Terim under fire after poor result against Iceland

Terim under fire after poor result against Iceland

Terim under fire after poor result against Iceland

AA photo

Turkish national team coach Fatih Terim was left on the hot seat following a 2-0 defeat against a rising Iceland in a 2018 World Cup qualification group match late on Oct. 9 in Reykjavik.

Even some soft-tongued critics, including former Turkish international Rüştü Reçber, have called on Terim to resign. 

“We do not believe in you anymore,” Reçber said in the headline of his column in daily Hürriyet, saying Terim was trying to win respect not with love but fear. 

“Maybe you can make your best contribution to the national team, to which you have given nothing for the past three years, by resigning,” he said.

Sergen Yalçın, another former star, said on a private channel that Turkey “simply played very badly” against Iceland, criticizing the lineup, which included no strikers but six midfielders.

He also called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to settle the issues between Terim and Arda Turan, the Barcelona star who Terim left out of the squad despite their previously good relations.
Terim hit out at the media in a post-game interview, saying journalists like to focus on the matter with Turan.

“Our war is not over yet. There is no point in feeling disappointed,” he said. 

“Terim is making surprises and it is our side, not the rival, that is being surprised,” pundit Uğur Meleke said in an article in Hürriyet. 

He also joked that striker Cenk Tosun failed to convert chances in the first half because he was on the bench, not on the pitch.

The controversy over Terim was stoked after it was learned that the coach’s contract was for 3.5 million euros a year and featured a very generous severance package.

Terim was offered extra money despite a failure at Euro 2016 over the summer, the leaked document showed. 

Iceland took the lead in the 42nd minute when Ömer Toprak scored an own goal. The hosts effectively ended the contest just two minutes later when Alfred Finnbogason scored a second.

The match was Turkey’s first defeat in three World Cup qualifiers, but the team now sits in fourth spot in the group, five points behind the joint leaders, Croatia and Iceland, following two draws against Croatia and Ukraine consecutively. 

Only the top team in each group qualifies for the World Cup in Russia, while eight of the nine best runners-up will advance to a playoff.

In the other matches in Group I on Oct. 9, Ukraine beat debutants Kosovo 3-0, while Croatia edged Finland away 1-0.