Premiership

Bnei Yehuda drawn to face Juventus

By Simon Griver, July 16, 2010

Bnei Yehuda have been drawn to face Juventus in the third qualifying round of the Europa League if the Israelis can overcome Shamrock Rovers in Tel Aviv next Thursday.

Managed by Dror Kashtan, the former Israel manager, Yehuda go into next week's tie deadlocked at 1-1. Omri Afek put the Israelis ahead in the 26th minute in Dublin last night but a stoppage time strike from Robert Bayly drew the Irish club level.

With the away goal advantage Yehuda will be confident of hosting the Italian giants on July 29 with the return in Italy on August 5.

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Keinan set to be Blackpool's rock

By Simon Griver, July 15, 2010

Maccabi Haifa defender Dekel Keinan is set to clinch a dream move to the Premier League after agreeing a one-year deal with Blackpool.

Israeli international Keinan, 25 met Blackpool manager Ian Holloway last weekend before returning to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel. He went back to Blackpool to undergo a medical before travelling with the team for their pre-season training camp in Ireland.

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Benayoun is Israel's most expensive player ever

By Danny Caro and Simon Griver, July 8, 2010

Yossi Benayoun has become the most expensive ever Israeli player after moving from Liverpool to Chelsea.

The £6.5m transfer fee surpasses the £5.75 million that Celtic paid West Ham for Eyal Berkovic in 1999.

As we reported on June 14, the move was authorised by former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and rubber-stamped by new boss Roy Hodgson.

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Benayoun completes Chelsea switch

By Simon Griver, July 2, 2010

Israel captain Yossi Benayoun joined Premier League champions Chelsea on a four-year deal on Friday.

Benayoun, 30, was at Stamford Bridge on Thursday where he had a personal meeting with club owner Roman Abramovich before agreeing a contract.

The Israeli will reportedly earn £70,000 a week and Chelsea will pay Liverpool an estimated £6.5 million transfer fee.

Benayoun told Chelsea's website: "I am very excited to come to a club like Chelsea, it is a big club and I think it is a dream for every player."

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Grant signs deal with West Ham

By Simon Griver, May 27, 2010

Avram Grant has agreed a three-year deal to manage West Ham but is not expected to be unveiled at Upton Park until next week.

The Israeli has been courted by Hammers owners David Sullivan and David Gold since the beginning of May and negotiations moved into top gear after Portsmouth's 1-0 cup final defeat against Chelsea on May 15.

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Ben Haim to miss Cup semi final

By Simon Griver, April 8, 2010

Tal Ben Haim is set for FA Cup heartbreak with injury likely to rule him out of Sunday's semi-final against Spurs at Wembley.

The Portsmouth defender spent Passover in Israel nursing a groin problem.

Ben Haim, 28, is struggling to recover from the injury which has plagued him since February, and with the possibility that he will not return to fitness this season, he might have played his last game in the Premier League.

Portsmouth's administrator Andrew Andronikou is eager to unload the Israeli international who earns £40,000 a week and is contracted to the club until August 2013.

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Cohen's delight at first team Bolton pick

March 25, 2010

Tamir Cohen, the Bolton Wanderers' midfielder, has reflected on a dramatic turnaround in fortunes to his career and has come to the conclusion that football is indeed a funny old game.

Over the last 12 months, the Israeli international has gone from fringe player to one of the mainstays of the team, who recently replaced manager Gary Megson with Owen Coyle.

"Any game that I didn't play or wasn't selected, I would go home and be so angry, I didn't know what to do with myself.

"And I'll be honest, I don't know where it all changed for me.

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Spurs' Harry Redknapp: There’s no good young players

By Danny Caro, March 11, 2010

Harry Redknapp, the Spurs manager, has expressed his fears for the future of the English game.

He told a Jewish Care business breakfast: “Good, young British footballers are a dying breed. We’re seeing more and more foreign players and foreign owners. Soon it will come to the point where every Premiership club has foreign players and owners. They come from a background where they are all winners but the only problem is that there can only be one winner.

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Portsmouth survival top of Avram Grant’s wish list

By Simon Griver, December 10, 2009

Points, not revenge will be the name of the game for Portsmouth boss Avram Grant ahead of Wednesday’s emotional return to Chelsea for a top against bottom match in the Premier League.

Grant was controversially sacked by Chelsea in May 2008, just three days after leading the club to its first Champions League final, where the Blues lost in Moscow in a penalty shoot-out to Manchester United.

The Israeli will be boosted not only by his 2-0 victory over Burnley at Fratton Park last weekend but also by the presence of his family who are staying in England for Chanukah.

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Yossi creates havoc for United

October 29, 2009

Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun continued his impressive start to the season with an assist in his side’s crucial league win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Playing right-midfield in place of the injured Steven Gerrard, the Israel captain gave United left-back Patrice Evra a torrid afternoon with his surging runs.

With his side having lost four successive games, Liverpool’s title hopes were on the line until Benayoun fashioned a defence-splitting pass for Fernando Torres who scored the side’s opener in the 65th minute.

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