Agree with your analysis.Well, the gap with the nr 2 Greece is 4 points and with the nr 3 Latvia 3 points. 4 points with 3 games to go means slim chances to qualify but not at all impossible. The group is very unpredictable. I mean, Switzerland are leading the table now while after their home loss against Luxembourg some people already said the Swiss team was a disaster. Greece then looked untouchable but now got a 0/6 against the Swiss (the same Swiss who were beaten by Luxembourg) and suddenly have to fear for qualification. The Latvians were the ones nobody paid attention to but seem to be the dark horse of the campaign, however I don´t believe their defensive tactics will keep on working like the way it has worked out for them so far. In the end the group is unpredictable and any team seems to be able to beat any other team - the fact that the group leaders lost to Luxembourg says it all.
So chances may be slim but they are still there. Imagine Greece dropping some more points... then Switzerland may already be qualified by the last game and this may mean they will field some reserves, resulting in an Israeli win. If the home games against the weak ones (Lux. and Moldova) are won... well, a 9/9 would still very likely take Israel to the second place. Greece and Latvia still face each other so one of them will surely drop points, and then they may still drop some more points (is Switzerland still facing Latvia?)
I think we must support the Swiss now. Especially if they still need to face Latvia. In the Latvia-Greece encounter at least one of them will drop points. If Switzerland could take some more points from Latvia Israel at least leapfrogs them. Plus, if Switzerland wins the next two games they are likely already qualified and no longer motivated by the time Israel travels to Switzerland. So I´d say we must count on the Swiss for one, and just remember that a lot of surprising results have occurred so far, Israel won´t be the only team that drops points unexpectedly.
As long as it´s mathematically possible we must believe in it, and I would even say that the chances are still realistic. But then a 9/9 is a MUST. The moment Israel drops more points now, then it´s really over. With a 9 out of 9 in the remaining games, I still think the nr 2 spot should be a fact.
PS firing Kashtan now, as much as he messed up, is a bad idea because a new coach means
a) players and coach needing time to get to know each other well
b) new tactical plan maybe, players needing time to adapt to that
In the crucial phase of the qualifiers, stability is needed, so I would not fire Kashtan now especially since Luxembourg and Moldova are that weak that any coach (even Kashtan) will be able to get a win against them. I´d wait until after the Switzerland away game to draw conclusions. Fact is: this was a relatively easy group, failing to reach the play offs should indeed mean that Kashtan has to go. But I would not fire him straight away, just to somewhat keep the rest within the selection in this crucial stage.
Well you are suggesting a system just like our State Cup over here where, Maccabi Haifa and Beitar Jerusalem can meet right on the Round of 32. This normally led to some not so big finals and teams like Hapoel Ramat Gan, Bnei Sakhnin, Rishon Lezion to represent us in Europe by winning or being runner up on the State Cup.That sounds bad ... but a drop from pot 2 to 4 is unlikely or am I wrong? Because that would mean about 8 other countries would need to leapfrog ... But even pot 3 can be nasty, with some bad luck you got England and Holland in a group and then, even if you´re the third best in theory, chances are minimal.
PS: I don´t really like the whole pot system. A fair draw is a totally neutral one. All in the same pot, and just let the neutral hand decide. If the likes of San Marino, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg end up in 1 pot, so it be. If a country is really a top nation in football, then why do those self-proclaimed top teams need all that protection in the draw? Open draw is still the fairest, coefficients sorta try to reduce football to logics and maths but that doesn´t work out well. In the end I guess UEFA doesn´t have the guts to "unprotect" the big guns and risk sponsorship losses when some big nations don´t qualify (although they´d recover some of that because a qualifier between England and Germany will bring in a lot of cash just like if they were to play each other at the tournament)
I think the best chance scenario is if Latvia & Greece draw, and we win out (and we win on goal differential.
I would say that there is a 25% chance of a greece/latvia draw in greece.
I would say we have a 90% chance of beating moldova
I would say if switzerland has already won the group, we have a 30% chance of beating them at home (switzerland playes luxembourg away in their 9th game. Assuming they win that and latvia ties, they will have clinced the group) We will have something to play for, they will treat it like a friendly and rest their top players.
we currently have a 2 goal differential over greece, they would need to beat luxembourg by more than 4 goals to tie us (assuming we win both games by one goal) I would say there is a 50% chance that occurs
we currently have a 3 goal differential over latvia, they would need to beat moldova by more than 5 goals to tie us (assuming we win both games by one goal) I would say there is a 10% chance that occurs
Given my percentages, I would say Israel has a 3% chance of getting second place in the group.
I see Greece trying to pull of a tie at most against Latvia and then going and winning big against Luxembourg. They have beaten them...away 4-0 so i dont know what would make them stop at that.with one difference, Greece doesn´t have the power up front to score 7, even against Luxembourg. Israel has by far the best frontline in this group, while Greece and Switzerland rely more on organisation and a tough defense. Especially Greece is a team relying on a strong organisation and not conceeding a lot. Even against Luxembourg, they won´t score 7... If it comes down to goal difference, Israel should win it with ease. Just to be on the safe side though, the players should try to "do a Luxembourg" against Moldova. OK, maybe 7-0 is unrealistic, 4-0 or so definitely possible.
You know..just to think of all the tournaments we missed since the 1970's mean nothing to Israel.PS: if you think of how politics in the middle east have screwed Israel ... In Asia, Bahrain has just grabbed the playoff spot. Bahrain which has about the population of the Tel Aviv agglomeration. if Israel were still in the Asian zone, they would have played the world cup already numerous times, Israel is better than 90% of the AFC (only Australia, Japan, South Korea would maybe be better while with Iran, Saudi and on a good day China it could be a tough call ... but for sure Israel would have qualified for numerous tournaments already)
The most ironic of all is that Israel is one of the founders of the Asian Football Association and if i am not mistaken with IranPS: if you think of how politics in the middle east have screwed Israel ... In Asia, Bahrain has just grabbed the playoff spot. Bahrain which has about the population of the Tel Aviv agglomeration. if Israel were still in the Asian zone, they would have played the world cup already numerous times, Israel is better than 90% of the AFC (only Australia, Japan, South Korea would maybe be better while with Iran, Saudi and on a good day China it could be a tough call ... but for sure Israel would have qualified for numerous tournaments already)
your tone is the same tone i heard from IFA, the coach, the NT and the fans about WC 2010 that it will be easy. Today is September 12 and we have 2 games left and we are in 4th place..having ditched first place (and not even clinched it once) numerous times.The most ironic of all is that Israel is one of the founders of the Asian Football Association and if i am not mistaken with Iran
Kind of unimaginable eh?
In Asia Israel would surely be qualified for every tournament, Australia has entered the qualifiers only for this WC 2010. The only teams to give Israel a hard time would be Japan, South Korea and now Australia.
Iran on a lesser extent could make things tough, but Israel is FAR better.
I agree. It made us better to play in Europe. Our players got more developed in every sense. And our clubs financially got better aswell.your tone is the same tone i heard from IFA, the coach, the NT and the fans about WC 2010 that it will be easy. Today is September 12 and we have 2 games left and we are in 4th place..having ditched first place (and not even clinched it once) numerous times.
Dont think that playing Thailand or Pakistan would make us great or that we would just beat them 5-0 on every encounter. Heck...we had a tough time with Australia and New Zealand. And lets be frank here....we only made it to WC 1970 because DPR Korea refused to play us....you forgot that DPR Korea is going to the WC and were still trying to do our best to make it.
Like I said, if we havent been kicked out of the IFA i dont know where Benayoun, Berkovic, Rozenthal, Ginzburg or even O'hana would have played in (European team wise) and excelled at what they do so well that they use that to get us wins in the NT.....