Galatasaray seeks replacement for coach Prandelli
Cesare Prandelli watches during the UEFA Champions League match between Anderlecht and Galatasaray in Brussels on Nov. 26, 2014. AFP PhotoGalatasaray is set to part ways with Italian coach Cesare Prandelli in the wake of a defeat that ended the Istanbul club’s European campaign this season.
The club was expected to officially announce the decision late yesterday following a board meeting, and a Turkish coach is expected to replace the Italian for the rest of the season.
Prandelli, who has been under fire for over a month for his team’s dismal performances on the European stage, saw his future with the club slip away when Anderlecht clinched a berth in the Europa League with a 2-0 victory over Galatasaray Nov. 26.
With Arsenal defeating Borussia Dortmund elsewhere in Group D, the Belgian side could aim no higher than third in the group, but it went about that task with clear relish from the start. Chancel Mbemba struck home the opening goal close to the interval with a diving header, and then added a second with four minutes left. The center-back’s double brought Anderlecht only its second home win in the competition since 2002.
Galatasaray captain Selçuk İnan was sent off in the 83rd minute after receiving a second yellow card for arguing with the referee.
Prandelli denied reports that he would resign.
“We will continue on our way even though we are sad to leave the European competition – but we are professionals and I will not give up,” he said after the game. “I take full responsibility for this defeat. It was a good Galatasaray tonight. It was a pity to concede the first Anderlecht goal after 44 minutes.”
The Italian said players were aware of the difficult situation the club was in.
“In the second half, we tried to match Anderlecht and we could have equalized, but then we went down to 10 men and everything became more complicated,” he said.
“Yes, there are tensions. It is normal that there is a bit of irritability. Players are human, they have feelings, they know we are going through a very difficult time and they want to give more than what they currently can because they care,” he said.
Anderlecht coach Besnik Hasi praised his players, acknowledging his side’s weakness.
“We are very happy to hit our target of achieving the Europa League and we will do our best in the competition,” he said.
“We know there is a big difference between us and the top clubs in Europe. We have five points, we could have had more, but at this level, it is important to have some luck. I have not been coach at Anderlecht for long, so yes, I can say this is one of the most important victories for me,” Hasi added.
Firing Prandelli will not be cheap for Galatasaray, according to media reports. The compensation to be paid to the Italian and his assistant amounts to 7 million euros, in addition to the 1.3 million euros already paid to the coach for his services since last July.