Ligat Ha’al Team Of The Season
Its the end of the year and time for IsraelFootball to pick its team of the season. Earlier this year we picked a team halfway through the season. Many of the names are similar, but a few have changed. Tell us what you think. These are not necessarily the best players, but the one’s that have had the best season’s this year.
Ariel Harush – (Beitar Jerusalem)
After making it on our first halfway season team, Harush has proved my prediction true by earning himself a call up to the National Team. His main competition for second spot is Ohad Levita after Nir Davidovic retired from the National Team. Harush has great reactions and makes many breathtaking saves, he could be Israel’s future number one.
Douglas Da Silva – ( Hapoel Tel-Aviv)
Fast, technical, and intelligent are words that should be used to describe Da Silva. He led the second best defense in Ligat Ha’al and was absolutely brilliant in the Europa League and in Hapoel’s run to the title. It’s no wonder that he’s moved on to French giants Lille.
Dekel Keinan – ( Maccabi Haifa )
Another defender that is headed to Europe is Dekel Keinan. He led the league’s stingiest defense and his leadership came up big for Haifa, by keeping them ahead for the title before losing out on the last day. Keinan is in his prime and will be looking to lead the National Team to the Euro’s in 2012.
Peter Masilela – ( Maccabi Haifa )
I realized I made a mistake in my last team by leaving Masilela out. Peter is the best left back in Ligat Ha’al and will start for South Africa in the World Cup. He has great qualities that you want in a left back, good passing, good defending, good speed. Peter will probably be sold in the summer, and that will leave a void in Haifa’s lineup. He contributed greatly to Haifa’s success and will be missed.
Dor Malul – ( Maccabi Tel-Aviv)
Malul is not the best right back in Ligat Ha’al, but he did have the best season of any right back. A midfielder by trade, Dor has proved his worth by stepping in for coach for Avi Nimni and helping Maccabi to get a Europa League spot. Although he may revert back to his midfield position next year, Malul has proved himself an asset for Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Eran Zahavi – ( Hapoel Tel-Aviv )
As we all know, Eran scored his most important goal of the season last weekend with his finish against Beitar Jerusalem, but this season has been full of surprises and Eran has been one of them. After Nemanja Vucicevic got injured Zahavi got his chance to break into Hapoel’s first team. Zahavi proved he deserved his chance by scoring eleven goals and adding seven assists. I’m surprised he didn’t get a call up from Luis Fernandez, but he will have to be patient.
Gil Vermouth – ( Hapoel Tel -Aviv)
Well clearly the player of the season in Ligat Ha’al, his play on the ball has been magnificent. Vermouth is the catalyst for many of the goals and his saved shot led to Hapoel’s title winning goal. Vermouth has earned himself a spot on the National Team,and has attracted interest abroad with nine goals and amazing sixteen assists.
Avihai Yadin – ( Hapoel Tel-Aviv )
I had put Biram Kiyal in his place in the halfway season team, but Yadin has been a solid performer for Hapoel this season. His passing and defensive work have put Hapoel in a position to succeed. Yadin is the player that you don’t really notice, but he made it possible for many of Hapoel’s players to go forward. If Hapoel loses Yadin in the offseason that could be a big loss to the team.
Bibras Natcho – (Hapoel Tel-Aviv)
Although he left Hapoel with only 2/3rd’s of the season left, Natcho’s brilliant skills in the midfield were a big reason for Hapoel’s success in the Europa League. Natcho is clearly the best Israeli passing midfielder around and his presence will be hard to make up for Hapoel in the long term.
Shlomi Arbeitman – ( Maccabi Haifa)
Shlomi has certainly had season of the year and was clinical around the goal. However it wasn’t enough to keep Maccabi losing the championship to Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Twenty Eight goals have attracted some interest from around Europe and he could be moving abroad like many of the players listed above.
Itay Shechter – ( Hapoel Tel-Aviv)
Itay’s breakthrough year also came , and he has impressed everyone with his confidence and athleticism. You might say that he was the spear tip of Hapoel’s fearsome attack which registered Eighty Seven goals. Shechter created fear in opposing players with his speed and skills on and off the ball. Clearly a player to watch out for.
(Vincent Enyeama, Jorge Teixeira, Ronald Raldes, Dedi Ben-Dayan, Ali Ottman, Biram Kiyal, Shiran Yeini, Lior Rafaelov, Maor Melikson, Barak Itzhaki, Vladimir Dvalishvili )