Far be it for me to criticise Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. Oh, what the heck. He appears to have made a fool of himself by sacking Avram Grant. I’ve been keeping an eye on some of the names that have come into the equation to replace the Israeli but have not heard of all of them.
A number of high-profile managers have distanced themselves from the job and it looks as though he will have to settle for second best. Sometimes in life, people believe the grass is greener on the other side but this time it appears that the oligarch has bitten off his nose to spite his face.
Should he appoint Luiz Felipe Scolari or Frank Riikjaard, there is no guarantee that they will be the right men for the job or they will get the team to play a more expansive game, especially with some of Chelsea’s top players looking set to move.
It also appears unlikely that Abramovich will be able to appoint his new man until the conclusion of Euro 2008, unless Portugal fails to reach the latter stages, on June 29 which would give Grant’s replacement little over a month to prepare for the new campaign.
So Roman, now it’s time to stand up and be counted and show us all if you still have that pulling power.
It was refreshing to read that Aston Villa had bucked a seemingly universal trend of cashing in on a multi-million pound shirt sponsor deal but contrary to popular belief, they are not the first English team to use their status for a non-profit making shirt deal. Jewish football, and in particular the JC MSFL, has adopted this practice for several years. North West Neasden A’s famous Brazil kit is sponsored by World Jewish Relief while Hendon United’s three teams are backed by Kisharon.
Southgate Harmen cried foul at the recent Jom Ha Voetbal tournament in Amsterdam. They had no answer to the skills of Sjaak Polak in their final match; a 6-2 defeat against former winners Maccabi Schieten.
The 32-year-old wing-back, who has also played for Excelsior in Belgium and FC Twente in Holland, was recently released by Sparta Rotterdam. Lloyd Becker was Harmen’s top-scorer with five goals while B team player-manager Paul Gold’s new claim to fame saw him skin Polak with a Cryuff-esque drop of the shoulder.
The Maccabi League and Maccabi Masters League will be providing the majority of players for a specially assembled team to face an Arsenal ex-pro celebrity XI on Sunday at Edgware Town Football Club.
Mark Silverman from Mill Hill, North West London, whose son Thomas, aged three, has a severe muscle wasting condition has organised the game to raise funds for Action Duchenne, a national charity raising funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The Action Duchenne XI will comprise current and former players from JC MSFL and Maccabi Masters teams including Montana Boca, Life, Rapid Banta and Brady Maccabi. Darren Curtis, player-manager of the Maccabi team, says: “I have known Mark for almost 20 years and am only too happy to help. Thomas appears to be a happy and healthy little boy but what seems to lie ahead is unbearable.
“Pre-season training has come very early for the boys in the squad who have been put through their paces. I am confident they will provide a stern test for Arsenal.” The match at the White Lion Ground starts at 3pm.
Belmont & Edgware 1st hope to complete back-to-back league victories when they host Harrow St Mary’s at Parmiters. BECC 3rd veteran Tony Allan hopes to make a swift return after breaking his thumb.
London Maccabi Vale 1st host Southgate in a friendly at Rowley Lane. In Manchester, Sedgley entertain Bury and Whitefield at St. Paul’s while Maccabi host South Manchester.
Last updated: 11:29am, June 17 2008