Fenerbahçe sacks coach Cocu following home loss to underdog
A struggling Fenerbahçe has sacked its Dutch coach Phillip Cocu just four months after he took over the team, following a string of losses and disappointment.
Cocu, who was appointed after leading PSV Eindhoven to three Dutch league titles, was axed after a latest defeat against Ankaragücü left the club in 15th in the table, just above the relegation line.
“The team manager Phillip Cocu was relieved of his job this evening,” Fenerbahçe announced in a statement late on Oct. 28.
The 47-year-old leaves with the team having mustered only nine points from 10 games.
Major changes in the line-up failed to produce a lucrative game for Fenerbahçe on its home pitch, with the visitors beating the Istanbul side 3-1.
Before the league challenge, the Yellow Canaries recovered from two-goal deficit to end the football match in draw with Belgium’s Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa League on Oct 25.
Cocu “paid the price” for the failure, Fenerbahçe deputy chair Semih Özsoy told the press.
“Following such a sad night, the board of management decided to part ways with Cocu,” he said, adding that the administration saw no light of hope under the Dutchman.
Fenerbahçe’s bid to make a fresh start last summer after Ali Koç from the Turksish conglomerate Koç Holding won the chairman seat, beating Aziz Yıldırım, who ran the club for more than two decades, and raised fans’ hopes, promising both financial recovery and success.
Fener’s quake comes one week before it visits its archrival and title contender Galatasaray, which is also not enjoying its best performance.
The Lions under coach Fatih Terim bowed 2-0 to underdog Malatyaspor on Oct. 28, expanding its point losses to five in two weeks.
“I do not want to say things that I will regret,” Terim said after the game.
Başakşehir, meanwhile, earned the driver’s seat of the league after a tight away win against Konyaspor on Oct. 27.
Riad Bajij scored the sole goal of the game.
The experienced squad of coach Abdullah Avcı will take on Beşiktaş, another Istanbul giant, in a week that might reshape the top of the standings.