Would Hapoel Tel Aviv do better? - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old November 5th, 2009, 21:09 Thread Starter
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Would Hapoel Tel Aviv do better?

I was reading an intresting, but nonetheless polemical article by Gabi Haviv at ONE website and in his editorial it says that if Hapoel was drawn in the Champions League in the same group as Maccabi Haifa was, the reds of Tel Aviv would have done a far better job. Plus, he adds that his beloved team is a more "European" club than Haifa.

This enticed me to think what would be your guys opinion about the issue? Is it true? It is of course speculation, but it is an intresting analysis.

My personal opinion regarding the issue is that Haviv exagerates when he says Hapoel would do a "far better job" and that "Hapoel is more European than Haifa". In the last 10 years Hapoel has managed to qualify to play in European competitions in every single season (maybe just one season they missed to qualify) and this shows a lot of consistency. No one forgets of course their fantastic Uefa Cup run in 2001/2002 beating the likes of Chelsea, Parma, Lokomotiv Moscow and Milan and other seasons in which they obtained intresting results and expressive wins like a 4-2 win at Parc des Prince over Paris Saint Germain or even their most recent campaign with a 2-1 win over Celtic and a 5-1 trashing of Rapid Wien in Bloomfield and now a 3-0 in Vienna. Their fans make a very good home atmosphere at the games and rarely Hapoel loses a match in Israel.

But Haviv does not take in consideration Maccabi Haifa´s history in European competitions, maybe because he is a Hapoel fan afterall

Haifa is the only Israeli club to have qualified twice to the Champions League Group Stage (Maccabi Tel Aviv has one appearance). Their first trip to Europe´s elite was remarkable despite not managing to advance, a historical 3-0 trashing of Manchester United and Olympiakos at home (at that time the games were played in Cyprus due to Uefa ban on Israel to host games). This wasn´t the only season Haifa had good displays. In 1998 a young Yossi Benayoun was part of a team that managed to reach the quarterfinals of the now extinct Cup Winners Cup, with great displays and including a dramatic injury time win over Paris Saint Germain. Three seasons ago Haifa was in the Uefa Cup group stage and included wins over Auxerre, Partizan and Lokomotiv only stopping in the eight finals losing to Espanyol ( who happened to reach the finals on that season).

Anyways, history could not be the best argument in this case since both of them had good seasons and also failures in Europe. What we could agree is that BOTH teams are the most "European" of Israel without a doubt.

What do you guys think? Would Hapoel Tel Aviv do a better a job in the Champions League than Maccabi Haifa? Are the reds more "European" than the "greens"?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2009, 07:47
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This group is probably the toughest group out of all of them, I don't think Hapoel would do a better job than Maccabi, since the teams are 10 times better than rapid wien, hamburg and celtic.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2009, 17:36
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Tough or not...they should have made some points.

Look...Bordeaux and Haifa was ranked the same. Yet, Bordeaux played better and are now trying to get to the 2nd stage. To be honest there isn't any real groups which I think Haifa could have succeeded in. Lets say if they were put in the same group as Rubin Kazan, Dynamo Kiev, Barcelona and Inter..would they do good? get points? score? I doubt it....

Another thing to take in mind is the level of play Israeli clubs do when they play Austrian sides. Every time they play Austrian teams they do well. Teams from Bulgaria, Romania and elsewhere....not likely.
Hapoel Tel Aviv is doing well in the group stages because of 2 amazing games they did against Rapid Vienna and a narrow win against Celtic at home. They lost in fashion to Hamburg and its hard to say who would win at home vs the german side....

that being said.... I would have wanted Maccabi to go down and play in UEFA atleast and do some work.... after seeing them play against the Khazak's i was a bit worried...but they proved themselves...although in the end of the day...its points or atleast a goal that matters..not how many center shots your Georgian ROI player makes...

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2009, 20:37 Thread Starter
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It is really tough to say Hapoel Tel Aviv would do better. Maybe Gutman is one of the best Israeli tactician coaches in the last 25 years, he knows how to arm his teams (normally on a counterattack style), but he normally has success (he was behind Hapoel Haifa`s only league title and European campaign in 1999 and the coach that brought Giovanni Rosso to Israel).

Elish Levy on the other was really brave. He did not fear the opponents and Haifa played offensively, but they payed the price of having to play three strong sides of Europe`s elite.

The only thing i say is that if Haifa made a bunker style they could have collected one or two points, but they would give hope and some attractive football. At least these young players gave some good displays and showed that with just a bit more we could face anyone.

Another point i would like to say is that, if anyone forgets Maccabi Tel Aviv has been drawn against a very similar and tough group in the past (Bayern, Juventus and Ajax) they managed 4 points (a win over Ajax and a draw against Juventus). So maybe this could be a point of view to go against Haifa.
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