Football

Avram Grant: the real story

By Simon Griver, October 16, 2009

Avram Grant was appointed Director of Football at Portsmouth despite opposition from the club’s CEO Peter Storrie, the JC understands.

Reports in Israel have contradicted Storrie’s claim that manager Paul Hart will be solely responsible for team selection. Grant will select the side together with Hart and is expected to join him on the touchline although it remains unclear whether the Israeli will be involved in tomorrow’s game at Fratton Park against Spurs. Grant’s second spell at the club has been delayed by work-permit red tape.

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Yossi Benayoun will stay at Liverpool

October 15, 2009

Yossi Benayoun’s agent has dismissed talk that the midfielder will move to big-spending Manchester City in January.

Reports suggested that City boss Mark Hughes is weighing up a move for the Israeli skipper but the player’s agent, Ronen Katsav, said: “It is a great compliment that teams from Europe are interested, but Yossi is very happy at Liverpool and only in the summer agreed a new four-year contract.”

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Tamir Cohen's success secrets

By Simon Griver, October 15, 2009

Tamir Cohen, the Bolton Wanderers midfielder, has revealed the secret of his success this season — hard work.

Returning from international duty with Israel, Cohen is expected to start tomorrow’s match against defending champions Manchester United at Old Trafford. He is the team’s joint-top scorer this season with three goals.

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Neasden cruise into Challenge Cup third round

October 15, 2009

Two goals from Daniel Levenfiche plus one from supersub Ben Ellis steered MSFL champions North West Neasden A into the third round of the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup after they beat Albion Manor 3-1 at Bricket Wood.

Levenfiche, last season’s JC MSFL Player of the Year, put the hosts ahead midway through the first half.

The visitors, who won the competition four years ago, equalised with a stunning lob after 55 minutes.

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Cubs crash out of cup

October 15, 2009

London Maccabi Lions Under 18s suffered a 4-2 defeat against Potters Bar United. Jacob Holder and Ed Steele were the Lions’ marksmen.

There was better luck for Lions Under 16 Blue who beat St Albans City in the League Cup on penalties. Max Wegoda scored in normal time before the Lions converted five spot-kicks.

Lions Under 13s reached round three of the Challenge Cup after seeing off Panshanger 5-1. Ethan Herman (3), Jess Alexander and Adam Abadi were the scorers.

A Jordan Grundman strike was not enough as Lions Under 12s were beaten 2-1 by Rangers East.

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Haifa boss insists: We can beat Juventus

By Simon Griver, October 15, 2009

Maccabi Haifa boss Elisha Levy believes his team can cause a major shock when they travel to Turin on Wednesday in the Champions League for a meeting with Juventus.

First, the Israeli champions return to league action against Hapoel Beer Sheva on Saturday before travelling to Italy, looking to record their first victory of the Group A campaign.

Yet to score in this season’s competition, defeats against Bayern Munich and Bordeaux have left them rooted to the foot of the table.

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Eyal Berkovic eyes Israel job

By Simon Griver, October 15, 2009

Eyal Berkovic will be appointed Israel manager if he can convince IFA chairman Avi Luzon that he is the right man for the job.

With Avram Grant, the new Director of Football at Portsmouth, no longer in the race, Berkovic sees himself as favourite to become Dror Kashtan’s successor.

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Avram Grant's work permit delayed

By Danny Caro, October 15, 2009

Avram Grant’s return to Portsmouth has been delayed by work-permit red tape.

Grant, 54, was recently reappointed Director of Football at the struggling Premier League club and although he was expected to start work on Monday, the Home Office will not allow the Israel to resume his old post until his application has been considered and signed off.

“There is nothing we can do to speed it up,” said Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie. “He has applied in the normal way and all we can do is wait and see what happens. It is annoying but these things take time.”

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Israel’s World Cup bid fails

By Danny Caro, October 15, 2009

Israel were left dreaming of what might have been in Basle on Wednesday night as their World Cup dream came to a gallant end.

They held group winners Switzerland to a goalless draw in a match they contested with 10 men for the last 30 minutes following the dismissal of Avihai Yadin.

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Israel's Abramovich uses football to unite Jerusalem

By James Montague, October 15, 2009

For the past four seasons the terraces of Betar Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium have noisily exalted their saviour. When Arkadi Gaydamak, the controversial Russian-born tycoon, arrived from nowhere to buy the struggling team, he was heralded for restoring the club’s former glories. The fans ignored his colourful background, and lapped up the success. “Arkadi is the Messiah!” they would sing as he bought them back-to-back championships.

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