Guttman in no-lose position after parking bus


The moment Eli Guttman revealed he had no intention of renewing his contract with the Israel Football Association, the pressure was off.

With two matches still left to play, he finds himself in a no-lose position. Fail to qualify for France and he will soon be forgotten. But reach the finals and they won't be able to offer him a new contract quickly enough.

He masterminded a draw against a good Wales team by effectively parking the bus. The plan was almost scuppered in the final moments however. Just what was Tal Ben Haim doing letting the ball bounce not once but twice on the edge of the Israel area? A piece of schoolboy defending from one so experienced. Thank heavens for eagle-eyed assistant-referee.

● Michael Klinger has to be the unluckiest man in cricket right now. He has scored a bucketful of runs for Gloucestershire this summer, but continues to be overlooked for all forms of international cricket by the Australian selectors.

The tourists have had little to crow about since arriving and it beggars belief that they have ignored the achievements of one of the stars of the season for the last couple of one-dayers against England.

● Congratulations to Nigel Burns for winning Maccabi London Lions' 2014/5 Manager of the Year. There was also good news for Ashley Stokes who has been selected to represent England in the World Championship of Ping Pong.

Another man with reason to celebrate is Danny Stapleton. Having helped Team Maccabi GB win gold in the under-18 Futsal competition at the European Maccabi Games, the Manchester Futsal Club star has been selected for the England Elite U19 squad.

Stapleton, who is about to start at Salford University, was the second top-scorer in last season's Futsal FA Cup. Asked about his selection, he said: "I'm buzzing and can't wait to show them what I can do."

● Scott Kashket is already enjoying a breakthrough season at Leyton Orient and the appearance of former West Ham captain Kevin Nolan at training will certainly help his learning curve.

● You've heard of the Golden Boot and Golden Gloves, but what about the Golden Tongue? My quote of the week goes to Jason Stein who was in jovial mood after Oakwood B's 4-1 win over Los Blancos. He said: "In some ways it's a shame that the simcha break has come when it has, but I know my apple and honey will taste better after that performance."

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