What I Would Do If I Was Jordi Cruyff
The recent appointment of Jordi Cruyff to the position of Sporting Director at Maccabi Tel Aviv has signaled the intent of owner Mitch Goldhar to bring the a club to a new level. However if this is to become a reality, Cruyff will have a laundry list of tasks to undertake and complete on his way to making Maccabi Tel Aviv a higher profile club. Among these tasks will be changing the overall attitude of the club, upgrading the quality of the youth academy to a higher level, bringing in more domestic and foreign quality players into the fold, changing the conditioning and nutrition regimes, bringing in a more professional management structure, and introducing a club-wide method or system of play like Barcelona.
- The first thing that Cruyff will need to do is make an assessment of where the club is at so he knows what direction to take it in, he’ll need to know what he needs to change and what he will want to keep, although I’m sure he will be given limitations by Goldhar as to what he can do.
- Cruyff’s biggest priority should be upgrading the level of the youth academy, although its already one of the best in Israel, in order for Maccabi to reach the next level, they must develop an academy to be on par with clubs like Basel and Anderlecht. Israeli teams are very reliant on players from academies as only 5 foreign players are allowed per team.
- His other big move should be to bring about the way the club is run, including instituting a more professional way of doing things, introducing standard operating procedures, even if it clashes with the old way of doing things in Israel, which can often be very unprofessional
- Maccabi has a lot of players that are eating up salaries but not contributing to the team very much, but they also have several good young players who can be integrated into the first team better. Cruyff will be a responsible to a degree for that. He should consider offloading players like Nivaldo, Roberto Colautti, Klemi Saban, and Avi Strool.I posted a week ago about some foreign players he wanted to bring in, but I wasn’t too impressed. If Maccabi wants to be a bigger club, they will have to bring in better foreign players than their current crop.
- Cruyff will bring in a manager and his staff, it is likely the manager will be foreign although some Israeli candidates have been given consideration. I would bring in a Dutch coach that could implement a system of total football throughout the club not just in the first team.
- Finally, although results are important, Cruyff should focus on his long term vision for the club even if winning the league may have to be put on the back burner for his first season as the club’s technical director. Best of luck to Jordi, I would love to have his job, and I hope he is successful, because if Maccabi is successful it will be a good model for other Israeli clubs to emulate.