Turkey has not performed too well over the last 3 games in the European Championship qualifiers, and Newcastle midfielder Emre has been feeling the pressure from the Turkish Press, because of that.
They recently lost 1-0 at home to arch rivals Greece, and with only 2 games remaining they are 7 points behind Greece and 2 points behind Norway.
Emre – under lots of criticism from Turkish press for Turkey’s poor recent performances
Their next game is against Norway away, which they will need to win to qualify for the tournament finals next summer.
â€œI have had some problems with the journalists in national team games. Itâ€™s no problem, I will ignore it. I believe the people in Turkey know me. When I go, I donâ€™t play for the journalists, I play for the Turkish people.â€
â€œWe only have three or four players who play in Europe. There is me, TunÃ§ay at Middlesbrough or Nihat in Villarreal who the people look up to. Maybe in the last two or three games I have not played very well.â€
â€œBut in Turkey, when we got third in the 2002 World Cup, when we won the UEFA Cup and the Super Cup [with Galatasaray] I played every time.â€
It looks like the Turkish press are getting to Emre just a little bit. But itâ€™s really all part and parcel of being an international star these days. Just ask David Beckham. Emre would do well to just stick in there right now, but he does hint he may eventually give up international football.
â€œI have to play against Norway. Thatâ€™s important to me at the moment. I think the national team need my quality. I go to the national team because I want to play for my country.â€
â€œI will play because we need three points in Norway and it is a very difficult game. This is important for me. I want to play every game for my country, but when I donâ€™t feel okay, I will tell my country that.â€
Emre has struggled a little this season to find consistent good form, but he came on against Everton and basically won the game for Newcastle in the last 10 minutes. He scored one goal (a beauty) and made one for Michael Owen. On Saturday he had a good workmanlike game and contributed well to Newcastleâ€™s comeback in the second half, after the Magpies went a goal down. Thereâ€™s no doubt that Emre is giving his all for Newcastle under Big Sam Allardyce, and thereâ€™s no doubt heâ€™s a very skillful player, who is very good to watch.
He went on to talk about the game on Saturday and Newcastle United:
â€œWe have had some away problems and on Saturday we at least brought an end to those problems. It was only a draw, but Iâ€™m fairly happy with that.â€
“At 1-0 down we reacted well and we have a lot of quality players. In other performances we have been terrible. We are sorry for the way we had been playing, but in the derby we played well. Iâ€™m sure we can now take the derby display into other games.â€
â€œWe have good players all over the pitch. When we keep the ball we can compete and score against any team in the Premier League. We are not happy to have drawn, but we didnâ€™t lose against Sunderland and we are satisfied with that.â€
We like Emre a lot, and think he is giving his all for Newcastle and Big Sam right now. He’s very skillful, and we’ll be following Turkey’s next 2 games to see how they do. They play Norway in Norway on Saturday, and then they are at home against Bosnia-Herz next Wednesday. A win on Saturday would set them up nicely for qualification – we really hope they can do it.