Galatasaray appoints former player as new coach
The 44-year-old Hamza Hamzaoğlu was assistant national coach under Fatih Terim, who himself has had three coaching spells at Galatasaray.Galatasaray appointed its former midfielder and current Turkey assistant coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu as its new coach Dec. 1 after parting ways with Italian Cesare Prandelli last week. The Istanbul club has accumulated just one point from five games in the Champions League after losing 2-0 to Anderlecht, guaranteeing it will finish last in the group and miss out on a Europa League place.
“I always had the dream of coaching Galatasaray one day; I will do my best here today,” Hamzaoğlu told a news conference after a signing ceremony.
The 44-year-old was assistant national coach under Fatih Terim, who himself has had three coaching spells at Galatasaray.
Hamzaoğlu will coach Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder, a player he criticized during this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Hamzaoğlu, working as a TV pundit, accused Sneijder of not putting in the same effort he did for his country when playing for Galatasaray.
“Sneijder is one of my most valuable players. We will work together from now on for Galatasaray’s success,” he told the media Dec. 1.
The new Galatasaray coach thanked Terim and Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chief Yıldırım Demirören for allowing him to accept the post.
“The players are not happy,” the former Turkish international said. “Everybody is trying to do something on the pitch on his own, we will bring them together.”
Despite the dismal form on the European stage, Galatasaray is in a three-way title race in the Spor Toto Super League.
Fenerbahçe rescued a 2-2 draw against Eskişehirspor in the league at the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium on Nov. 30, but the single point failed to preserve its league lead.
Galatasaray, which won 1-0 at Gaziantepspor on Nov. 29 to ease the pain of its dreadful European campaign, replaced its archrival as the new leader with 22 points, one point ahead Fenerbahçe.
However, Beşiktaş was to play a game in hand against Karabükspor late Dec. 1, with a victory set to put it top of the table after Week 11.
At the Saraçoğlu, visitor Eskişehirspor scored the opening goal of the match when Swedish winger Erkan Zengin found the net in the 28th minute. Fenerbahçe replied back through Cameroonian Pierre Webo in the 70th minute.
Eskişehir took the lead once again after their Argentine striker Rogelio Funes Mori’s critical goal in the 87th minute of the game but Fenerbahçe managed to equalize in stoppage time. The Yellow Canaries’ Senegalese forward Moussa Sow scored from the penalty spot in the 93rd minute to save the hosts’ blushes.
Meanwhile, mercurial Fenerbahçe captain Emre Belözoğlu was sent off after arguing with the match officials with five minutes remaining until the final whistle.
Despite losing the league lead, Fenerbahçe extended its home undefeated streak to 29 matches.