Hit them with their own gun!

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Sports - ARDA ALAN IŞIK - IS­TAN­BUL

BEŞİKTAŞ’S per­for­mance against Genk this Tues­day had noth­ing in com­mon with their col­lapse against the same op­po­nent two weeks ago. This time Beşik­taş com­pletely left the ini­tia­tive to Genk, as the lat­ter did to them in the last game. The only thing coach Şenol Güneş’s team planned was sim­ple but ef­fec­tive, press the op­po­nent in their half and strike fast when they are caught off-guard.

Un­til the 87th minute equal­izer by Genk, this strat­egy worked and Beşik­taş al­most got the three points in Bel­gium. But the cru­cial point in this strat­egy is to score as many goals as pos­si­ble in the early stages of the game when your time is not ex­hausted from in­tense press­ing – Beşik­taş failed to de­liver that.

The un­for­tu­nate thing was that Beşik­taş lost their fastest man in this strat­egy, Jer­main Lens, only in the 12th minute. Mustafa Pek­te­mek, who re­placed him, is in top form these days, but he is more of a striker than a winger. Thus, Beşik­taş’s of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties in this par­tic­u­lar con­text were hurt from the very begin­ning of the game.

The team, how­ever, still man­aged to find a goal in the 16th minute and found nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties while giv­ing much less to their op­po­nent. But at this point, an­other cru­cial prob­lem of the team was ex­posed – it does not have a high-qual­ity striker to fin­ish the op­por­tu­ni­ties in the third half.

Ryan Ba­bel has been the main goal scorer for Beşik­taş since the begin­ning of the sea­son but the best way to uti­lize his goalscor­ing abil­i­ties is to use him as a hid­den striker. I think Vagner Love could have been a bet­ter choice in this type of game.

The de­fen­sive suc­cess of the team was mainly due to the re­turn of Pepe, who is ba­si­cally the tac­ti­cal leader of the Beşik­taş de­fense. With­out him, Vida and Roco were de­stroyed by Genk’s counter press­ing, forced to make un­be­liev­able mis­takes.

But even with Pepe, the Beşik­taş de­fense is still hes­i­tant to ac­tively en­gage in of­fen­sive ac­tions. Whether it is counter press­ing or pos­ses­sion, does not mat­ter, the de­fend­ers must back the at­tack­ing play­ers to in­crease the ef­fi­ciency of the strat­egy. There­fore, it is still cru­cial for Şenol Güneş to take con­trol of his de­fense and push them fur­ther up to the mid­field line to in­crease ef­fi­ciency.

But an­other im­por­tant thing to note here is that this was an away game, so Beşik­taş were not sup­posed to take the ini­tia­tive any­way. When the team re­turns to Is­tan­bul, con­di­tions for counter press­ing will not be as easy.

Beşik­taş still lacks a proper pos­ses­sion game and are still bound to lucky crosses from the wings. A game should also be built on the con­nec­tions be­tween Adem Lja­jic and wingers, to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties even against tight de­fenses. Genk was shot by their own gun, but you can­not hit Konyas­por with their own gun in İs­tan­bul, it will be a di­rect 0-0 game, an un­ac­cept­able re­sult for Beşik­taş.

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