the slow and weak reconstruction of Turkey

Parachuted to the head of selection in Turkey on September 19, Stefan Kuntz is coming off a trying and different first year in office. Replacing Senol Günes who finished last in his Euro 2020 pool after being relegated to League C of the Nations League, the German technician has a lot of work to do, especially as he arrived after a 6-1 humiliation against in the Netherlands. Then relegated by two points from Oranjes and Norway, he led his team to the play-off for the 2022 World Cup but it ended with a 3-1 defeat against Portugal. Despite this failure, his first and only defeat in an official game in Turkey, the former Germany U21 coach, who won the Euro in 2017 and 2021 with the young Germans, made a rather interesting debut.

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Promotion to League B

Significantly renewing his workers (average 24.3 years and only 3 of their thirty years at the last meeting), Stefan Kuntz decided to do a big cleaning, taking advantage of the particular international retirement of Burak Yilmaz (37) to share many new responsibilities. it’s easy. In goal, Ugurcan Cakir (26) of Trabzonspor established himself as an undisputed one while Orkun Kökcü (21) of Feyenoord imposed himself at the heart of the game and the winger roles reverted to Cengiz Ünder ( 25, Marseille) and Kerem Aktürkoglu (23). , Galatasaray). All this while Çaglar Söyüncü (Leicester), Merih Demiral (Atalanta), Salih Özcan (Borussia Dortmund), Hakan Çalhanoglu (Inter Milan) remain key elements.

Starting to find his men and include young elements like Ridvan Yilmaz (21 years old, Rangers), Cenk Özkacar (21 years old, Valencia) or even Ravil Tagir (19 years old, Westerlo), Stefan Kuntz is there in the process of refining his workforce. Supported by Hamit Altintop, the general director of sport for the selection of Turkey, Stefan Kuntz finds his system with 4-4-2 quite convincing so far. A balance to be put in view of the level of opponents encountered. In Group 1 of League C, Turkey took 13 points from 15 before the final day against Lithuania, Luxembourg and Faroe Islands for 17 goals scored and 3 conceded. Those conceded goals came against Luxembourg in a 3-3 draw, a game that debated whether the manager’s contract will continue until June 2024.

Euro 2024 to be seen

As the draw for the Euro 2024 qualifiers will be held on October 9 and the qualifiers will be played from March 23, 2023 to March 26, 2024, Turkey will not want to be sidelined again. Since its 3rd place in the 2002 World Cup, the selection has not played in the World Cup and has participated in 3 European championships out of 5, leaving the pool only once (semi-finalist in 2008). A disappointing search for Turkey, which wants to rekindle a new dynamic and shows impatience. Stefan Kuntz was also credited with the draw against Luxembourg (3-3) making it possible to avoid sweeping everyone with the back of his hand: “Today there are many bad things. The score is not satisfactory. We have achieved our main goal. We topped our group and achieved promotion to League B.

“I always say that we are a learning and improving team. Sometimes in such situations there are steps forward and sometimes backwards. I am happy that we got the draw in the last moments. If we had lost, we would have been relegated Let’s see. I like the mentality of the team at one point. Every time we back up, we can come back. I’m happy with this part” he continued. Fragile, Turkey’s balance was also played behind the scenes where rumors of the coach’s departure forced Mehmet Büyükekşi to step up. “The national team needs strength, the allegations about Stefan Kuntz are definitely not true. We have to respect our coach’s choice of players. Our coach has an opinion and we have to respect it. He said we saw a solution at this time” he slipped through. Facing the Faroe Islands tonight, Turkey will want to end this League of Nations on a high note before starting the Euro 2024 qualifiers where the minimum result is very much in focus. Tension and frustration go hand in hand and will dictate the course of this reconstruction in Turkey…

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