Trabzonspor plays down coaching crisis
Coach Şenol Güneş (L) created controversy saying that assistant coach Ünal Karaman (R) would be handed over training duties at Trabzonspor.Trabzonspor chairman Sadri Şener has rejected talks of a managerial crisis at the Black Sea outfit in the wake of the assignment of Ünal Karaman.
When asked whether coach Şenol Güneş would be given a sporting director job after Karaman was named the assistant coach, Şener refused the claims.
“What would he do on the board? We are on the board,” Şener told Doğan News Agency. “How can this happen when everybody is on the board.”
Şener added that Karaman’s assignment had been made after a joint decision taken by Güneş and the club’s board.
Last week, Karaman, a former midfield ace with Trabzonspor and a current coach, was named the assistant manager to Güneş. The decision came after sporting director Giray Bulak resigned to take over the vacant head coach job at struggling Super League side Mersin İdman Yurdu.
After this turn of events, it was speculated that Karaman would take over the coaching of the team and Güneş would be moved to an administrative job. The veteran coach’s announcement that “Karaman will sometimes work as a first team coach” fueled the speculation. Güneş did not make it clear how the timing would be decided.
“Karaman did not come as a replacement for Bulak,” Güneş said last week. “I may not be in training and he may instruct the team. Or sometimes I may leave the pre-match talk to him.”
Güneş’s comments were deemed the beginning of the end for his spell as head coach. According to some claims, Güneş would be assigned to a sporting director role at the end of the season, while Karaman would be promoted to the head coach position.
Karaman was assistant to Güneş last season but resigned from the post at the beginning of the current campaign.
He is best remembered for a successful 10-year playing career as a powerhouse midfielder at Trabzonspor. He also played at Malatyaspor and Ankaragücü.
However, the 46-year-old was the assistant to Güneş for the Turkish national football team from 2000 to 2004, which included Turkey’s third-place finish at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. After brief stints in national youth level positions, Karaman went on to have insignificant coaching spells at Konyaspor and Ankaragücü.
After finishing last season in third spot, Trabzonspor has so far struggled in its bid to fight for the Super League title this season. After 17 matches, Trabzonspor lies seventh and 10 points behind leader Galatasaray.
However, Şener said additions would be made to the squad to keep the team’s title bid alive. “Mid-season transfers are tough because you have to buy players who have problems with their teams or coaches,” he said. “And Güneş mainly wants Turkish players, so we have a limited field.”
Şener confirmed that Slovakian trio Robert Vittek, Marek Cech and Marek Sapara were transfer listed, but there was only interest for the latter from both Orduspor and Karabükspor.