Greece ‘knows what it wants’

PORTO – Turkey failed to qualify for the current European Championships following an upset playoff loss to Latvia. It has already shifted its focus to the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, which include games against Greece. Turkey’s recently appointed new coach, 41-year-old Ersun Yanal, who replaced Senol Gunes, the man who led Turkey to the 2002 World Cup semifinals, is currently in Portugal observing the competition. In an interview with Kathimerini, Yanal described Greece as «a side that knows what it wants on the pitch.» Which Greek players have impressed you the most? Without a doubt, Theodoros Zagorakis. He is the player that did everything. I also liked [Traianos] Dellas and [Michalis] Kapsis. The former is very good in the air, whereas the latter can wipe out any opponent. Do you think Greece played well [to defeat Portugal] or did Portugal simply perform poorly? I honestly don’t have an answer for that. It is certain, however, that a team’s inability to perform can be attributed to the opponent’s obstruction. And Greece did that very well indeed. Some critics have condemned Greece for playing destructive soccer. Would you agree? Of course not. Name me a team that has provided sheer entertainment in the tournament so far. I believe that soccer must offer entertainment, goal scoring and action for the people to enjoy. Yet, should a team offer all those and end up defeated, both coach and players go down as failures. Will you be relying on experience or do you plan to rebuild the Turkish squad? You can’t change an entire team. I’m going to try and mix some of the older team members, such as Hakan Sukur and Rustu Recber, with some young talent.

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