Fenerbahçe coach saga ends as Aykut Kocaman decides to stay

Fenerbahçe coach saga ends as Aykut Kocaman decides to stay

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe coach saga ends as Aykut Kocaman decides to stay

Aykut Kocaman is persuaded to keep his post as the Fenerbahçe coach after requests from the board and players.AA photo

Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman has remained at the helm of the Istanbul football club, retracting his decision to resign.

The club announced on Dec. 26 that Kocaman would keep his job and was concentrated on preparing the team for the second part of the Super League campaign.

“Aykut Kocaman has already made up his mind [to stay],” Fenerbahçe board member Abdullah Kiğılı told NTV Spor. “He will prepare a report on transfers and we will work on them. We will sign three players in January.”

Kocaman announced he was resigning from his post during the press conference after a bitter 3-1 home defeat to Kardemir Karabükspor on Dec. 22, upon slogans from fans to quit the post.

However, Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım made an immediate statement that Kocaman would keep his job. Later that night, Fenerbahçe players made a visit to Kocaman’s house, trying to persuade the coach to revoke his resignation decision.

It was reported that Kocaman had quit his post in the wake of a seventh-round defeat against Kasımpaşa, and was again persuaded by Yıldırım and players.

The Istanbul club currently sits in fourth place in league standings with 27 points, six behind leader Galatasaray, in 17 games as the league entered a month-long winter break. The home defeat came one week after Fenerbahçe lost 3-1 to league archrival Galatasaray.

However, Kiğılı refused any crisis talk at the Super League club. “We are still in contention in three different competitions,” he said, referring to the league, Turkish Cup and Europa League. “We have a good draw in the Europa League [against BATE Borisov of Belarus], and hopefully we will be through to next round.”

Trust issue

However, sports pundits disagree that the future holds peaceful times for Kocaman and Fenerbahçe. “I don’t believe that Kocaman will continue to see the same respect from his players at the club,” Mehmet Demirkol said.

Gürcan Bilgiç agreed that there will a trust issue between Kocaman and the players.

“Kocaman felt that the road had came to an end and he was desperate to solve the issues at the club,” Bilgiç wrote in daily Sabah. “Players have said the same before. Put yourself in Aykut Kocaman’s shoes. How can you believe in them?”