North West Neasden A have certainly raised the bar in Jewish football this season. I can’t remember the last time that the league was a one-horse race, as good as done and dusted, as early as December. But it appears they have no equals.
One of my former clubs, the team managed by Jamie Cole and Daniel Fox, has an embarrassment of riches at their disposal with the club’s three teams on course for silverware this season.
On Sunday, I watched first hand as Neasden turned over nearest rivals, Chigwell Athletic. They went a goal down but didn’t panic with free-flowing football ensuring that they got the right result.
Cole and Fox have turned the club into a winning machine and their winning mentality is complemented by the fact that they know how to win and conduct themselves.
The club has strengthened the squad that won the double last season and I can see them going one better as well as reaching the latter stages of the Sunday Challenge Cup. They are great ambassadors for the league and the four Maccabiah hopefuls in their squad would certainly help fly the flag for the JC MSFL in Israel next summer.
I watched Ben Sahar playing for Portsmouth reserves against Arsenal at Underhill the other night and have to say I felt a bit sorry for him. Don’t forget, he was brought to England by Jose Mourinho’s team of scouts at Chelsea and has spent the past few months trying to prove himself on loan at Portsmouth. The South Coast club also changed manager and he has not been given a look-in.
Against Arsenal, you could tell he was keen to impress, making some darting runs but he was rarely found. Although the match will be best remembered for Eduardo’s comeback, I think someone needs to put an arm around Ben and tell him that he’s still highly rated. Don’t forget he’s just 19 and his best years are in front of him. I can’t quite see it happening but think he would benefit from going under the wing of Arsene Wenger.
His scenario shows the argument about the big clubs snapping up the top foreign talent who either go the way of Cesc Fabregas and make it or slip off the radar. I hope for Ben’s sake the latter doesn’t happen to him.
Temple Fortune, my first MSFL team, will roll back the years by staging a commemorative match to mark their 40th anniversary on Sunday.
The game will feature a historic return to the venue where the team was founded. Princes Park will stage the fixture that is sure to bring a tear to the eye of chairman Nigel Kyte who is predicting jumpers for goal-posts, uneven boundaries and rush-goalies.
“It will be football unlike anyone has played before,” said the Fortune chairman. “I’m looking forward to a fun-filled event with a great sense of history surrounding the participants.”
The inter-club competition will feature several small-sided teams with the Jack Kyte Challenge Cup up for grabs.
Wingate & Finchley rubbed shoulders with high-profile players at their end-of-year party. Taking advantage of some hospitality from club sponsors Harry Morgan, who own Mayfair nightclub Taman Gang where Spurs were the previous week, their players bumped into Chelsea pair Michael Ballack and Wayne Bridge. Maccabiah hopeful Michael Sacks was seen in deep conversation with German midfielder Ballack.
The festive period means that there are no games on Sunday but some mouth-watering league and cup ties have been lined up for January 4.