Fenerbahce hosted PSV Eindhoven in their first pre-season friendly on their beloved Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul by the score of 2-0.
Their best players were available, but their attacking players were unable to click, their counter-attacking was disorganized, building up from the back by passing or sending long balls were easily read and they let the pressure of playing at home for the first time get to them…or they simply did not care enough.
Michael Kadlec and Bruno Alves are the two newest acquisitions to the back line of the Fener defense, but even they could not stop PSV from netting twice. They are still getting used to one another, their new teammates and the city of Istanbul. Alves played in Portugal and Russia while Kadlec most recently played in Germany. All three sets of fans in those nations are passionate, but Fenerbahce fans simply blow them all out of the building with their undying chanting and support.
The goals they allowed were both defensive errors as the keeper was left with too much to do.
When a player is left wide open in the area and he receives a grounded cross, he will score a goal 9/10 times. The two center backs ran back way too late because they were out of position by a mile. That is something they are taught as children.
When the back line stays inside their area to block off crosses and through balls, the opposing team starts to pile up players into the final third to help them orchestrate an attack. A pass to the center of the outside of the 18 is finished off with a rocket that sends the ball soaring into the net.
Those two scenarios are exactly what demised Fenerbahce on their home turf one week before their first UCL qualifier against RedBull Salzburg of Austria. This is a team that coasted their way towards the knock-out rounds of last season’s Europa League. If Fener play sloppily on the defensive end and cannot connect the ball to the back of the opposing net, they will lose on both home and away grass, plain and simple.