Carvalhal has no regrets about leaving Beşiktaş job

Carvalhal has no regrets about leaving Beşiktaş job

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Carvalhal has no regrets about leaving Beşiktaş job

Carlos Carvalhal has been the Beşiktaş coach during some turbulent times at the Istanbul club, especially after Tayfur Havutçu was jailed pending trial as part of the match-fixing case. Beşiktaş is 20 points behind leader Galatasaray in the league. AA Photo

Coach Carlos Carvalhal has said he is not bitter about having been sacked by the Beşiktaş board, even with seven matches, including the playoffs, left in the season. “Sometimes in football you need new blood to create new energy,” the Portuguese coach said to reporters at a press conference yesterday.

The Beşiktaş board announced late Monday that it would part ways with Carvalhal effective immediately, with director of football Tayfur Havutçu replacing the Portuguese coach.

Beşiktaş is sitting in the fourth position in the league, 20 points behind Spor Toto Super League leader Galatasaray. The team’s poor run was capped by a shocking 1-0 home defeat to relegation-battling Samsunspor last week. The team will participate in the four-team championship playoff, called the Super Final, after the Super League regular season wraps up this weekend.

European run

Carvalhal’s best run came in the Europa League, where Beşiktaş was knocked out in the round of 16 at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

Carvalhal said that it was a bittersweet day for him. “I am sad to be leaving,” the 46-year-old said. “On the other hand, I am very happy and proud. The eight months I spent here at a club of such stature have been very good for me. I wholeheartedly thank everyone.”

Carvalhal arrived at the post under hardly the most ideal circumstances. Initially assigned as an assistant to Havutçu, Carvalhal was first named interim coach after the match-fixing case broke. Havutçu, who allegedly offered transfers to rival players in exchange for deliberately underperforming, was jailed pending trial in early July as part of the match-fixing case, opening the coach’s spot to Carvalhal. When Havutçu was released pending charges in December, he was named the director of football by the Beşiktaş board, who named Carvalhal as the coach of the football team. “The period in which I started working was not easy at all,” Carvalhal said. “But Beşiktaş players showed utter professionalism.”

Of all the troubled times at Beşiktaş, Carvalhal faced his biggest challenge last month when he was a part of a publicized dressing room argument with compatriot Ricardo Quaresma. Quaresma reportedly threw his boots at Carvalhal after the coach said he would substitute him during the half-time of the Atletico Madrid game in March. Losing the harmony of the locker room played a major part in Carvalhal’s departure.

“Beşiktaş’s season should be analyzed in two different periods,” Carvalhal said. “First, the months of December and January, and second, the rest. In the first part Beşiktaş enjoyed its best season in the UEFA [Europa League] and a good run in the league. There was the same coach and same players back then. But then something went wrong. I leave that judgment to you.”

Media suggest that Havutçu’s spell as coach will not be long either, with Croatia coach Slaven Bilic touted as a candidate for the spot.