a win if there is any chance of them advancing any further in the competition.
A massively disappointing Turkish tournament
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where Turkey have been stumbling in the competition. There is a look of deflation about the team, with little threat in either of their previous two games and a lack of organisation. Could this be down to the lack of leadership in the side?
Team captain, Arda Turan was booed off the pitch in response to his pitiful performances, it would seem that the fans are mourning the loss of the team spirit and determination that was evident in 2008. The Turkish national team has always been one built with passion and the realisation of the privilege to play for your country. Under the management of Fatih Terim, the team have carried those values heavily, however are struggling to apply them in their game.
The scenes of elation and pride are now a distant memory as they scrap at the bottom of the group, clinging onto the increasingly slim chance of proceeding to the next round.
Standing in their way are a Czech Republic team, fuelled upon their previous draw against Croatia. In which their high level performance was rewarded, after they went two goals down early on.
Fresh faces needed?
Just like the threat that Turkey have in midfield, Czech Republic have the same to throw at Turkey. Turkey’s chances will rely on the form of midfield trio, Arda Turan, Oguzhan Ozyakup and Hakan Calhanoglu, as the world knows their capabilities when they are in peak form.
Now cleared of suspension is Gokhan Tore, the skillful and powerful winger will add a dimension of pace and direct ability should he be introduced into the team. Terim may also turn to the youthful spark of Emre Mor, the young winger has recently completed his transfer to Borussia Dortmund, and will be eager to show the world what he can do.
The Czechs will be without Tomas Rosicky, the midfield maestro will be sorely missed by his team due to his experience and technical ability in the centre of play.
Czech striker, Tomas Necid, will be carrying the confidence of earning his team a vital point in the last game and will be a problem for Turkey to deal with. The presence of the striker in the box will be an alarming issue for the Turks, thanks to his aerial ability and strength, this could prove to be a problem with set pieces.
It is crunch time for both teams, as their progression in the competition will be defined by 90 minutes of football this evening. Can Turkey deal with the pressure and finally unleash their ability on the Czechs, or will it be an early exit for Terim’s men?