To the shock of many AZ Alkmaar have announced that coach Gertjan Verbeek has been sacked due to a falling out with his players.

  • By Michael Bell
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verbeek aThe news came as a shock, after Verbeek had guided AZ Alkmaar to an impressive 2-1 win over league leaders PSV Eindhoven the night before.

He leaves with his AZ side sitting 8th, but only two points of the top, and doing well in the Europa League, after beating Maccabi Haifa in their opening group match.

A statement on the official AZ website read, “Coach Gertjan Verbeek leaves AZ with immediate effect,”

“Based on a lack of chemistry between players and the head coach resulting in a lack of confidence, the management and supervisory board sees no more basis for further co-operation.”

Verbeek joined AZ in 2010, leading them to two fourth place finishes, before a disappointing league campaign last season, although they eventually won the KNVB Cup.

The 51 year old later told RTV that the news came as, ” A bolt from the blue” and that he was told on Friday that some of his players had raised concerns over his management.

AZ will now search for a new coach with father and son duo Martin, and Dennis Her taking charge temporarily. A number of names are being linked including ex-Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, Fred Rutten, Co Adriaanse, and Alex Pastoor. The latter is currently favourite, as a lifelong AZ fan, but his friendship with Verbeek, and sacking from NEC may make any deal unlikely.

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