A winning kitchen? The new reality of Betar Jerusalem


All of Israeli football has entered the post-corona reality. And although we would all like to think that maybe it’s just a small crisis and it’s passing, it’s clear that even if things go back to normal – they will go back to normal again. Something in our daily conduct, human, social and also economic, is going to get some kind of tone drop. Something in the volumes of life that our lives are going to go down. Football is always a mirror of society, and even in this case something in the conduct of the teams will reflect what we will all go through at one point or another: tightening the belt, and settling for the existing. And who reflects this more, than the “group of the state” (for better or worse), Betar Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that one can easily see the difference from last season. If last summer Hughes dispersed, sent money everywhere, built a team rich in money and potential – then today, two weeks before the start of the Israeli football season, and Betar did not make a single significant purchase. That the kitchen is closed – after all, even the best restaurants are forced to lock their gates for fear of Corona.

Betar has always been a team that lives on thrills, on high tension, on temperament. This club needs a stormy summer, for better or worse, of dreams and fantasies about championships – or at the same time about survival struggles and life on the edge. There is no middle ground on this scale. The Betar audience also has a sense of loss of interest. This may be why some of the fans demonstrated in front of Roni Levy – he reflected on them more solid, more considered, less emotional Betar – a kind of opposite look to what they are supposed to bring with them. And all this without mentioning the fact that Betar will have to open the season its.

But maybe, daring will eventually come out sweet. Because when you look at the staff of Betar Jerusalem, even if you sift Antoine Conte or Freddie Floman, you get a not bad team at all: Itamar Nitzan, one of the best goalkeepers in the league between the posts; Shai Konstantin will get more opportunities in the right defensive position this year ( Max Grechkin, who provides good progress on the left side, a player like Ali Muhammad in the center of the field, along with Hanan Maman as an offensive midfielder – and a variety of offensive options, which could (in an optimistic scenario) include Idan Vered, Michael Ohana, Levi Garcia and Eliran Atar. He needs revolutions, he needs refinements, another good brake near Vardska, another senior nine-pointer – and it is possible to produce a good and competitive team, maybe even a team that will exceed all expectations.

Even stability in the professional system is not necessarily bad. True, the writer of these lines thought that Betar should be upgraded at the level of the coach – but when looking at the supply in the coaching market left to celebrate, after the Barak Bachar option came off the table, it is not certain that he had better options than what he has at the moment. The whole professional for another year: The Quartet Celebrates-Ohana-Benyon-Roni Levy, who I too was a little skeptical about his ability to withstand such stressful conditions, continues for another year.

And do not make it easy for you: the last time a coach finished an entire season in Betar, from start to finish, and received a contract for another season – was 16 years ago, somewhere in the days of Meir Panigel. Other days, much thinner, in which Eli Ohana (then Coach) had to do wonders with a young staff and a complete lack of expectations. Betar has gone through a lot of upheavals since then, but has also improved – at least in the audience’s expectations of it. And yet, Celebrates has managed to preserve a system in the long run.

Betar Jerusalem is the most emotional group in Israel. There is no group in Israel that contains euphoria and depression, anger and love, emotional turmoil for better or worse. Therefore, whenever Betar managed to achieve success – it was through judgment. Not just the most successful coach in the history of the club was the tough and meticulous Dror Kashtan. Someone who managed to give a counter of order to the chaos in which the club is located 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It could be that Moshe’s bet on the existing one turns out to be a mistake, we are all wrong – even the most successful owners in Israeli football have experienced difficult times and paid (literally) heavy tuition for their first years. But one can look sympathetically at the desire to steer the ship through a difficult time, and try to produce something that will last. Even if there are not many “wells” on the way, and even if the kitchen does not send pushes on the next dish on the way – maybe in the end a dish will come out that will satisfy everyone. Put on masks.


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