I was shocked to see the gulf in class between the Maccabi League rep team and Turkish League this week. Having beaten the same opponents last season and won the competition the previous year, our boys looked technically inferior, slower and less hungry than opponents who at times they made look like Brazil.
I was expecting big things from the team this season but the Turks were a class apart. Some of their players had played two games the previous day but it appears that they were fed raw meat before the game as the MSFL team was left chasing shadows until the game was our of reach.
They are not out of the competition yet but need a dramatic improvement, both physically and mentally, to stay alive.
I’ve been asked to comment on the behaviour of the North West Neasden A team following their defeat against Hendon United A on Sunday. With a rare week off from playing duties, I arrived expecting an enthralling contest but the match never got out of first gear.
Tasting defeat for the first time this season, Neasden finished with nine men after over-worked referee Adam Lewis sent off two of their players for misdemeanours. Neasden’s indiscipline reminded me of Manchester United as they hounded the ref after every decision. As an ex-Neasden player, it was not pleasant to see. While Hendon acted like angels, Neasden’s bombardment of the official was relentless and, having never been a fan of players who chase officials around the pitch, it didn’t surprise me that Lewis failed to shake the hand of some of the culprits.
With more and more officials across the country dropping out of the game for this very reason, and fear of being physically attacked, I urge players throughout the league to respect the decision from the man in black as they are human after all, and like the players, are capable of making honest errors.
Neasden have the weekend off as joint-manager Daniel Fox is getting married, although the timing of the simcha hasn’t gone down well with some as it clashes with the Carling Cup final. The squad has time to reflect on their actions over a few L’chaims as they must understand that their reputation has been tarnished.
The club is very well run and I have no doubt they will try to wipe the slate clean and get back to doing what they do best, winning football matches.
The appointment of Martin Hayes at Wingate & Finchley is sure to turn some heads. I can see it putting bums on seats at the Abrahams Stadium and believe the move will attract some Arsenal fans to visit when the Gunners are playing away. While people may say that not having a Jewish manager further diminishes the club’s ethos, outgoing boss Michael Stone does not.
He told me: “I don’t feel the club will lose its Jewish identity. Wingate will always respect its roots and strive to get as many Jewish players into the first team as possible.”
Hendon United C striker Adam Hersh is out for six weeks after fracturing his ankle following a tackle from behind in last week’s match against Pure Orange Function Band.
Long-serving Temple Fortune striker Steve Feiger will be sidelined for two months after breaking his shoulder.
Ahead of the JC MSFL Premier Division clash at Faithfold, Glenthorne United A manager Ian Cohen believes that the East Londoners are set for a return to the glory years. He said: “I believe in my group and the youngsters are maturing nicely in football terms. The balance of the experienced players is giving all of us at Glenthorne real encouragement for the future of this great club.”
One of the games of the weekend comes at Parmiters in Garston when Division One leaders South Manx A travel to nearest rivals Oakwood EDRS. Lying three points behind the Manx with two games in hand, the Oaks will be looking to complete a league double over the team they pipped to the Division Two title last season.
North West Neasden B will be looking to book a place in the final of the London FA Sunday Junior Cup when they take on Cypriots Cetinkaya Cinar.