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News and Rumors

June 12, 2012 Leave a comment
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv has signed Spanish Defender Carlos Garcia on a free transfer from Spanish Second Division club Almeria.
  • Eran Zahavi may be moving to Chievo, as his club Palermo are interested in American midfielder Michael Bradley and would send Zahavi in the opposite direction. Zahavi had a poor season with only two goals and three assists in twenty games.
  • Romanian club Astra Ploiesti is interested in Maccabi Haifa’s Ghanaian midfielder Ya Ya Seidu.
  • Maccabi Haifa is still in talks with Argentinian club Godoy Cruz over defensive midfielder Nicolas Olmedo.

News and Rumors

  • Shimon Sheves has withdrawn from negotiations for the purchase of Hapoel Tel Aviv from Eli Tabib.
  • Hapoel Haifa have signed Swiss defender Fabian Stoller from relegated club Hapoel Petah Tikva.
  • Israel’s National Team is now ranked 81st in the world after another two losses to the Czech Republic and Germany, not exactly the improvement Chairman Avi Luzon was looking for.

News and Rumors

June 5, 2012 2 comments
  • Maccabi Haifa reportedly want Itay Shechter, but the player’s agent has stated that he won’t be returning to Israel as he has offers from clubs in Spain, England, and Germany, with most of the offers coming from Spain.
  • Hassan Abu Zaid and his agent have met with MS Ashdod’s owner Jackie Ben Zaken. Abu Zaid was wanted by Racing Genk.  Also Bolivian midfielder Alejandro Chumacero will arrive at Ashdod for trials, Chumacero is currently playing for the Bolivian National Team.
  • Hapoel Be’er Sheva have signed Nigerian goalkeeper Austin Ejide from relegated Hapoel Petah Tikva to a three year deal. Be’er Sheva have also agreed with striker Tomer Suissa from Kiryat Shmona, but there is a dispute with Kiryat Shmona over the size of his transfer fee. The club also want’s midfielder Maharan Radi, and the attacking midfielder of Hajduk Split, Mirko Oremus.
  • Ben Sahar and Dekel Keinan are likely to be released by both of their teams in the following days.  Ben Sahar is not the plans of his club Espanyol. While Keinan has languished during his stay in England and may come back to Israel to resurrect his career. Sahar will likely stay abroad. He experienced his greatest success when he was at the Dutch club De Graafschap and move back to the Netherlands could be in the cards.
  • Eli Tabib has reportedly agreed to sell Hapoel Tel Aviv to a group of investors led by Shimon Sheves. Tabib will receive two payments of NIS 12 million each for the club.
  • Chen Ezra has refused an upgraded contract at Maccabi Netanya, thus forcing Netanya to negotiate with Maccabi Haifa on a fee for the player. Netanya demanded 1.5 million Euros for the player, but Haifa refused to pay that price.
  • Miloš Krstić is wanted by Maccabi Tel Aviv. Krstić is a  Serbian defensive midfielder that plays for FK Jagodina in the Serbian league. He previously played for clubs like Olympique de Marseille and OFK Beograd and is 25 years old.
  • Maccabi Haifa have offered their veteran goalkeeper Nir Davidovich a one year deal worth 150,000 dollars.  Davidovich wants a two year deal worth 200,000 dollars.

News and Rumors

June 3, 2012 2 comments
  • Maccabi Haifa have signed left-back Shmuel Scheimann from  the Dutch club SBV Excelsior. Scheimann made his national team debut recently against the Czech Republic. Scheimann will sign a two year deal with an option for two more years. This may indicate that Taleb Tawatha will be leaving the club in the summer.
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv are showing interest in Kaiserslautern midfielder Gil Vermouth. Vermouth had an outstanding game against Germany recently and is searching for a club in the Netherlands or Spain.
  • Maccabi Haifa are interested in two Argentinian players, Nicolas Olmedo, a defensive midfielder for Godoy Cruz, and Martin Rolle, an attacking midfielder for Club Olimpo.

Israel Loses 2-0 To Germany

May 31, 2012 2 comments

Israel Lost 2-0  to Germany, however I feel they can hold their heads high. It’s not a bad result and they didn’t make too many mistakes. The first goal was a bit of a mistake after Tal Ben Haim had an opportunity to clear the ball , but wasn’t able to do so. Mario Gomez pounced and scored a good goal. The second goal was no fault of Israel’s as Andre Schurrle got a good strike from 25 yards out, that was unstoppable. I though Israel showed good discipline and organization. However they automatically conceded possession to the Germans from the opening whistle to the end of the 90 minutes. I think Eli Guttman can look forward to a good qualifying campaign.

News and Rumors

  • Hapoel Tel Aviv owner Eli Tabib has announced he wants to sell the club for 25 million shekels. He also announced that the team’s best players are all for sale. In addition the team will not be having a training camp, and he will no longer invest any money into the club. To some it looks like a similar story to when he gutted Hapoel Kfar Saba which was then relegated to the Liga Leumit. Others believe he is taking revenge against the clubs fans, who demanded that he will leave. Hapoel Beer Sheva want Omer Damari from Hapoel Tel Aviv, but the price is too high for them. While Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa want Nosa Igiebor.
  • Coaches from the youth department of Maccabi Petah Tikva toured the facilities of Ajax Amsterdam in an effort to improve their youth setup.
  • Maccabi Haifa defender Jurica Buljat was called up to the final squad of Croatia for Euro 2012,  the Greens will be looking to sell the Croatian defender in the summer.  If he plays then it will probably make it easier for Haifa to do so.
  • The Israel Football Association is considering terminating the contract of Eli Ohana on June 30th. Ohana is currently the coach of Israel’s u-19 Team, however his teams have performed poorly since his tenure in 2008 and the last loss was a particularly humiliating one. It was a 7-1 loss at the hands of Portugal. Ohana is a legendary player but has a spotty record as a manager.

Israel Loses To The Czech Republic 2-1

May 27, 2012 2 comments

A late goal from the Czech Republic gave the hosts a win in the 93rd minute. However the game was a close affair up until around the 70 minute mark when mass substitutions were made in the game.  After that the hosts pressured Israel and wound getting a goal late on. I thought Israel deserved a draw, but ultimately they made too many mistakes and had to pay with a loss. I thought Israel defended better than their previous game against the Ukraine, however they still could have done better when they let in a deflected goal at the end.  Israel gave away another cheap penalty when Milan Baros got in behind Israel’s defense and was played onside by Yuval Spungin. Baros ran into Israel’s keeper Ariel Harush and drew the penalty and subsequently converted it. Israel’s goal came after some nice work by Maor Melikson, who found Itay Shechter in the box who headed from about 11 yards out. It was a really good finish and Israel deserved the tie going into half time. The second half was more lethargic until both countries started making substitutions. All game the Czechs were able to make inroads on Israel’s flanks and get in behind Israel’s defense. I also thought the Israeli players could have put more effort in, they seemed to be walking during parts of the game.  I also think our players take too many touches and don’t move the ball around quickly enough.

Player Ratings

Ariel Harush – 5 , made some really good saves, but could have done more not to have given away a penalty, it amazes me how stupid goalkeepers can be sometimes.

Shmuel Scheimann – 2 had some nice touches and seemed comfortable on the ball, but he was constantly backing off and allowing the Czech attackers too much room, he was also getting beat for pace and allowing the attackers to get in behind him. It’s possible Rami Gershon could start in his place.

Yuval Spungin – 3 he was again responsible for a goal when he left Milan Baros onside and Baros subsequently drew a penalty. He also got worked in the second half, although not as badly as Scheimann, I hope Elad Gabai starts against Germany.

Rami Gershon – 4 made some nice blocks during  the time he came on, could have blocked the shot that the Czechs scored with. Maybe he will start at left back next game for Israel?

Eitan Tibi – 6 I thought he had a good game, seemed like he was everywhere making blocks. He has good speed and positioning and wasn’t beaten for pace. I think Guttman may have found a partner for Tal Ben Haim.

Tal Ben-Haim – 6 he had a good game, and was subbed off for Rami Gershon, he may not be very good at club level, but he has done well for the National Team.

Eran Zahavi – 4 was pushed around physically, had some nice touches, but could have passed the ball more quickly, wasn’t as fast as his Czech counterparts in the midfield.  I’d like to see Nir Biton play for him in the next game as Israel needs a more physical presence in the midfield.

Bibras Natcho – 4 spent a lot of his time defending so he didn’t really get a chance to show much of his passing range, but really didn’t make any mistakes, Israel needs faster players in the central midfield.

Avihai Yadin – 3 Didn’t really do much in the game, can’t seem him getting a lot of starting time in the future, as he is as just as slow as any other player and doesn’t offer much going forward or defensively.

Yossi Benayoun – 4 had some nice touches, missed a couple passes early on, did a good job defending, pretty mediocre game.

Maor Melikson – 5 look dangerous during the first half, was pretty consistent, made a nice assist for Israel’s goal.

Lior Rafaelov – 3 didn’t do much in the game, looked out of it, not sure why he didn’t play better. Perhaps he’ll do better if he starts.

Gil Vermouth – 4  I thought he had some nice touches, Israel didn’t really get forward very often late in the game when he came on. He’ll probably play more against Germany.

Itay Shechter – 6 He had a nice headed goal, looked alert, got fouled a couple of times, overall had a decent game. I guess he certainly isn’t finished after his poor season at Kaiserslautern.

Omer Damari – 5 didn’t really have alot of touches, but he looked good, certainly showed good speed, caused the Czech defenders some problems.

Ben Sahar – 2 was invisible from the time he came on, had a shot on goal, I would have preferred if Eliran Atar had been called up and gotten a chance.

Tomer Hemed -3 wasn’t able to make any effect on the game, although he may get a chance to play next game.