RACHEL – Lions overcome first obstacle under Prandelli

Lions overcome first obstacle under PrandelliGalatasaray’s first warm-up match against SK Vorwarts Steyr was at once unimportant in terms of competition and critical as a first test for a team with high aspirations and a brand new coach untested outside of Italy.As expected, Galatasaray easily won the friendly 3-1 in Austria against Vorwarts, a small-time club that finished 12th in the Austrian Bundesliga last season.

Yekta KurtuluI scored the first goal, after which Vorwarts equalized for the Austrians. Moroccan forward Nordin Amrabat put Galatasaray ahead again in the first half, and then made it three in the second to give the Lions a well-deserved victory.

Eray IIcan, Hamit AltIntop, Koray Gunter, Hakan Balta, Alex Telles, Furkan zal, Umut GundoIan, Sinan GumuI and Umut Bulut were also among the first 11.On Wednesday the Lions will continue their Austria friendlies with a match against Rapid Wien.

The matches are being closely watched by Galatasaray’s followers, who are interested to see how a team with new players headed by a brand new coach, the club’s third in less than a year, starts out.Breaking in a coachCesare Prandelli has never coached outside of Italy, and he led the national team on its ill-fated World Cup 2014 campaign.

But his experience and the testimonial of a Galatasaray captain speak volumes. “Because I already knew Prandelli’s work methods, I knew this would be a tough period.

For that reason I rested a lot to prepare,” Felipe Melo said in a press conference on Sunday. The Brazilian winger played under the Italian at Fiorentina in 2008 and 2009, and he describes Prandelli as “one of the best trainers I have ever worked with.

”Melo is prepared to stand by the new coach and take on the responsibility of his role as captain. “Being captain is being a leader I think I was one of the captains of the team from the day I arrived, and that is how I act,” he said.

“I have won all the cups that needed to be won in Turkey, but there is always a goal. This year our aim is to put that fourth star on our chests,” he added.

The friendlies in Austria are the first step in bringing the team together under the coach, who is still in the market for a few big international names to lure to Galatasaray. By easing into his new club and country with training camps and a team he has put together himself, the coach is already one step ahead of predecessor and countryman Roberto Mancini, who struggled with the issue of coming in mid-season to coach a team someone else had prepared.

The pressure on Prandelli is from club CEO Lutfi ArIboIan, who told Galatasaray TV that he expected a championship from a coach he described as “disciplined.”High praiseNevertheless, no one doubts Prandelli’s qualifications even while he completely rebuilds the team, leaving some surprising core players out of the picture.

The current lineup is singing his praises.“I learned a lot from him, and I came to a much, much better place because of him,” Melo insisted.

“We are working with a new coach, a very good and successful one,” 19-year-old center back Koray Gunter, who just arrived from Borussia Dortmund, said before the match on Monday. “Our coach and teammates have taken much interest in us from day one, and they are very helpful,” another fresh transfer, 20-year-old forward Sinan GumuI, echoed.

Both players reflect a trend of buying German-born Turks among Spor Toto Super League clubs, due to the increasingly strict quotas on foreign players. But there is no trouble with a foreign coach, although they are becoming increasingly uncommon.

And according to Melo, Prandelli is a particularly rare breed.“You will definitely have to wait and see what kind of person Prandelli is,” Melo noted.

“If we are talking about Prandelli, just this meeting will not be enough, I could talk until morning,” he added.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman