Galatasaray survive an early scare and draw 0-0

Monday, 24th November, 2008
Galatasaray come back to Istanbul with 1 point following their draw on Saturday night. Harry played upfront alongside Karan due to Milan Baros' ban. Ankaraspor were nearly up 1-0 moments after kick off had it not been for defender Servet Cetin's clearance of the ball off the line. Fernando Meira played a poor pass which was taken by an Ankaraspor player who managed to shoot past Gala's keeeper Morgan DeSanctis. In the thirtieth minute, Harry headed it to Arda however only for the ball to go wide of the post. On the hour mark, Harry found Ayhan Akman who had a good chance of putting the away side up, only for him to squander the opportunity. Harry was eventually replaced by Aydin Yilmaz with 10 minutes remaining.



Galatasaray travel to the capital

Saturday, 22nd November, 2008
Harry and his team mates take on Ankaraspor tonight for their twelfth match of the Turkish Lig. It won't be an easy match as Ankaraspor are sitting on third place, two points above Galatasaray. Galatasaray's striker Milan Baros will be sidelined due to a ban for picking up to many yellow cards whilst defensive midfielder Mehmet Topal and attacking midfielder Cassio Lincoln could possibly be out due to injury. With Baros out, Harry could see action up front alongside Umit Karan, or he could be placed in midfield if Shabani Nonda is given a start.

Match Details
Stadium: Yenikent Asas
Date: Saturday, 19:00 November 22nd, 2008 (Sunday 04:00 AEDT)
Referee: Bulent Yildirim
Weather: Cloudy with chances of rain, 2-13 degrees Celcius expected.

Depending on other results tonight, a victory could see Galatasaray leapfrogging over other teams into second place. To catch a live streaming of the match, you can click here.

Earlier on Wednesday, I posted a video of the "Harry Kewell song". Well now I've found a video of the Galatasaray fans chanting "I love you Harry Kewell". You can see it below.


Socceroos snatch an undeserving victory

Thursday, 20th November, 2008
The football gods were watching over Australia last night as a last gasp extra time goal from Bresciano gave Australia all 3 points against Bahrain. The home side were clearly the better team however they paid the price for their missed opportunities in front of goal. Their impressive striker Jaycee John kept the Socceroos defense busy all night and if not for the efforts of Mark Schwarzer, Bahrain could have been up by 2 or 3 goals. Harry played most of the game down the right side though he could be found lingering over to the left at times. Along with Tim Cahill, Harry gave an unusually uninspiring performance. Whether it was the tight defense or the bumpy surface, none of Australia's stars could really get the team into some momentum. Australia's first big chance came from a missed header by Kewell in the 38th minute. David Carney crossed it in for Harry who headed it wide of the goal - a goal which would have been disallowed anyway as the linesman wrongly ruled Harry as being offside. Carney had a great chance in the second half to set up a goal for Cahill, however Carney selfishly attempted a shot from a tough angle which saw the ball go into the side of the net. Harry was given a break after 71 minutes of play, being substituted for the energetic Brett Holman. Highlights of the match can be seen here whilst photos have been added to the Socceroos gallery. In the other Group A match, Japan put away Qatar 3-0.

Harry will now head back to Turkey where Galatasaray face an important league match against third placed Ankaraspor on Saturday.



Kewell leaves for Manama

Wednesday, 19th November, 2008
Harry along with Palermo's Bresciano and Hull's Richard Garcia headline the latecomers into the Australian camp today. Celtic's Scott McDonald and Blackburn pair Brett Emerton and Vince Grella have been ruled out for the Bahrain match due to various illnesses or injuries. It is widely expected that Australia boss Pim Verbeek will adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation with Josh Kennedy or possibly Harry stationed upfront. If Harry is not given the lone striker role, it is likely that he would play alongside Tim Cahill down the wing.

Match Details
Stadium: Bahrain National Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 18:00 November 19th, 2008 (Thursday 02:00 AEDT)
Weather: Breezy with 21-23 degrees Celcius

In club news, Arda Turan has been given the all clear following a health scare in Gala's previous match where he experienced an irregular heart beat and had to be stretchered off. After being rushed off to hospital, he was given the all clear and instructed by doctors to get some rest. It has been revealed that Arda hadn't been able to sleep for a week as he became overstressed from Galatasaray's loss to arch rivals Fenerbahce the week before. He said, "It is impossible to stay stress free whilst playing football in Turkey...I am a sentimental person and live those emotions to the fullest".  Last weekend's victory also saw Mehmet Topal come off with an injury to his ankle whilst Milan Baros picked up his fourth yellow card of the season forcing him out of next week's away match against third placed Ankaraspor. Harry's goal from the weekend match has been added to the video section whilst the photo gallery has been updated with 21 photos from the match.

A Harry Kewell fan 'Mr.Australia' pointed out on the chatter page that there's a video of the Galatasaray fans singing Harry's name to the tune of 'Daddy Cool' by Boney M. For those who haven't seen it yet, you can watch it below.


Harry nets the opener as Gala win 2-0

Monday, 17th November, 2008
Harry took his Galatasaray goal account to 8 goals as he scored the first goal in Galatasaray's home win against Istanbul BB last night. The goal sees Harry joining team mate Milan Baros for fifth placed on the Turkish Super Lig's top scorer's list with 5 goals. The win, combined with Gala's 1-0 win over Kayserispor in the Turkish Cup on Thursday (where Harry didn't play), is sure to boost the team's spirit following their 4-1 loss to Fenerbahce last weekend. They now sit on 5th place on the Turkish Super Lig table, one above Fenerbahce. However, the win may have come at a cost with Arda Turan being stretchered off in the 78th minute.

More photos and news from the match will be added later today.



Lions look for victory

Thursday, 13th November 2008
Galatasaray will be looking to bounce back from their 4-1 trouncing by rivals Fenerbahce over the weekend as they play in the Fortis Turkish Cup this evening against title defenders Kayserispor at home in Istanbul. Last weekend against Fenerbahce, Harry came on at the beggining of the second half with the Lions down 2-1 but couldn't help the team as they conceded an early second half goal to make it 3-1 before a nice run and amazing shot by Deivid in extra time ensured a 4-1 victory. A good quality clip of the goals can be viewed here.

Galatasaray are facing a relatively easier schedule ahead compared to the past two weeks. A win tonight at home will give them the confidence to takle the easier teams of Turkey as well as Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Cup in a fortnight's time.

Match Details
Stadium: Ali Sami Yen
Date: Thursday, 20:00 November 13th, 2008 (Friday 05:00 AEDT)
Referee: Mustafa Kamil Abitoğlu
Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures at around 10 degrees Celsius.



Victorious Lions take home 3 points

Friday, 7th November, 2008
Galatasaray have come away from Lisbon with 3 full points following their 2-0 victory over Portuguese giants Benfica. The Lions had arrived in Portugal happy to take home 1 point from their second UEFA Cup match, however their victory now leaves them sitting atop the Group B table with 6 points, a massive 4 points above second placed Hertha Berlin. Galatasaray showed their true class throughout the match, notching three times as many shots on target (6) than Benfica and dominating the possession 61%-39%. Both goals came in the second half, with Lincoln setting up the first with a cross from the right side that found Emre Asik close in front of goal making it 1-0 in the 51st minute. Eighteen minutes later, an Arda Turan cross from the left landed in front of forward Umit Karan in the middle of the penalty area and he aimed a low shot that went in to double Galatasaray's lead.

The win rules out any doubts on whether they can compete with the better teams in Europe. The team will now be on a high, having won two games in a row and will be looking forward to taking on Fenerbahce this weekend. There have been no reports as to whether Harry will be fit enough for the match but hopefully Harry and a number of the other injured players will be healthy by the weekend to travel across the Bosphorous to face Fenerbahce.


Harry ruled out of Benfica clash

Wednesday, 5th November, 2008
Galatasaray officials have said Harry will not be participating in this Thursday's UEFA Cup match against Benfica due to a hairline toe fracture he picked up in the previous match against Gaziantepspor. A collision with the opposing goalkeeper saw Harry land uncomfortably and he is set to join teammates Shabani Nonda, Mehmet Topal, Emre Gungor and Aydin Yilmaz on the injured list.

The team depart for Lisbon this evening before returning on Friday to prepare for the Istanbul derby against Fenerbahce. There is still hope that Harry will recover in time for the weekend match and manager Michael Skibbe will be wanting a full squad to tackle Luis Aragones' men.


Kewell's injury mars Gala's 3-1 victory

Monday, 3rd November, 2008
Galatasaray enjoyed a convincing 3-1 victory over Anatolian club Gaziantepspor with Harry netting the opener in the 9th minute and Lincoln doubling the lead a minute later. Harry was in the perfect position in front of goal between two defenders as he directed a cross from Arda Turan into the back of the net before celebrating in front of the sold out crowd. Lincoln's goal opportunity came when a Milan Baros' strike rebounded heavily off the goalkeeper allowing the Brazilian to swiftly strike the ball into the goal. At around the thirty minute mark, Arda had the chacne to make it 3-0 only for the opposing goal keeper to direct the ball over the bar. Towards the end of the first half, Arda handballed in Galatasaray's own box gifting the visiting team with a penalty which was consequently put away.  The second half was relatively quiet but with eight minutes remaining, Arda put the game beyond doubt, taking a headed pass in front of the goal and slotting the ball past the keeper.

However, it wasn't a perfect night for Galatasaray as Harry went down ten minutes into the second half and was substituted off ten minutes later. The club says MRI scans will be taken to assess the seriousness of the injury but it is now unlikely that he will recover in time to play against Benfica this Thursday for Galatasaray's second UEFA Cup Group B match. It is also unknown if Kewell will be available for the Istanbul derby against Fenerbahce next weekend on the 9th of November. It would be sad for Harry, the club and all its fans if he's not fit enough for next weekend's derby given the great rivalry between the two clubs and the glory that every Galatasaray player enjoys when scoring against their archrivals.

This weekend's win puts Galatasaray 5th on the Turkish Lig table, only 3 points away from leaders Trabzonspor whom Galatasaray defeated 3-0 earlier on in the season. The team will be able to carry their high morale from the win with them to Portugal and hopefully bring a good result back home.

22 pictures from the match have been added to the Turkcell gallery whilst the video of Harry's goal can be seen below.



Another statement regarding Harry's health released

Saturday, 1st November, 2008

Galatasaray have released a statement in English about last week's news that Harry has hepatitis.

Kewell’s general physical condition hasn’t changed a great deal since 2003. That’s why our club had detailed information about his former operations and injuries during the check ups made before the transfer. That he is in a good condition and none of the operations and injuries had left any scars or remnants is determined.
Those news made in our media concerning his seldom absenteeisms and injuries are usual muscle and skeleton system problems that can be witnessed in all the players.
Kewell had two injuries during the positions he entered in routine trainings and matches of Galatasaray Professional Football Team. None of these injuries had any link to his previous injuries. He had recovered in the normal, estimated duration and returned to the fields. There has never been any occasion when he was excluded from the 18 player match squad because of his physical incapabilities.    
Recent speculations about Harry Kewell’s health stems largely from exaggerated and distorted news. His so called autoimmune hepatitis disease and related assumptions should be considered unethical since they pass beyond doctor-patient relationship. While this situation was known for 5 years and has never been the subject of any news in the UK, the approach in our country should be considered as the idiosyncrasy of our media!
What matters for Galatasaray Sports Club is whether the player can play football in the desired speed and level during the latest check-ups. That is why Harry Kewell has passed from a detailed check-up session before the season started. The specialists of the area have been consulted about any possible negative situations he might live and it was determined that no negativities for a professional football player of his range is evident.
Since he had missed several matches last season, his physical fitness is being increased with personal trainings in our club right now. For this purpose, apart from the usual practices, he practices for extra hours with his own physiotherapist who is present with him at all times. In other words, contrary to decreasing the volume of his trainings, he has been increasing them to prevent any deficiencies both in terms of fitness and number of matches played. Other than this, he has no obstacles to play two matches a week. He should never be treated differently than nay other player. There has never been any problems stemming from his health.


With regards to our public,     
Galatasaray Sports Club


In other news, Galatasaray are now preparing for their Turkish Lig match against Gaziantepspor who are sitting equal sixth alongside Galatasaray and Kayserispor on the table. A win will be sorely needed following their 4-2 loss last weekend and the fact that it will be a home match adds greater expectation to the result. A win would also put Harry and the boys on a high note before they depart for Portugal in the middle of the week.

Match Details
Stadium: Ali Sami Yen
Date: Sunday, 19:00 November 2nd, 2008 (Monday 04:00 AEDT)
Referees: Halis Özkahya, Muhittin Gürses and Nihat Mızrak
Weather: Clear skies with a max of 22 degrees celcius and a minimum of 13 degrees celcius expected.


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