Havutçu’s second Beşiktaş spell starts

Havutçu’s second Beşiktaş spell starts

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Havutçu’s second Beşiktaş spell starts

Beşiktaş coach Havutçu (L) talks with goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber during a training session. Havutçu will lead Beşiktaş in the first game of his second spell at Beşiktaş. AA photo

Tayfur Havutçu’s second spell as coach at Beşiktaş begins today, when his team faces Karabükspor in the Spor Toto Super League. Havutçu, who replaced Carlos Carvalhal as head coach earlier this week, will lead the team in its last match of the Super League regular season. 

The former Beşiktaş captain and Turkish national football team midfielder will be in charge at the playoffs, where the team will face Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe along with Trabzonspor in a six-week playoff stage. The Beşiktaş board announced on April 4 that Havutçu had been named the team’s coach until the end of the 2012-2013 season. 

Beşiktaş is standing far behind its rivals in the Super League and 20 points behind leader Galatasaray, but it could claw its way back with a good run in the playoffs, or Super Final, which the teams will enter with half of their regular-season points. Galatasaray, with 74 points currently, will carry 37 points into the playoffs, while Beşiktaş, currently at 54, will start with 27. 

Havutçu’s road to the head coaching job has not been rosy, since the German-born midfielder has been at the center of controversy since last summer. After working as a manager at the club, Havutçu was named caretaker coach after the resignation of Bernd Schuster last year, but was assigned to full-time coaching duties after leading the team to its Ziraat Turkish Cup victory over Istanbul BB in May. 

However, Havutçu was jailed pending trial in early July last year as part of the match-fixing case, on charges that he made calls to some Istanbul BB players, asking them to underperform in the final match.

Beşiktaş had taken the lead, but Istanbul BB rallied to a 2-1 lead in the final game. Beşiktaş then equalized with a late goal and went on to win the game on a penalty shootout. The two players that Havutçu allegedly made phone calls to, İskender Alın and İbrahim Akın, played in the game, and the latter scored a penalty kick, which was awarded after a foul to the former. Carvalhal, an assistant coach to Havutçu, was then promoted to head coaching duties until last week, when he could not heal the team’s end-of-season woes.