Guttman denies Benayoun record appearance

By Simon Griver, February 28, 2014
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Eli Guttman has been heavily criticised for denying Yossi Benayoun a record-breaking 95th appearance in next week’s friendly against Slovakia in Netanya.

Guttman omitted the 33-year-old QPR midfielder as well as experienced goalkeeper Dudu Awat and Tal Ben Haim from his squad as he gives youth a chance ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

The manager reportedly resisted enormous pressure from the Israel FA to select Benayoun and among his critics was former Premier League star, Eyal Berkovic. He said: "Benayoun should have been shown a bit more respect by Guttman.

"It would have been the right thing to let Yossi make a record appearance in a match that has no importance. Yossi deserves it. He is one of the greatest players Israel has ever produced."

Guttman insisted there was no significance in the omissions. He said: "This is not the end of an era. I spoke to the players and told them I appreciated their appetite to carry on playing for Israel. Nobody is ruled out in the future, if he is playing regularly."

Last updated: 3:07pm, February 28 2014