Turkish Football News

The Dutch curse in Turkish football

Dutch coaches curse in Turkish football

Dutch coaches have a terrible track record in the Turkish Super Lig and Cocu is the latest name to make the list of unsuccessful Dutch managers who have come and gone.

Not many would have expected to see Phillip Cocu be sent packing from Fenerbahce after just four months. The Yellow Canaries had no other option but to get rid of the former PSV Eindhoven boss after the club continued it’s spiral down the league with an embarrassing 3-1 home loss against newly promoted Ankaragucu last weekend.

He was the Turkish top flight’s only foreign manager and his tenure was a clear example of how difficult the Turkish Super Lig is and continues to be for Dutch coaches.

Ultimately, he paid the price for one of the worst starts to the season in Fenerbahce’s 111-year history.

However, he is not the first Dutch coach to fail to achieve any major success in Turkey.

During the 1989-90 season, Istanbul club Sariyer’s Cor van der Hart was relieved of his duties after a miserable start; 6 draws and 6 defeats.

In 1990-91, Fenerbahce were humiliated 6-1 in their first game of the season against a small Anatolian club. The man in charge? Guus Hiddink, who was also sacked after a terrible season with Fenerbahce in the summer of 1991.

During the 2016-2017 season, Dick Advocaat was appointed on a one-year contract and managed to barely finish 3rd, on equal points with rivals Galatasaray. To his credit, he led the club to a first place finish in their Europa League group stage, however.

Galatasaray have also had their share of experiences with Dutch coaches.

The Lions hired former Barcelona legend Frank Rijkaard for the 2009-2010 season during which the club barely managed to finish 3rd. He was sacked the following season after 10 games due to terrible defeats.

They tried their luck with another Dutch coach, Jan Olde Riekerink, for the 2016-2017 season. Although he managed to win the Turkish Super Cup that season, he was removed from duties after just 20 games into the season as the club began to suffer consecutive defeats.

Istanbulspor, who play in the 1.Lig, Turkey’s second division, also have a sour experience with Dutch coaches. Leo Beenhakker was hired and fired in the same season in 1995.

Dutch coach Jan Vouters suffered the same fate with Kasimpasa, another Istanbul club in 2015.

The Turkish national team have also given Dutch coaches a chances. Guus Hiddink took charge of the Crescent Stars in 2012 but was sacked after just 16 games.

Will another Dutch coach try to break the curse in the future? We’ll have to wait and see as, so far, none have managed to guide a Super Lig team to the league title.

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