• Sacked Beijing Guoan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni.

Sacked Beijing Guoan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni. (Photo : Getty Images)

Beijing Guoan FC sacked manager Alberto Zaccheroni after only nine games in his tenure with the Chinese Super League squad, recent reports said.

Zaccheroni was given the boot by Beijing Guoan's senior team officials after the team's 0-2 defeat in the hands of newly-promoted side Hebei China Fortune FC at their home ground of Workers' Stadium on Thursday, Xinhuanet reported.

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It was the fourth defeat of the Imperial Guards in the current term and was also their seventh winless performance in so far nine rounds of play in the China top flight season. The loss was also the fifth shutout effort suffered by the squad this year, something that is unusual for the perennial title contenders who were known for their high-octane offense through the years.

The loss dropped Beijing to 10th place in the current league table, only a point above the bottom two relegation zone.

The 63-year-old Italian manager was hired by Beijing in January of this year and was signed to a two-year contract. Being a former Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus head coach, expectations are high that Zaccheroni will finally make the team stand and compete against five-straight champions Guangzhou Evergrande this year.

However, after only four months with the club and nine games to show for it, the former Japan national team coach was fired following Guoan's dismal performance of nine points in nine outings and a production of only seven goals which fueled the fans' disgruntlement.

Assistant coach Xie Feng will act as interim coach while the team is searching for a long-term replacement to Zaccheroni.

Meanwhile, ESPN indicated that Zaccheroni's sacking is a "warning for coaches in China" that even big-name international coaches are vulnerable to getting fired if they do not perform to club and fans' expectations.

Shandong Luneng manager Mano Menezes is said to be the next international coach under pressure as Taishan Dui had played worse than Guoan. The Jinan residents are down to the 14th spot in the 16-team league table and are currently on a four-game winless slide.

The report mentioned that succumbing to the pressure and expectations of consistently performing well is the risk big-name coaches and players are enduring in China at the moment.