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Friday, January 28, 2011

On Kenny Miller & Bursaspor

This past week, Scottish player Kenny Miller recently joined with defending champions of the Turkish Super League, Bursaspor. With Miller set to receive about 50,000 quid per week, this has to rank as one of the priciest transfers in Bursaspor's history. Bursaspor have had to take out sponsorships in order to afford Miller's salary. But the real question will be how Miller will fare in Turkey. There hasn't been much success stories in terms of Scottish players going to a country outside of the British Isles. Perhaps the question to be asked is why is he headed to Turkey, even if it is for the money?

Bursaspor may have been champions last season. But for the money that Miller is going to be paid, it seems that the salary is steep for a club that has only risen to the top in the last year or so. The salaray may be an issue in the future, as Gençlerbirliği player Michael Stewart quickly found out. Stewart had not been paid by his club for a good few weeks, and has recently appealed for the cancellation of the contract due to unpaid wages. While Bursaspor certainly has more money than the Ankara based club, the salary is still a question mark. Miller may have a good goal scoring prowess while in the Scottish Premier League, but he'll have to adapt to a physical league in Turkey.

The league has been known to be a very physical league at times. Players do complain about the physicality from time to time, or players not used to harsh tackles. Miller will be a target for defenders who will look to snuff out any Bursaspor attack going through Miller.

The fans of Bursaspor have been very warm in its reception of Miller. While Miller looked to be very dour when he had arrived in Istanbul, which could be attested to the fact that there were many reporters in his face looking for an interview or some sort of comment. After arriving in Bursa, he was greeted by thousands of Bursaspor fans and seemed to be more upbeat. The fans will love him if he keeps up the scoring rate he had at Rangers, but Bursaspor will have to adjust their attack with adding him to the squad. The atmosphere he will experience at Bursa can rival any of the big 3 Istanbul clubs. But whether Bursaspor fans will regard him warmly in the future will have to depend on how he performs on the field.

Miller recently made his debut for Bursaspor in a 0-0 draw against Konyaspor. Coming on in the 65th minute, he attempted to get into space for Bursaspor's attack. However, in the end he didn't feature much. To be fair, this was his first appearance for Bursaspor. The real impact of Miller's signing with Bursaspor will come in the bigger games, with opponents such as Galatasaray, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Trabzonspor to name a few. Should Miller help his club to beat these clubs, Bursaspor fans will surely regard him as a great addition to the club.

Perhaps Miller's greatest adjustment will have to be to the country and city itself. Bursa is better known as a destination for skiers and winter sports aficionados. It may not have the flair of Istanbul, but it is the fourth largest city in Turkey. Compared to Istanbul, there isn't much in terms of nightlife. However, Miller's job will have to be a footballer first. Players going out for a drink at a bar or such isn't tolerated as much in Turkey as say Great Britain, as long as he doesn't drink too much. Also, heading into a majority Muslim country can affect some players who haven't seen a Muslim country. Bursa is one of the more liberal cities in Turkey so he shouldn't have a problem adapting there.

All in all, the move seems like it may work out. Should Miller adjust his game to adjust to the physical Turkish style, he should be able to score goals like he did at Rangers. Considering the amount being paid for Miller, Bursaspor fans are not going to be expecting less.

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