Harry and co. go home with 1-1 draw

Friday, 31st October, 2008
Harry and his teammates will leave Ankara with 1 point from their first Group B match of the Fortis Turkish Cup. Umit Karan who played in the place of the injured Milan Baros scored early on in the 9th minute but Galatasaray were never able to build on the lead and unfortunately let in a goal in the extra time of the first half. Harry was substituted out of the match in the 68th minute, with manager Michael Skibbe no doubt wanting to rest him for the three next important matches on the fixture list.

Photos from the match have been added to the newly created Fortis Turkish Cup section.

Ankaraspor welcome Gala in the Turkish Cup

Thursday, 30th October, 2008
Harry and his teammates travel to Ankara where they take on 3rd placed (on the Turkish League) Ankaraspor. Galatasaray will be looking to overcome their humiliating 4-2 defeat last weekend but it will be even tougher tonight against Ankaraspor who have won their past three matches. Galatasaray will be without a number of notable players including Ayhan Akman who received a red car in the last match as well as possibly forwards Milan Baros and Shabani Nonda. This match marks the first of many over the next two weeks for Galatasaray and Michael Skibe will be faced with the task of keeping his players fresh whilst at the same time achieving results, especially against arch rivals Fenerbahce on the 9th of November, three days after Galatasaray play Benifica in the UEFA cup.  

Match Details
Stadium: Yenikent Asaş, Ankara
Date: Thursday, 16:00 October 30th, 2008 (Friday 01:00 AEDT)
Referees: İlker Meral, Mehmet Şahan Yılmaz and Mehmet Metin
Weather: Clear skies with an maximum of 21 degrees celcius expected.

For those wanting to catch the match online, you should be able to watch it via streaming broadcast here.

Galatasaray respond to Harry's hepatitis reports

Wednesday, 29th Ocotber, 2008
Harry's club has issued a statement in response to the Turkish news reports that Harry is suffering from Autoimmune hepatitis.

The statement says, "The exaggerated news about the autoimmune hepatitis and future hypothesis shows clearly the unethical position of our media. There is no difference on the health condition of Kewell since he started his professional footballer career at Leeds United. Our club has got the all the detailed info about his previous operations and his health problems with the check-ups. Mr. Kewell's physical condition is no different now to when he was playing previously. All the news about the player's absences are based on the muscle and skeleton problems that can be seen on every player. In the course of normal training and playing he has had two minor injuries since he has joined Galatasaray. Both are unrelated to any previous injury or to any other physical condition. Mr Kewell has never had and does not have any health problems that have prevented him performing at his best at club level and for the Australian national team in a professional football career spanning 14 years apart from injuries that are common to football players. The important point for Galatasaray Sports Club is to define whether the player is in a condition level that can be considered as eligible to play. It has been realized a very detailed check-up on Harry before the start of the season. The specialists made their reports and his injuries have been well-documented and are not exceptional for a footballer [with] his career. Because of his last years lack of match fitness, he is not only training with the team but also, additionally, with his own physiotherapist. We have to clarify that he is not missing the regular training sessions, on the other hand, he has additionnal individual support with his personal trainer. He has no problem of not [being] capable of playing two matches in a week. He is naturally not planned differently from other players.'' The club is believed to be taking legal action against one Turkish newspaper that claimed Kewell could be a health risk to his teammates.

Harry's manager Bernie Mandic tried to clear the air saying "He does not have and never has had any sort of contagious disease and that's what people have been speculating. There is nothing physically different to Harry from when he started his football career at Leeds to now and he's passed every medical test. The conclusions that people are coming up with are just ridiculous."

Football Federation Australia have yet to comment on the situation but it appears they did know of Harry's condition, having made special travel arrangements for him during Australia's warm up games for the 2006 World Cup.

Nevertheless, it has not been denied by Harry's club or manager that he has the disease. The revelation of the disease makes it easier to understand why Harry wasn't always prepared to sit on a long haul flight to play games for Australia with au.fourfourtwo.com being told in the past by a Socceroo medic that "Harry has big problems which prevent him flying for a long time then playing immediately and flying back again."Hopefully, these off field reports and allegations have not disrupted Harry and his teammates too much. The pressure on their coach Michael Skibbe is on the rise again and the players will be expected to perform well over the next 11 days when they take on Ankaraspor, Gaziantepspor, Benifica and arch rivals Fenerbahce.

Shocking reports - "Kewell has Autoimmune hepatitis"

Wednesday, 29th Ocotber, 2008
Media reports from Istanbul reveal that Harry Kewell may be suffering from Autoimmune hepatitis. The first signs of the disease were supposedly picked up during his physical with Galatasaray doctors before he signed his contract with the club earlier on in the year and has been one of the reasons he has not been playing the full ninety minutes every match.

Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition in which the patient's own immune systems attacks the liver causing inflammation and liver cell death. The condition is chronic and progressive. Researchers think a genetic factor may predispose some people to autoimmune diseases. About 70 percent of those with autoimmune hepatitis are women, most between the ages of 15 and 40.

The disease is usually quite serious and, if not treated, gets worse over time. It's usually chronic, meaning it can last for years, and can lead to cirrhosis (scarring and hardening) of the liver and eventually liver failure. Some other symptoms include having an enlarged liver, jaundice, joint pain, fatigue and abdominal discomfort.

Whilst there is no cure for Autoimmune hepatitis, there is medicine available to suppress the disease. Some sufferers take it for years whilst others take it for their entire life.

This news will come as a big shock to all Harry Kewell, Galatasaray and Socceroo supporters, especially when we all thought Harry Kewell's torrid run of injuries had finally come to an end. Sources say the disease must be treated with urgently before his health begins to deteriorate.

Galatasaray put out a disappointing display

Tuesday, 28th Ocotber, 2008
Galatasaray lost 4-2 on Sunday evening to Turkish Lig newcomers Eskişehir. It was a bit of a crazy match with the referee handing out 9 yellow cards and Eskişehir scoring their final two goals in extra time. Galatasaray were leading 2-1 in the second half following a Milan Baros goal which Harry Kewell assisted by completing a quick and accurate one-two. Harry was substituted in the 72nd minute after it was likely that a draw would be played out. However the last two goals of the match sunk Galatasaray and they moved down to 6th on the table. Ten photos from the match have been added to the Turkish Lig photo gallery.

Galatasaray have a busy schedule infront of them with 3 matches in the next ten days. The Lions take on 3rd placed Ankaraspor on Thursday for their first match of the Turkish Cup, before hosting equal sixth placed Gaziantepspor on Sunday and then heading off to Portugal to take on Benefica in the UEFA Cup.

Galatasaray focus back onto the Super Lig

Saturday, 25th October, 2008
Fresh from the high of their UEFA Cup victory over Olympiacos, Galatasaray will be looking to continue their good form and climb higher up the Turkish Super Lig table by picking up a win against 11th placed Eskişehir. Eskişehir who were promoted to the Super Lig this season, have won their last two games including an away victory over 3rd placed Bursaspor. They are yet to lose at home and will be hoping to keep it that way when they entertain Galatasaray on the weekend. Galatasaray come into the game 5th on the table but boasts the biggest goal difference in the league with 11 goals.

For anyone wanting to watch the matching via live streaming video, you can catch the match here.

Match Details
Stadium: Eskişehir Atatürk
Date: Sunday, 19:00 October 26th, 2008 (Monday 04:00 AEDT)
Referees: Fırat Aydınus, Erhan Sönmez and Süleyman Özay
Weather: Scattered clouds with a possible low of 4 degrees Celcius.

Kewell secures a win over Olympiacos

Friday, 24th Ocotber, 2008
Harry Kewell was the hero of the night as he scored a 25th minute header to give Galatasaray a 1-0 victory over Greek giants Olympiacos. The game was a close one with both sides giving up opportunities of adding to the scoreline. Brazilian Lincoln took a corner for which Kewell jumped up high above Olympiacos defender Didier Domi to put it past the right of the keeper. Kewell played up until the 86th minute when he came off for Mehmet Guven. In the other UEFA Cup Group B match, Hertha Berlin held on for a surprise 1-1 draw with Benifica.

A clip of the goal can be seen below whilst over 20 photos from the match have been added to the UEFA gallery.

Gala prepare for Olympiacos

Wednesday, 22nd October, 2008
Galatasaray take on Greek Super League leaders Olympiacos tomorrow evening (Friday morning AEDT) for the first match of their UEFA Cup Group B campaign. The match will allow Galatasaray to test themselves against true quality opposition. Even though last Sunday they dismantled Trabzonspor who were top of the table at the time, it has been some time since a team of similar or greater quality have entered Ali Sami Yen stadium looking to come away with a win. Olympiacos are on a great roll having won 4 of their last 5 games whilst Galatasaray have done the same. Once again, manager Michael Skibbe's job will be on the line and if the team doesn't perform to the standards of the board, he could be on the way out. Nevertheless, he has stated that he wishes to honour his contract and remain with Galatasaray until it ends.

Match Details
Stadium: Ali Sami Yen
Date: Thursday, 21:15 October 23rd, 2008 (Friday 05:15 AEDT)
Referees: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez and Jon Nunez Fernandez
Weather: Cloudy with a minimum of 16 degrees at night.

Photos of Harry from the game on the weekend have been added here whilst new photos from Politix have been added to the Politix gallery.

Galatasaray win 3-0

Monday, 20th October, 2008
Galatasaray came out firing in the first half getting two goals on the board and conceding none. Arda Turan scored an amazing goal from outside the side of the box before defender Servet Cetin was awarded a goal, though it appeared that a shot from Arda had deflected off Servet's hands into the goal. Harry Kewell had a great opportunity inside the box during the second minute of extra time for the first half but had to rush his shot and ended up shooting wide of the goal.

The second half saw Galatasaray add to their lead with a goal from Lincoln whilst at the other end Gala goalie Morgan De Sanctis was tested a few more times than the first half but never gave Trabzonspor the opportunity to dream of a comeback. Harry was substituted off in the 65th minute with manager Michael Skibbe wanting to rest Harry for Thursday's important UEFA Cup match against Olympiacos.

Trabzonspor match to be a real challenge

Sunday, 19th October, 2008
Galatasaray face top place club Trabzonpor tonight in a match which could decide the fate of Galatasaray's German manager Michael Skibbe. With a sold out home crowd to support them, Galatasaray will be looking to grab all 3 points as well as secure Skibbe's position at the club, at least until their mid week clash against Olympiakos. Harry is expected to be in the starting line up as a number of players return from injury. Let's hope the Lions will be wearing orange for the match.
Match Details

Stadium: Ali Sami Yen
Date: Sunday 19:00 Ocotober 19, 2008 (Monday 03:00 AEDT)
Referees: Bünyamin Gezer, Cem Satman and Asım Yusuf Öz
Weather: 15 degrees Celsius at night with some clouds

Kewell resumes training, as Australia defeat Qatar 4-0

Thursday, 16th October, 2008
Harry has returned to training with the rest of the Galatasaray squad this week as they prepare for their important match against Trabzonspor this weekend which has already been sold out. Speculation over the future of manager Michael Skibbe's job is still a hot topic of discussion with Turkey national coach Fatih Terim and former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini also another possiblity. A loss this weekend could very well see Skibbe leaving the club.

Back in Australia, Kewell was not too sorely missed as Australia thumped Qatar 4-0 with Emerton grabbing a brace and Cahill and Kennedy scoring the other goals. Sheffield's David Carney played in Harry's position and wore the number 10, and did quite well as Harry's replacement. Australia's next match will be on the 19th of November in Manama against Bahrain. However, as the date is not a FIFA sanctioned date, clubs do not have to release their players until 48 hours before kick off providing Australia manager Pim Verbeek a task in getting the players well prepared.

Kewell to stay put in Istanbul, Gala assistant coaches fired

Sunday, 12th October, 2008
Reports have confirmed what most of us suspected from the beginning of last week, Harry won't be joining his Australian team mates in Brisbane for the Socceroo's second World Cup qualifying match of the fourth round. Australia's manager Pim Verbeek did not think it would be worth the hassle of flying Kewell over saying "Regarding all the traveling he has to make to come over here and the state of his injury, it was a difficult decision, but Harry's not coming.". Captain Lucas Neill commented how Kewell's presence would be missed, "Harry of course is a big loss to the squad, he brings a completely different dimension to our team". Neil also said how Harry has "got great flair and great hunger to want to succeed, so of course he's a loss.". Nevertheless, Australia will be expected to win next Wednesday, having defeated Qatar 3-1 and 3-0 the last two times they played.

Changes are being made to the coaching staff of Harry's club with Galatasaray announcing that assistant coaches Ümit Davala and Edwin Boekamp were relieved of their services. Speculation over manager Michael Skibbe's position at the club has been high ever since Galatasaray bowed out of the Champions League. Despite winning 4 of their last 5 games, Galatasaray's board and fan base are not too impressed with Skibbe and the fact that his assistant managers have been taken away shows he's walking on a very thin line. The board publicly claim that Skibbe still has their backing, though a negative result from Galatasaray's next match against league leaders Trabzonspor could prove costly.

Club president Adnan Polat has recently been seen talking to former Galatasaray and AC Milan manager Fatih Terim. Terim, who is currently managing Turkey's national team (he also took them to the EURO 2008 semi finals) has had two previous spells with Galatasaray, leading them to 4 straight Turkish league titles from 1996-2000 as well winning the UEFA Cup in 2000, and then a disappointing two seasons between 2002 and 2004 where poor performances led to his resignation. Skibbe could prove to be the next casualty in the Turkish league's coaching carousel following the path of Ertugrul Saglam, who stepped resigned from his position as manager at Besiktas (who are still unbeaten in the Turkish league) to make way for Mustafa Denizli. It is unknown what effect a change of coaches will have on Kewell, especially since Skibbe seems to be a Harry Kewell fan and tries to play him for the full 90 minutes every game.

Qatar match still unlikely for Kewell

Saturday, 11th October, 2008
News from Turkey is that Kewell is still on the injured list, and unable to train properly with the rest of the Galatasaray squad. The longer this carries on, the less likely it is that Harry will be featuring in Wednesday's match against Qatar next week.

In the mean time, Channel 9 ran a quick interview with Harry in 'A Current Affair' early last night. The interview isn't the most recent of interviews, as it occurred a few weeks back before Harry picked up his knee/groin strain. The interview, which follows him around Turkey as he does a photo shoot for Politix touches on a range of subjects from Harry's beginning to his Galatasaray career “I wasn’t expecting such a warm welcome. It was something that I’ll never forget. It took me 20 minutes to walk maybe 20 metres. They were everywhere...From day one, they (Galatasaray) were spot on, they were upfront, they were honest. They were, this is what we can do, this is what we want … and you know, it was just perfect. It was a perfect fit." to the possibility of Harry finishing his career in Australia, “I've always said that I would seriously consider moving back to Australia and playing for an Australian team, because they’ve given me so much,”  as well as the eagerness of his son Taylor to come and live in Australia "I think he just loves the thought of all the beaches, the animals, everything like that. I think he’s just fascinated.” To watch the entire interview just click 'Harry Kewell in Turkey' link below.

A new section has been added to the site, featuring the different cars Harry has had during his career. From a Hyundai to a Hummer, click here to see them all.

Kewell to put knee to the test

Thursday, 9th October, 2008
Harry will today see how he measures up in training with Galatasaray when he puts his knee/groin to the test. His physiotherapist Les Giles has been watching him closely and doesn't want to put Harry on overdrive. Giles said, "He's played 11 games in six weeks or so and we're monitoring him carefully to make sure fatigue doesn't set in. We're going into a different phase now where he's playing that often, and that well, that we have to avoid overloading him. It must be a couple of years since he's played this many games in succession, full 90 minutes, and it's always a work in progress."

Whilst the news that Harry wants to give his fitness a test just in case he can make it to Brisbane before the Qatar match, its no confirmation that he will make it to the match.

Kewell and co into UEFA Cup's Group B

Wednesday, 8th October, 2008
Galatasaray have been drawn into Group B of the next round of the UEFA Cup. Joining them will be Benfica, Olympiakos, Hertha Berlin and Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv. Whilst this may be a "potentially tricky group" as the AFP put it, Galatasaray have managed to avoid the big guns such as AC Milan, two time winners Sevilla, their Spanish counterparts Valencia, Ajax and CSKA Moscow. The top three teams from each group will progress to to a knockout round in February featuring 32 teams including the third placed group finishers from the Champions League.

Galatasaray, former champions of the UEFA Cup in 2000, will have to perform at a higher level than they have displayed in the domestic league if they want to compete and do well in a stronger than usual and more competitive UEFA Cup. Following Gala's 2-1 loss over the weekend to second placed Bursaspor, they have dropped to 6th on the table, 5 points behind league leaders Trabzonspor who they take on after the break. Hopefully the break over the next two weeks will allow the 13 first team players on the injured list, Harry included, to regain their fitness so that manager Michael Skibbe will have an average sized squad for which to select his players from. Four days after the Trabzonspor match at home, Galatasaray begin the next round of their UEFA campaign on the 23rd of October where they play hosts to Greek giants Olympiakos. Their UEFA Cup schedule is as follows:

23rd October: Galatasaray (H) - Olympiakos (A)
6th November: Benfica (H) - Galatasaray (A)
27th November: Galatasaray (H) - Metalist Kharkiv (A)
3rd December: Hertha Berlin (H) - Galatasaray (A)

Given that there are 5 teams in each group, one team will always face a bye and Galatasaray have theirs on the final date of UEFA Cup group play, the 17th/18th of December. Two draws and two wins should be enough for Galatasaray to secure a spot in the top three, though they should be aiming higher than that. The home support will prove crucial, especially against Olympiakos whilst Galatasaray will be expected to put away Hertha Berlin and Metalis Kharkiv, who beat Turkish team Besiktas 5-1 on agregate in the previous round.

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