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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:42 Thread Starter
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Kappa's Rants and Raves on the Israel NT performance WC 2010

So after a disappointing tournament i turn my frustration to understanding how and why Israel didn't make it after the whole hype we had with Israel getting in 'for sure' from the coach to the captain and the media who all speculated that overcoming an unbalanced Greek team and a up-to-par-with-Israel Swiss team, Israel can finally do it and snap into 1st place and go to the World Cup...
That didn't happen.

So i'm breaking down my anger and frustration into a few things. Some relevant others mutually connected to the failure....
You guys are more then welcome to comment..
Here is the table of contents:

1) Performance of the National Team
2) Kashtan
3) The Scheduling of the games
4) Playing in Kishenev, Moldova
5) Playing in Crete, Greece
6) Benayoun and having Sachar play at the same time
7) Our Group as a whole
8) The Media
9) Euro 2012 and the Future of the NT
10) Final Thoughts

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:42 Thread Starter
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1) Performance
So let’s be frank hear. The Performance factor for the National team was quite below what we expect. Somehow after 17 years in playing UEFA we would improve but it seems we always over estimate ourselves. Possibly because of doing so ‘well’ in the WC 2006 Qualification that we decided that if we can tie Switzerland, Ireland and France at home and away then we can definitely play the big boys and make a run to the promised land of creating a chance for us to qualify in a major final tournament.
But that is not the case. Our team this tournament didn’t feel like it was worth to make such a stride. They had it written on the walls and the minds of all Israel NT fans that this tournament they were going to win something and go forward or at least to the playoff and hopefully make it to South Africa. The keyword was winning but the reality was half-ass performance on the player’s behalf. Players who did well for the NT didn’t really concentrate on the game and in many instances we played back and relax the ball even though we were down a goal. We challenged, but we never really made plays that were good. We can make examples in the Greek game or the Swiss game that we were controlling and we wanted the 3 points, but in the end, we were lucky with a tie or unfortunately, a loss for Israel. Personally, aside from the Luxembourg match that ended in 7-0 and 3-0...we never really wanted to play. We simply were terrible in all the games and we seemed to find ridiculous excuses for playing so bad. As if we made excuses and said it is difficult to play competitive national team soccer in the late 2000’s because of all the competition out there and the level of soccer improving all around the world. In the end, players came and played...communication in the team broke down in many games, especially Latvia and we ended up succumbing to some crucial loses. The performance problem was a big factor for our failure in the National team and because of that, we should point the finger at the players abilities to actual be privileged to play in the National Team instead of make it a chore for them which they clearly don’t want to take.

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Last edited by Kappa21; October 17th, 2009 at 09:52.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:43 Thread Starter
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2) Kashtan
If the National team performance was bad, Kashtan favour to show up and make a team wasn’t even better. Kashtan was a completely different man from the start of the tournament until the end of the 90th minute in Basel. How dare does he and Moshe Sinai say that they are proud of what they achieved. I admit that its performance that matter in the end, but they had no clue what was going on. I recall Sport 5 footage about Kashtan. It was critical of how he just didn’t care and wasn’t motivated to do well in the NT. It was surprising. When Grant was fired many of us said that Grant didn’t really do well, but the NT was amazing and the future of the NT is certain to succeed. Yet, under Kashtan we failed to make Euro 2008 and we failed to make WC 2010. Kashtan was the man for the job. I’m not going to sugar-coat it and i’m not going to lie. This is one of the most brilliant coaches in Israel’s history. He has done tremendous for us in the domestic league and proved himself in the European competitions as he did well with Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA cup years before. But as a National Team coach he didn’t do much. I admit, it was the players who should have taken the sword and fought for Israel, but the Chief Kashtan should have organized them and prepared them. Grants strategy repeated Greece’s 2004 success on the big boys, but didn’t make result, though he pushed the players, called them up for practices every month and even offered bonuses if they do win. Kashtan’s National team regime didn’t do anything like that. In the end, players didn’t feel like playing and the team sunk to an all time low under his regiment. Talking bravely to ignorant Israeli media doesn’t save your ass in this case and he has got to go. I am not going to debate here if Grant should be called up, since he is with Portsmouth now or if Shum should be the next man seeing that he was the only Israeli coach to have such a good reputation here and abroad to take on such a lucrative role or even a foreign coach like Ballic should be named.... But for what I do know, Kashtan needs to leave. He’s care-free minded strategies only coasted us 2 chances for the NT. Our NT is not getting better or any more dynamic under him and he definitely needs to go.

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Last edited by Kappa21; October 17th, 2009 at 09:52.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:43 Thread Starter
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3) The Scheduling of the games
I know we talked about this before, but personally I will go in depth with this one. The Scheduling of the games were stupid and far right pathetic. It took us so long to hear the final word on the confirmed schedule, but there was tons of conflict along the way. The main sticky point was Israel matches, mainly in the September-October period where the high holidays fall on. Most of the time, Western European countries such as those in our group like Luxembourg, Greece and Switzerland usually respect and accommodate Israel’s clauses and plays Israel at later time or makes the scheduling more comfortable so that Israel wont have to play in Rosh Hashanah. We had embarrassing moments in previous tournaments like WC 2002 where Austria NT gotten ‘worried’ about getting a hot meal for their players because of Yom Kippur in their hotel and needed an escorting service from the Austrian Embassy to give a 30 men team a hot home cooked meal. The scheduling by far took a long time and a frustrating one to be precise. The bastards responsible for holding it up were Moldova and Latvia. Somehow, the first agreement of scheduling weren’t met for their needs and they demanded that games be held at their home at the winter time...possibly March or Febuary, where it’s usually around +2 to -20 at both Kishenev and Riga. No one agreed and I think they would not have either since it’s a risk factor for their players who are technically off for the holidays and the season.
After numerous rounds and partial agreements, the bitching and fussing ended and we somehow came out with a schedule. Though, what kind of a schedule? One that would have us play a crucial match against Switzerland as a last game? Or one that lets us play Greece back to back in only a matter of 96 hours? Who would ever agree to that? Can Moldova and Latvia not respect our holidays and agree on the first round of schedules rather than send it to arbitrary and try to spoil the fun of the games?
The most common schedule that was good for Israel saw us play Greece first and then have Switzerland after, followed by an easy match and then Greece in March again. That was not agreed upon and we got a bad schedule.
The Schedule was not a big factor for our **** up, rather the motivation that our players had. But Scheduling is important regardless and we needed to actually be up to par when competing with our group and not playing a home match against Greece – a first in over 18 years and then playing them 96 hours later. The only thing that Greek players or Israeli players have on their minds is their opponents and clearly the game in Crete proved it.

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Last edited by Kappa21; October 17th, 2009 at 09:52.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:44 Thread Starter
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4) Playing in Kishenev, Moldova
I have mentioned this issue before and some of you understood it, others didn’t. I have a huge problem with having the IFA agree to play in Kishenev. Problem being is that the stadium that the Moldova National Team plays on – Zimbru Stadium was the former grounds of the infamous 1903 pogrom that occurred in the exact same place. Over 50 Jews were massacred in those grounds and buried there. The Pogrom was one of the biggest in the Russian Empire and possibly the deadliest. Jewish mass graves were still underneath the grounds for a good part of the century until it was dug out. Not many in Western Europe/World know about the methods former CIS states do to graves and cemeteries in their part of the world. Basically they unearth the grounds take out the bones, throw them out and build on it since its in the middle of a city and the land is ‘precious’. Even though acts like that often occur even in places like Paris, where they made an underground ossuary of skull and bones. Fact is, I don’t know how the IFA even agreed or forgot about such an incident. It’s not a big thing, but if you know your history well, you would know it’s not the best place to play. IFA had so many choices in Moldova such as Sheriff Stadium which is new and state of the art. It is located in Tiraspol and could have been a good venue to play unlike this disputed spot. I felt ashamed that after so much suffering that occurred, we forget about our brothers suffering and actually allow a game to be played in a place where hatred towards our people erupted.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:45 Thread Starter
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5) Playing in Crete, Greece
Another stupid mistake was playing in Crete. I don’t know again, why the IFA ever agreed to allow games to play in a place like Crete rather than in Athens. Yes, I know that Greece is Greece regardless, but fans make a lot of statements. They don’t act the same everywhere and a good scenario is comparing Crete with Athens. Athens is a thriving metropolis and the biggest city in Greece. Crete is an island where tourism is probably there most lucrative business, unlike Athens where they have finance, import/export, government, tourism, higher education, transportation and fashion which rules their daily lives. In Crete life is more laidback. When the Greek NT comes to Crete it is similar to the president coming. People make a big fuss over it and technically speaking after the debacle of the National Team in 2004, many Greeks turned their eyes away from the National Team and despised of it. In Athens, it was shown well where many fans hardly go to the games and only a few come out to see them even though Greece has fine stadiums from the 2004 Olympics. Only 15,000-20,000 fans come to a game such as Switzerland or even Russia per say. The IFA thought it would be ‘creative’ to agree that our game...a crucial one should be held in Crete. And unfortunately, they brought a huge record number. The largest number of Greek fans to a game in a long time, over 40,000 fans came to see Israel and the level of enthusiasm was high and very taunting for the Israelis. It didn’t matter if we had 1,000 Greek fans or 100,000 Greek fans. We should play well, but why not get an advantage or 2 when playing Greece? We could have played Greece in Athens and whatever result would be, I would support. Instead, we made life harder for the NT and we played in Crete. Stupid idea and I think our IFA should get a kick in the head and balls simultaneously for saying yes to it. Crete is depressing. Having Greece NT come is a big thing. No one comes to them. So if they want to have some fun for a night and cheer their NT they would and also make life hard for us.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:45 Thread Starter
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6) Benayoun and having Sachar play at the same time
This is a 2 part comment. First let’s start off with Benayoun. I think he did play well and that last game vs. Latvia was difficult for everyone, including Benayoun. I am not going to condemn him for how he acted as a Captain of the National Team. He played well throughout the tournament and was a key player for us. Kashtan calling him off in the middle of the game was embarrassing. He is a player that plays a full 90 minutes injured or tired. To be shifted like that was useless. We were playing back and calling Benayoun off was a huge mistake for Kashtan. It wasn’t anything strategic just one that had him say “I did it. I’m in charge. Don’t question my authority” type of suggestion. It was cost us the game IMO and he had every right to charge Kashtan for doing that. It also showed that Kashtan is not in control and has no way of making the team achieve anything.
The other part of this comment is Benayoun and Sachar. They played well together and it seemed in a few games that Kashan didn’t want both to play at the same time. I think chemistry is important for the National Team and having them play together builds confidence and understanding. The way Benayoun passes to Sachar and the way Sachar sets himself up are amazing. He needs to start more games and with future friendlies and exposure in the Spanish League, Sachar can really make a mark for the National Team. We should waste up on him.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:47 Thread Starter
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7) Our Group as a whole
This is a very sticky part of my rant. The Group. I’m not going to say anything different than the fact that the group was easy. We had a chance to create a dream for the NT and we didn’t. Mainly because of our stubborn play and our forward thinking. Greece wasn’t all too impressive. Switzerland wasn’t all too overestimated and Latvia, Moldova and Luxembourg game could have been played better. Instead, we let a great opportunity slide away from us. Many times I feel that this opportunity will not come again to us. The last time we had such a lucrative opportunity was in WC 1998 where we had Russia, Bulgaria, Israel, Cyprus and San Luxembourg (?) in one group. Our chances were good for it. Unfortunately, we blew then too, but times have changed and our NT is different from the ones that we had in 1998. Yes; I know we had a group where the winners of the group (Switzerland) lost last place, which beat 2nd Place at home and away, who beat us away and home. It was a rollercoaster, but this was the same as WC 2006 where everyone went crazy and tied. For once, can’t we take the game to a higher level and do well? Can’t we make most out of the game and act like we want to win? Apart from Luxembourg match, I didn’t have any confidence in the National Team and I don’t believe that they went for a win in any games.
Game 1 vs. Switzerland was a mess. That was followed by wining a sort of half-ass game with Moldova and later beating Luxembourg 3-1.
What did all first 3 games have in common? Anyone know?
If you followed them, you would see that Israel let in a goal in each one and apart from Luxembourg, didn’t score first. In fact, we were trailing in Moldova 1-0 for 40 minutes. In the Luxembourg game we scored first on a PK by Benayoun and then had Luxembourg tie it up 1-1. We only broke the tie in the 63rd minute and never looked back. Back again...This is Luxembourg! A nation of under 100,000 people vs. our ‘professional’ international team. And of course, Switzerland where at home, we were down 2-0 and only came and if it wasn’t for the amazing duo of Benayoun and Sachar (especially in the 90+3 minute) we would never have gotten that point.
If only we would have won Latvia like we should have, we would have had 21 points today, if all was equal. But, to our dismay we are in 4th place and we had more goals than Latvia (though Greece and Israel both share GD).

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:48 Thread Starter
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8) The Media
The Media is bullshit in Israel. When we drew Greece and Switzerland in our group the pandemonium was insane. We haven’t played the team yet and the media goes on and on to talk about Israel making it to the Finals of the World Cup. It was just the early days then. The Euro qualifications ended and the draw took place. To the Israeli eye, Greece was in shambled since they did something no one else in their level did (and oo yea, don’t forget Denmark in 1992) and win the Euro Cup but fall down in shambles right after. It was like a team that won Euro, but seemed non-threatening powerhouse can be judged with the Israeli NT. Unfortunately, they forgot to mention that most players in Greece are 6’5, ripped and about 250 pounds compared to most Israeli NT players who are less than 5’11 and weight under 180 pounds. The only person that looks like a Greek player in the Israeli NT team is probably Tamir Cohen. The rest are all dwarfs playing giant Spartans. How ridiculous. Switzerland on the other hand was no stranger to Israel. Israel had them in WC 2006 and our performance against them was good. We were the better team and we’d hope that we can do well against them. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen against both teams and the Media got what was coming.
Over the course of the tournament our team went from being contenders to pointing fingers and then succumbing to our routine loses and walking away like we always do as underachievers. This time we got something we normally don’t get. 4th place! We are usually famous for making 3rd place, but this time we are guests of 4th. Kind of reminds me of the good times we had in the 90’s where we would make it in the middle but not quite do as well as we should.
The Media doesn’t care about our performance or how the NT feels. It cares about making a taboo. It doesn’t matter if you agreed with Kashtan or not, or with Benayoun or not. Even with how we played in the tournament, our media was ruthless and disgusting. It was as if we owed them something for covering our game. In the end they make the last calls, because people subscribe to them and they end things easily with how we lost a chance and how we never going to get it back. But this chance was written on the wall over 20 months ago. Why come back to it only in October 2009?

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Last edited by Kappa21; October 17th, 2009 at 09:53.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:49 Thread Starter
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9) Euro 2012 and the Future of the NT
Although, as a NT fan and someone who puts the NT above all others. My heart broke for our failure in WC qualifiers. It’s as if we underachieved everything that we do for some reason. We never think about doing well or taking our level higher. Rather we go with the flow and not make our own wave. If small nations like ours pull up a muscle and give a challenge to bigger nations like England, France and what not..Than by all means we do well. But what happens when other small nations like Moldova, Latvia, Slovenia and Serbia start to do the same? What if we compete with them for 2nd place? Than what happens? Our run turns into a fight for 3rd? Even 4th now? How can we stem out this problem and try to organize ourselves so we don’t repeat 2010 Qualifiers again?
Even though many Israeli fans would not come back again for 2012, I would. I love the National Team and it means a lot to me. It goes before my clubs and it’s a team that brings the best out of Israel. Many other nations, such as Greece don’t care anymore for their National Team. They got the domestic league and the domestic league sends teams to Europe who performs well in UEFA/CL tournaments. For me, National team is more important.
Regardless of who we have for 2012, I will still support the National team tournament in, tournament out. It’s something that I love and call me a fool, but I hope to one day see Israel in a tournament. We have a great youth system brewing from the U21 down, and we can seriously count on young ones like Sachar, Scheter, Asuilin and the likes to come in for the National Team and bring some pride.
Our Qualifications for 2010 was by far the easiest and all we needed was a measly 6 points to make our 4th place failure a 2nd place dream..... Our 2012 is not going to be the same. I doubt we will have any easy teams to play. We would strive to make it to 2nd and i'm hopeful we will, but our chances will not be as strong as it was in the past, especially with the new rules. We just have to keep our game intact.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 09:52 Thread Starter
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10) Final thoughts
Sometimes I see myself as a selfish jealous person. I love the National Team, but I hate to see them fail. I hate to come with bats and sticks and try to lynch such a great coach like Kashtan after seeing him fail us in the past 2 tournaments like this. But who am I kidding. He didn’t do no more than what Grant did, nor Neilsen, nor Sharf. All of them promised us glory but failed to deliver. Our team is built on dreams and in the end we always wake up to the reality that we do good, but good doesn’t mean much anymore in Europe. Many want to see us in Asia. I think it’s a stupid mistake. Asia doesn’t have anything Israel needs.
I also think that for many of us, making it to the World Cup/Euro Cup is only the tip of the iceberg. We act like horny 15 year old guys sometimes. As if we want to score with a chick, break our virginity and then tell it to the world. Then what? Would you score again or wait till college?
What will happen one day in the near future where it is October 20XX and Israel NT is in 1st place and is a contender for the WC/Euro. Now what? We play for glory and then see our team get sacked 7-0 or 5-0 to teams like Germany, Brazil or Nigeria? I rather stick to 3rd than sometimes see Israel National Team embarrass themselves in front of 4.5 Billion people.
I’m Jealous sometimes. I’m Jealous at Latvia for actually putting a fight out in this tournament. Latvia proved that it made it to the Euro 2004 for a reason and that they can do it again. They are young and new and they want to prove themselves. I’m also jealous at Slovenia who in 10 years went from making it in last place in WC 1998 to making it for 2000 Euros, 2002 WC and now in playoff position for WC 2010. I wish them the best. This country is no more than 2.1 Million people and yet it has an amazing soccer foundation. I wish Israel would look into Slovenia’s success and hopefully mix it with theirs one day. Amen!

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 19:17
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If Israel beat Latvia twice, it would be in first place. Well, maybe the Swiss wouldn't sit back in the last game, but even if Israel had lost that game after beating the Lats twice, it would at least be going to the playoffs where anything can happen.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 21:08
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Just read the whole thing. Very interesting. But maybe Israel is just not good enough? Maybe it's our expectations that are too high?

Most people didn't pick Israel to make it into the playoff round, much less to make it into the WC. We hoped, but most people who didn't root for Israel NT didn't expect much.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 22:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger99 View Post
Just read the whole thing. Very interesting. But maybe Israel is just not good enough? Maybe it's our expectations that are too high?

Most people didn't pick Israel to make it into the playoff round, much less to make it into the WC. We hoped, but most people who didn't root for Israel NT didn't expect much.
You made a very good point. Expectations in Israel are very high. We surely aren´t crap. We have quality players and during all the European qualifiers with the exception of the very first one (even though we managed to take the French out of the 1994 WC in the historic 3-2 in Paris) we always came very close.
Israelis in generally are very impatient and anxious and when that is why on money time we always fail because we can´t control our nerves.

And this only reverts on more pressure for future campaigns. We actually have the media and fans pressure our players and NT as if we were England or Italy, but we are Israel afterall.

If we could only revert this high esteem and expectations on a positive note it would prove to be good.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 22:24
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Oh...forgot to mention the coach issue. If all of us already know that Kashtan won´t continue as the NT coach, why IFA will keep him until August 2010??
Shouldn´t a new coach be searched in this very second, so that we could prepare ourselves decently and he could impliment his style?
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 22:28 Thread Starter
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Teams: Beitar Jerusalem, ISRAEL NT, Inter Milan,
Posts: 11,734
No one ever wants to 'fire' someone.
Firing someone will make your work risky...

Its like saying you failed, but if you fire someone, you showing your failure and not the persons..so its better to act mutually and walk out of the whole thing like they are trying to do by 9/2010.

I think they should just sac him and find a replacement. but someone who is good.. They dont wanna fire and then have a vacant spot open.

:rollani:
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The Golani Brigade

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STRAIGHT OUTTA PETACH TIKVA

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2009, 22:50
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Join Date: 07 2001
Teams: Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Ajax, MTK Budapest, Israel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kappa21 View Post
No one ever wants to 'fire' someone.
Firing someone will make your work risky...

Its like saying you failed, but if you fire someone, you showing your failure and not the persons..so its better to act mutually and walk out of the whole thing like they are trying to do by 9/2010.

I think they should just sac him and find a replacement. but someone who is good.. They dont wanna fire and then have a vacant spot open.
Yes, but if we schedule a friendly match for February for example, Kashtan still at helm, what will be the motivation and importance??

The players will be thinking "ok why will i show myself here and play my heart for this coach if he will leave?"
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