Avcı resigns as Turkish national team coach, 'old flame' Terim rumored as replacement

Avcı resigns as Turkish national team coach, 'old flame' Terim rumored as replacement

Avcı resigns as Turkish national team coach, old flame Terim rumored as replacement

Abdullah Avcı is pictured during Turkey's friendly game against Ghana on Aug. 14. AA photo

Abdullah Avcı has resigned as the Turkish national team coach, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced Aug. 21, amid rumors that Galatasaray's iconic manager Fatih Terim could take over the helm.

Avcı had long been under fire for a poor World Cup qualifying run and for failing to instill the team with an eye-catching playing style worthy of a decently talented current crop of players.

"Just like winning and losing, parting ways is also a part of football. I consider that quitting my post is the right decision and have shared my thoughts with TFF Chairman Yıldırım Demirören," Avcı said in a statement.

Sitting fourth in Group D of the World Cup Qualifiers with seven points after six games, Turkey is now hoping for a miraculous winning streak in the last four games in order to secure second place in the group for a playoff spot for the competition in Brazil next summer.

According to media reports, there were strong rumors that TFF executives have identified Terim as the national team's savior and are preparing to make him an offer.

Galatasaray chairman Ünal Aysal has given a green light to the federation's request to meet Terim, the club has confirmed in a statement later Aug. 20.

It is being suggested that Terim could continue coaching Galatasaray while being at the helm of the national squad for at least a year, according to reports. This would mark his third spell as the head of the national team.

Turkey experienced its first golden era under Terim in the mid-1990s, qualifying for the European Championships for the first time in 1996. The momentum was maintained by Mustafa Denizli and Şenol Güneş, the latter leading the crescent-and-star to an epic third place at the 2002 World Cup.

After a period of struggling, a new era began when Terim took over again in 2005, leading Turkey to the semifinals of Euro 2008. At that competition, the squad impressed for its fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude, despite chaotic and messy displays on the field.

However, results failed to continue, with criticism of Terim's salary continuing until he eventually resigned in 2009. The TFF opted for a "stardom solution," kicking off a purportedly long-term project by appointing veteran Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who himself had some success at Euro 2008 with Russia. But the chemistry failed to work and a grumbling Hiddink was dismissed after poor results and big defeats against Germany.

The TFF launched another long-term project with Avcı, who had worked in youth teams for many years and led the municipality-funded Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi to unexpectedly good results during its run in the Super League. This was despite the team having less supporters than San Marino and playing at the gargantuan wind tunnel of the Olympic Stadium.

Avcı departs after chemistry having once again failed to click, and the TFF is now reportedly making overtures to its old flame Terim.