The football season may be over but the war of words between two of the JC MSFL’s most prominent figures shows no signs of ending.
Last week, Jamie Cole, the former manager of North West Neasden, played down the claims of Hendon boss David Garbacz who described his treble winning team as “greatest” that the MSFL has ever seen.
Now Garbacz has come out of his corner fighting and explained why his sees his troops as the top team.
“There has never been much love lost between Hendon and Neasden so it came as no surprise to me to read Jamie’s comments,” Garbacz said.
“There certainly appeared to be more than a slight taste of sour grapes which accompanied them, which was probably borne out of the fact that we managed to go one better in achieving the treble than his undoubtedly excellent team of the noughties managed to accomplish.
“In claiming that this Hendon team were the finest team of the modern era I was merely expressing mine. I didn’t ask everyone to agree with that view and frankly I couldn’t care less if no-one agreed but it was not just a flippant remark thrown out there to cause controversy. It was a view that I genuinely believed to be true.”
Cole accused Garbacz of showing a lack of respect to successful teams of the past. But the Hendon boss believes that the facts speak louder than words.
Garbacz said: “It was not meant to show disrespect to past managers of former great teams or former players, but the facts speak for themselves; we are the only team in the modern era to complete the treble and whether that achievement was made against a lower standard quality or not, you cannot argue with the facts,” he said.
“I’m not saying that we possess the greatest individual Jewish footballers to have ever graced this fine league – I’m sure Neasden and Lions in the past might well have produced some real crackers plus the quality of Daran Bern last season was a joy to behold. But in terms of a cohesive unit, in terms of the finest all-round team or squad, I do not take back any of my views.
“Our team was built on a very solid back five who were protected by a strong ,united midfield who consistently played with great shape and organisation and who only conceded 13 goals all season. When was the last time that a league was won conceding less than 0.75 goals a game?
“In 29 games this year, including all cups, we scored 101 goals at an average of 3.5 a game so it is not as if we soaked it all up at the back and then went to nick one on the break to gain the win. We were strong all over the park and were able to cope with injuries and the like because every member of the squad was kept happy and were of a suitable quality.
“For those reasons we were able to achieve what we did and as an overall unit, squad and team we (in my humble opinion and I do not speak on behalf of the whole Jewish footballing world) are the best in the last 20 years and one of the best ever.”
Responding to Cole’s remarks about the standard being lower this season, Garbacz said: “Well, for starters, he wasn’t even involved in a managerial capacity and I only recall seeing him once at a game where we played which was one of our games against Neasden so quite why he has such a strong view is beyond me.
“This year in the Premiership saw the emergence of two excellent teams in North London Raiders B and FC Team, both of whom I expect will only get stronger next year. It also saw a team like Brady Maccabi, who could regularly call upon the services of players like Paul Hakim and Jonny Ellis, finish third bottom and if anything, by suggesting that the standard is so low this year, then that comment is, if anything, disrespectful to them and all other players who have graced the league this year.
“There is no doubt Neasden themselves have dropped from their usual very high standards but that should be something for them to work on.”
Cole also ridiculed Hendon’s success in the Peter Morrison Trophy, describing it as “embarrassing” after they were reinstated after Redbridge were thrown out due to an administration error.
Garbacz commented: “I have no problem with the whole Redbridge thing – it was not our fault that they chose to include the ineligible player – it wasn’t even as if they didn’t have a good enough team out anyway on the day, so quite why they did it baffled me then and still does – but rules are rules with no exceptions. Indeed it is to our credit we were then able to turn the situation to our advantage by going on to win the competition.”
Now Garbacz believes that Cole’s words will make his team more determined than ever to add even more silverware next season. “I would like to thank Jamie for providing Hendon with all the motivation to go out and do it all again next season. Just as I thought the boys might start to get complacent the gauntlet has been set and it makes my job a lot easier in getting the boys up for the new year.
“It certainly will be tough to emulate this year’s achievements – we are under no illusions about that – and yes – perhaps he is right that the true test of real greatness will be in our ability to achieve this year’s heights again, but we are certainly looking forward to the challenge. Bring it on.”