Galatasaray in search of new coach after sacking Hamza Hamzaoğlu
AA photoDefending Spor Toto Super League champion Galatasaray has parted ways with coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu, less than a year after he took charge of the side, the club confirmed Nov. 19.
“An agreement has been reached with Galatasaray football team coach, Hamza Hamzaoğlu, to terminate his contract by mutual content. We would like to thank him for services rendered to our club so far, and wish him success in his future career,” a written statement published on the club’s website read.
Hamzaoğlu also made a statement on the club website, saying he was grateful for the chance to serve the club as a manager after years as a player for the Istanbul club.
“I thank the Galatasaray community for their support and confidence they showed me from the first day.
After my playing career, I had the honor of winning while serving this community as a coach … Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,” Hamzaoğlu said, adding that he wished Galatasaray every success.
Hamzaoğlu took over temporarily following Cesare Prandelli’s exit in November 2014 but was rewarded with a long-term contract extension after guiding the club to the domestic double.
The former Galatasaray player, who played for the Istanbul club for four seasons starting in 1995, became the first person to complete a Turkish double both as a player and a coach.
Galatasaray’s goalkeeping and assistant coach Claudio Taffarel will be in charge of the squad for a weekend league tilt against Antalyaspor. He is also expected to lead the team against Atletico Madrid in a Champions League game on Nov. 25.
Hamzaoğlu’s possible replacement is being hotly debated by supporters and pundits. According to reports in the Turkish media, former Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Turkish international coach Mustafa Denizli is the frontrunner for the post.
Another possible name is former Galatasaray and Blackburn midfielder Tugay Kerimoğlu, who has held the assistant coach position at the Istanbul club on two occasions, behind Gheorghe Hagi in the 2010-2011 season and in Roberto Mancini’s team in the 2013-2014 season.
Hamzaoğlu became to seventh Spor Toto Super League coach to lose his post just 11 weeks into the season.
Gençlerbirliği, Mersin İdman Yurdu and Trabzonspor have also replaced their coaches, while cellar-dweller Eskişehirspor is already working with its third coach of the season.
Turkey leads the European leagues in the number of sacked top league coaches since the start of the football season, followed by Italy’s La Liga. Five Italian top-flight teams have changed their coaches so far, while three coaches each have been replaced in the Premier League and La Liga.
Spor Toto Super League clubs were also very active in sacking coaches last season. A total of 18 coaches were replaced in the 2014-2015 season, the most among European football leagues.