Galatasaray AŞ retained the Turkish Super League title last season by a comfortable ten-point margin from arch-rivals Fenerbahçe SK. In a bid to prevent Fatih Terim's team from making it a hat-trick of championship triumphs, the Yellow Canaries, Istanbul neighbours Beşiktaş JK and Trabzonspor AŞ have hired new coaches for the 2013/14 campaign, which starts this weekend.
Fenerbahçe's appointment of former Turkey boss Ersun Yanal was a clear indication of a desire for a shift in philosophy. Under Yanal, known for fashioning teams that adopt a high-tempo, pressing game, the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium club will strive to play with an air of attacking authority that was at times lacking last term.
Following the arrival of Turkish international Alper Potuk from Eskişehirspor, Fenerbahçe's options in midfield are plentiful, while their forward line has been boosted by the return of Emmanuel Emenike from FC Spartak Moskva.
Beşiktaş, under the guidance of Slaven Bilić, have been busy increasing the depth and strength of their squad. Tightening up defensively – the Black Eagles conceded 49 goals last season, the third highest in the division outside of the bottom three – has been a priority for the ex-Croatia defender and was perhaps the reason behind the recruitment of goalkeeper Tolga Zengin from Trabzonspor.
The additions of forward Michael Eneramo and versatile Canadian international Atiba Hutchison will help, but playing home games at the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium and Atatürk Olympic Stadium while their İnönü home is renovated could be a hindrance.
Ninth last time out, their lowest finish in 11 years, Trabzonspor have turned to Mustafa Akçay, who guided the Black Sea side's sister club, 1461 Trabzon, to a second-tier play-off place in 2012/13. The Trabzon-born coach knows the team and city well and can call upon a pair of UEFA Champions League winners in Florent Malouda and José Bosingwa following their free transfer signings from Chelsea FC and Queens Park Rangers FC respectively.
Galatasaray, 1-0 winners against Fenerbahçe in the Super Cup last weekend, have been quiet in comparison, their only significant piece of business being the acquisition of Cameroon centre-back Aurélien Chedjou from LOSC Lille, in addition to completing the permanent signing of Felipe Melo and Turkey striker Umut Bulut. Whether Terim goes with one or two up front has been a source of speculation, however, with Didier Drogba and Burak Yılmaz both capable of playing the lone striker role.
Bursaspor, the last non-Istanbul team since Trabzonspor to win the league when they came top of the pile three years ago, also have a new man in the dugout. The Crocs hired Christoph Daum, the man who guided Beşiktaş to the title in 1994/95 and Fenerbahçe to back-to-back championships in 2003/04 and 2004/05, following an emergency board meeting to discuss their 3-0 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round second-leg loss to FK Vojvodina.
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