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An article from Haaretz about Michael Kadosh, one of the most veteran coaches from Israeli football.

Soccer / The greatest never to coach in the Premier League

By Moshe Boker

Michael (Lupa) Kadosh holds the Israeli record, if not world record, for most soccer teams coached - 19. Some teams he coached on two or three separate occasions. But after 32 years, the 68-year-old coach of Hapoel Jerusalem has had enough.

On the eve of his retirement, Kadosh points out one last time the injustice he sees in that he never got to coach at the top level despite his perennial success. Advertisement

"All over the world age and experience is a plus, only here is it a disadvantage," he bemoans. "No coach has my experience, no one worked as I did in the places I worked. From Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon through Hapoel Ramat Gan and Hakoah to Beit She'an and Sakhnin. I covered the whole country. They throw my knowledge and experience into the sea and take young coaches who barely know how to teach passing the ball. A guy coaches for two weeks, and he's already a superstar. They turn him into a brand name and give him Maccabi Tel Aviv."

Your age works against you?

What kind of question is that? They want soccer to get better, to catch up with Europe, but they bring in children lacking any experience, understanding or any ties to soccer. In Europe, the leading coaches are nearly 70. They are mature, successful and respected, and they utilize their experience and knowledge. Here in Israel they want to send you out to collect your pension instead of using what you have in your head. If you don't speak nicely, if you aren't a young model and have a slight belly, it won't work. We've turned into a reality show. They pick a coach by his fan base in the press."

Do you think young coaches aren't good enough?

"I don't have anything against them, but I don't find it acceptable they they turn a coach with one successful season into a soccer maven. There are a lot of deceptive coaches - they speak well, but they are fooling everybody. I hear coaches talk about methodology. What kind of crap is that? Soccer is a neighborhood game, but they invent big words. They have no experience or grasp of the game as I do. A good coach is one who knows how to place his team against an opponent, and play in the best way against that specific team. He knows how to improve his players and not just himself. We're too busy with PR, hair gel and finding a team for next season."

And you, who stayed behind, sound very hurt.

"If I said it didn't bother me I'd be lying. It's so absurd that I cannot coach in the Premier League. If it weren't my livelihood I would have quit long ago. Once appointing a coach was serious business - now it's a market. A youth coach can lead Maccabi Tel Aviv. Everyone wants to be an assistant coach, to get a chance to eliminate and replace the head coach. How could it be that I did so well with so many clubs yet never coached in the Premier League? It killed me when after doing well I was replaced with a failing coach. How could I not be angry at Israeli soccer?"

Kadosh remembers every detail of his career, every argument with management, every shout from the stands. He believes the old days of management, with the workers' council and the tea with lemon, were much better. He drops names like "Duvid" (David Schweitzer) and "Yankele" (Yaacov Grundman), and remembers how the great coaches once had to go through hell with the small teams to coach in the Premier League.

Can you give examples?

"Even Dror Kashtan, who has proven himself, got help along the way. Once, when I coached Hapoel Lod and brought it up two levels to the second division, Benny Regev (then mayor of Lod) brought Kashtan, who didn't have a team, to Lod at my expense. Later, Avram Levy brought him to Beitar Jerusalem after I brought the team from the third division to the second division. Look where he is today and where I am. He's at the apex of Israeli soccer, and I'm stuck with Hapoel Jerusalem. If I had had the same support, I could have been as successful."

Kadosh says there's now a cartel among owners who determine which coaches will work. "How could it be that a coach like [Eyal] Lahman, who was relegated with Hapoel Petah Tivka and fell in Acre and Herzliya, gets Sakhnin in the Premier League? How does Freddy David get relegated with Herzliya, fail in Sahknin and get an offer to coach Kiryat Shmona?"

So how?

"Several reasons. There are coaches who want their contract and will work at any price, and they don't mind owners coming to team meetings to yell. The coaches shut up, they don't quit and they just want to cover their butts."
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