Blackman in a league of his own

By Danny Caro, January 14, 2009

Nicky Blackman this week became the first home-grown Jewish Premier League footballer after signing for Blackburn Rovers.

The 19-year-old striker, whose mother is Jewish, joined from League Two Macclesfield Town. Represented by the SEM Group, he has joined until 2011 for an undisclosed fee.

Blackman impressed while on trial when former boss Paul Ince was in charge and Sam Allardyce decided to go through with the signing.

Although not prepared to speak about religion, Blackman said: “My main goal is to break into the first team as and when the opportunity arises.


No Palace visit as Ben goes Dutch

By Simon Griver, January 8, 2009

Ben Sahar snubbed Championship clubs including Crystal Palace to agree a six-month loan deal with Dutch Premier League strugglers De Graafschap.

Sahar, 19, who is under contract to Chelsea until the summer of 2010, had loan spells with Championship sides QPR and Sheffield Wednesday last season. The Israeli striker has been on loan to Portsmouth since the start of the current campaign but failed to make an appearance.

“I had offers from the Championship in England,” said Sahar. “But there the game is based on long balls and much more physical play.


Rover and in? Tal is an Allardyce target

By Simon Griver, January 8, 2009

Out-of-favour Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim looks set to be offloaded during the transfer window despite the claims of his agent who insists that he has no plans to leave.

Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle, Bolton and Spurs have all been linked with the Israeli but Pini Zahavi says: “It is not a burning matter. Tal has no worries and he is very happy at City where he has a contract with the club.”


Dutch club prepares Sahar swoop

December 10, 2008

FC Utrecht are hopeful of signing Ben Sahar in the new year.
The striker, 21, watched the team beat NEC Nijmegen 2-1 last weekend.

Technical director Piet Buter said: “Sahar is a player who fits into the category we are looking for. We know Sahar’s history and have watched DVDs of him in action. He is an interesting player to us.
“We will go and see him play again and if he makes a good impression, we will see what is possible.”


‘Race hate keeping Grant out of Premier League’

By Simon Griver, December 10, 2008

Eyal Berkovic, one of Avram Grant’s biggest enemies, believes that antisemitism has prevented the former Chelsea boss from returning to management in England.

Sacked by the Blues in May after taking them to the club’s first-ever Champions League final and second in the league, Grant has not received a single offer from an English club.


Sahar: ‘I’ll go down to get back up’

By Simon Griver, November 27, 2008

Ben Sahar has resigned himself to playing in the Championship.

The Israeli marksman has suffered a stop-start career since joining Chelsea in 2006. Last season he was loaned to QPR and Sheffield Wednesday and after joining Portsmouth on a six-month loan deal in July, he has been kicking his heels in the reserves.


Yossi’s going nowhere, says Rafa

By Craig Silver, November 27, 2008

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez wants Israel captain Yossi Benayoun to stay with the club for at least three more years.

Benayoun, 28, joined the Premier League joint-leaders last July on a four-year deal.
Benitez said: "We will be very pleased if he stays here until the end of his contract. We want Yossi here."


Benayoun: I’m going nowhere

By Danny Caro, November 20, 2008

Israel captain Yossi Benayoun has distanced himself from reports that he wants to leave Liverpool.

Speaking to Israeli reporters in the build-up to Israel's international friendly against the Ivory Coast, Benayoun, 28, claimed that English newspapers had twisted his comments.


Stuttering Sahar ready to kickstart his career

By Craig Silver, November 13, 2008

Israel striker Ben Sahar has admitted for the first time that he is ready to make a fresh start with a new club in the Premier League after his loan period ends with Portsmouth in January.

Sahar, 19, has experienced a stop-start career since signing for Chelsea from Hapoel Tel Aviv in May, 2006. He made three appearances for Chelsea before being loaned out to QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and most recently Portsmouth, where he has yet to feature for the first team.


Tamir to stick with Trotters

By Simon Griver, October 23, 2008

Israeli midfielder Tamir Cohen is determined to see out his three-year contract with Bolton, even though he has failed to make an appearance this season.

His father, former Liverpool star Avi Cohen, said that Trotters manager Gary Megson recently had talks with the Israeli midfielder and told him that his future is with the Premier League club.