Israel will play a friendly on March 3rd against Romania. Due to the fact that Israel’s National Team is currently without a coach, the selection of the team was made by the IFA.
Dudu Aouate – Mallorca, Nir Davidovic – Maccabi Haifa.
Klemi Saban – Maccabi Netanya, Eyal Meshumar – Maccabi Haifa, Dedi Ben-Dayan – Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Dekel Keinan – Maccabi Haifa, Avi Strul – Lokeren, Yoav Ziv – Lokeren, Tal Ben-Haim – Portsmouth.
Gili Vermut – Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Biram Kiyal – Maccabi Haifa, Bibras Natcho – Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Avihai Yadin – Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Tamir Cohen – Bolton Wanderers, Yossi Benayoun – Liverpool.
Shlomi Arbeitman – Maccabi Haifa, Itay Shechter – Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Elyaniv Barda – Racing Genk, Omer Golan – Lokeren, Roberto Colautti – Borussia Monchengladbach.
I am content with the selection of the players, except one. I would have preferred that Omer Golan wouldn’t have been called up and instead Yaniv Katan be called up. Katan should be an integral part of the National Team, he is a good passer and playmaker. In his one game that he played last campaign, Katan was the best player on the field for Israel. Golan isn’t a terrible player, but he hasn’t been playing at all for his club. If player can’t make it at his club, how can he get called up for the National Team? Katan had disagreements in the past with Dror Kashtan and it appears this has carried over. It is understandable that Ben Sahar wasn’t called up, because he hasn’t played much this season. I hope for more than an anemic showing from the National Team when they play.
- Yossi Benayoun came on and played in the 63rd minute for Liverpool.
- Tamir Cohen did not play in Bolton’s 3-0 loss to Blackburn.
- Tal-Ben Haim is injured and did not play in Portsmouth’s 2-1 loss to Stoke City.
- Dudu Aouate played the full 90 for Mallorca in a 3-1 loss to Sevilla.
- Ben Sahar came on in the 79th minute in Espanyol’s 2-1 loss to Malaga.
- Roberto Colautti scored a goal and played 84 minutes against Hoffenheim in a 2-2 draw.
- Gal Alberman is still in training.
- Ohad Levita played the full game in Waalwijk’s 2-1 loss to Heerenveen.
- In the Israeli Derby, Elyaniv Barda scored a goal and played the whole game for Racing Genk.
- Yoav Ziv and Avi Strool played the whole game against Genk.
- Omer Golan came on in the 84th minute against Genk.
- Rami Gershon played 65 minutes before coming off in Standard Liege’s 2-1 loss.
- Salim Toama came on in the 65th minute in Larissa’s 2-0 loss, while Shimon Abuhatzeira did not play.
Here is a video of the forwards available to the Israeli National Football Team. Enjoy.
On March 3rd, Israel’s National Team will play Romania in a friendly game. Each week leading up to the game, I will be taking a look at Israel’s options for the respective positions of forward, midfielder, defender, and goalkeeper. This week we’ll be taking a look at the forward position. Israel has a variety of options at this position, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you see it.
-Elyaniv Barda was Israel’s leading scorer last campaign, and has the international experience that Israel needs in big games. Although his goal scoring at Racing Genk has curtailed after his first season, he is still an integral member of his club, and is a solid performer. Barda is well rounded and is an asset to the National Team.
-Although he hasn’t played much for Espanyol this season, Ben Sahar has been playing for the National Team since he was seventeen. He is also the most physically gifted of Israel’s forwards and has very good speed. Who can forget his performance against Greece in the last campaign?
-Maccabi Haifa wouldn’t be running away with Ligat Ha’al this season without the services of Shlomi Arbeitman. After debuting for the National Team in 2004 and scoring three goals; he failed to live up to his touted potential for club and country. This season he is the leading scorer in Ligat Ha’al and is the best pure center forward that is available to the National Team.
-Another player that has taken time live up to his potential is Itay Shechter, Shechter was inconsistent at his last club, Maccabi Netanya. Since his tranfer to Hapoel Tel-Aviv, he has been a dependable attacking threat. In the Europa League he has shown he is capable of performing against good competition, but he still has been prone to disappearing during games.
–Yaniv Katan has always put in great performances for Maccabi Haifa, but his commitment to the National Team has been questioned in the past. Even though he is listed as a striker, Katan has always been more of an attacking midfielder than a goalscorer. So it is very possible that he could be playing next campaign, but not as a striker. Katan has continuously improved as a player, he is good dribbler, passes the ball well, and is a physical presence on the ball.
-One of the most exciting players available to the National Team is Barak Itzhaki. Itzhaki was called up often, but didn’t always play last campaign. In these upcoming qualifiers, it appears that he will have more competition for the same spot. Itzhaki is a good passer and has scored some spectacular goals, but he has struggled with finishing at times. If he moves to a bigger club in the summer it could help his chances with National team.
-A foreign born player, Roberto Colautti, was Israel’s leading scorer in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. Roberto missed most of the World Cup qualifiers to injury, but recently he has helped his cause to be called up. He has put in good performances for his club recently, and is being linked with a move to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the summer, where he could get more playing time.
On the Outside Looking In
-He played a lot during the last campaign, but the new coach will have a hard time justifying a call up of Omer Golan. Golan has seen almost no playing time at his current club, and he will have to compete against in form players who are better physically and skill wise.
-Once given the starting role against England, Toto Tamuz has not been mentioned by observers for some time. I didn’t even list him in Israel’s Top 10 Young Players . He was once linked with Bayern Munich, but for the moment is plying his trade at Beitar Jerusalem where he has scored nine goals this season so far. Tamuz is a good player but lacks anything that makes him outstanding.
- Liverpool did not play, although Yossi Benayoun has started training again.
- Tamir Cohen came on in the 89th minute against Tottenham.
- Tal Ben-Haim did not play for Portsmouth.
- Dudu Aouate played a full game for Mallorca in their 1-0 loss.
- Ben Sahar was on the bench but did not play.
- Roberto Colautti scored his fourth goal this season against Nurnberg, he played 73 minutes.
- Gal Alberman has continued training after recovering from his injury.
- Ohad Levita played the whole game for RKC Waalwijk in their 1-0 loss to Groningen.
- Lokeren’s game was postponed, as a result Omer Golan, Avi Strul, and Yoav Ziv did not play.
- Racing Genk’s game was also postponed, Elyaniv Barda didn’t play as a result.
- Shimon Abuhatzeira and Salim Tuama did not play for Larissa in their 1-0 win.
The Maccabi Netanya midfielder Almog Cohen has a signed a three contract with the German Bundesliga side Nuremburg. Cohen is only 21 years old but is already the captain of Maccabi Netanya, and has several caps for the Under-21 National Team. He plays as a central midfielder and is slightly built, but has a good work rate, and is a good passer of the ball. Cohen has been somewhat overshadowed by Bibras Natcho and Biram Kiyal in the scheme of the National Team, perhaps this move will get Almog the recognition that he deserves. Nuremburg is currently last in the Bundesliga and it’s very possible they will be relegated at the end of the season. Cohen’s contract is worth 900,0000 Euros and will begin in the summer. Best of luck to Almog.
Avi Luzon has narrowed his search for a new National Team manager. According to news reports coming from Israel, the two possible candidates are Frank Rijkaard and Roberto Donadoni. Rijkaard is currently in charge of the Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray, while Donadoni is currently out of work after being employed as the manager for Italy’s National Team and then the Serie A side, Napoli. Rijkaard is thought to be favored by Luzon but, Donadoni may have the inside track to the job after agreeing tenatively with the terms that were offered by the IFA. Israel is preparing for a friendly with Romania on March 3rd, so expect an agreement to be in place by next week.