Beşiktaş coach Güneş under fire after derby mishap
Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş came under fire on Feb. 26 for failing to do the right moves when his side could not defend a 3-0 first half lead against its archrival Fenerbahçe in a Super League derby late on Feb. 25.
“We have seen that an experienced coach such as Güneş was late to do the right changes to lift his team back on its feet,” said Güntekin Onay, a pundit and a columnist for Hürriyet.
In the 10th minute of the thrilling derby, third-spot Besiktaş took the lead when its right back Gökhan Gönül fired a close range volley into the box.
Beşiktaş was awarded a penalty when Gökhan was fouled in the penalty box. The referee pointed the penalty spot after viewing this foul on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.
Burak Yılmaz, a winter transfer window signing, converted the penalty on the 18th minute.
Near the end of the first half Beşiktaş made it three when Burak beat Fener goalkeeper Volkan Demirel in a well-played counter attack.
However, Fenerbahçe started the second half in an attacking fashion, with coach Ersun Yanal making a big change, replacing defender Anibal Isla and winger Victor Moses with two wingers - Mathieu Valbuena and Rami Ayev.
In the 55th minute, Fenerbahçe’s Nabil Dirar passed the ball to the near post to find one of his teammates to score as Slovenian central midfielder Miha Zajc put the ball into Besiktaş’s net, narrowing the gap to two.
Only seven minutes later, Fenerbahçe center back Sadık Çiftpınar’s header beat Besiktas goalkeeper Loris Karius in a cross by Valbuena.
Five minutes later Fenerbahçe equalized the matters as visitors’ left back Hasan Ali Kaldırım fired a long range shot.
Yanal paid credit to players after the game.
“My players gave me pass and I scored it,” he said after the game, while commenting on the changes.
“They did the thing that they are best at. All I had to do was a few touches,” he said, adding that only a league title next season could satisfy fans.
“Even if Güneş chose to cool the game when it was 3-0 or Yanal did so when it was 3-3, they could have achieved a historic win,” said Uğur Meleke, another Hürriyet columnist.
“Still, this was a fair result,” he said.
The criticism against Güneş came only days after he refuted rumors that he would replace the Turkish national team’s dismissed coach Mircea Lucescu.
Güneş admitted in a post-game interview that his team panicked after conceding the first goal.
“Fenerbahçe’s confidence and motivation grew, Beşiktaş fell out of the game,” he said, complaining of poor concentration.
The coach did not respond to questions on whether he personally faced such a problem over rumors about the national team seat.
Besiktaş now sits at third spot in the league standings with 40 points, 11 points behind leader Medipol Başakşehir, which beat Bursaspor 3-0 at home in a Feb. 25 game that was postponed a day earlier due to heavy snow.
It is six points behind second-spot Galatasaray, the Fatih Terim team which enjoyed a narrow win over Akhisarspor on Feb. 25.
Fenerbahce, on the other hand, is currently passing through its worst season in the league’s history, and is in 14th place with 25 points, one point above the relegation line.