Prandelli’s future at Galatasaray looks bleak
ISTANBULGalatasaray coach Cesare Prandelli is facing increasing pressure following another humiliating defeat in the Champions League, this time at home to Borussia Dortmund.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in the first 18 minutes as BVB trounced Galatasaray 4-0 to maintain its status as Group D leader in the Champions League on Oct. 22 in Istanbul, leading to calls for Prandelli’s resignation.
The Gabonese striker tapped in his first after six minutes, following a perfect pass from Marco Reus, and made it 2-0 from close range when Lukasz Piszczek crossed from the right and found him unmarked.
Reus made it 3-0 just before the break with a brilliant long-range lob past keeper Fernando Muslera.
Substitute Adrian Ramos completed the rout with almost embarrassing ease in the 83rd, only seconds after he had come on, with an assist from Dortmund’s Turkish-German player İlkay Gündoğan.
Speaking after the game, Prandelli said his side’s focus was on the league competition, hoping to take the advantage of a 2-1 victory last weekend against archrival Fenerbahçe.
“I saw a team which was full of honor on the pitch,” Prandelli said despite the score. “But we must always keep our heads high. Our aim is to win the 20th title in the history of the club. We’ll be working for this.”
According to Prandelli, it is normal for Galatsaray to struggle on the European stage.
“We’re up against big teams in the UEFA Champions League,” he said. “The club we played today was one of the teams feeding world champions Germany. We should continue working without ever giving up.”
The experienced coach, who left the Italian national job to join Galatasaray after last summer’s World Cup, noted that there were differences between his football mentality and that of the players.
“In every league, there is a different football mentality. I’m not saying that players don’t understand my mentality; it just takes time to settle things within a side,” he said. “For example, our wing-backs try to make forward runs in both the Champions League and the Turkish league. This is the mentality throughout Turkey and we’ll try to change that. In Turkey, everybody is brave and positive but you need to be better organized on the pitch and have to play closer to the opposition.”
However, Prandelli’s plea for more time did not have the effect he hoped for among Galatasaray fans and the club’s prominent names. While the fans accused the Italian coach of “not being able to understand how big a club Galatasaray is,” making thousands of calls for his resignation, pundits were also harsh on the coach.
“The first thing the new president should do is to fire Prandelli, a coach who has never aimed for the top,” Fatih Altaylı, a columnist and a former Galatasaray board member, wrote Oct. 23. Galatasaray will elect a new president on Oct. 25 to replace Ünal Aysal, who announced his resignation last month.
Former Galatasaray midfielder Hakan Ünsal also called for quick action.
“There is no point in going backwards in the corridor if you got on the wrong train,” Ünsal wrote in Hürriyet daily. “Prandelli is the wrong train for Galatasaray, and [we] should get off at the nearest station.”
Prandelli’s future at Galatasaray was even an issue in Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp’s post-match remarks.
“I have been Borussia Dortmund’s coach since 2008,” said Klopp when asked about the situation of Turkish football.
“But if my president and sporting director had had a Turkish mentality, I would not have come this far,” he said.