AZ axe Koeman

Ronald Koeman has been sacked as manager of Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar just six months after his appointment as successor to Louis van Gaal.

Alkmaar under Koeman have failed to impress. The club are bottom of their UEFA Champions League group ahead of next week's trip to Belgian side Standard Liege. And on the domestic front Friday's 2-1 loss to Vitesse Arnhem left them in sixth place, 16 points adrift of Dutch first division leaders Twente.

A statement on the club website confirming Koeman's departure said: "The management no longer see on what sporting basis our relationship with Koeman can continue." The statement added that they hoped to announce a replacement "as quickly as possible".

Former Dutch international Koeman started his coaching career as Guus Hiddink's right-hand man with the national team from 1997-1998.  He was also second-in-command at Barcelona from 1998-2000 before taking over at Vitesse Arnhem in 2000.

Koeman has also coached Dutch giants Ajax (2001-2005), Benfica (2005-2006), PSV Eindhoven (2006-2007) and then Valencia (October 2007-April 2008).