Troubled Fenerbahçe drops to danger zone in Turkish league
Spor Toto Super League giant Fenerbahçe has dropped to the relegation zone, further increasing the pressure on caretaker coach Erwin Koeman and club president Ali Koç.
The Istanbul giant suffered a 3-0 defeat at Akhisarspor on Dec. 19 in a Week 15 game, dropping to the 16th spot with 14 points.
Jeremy Bokila put the home team ahead in the 26th minute, while Elvis Manu doubled the score in the 82nd and Adrien Regattin putting the final nail on Fenerbahçe’s coffin in the dying minutes.
The loss was the fourth for Fenerbahçe in its last 10 league games, which has only won one of them.
Speaking after the game, Koeman said the result was “a shock” to him and his players, while partly blaming the missing players for the team’s recent terrible performances.
“I hope that some of my players return soon, because we need them,” said the Dutchman, who took helm of the team as a caretaker coach last month after his fellow countryman Phillip Cocu was sacked.
“We have back to back games starting with the Spartak Trnava game [in the Europa League] on Thursday, we have a difficult schedule and no time to rest,” he added.
“We are in dire straits, but I am a fighter. I always see the light at the end of the tunnel. We must continue to work, strive for the club. We are definitely going through terrible times for Fenerbahçe but all we can do is to keep working.”
Fenerbahçe sits in the relegation zone after Week 10 for the first time since the Turkish league adopted the three-point system in the 1987-1988 season. This historical failure has increased much pressure on club president Koç, whose election last May with the promise of “change” ended Aziz Yıldırım’s 20-year reign at the club.
Koç took some action after the game, canceling the players’ and technical staff’s plane tickets and sending them to Istanbul on a five-hour bus trip.
The Week 15 games made none of the three major Istanbul clubs happy.
Galatasaray’s winless streak extended to three games with a 2-2 draw at home to cellar-dweller Rizespor on Dec. 8, while Beşiktaş was held to a goalless draw at Alanyaspor on Dec. 7.
With the draw, Galatasaray dropped down to seventh spot, five points behind leader Başakşehir, which was to play Ankaragücü late on Dec. 10.
Also on Dec. 10, second-placed Kasımpaşa was to take on Kayserispor at home.
Also in Week 15 games, Trabzonspor beat Konyaspor 3-0 at home on Dec. 8 to climb up to the sixth spot, and Sivasspor beat 10-man Göztepe 2-0.
Bursaspor suffered its third home loss of the season with a score of 3-0 against Antalyaspor on Dec. 9, while Malatyaspor won 3-2 at Erzurumspor and moved up to the fifth spot.