Shakhtar Donetsk Parts Ways with Head Coach Patrick van Leeuwen

Shakhtar Donetsk Parts Ways with Head Coach Patrick van Leeuwen

Sudden Departure of Patrick van Leeuwen

The Ukrainian league champions, Shakhtar Donetsk, made a surprising move as they decided to part ways with their head coach, Patrick van Leeuwen, on October 16.

This decision comes only three months after the Dutch tactician was appointed and amid a string of disappointing performances, particularly in the league.

Swift Dismissal After Short Stint

Van Leeuwen’s tenure as the head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk was remarkably brief, spanning just 12 games across all competitions.

This abrupt decision to terminate his contract came despite the Dutchman signing a two-year deal with the club back in July 2023.

Silent on Successor

The announcement of Patrick van Leeuwen’s dismissal did not provide any information regarding his successor.

The Dutch coach departed along with his coaching staff, leaving questions about the future leadership of the team.

Trigger for Termination: Defeat to Vorskla Poltava

Reports suggest that the decision to sack Van Leeuwen was triggered by Shakhtar Donetsk’s recent loss at home against Vorskla Poltava, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat.

This loss in the league appears to have been the final straw leading to the coach’s dismissal.

Van Leeuwen’s Last Game: Champions League Victory

Interestingly, Van Leeuwen’s final competitive game in charge of the club was a 3-2 victory over Royal Antwerp in a Champions League group stage match on October 4.

This result, however, did not save his position.

Challenges in the League

At the time of his departure, Shakhtar Donetsk found themselves in the third spot on the league table, having accumulated 18 points in 9 games.

This was the result of five wins, three draws, and one defeat.

Uncertainty in Leadership

With Van Leeuwen’s exit, Shakhtar Donetsk now faces the task of finding a new coach.

In the interim, the club’s director, Darijo Srna, may take on the role of interim manager as they search for a permanent solution to lead the team forward.

The club’s next league game is scheduled for October 21 against LNZ, and it remains to be seen who will be in charge by then.