The Star(s) of Israel - Managing Maccabi Tel-Aviv & Israel


Apr 7, 2009
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Here I am with my new save. I abandoned my Newcastle save as I was too successful too early although still managed 5 seasons - this one is for the long haul. I wanted to do a save similar to my Red Star Belgrade save and had decided to go Steaua Bucharest but when updating the database and noticing that 2 teams merged that caused so much problems for me so I had to think again.

So I am off to Israel!!!!!

The reason is that I have never managed there and have little to know knowledge of the domestic situation there apart from some team names but even then it is a case of shoving the prefix Maccabi, Hapoel or Beitar in front of a place name! I take over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, the most successful club in Israeli football history and I take over the season after they just lost their league title to Maccabi Haifa.

I will be twinning managing the club by also managing the Israeli national side. They are ranked in the game 92nd in the world at the start behind Lebanon although they do have a Euro 2020 playoff semi to play against Norway.

Lots of work to be done!!!!!!!!!!!!



For Maccabi Tel-Aviv it will be domestic domination and the ultimate aim will be to win the Champions League. Now I will go into this in the next post but you may or may not know that Israel isnt actually situated in Europe so to win Europe's biggest trophy would be amazing!!!

As for Israel it is much the same as the club side. Do well, hopefully qualify for tournaments and gradually build up towards competing for European Championships and World Cups.

Not going to be a 5-10 season save this!!!!!


The oldest and most decorated side in Israeli football history, Maccabi Tel-Aviv have won 66 trophies in their history. Because of the politics of Israel they have played in Asian football where they are based and also in European football although they have never won anything continentally in Europe.

Going into the history of the club would be onerous such was the ever changing landscape of Israeli football but as a club they have never been relegated from the top division of the Israeli league system and also are one of 3 teams from the country to have reached the UEFA Champions League Group Stage.

They place a huge investment in youth development and have 3 academies with over 750 kids aged 6-15 in the Tel-Aviv area so I will be hoping that that pays dividends.


Founded - 1906
Nicknames - Maccabi, The Yellow Ones
Ground - Bloomfield Stadium
Capacity - 29,400
Rivals - Hapoel Tel-Aviv





Oh god where to start. Basically look on wikipedia!!!

Founded in 1928 and known as the British Mandate of Palestine football team they played in World Cup Qualifiers but became known as Israel and as an independent nation in 1948. They started off playing their football in the Asian Football Confederation and won the Asian Cup in 1964 until they were expelled in 1977 as all the other sides in the confederation refused to play them. They did qualify for the World Cup in 1970 which is their only appearance there and then they joined the OFC playing against the likes of Australia and New Zealand!!!!

They then competed in UEFA's qualifying stage for the 1982 World Cup but then they went back to the OFC however in 1991 Israeli clubs began playing in UEFA cup competitions and the national side joined again in 1992 and 2 years later they received full membership and they have stayed there ever since without any success.

Its my job to change that!

I take over a side without any world stars with the likes of Eran Zahavi of PSV, Munas Dabbur of Hoffenheim and Manor Solomon of Shakhtar Donetsk while Celtic have Nir Bitton and their recent signing Liel Abada.

The rules of domestic Israeli football only allows me to have 6 non-foreign players in the squad so if I am to succeed it will all be down to my youth development!​


Aluf HaAlufim Final 1st Leg

Lineup - Daniel, Geraldes, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa (Shahar), D.Glazer, Cohen*, Guiagon, Almog, Blackman (Kalaily)

From what I can gather this is the Israeli super cup and it is played over 2 legs and we took the first leg here thanks to a fine first half performance. The goal from Yonatan Cohen was a belter as he fired in from 25 yards while the other 2 goals were headers from close range.

In this line up I had former Leicester defender Luis Hernandez and former Blackburn, Derby, Sheffield Utd, Reading and Aberdeen striker Nick Blackman.


Aluf HaAlufim Final 2nd Leg

Lineup - Daniel, Geraldes, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit*, Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen, Guiagon, Almog (Ben Haim), Blackman (Guerrero)

We wrap up the Aluf HaAlufim (Super Cup lol) by comfortably winning this 2nd leg. Luis Hernandez headed us in front before Guerrero latched onto a punt from my keeper to go one on one with their keeper from the halfway line to score.


Gvia HaToto Al Final

- Daniel, Geraldes, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.GLazer*, Cohen, Guiagon (Kartsev), Almog (Baltaxa), Blackman (Guerrero)

What craziness is this? I think we have just won the Israeli version of the league cup! There was a group stage and now there is classification matches to see who finish each position down to 8th but we somehow get a bye to the final!!!!

In the end we won on penalties after a 0-0 draw. They didnt have a shot on goal but we didnt convert any of our chances and that needs to be worked on.


UEFA Europa League Path 1st Qualifying Round

- Daniel, Geraldes, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen*, Kartsev (Guiagon), Almog, Blackman (Guerrero)

By god we need to do more finishing practice. We should have scored 5 or 6 but in the end a late goal from Cohen was all that we could muster. He is probably my best RW and ST so I may try him up top to see what happens. We did have a first half goal disallowed and hit the woodwork several times.



Lineup - Daniel, Geraldes (Kandil), Hernandez (Nahmias), Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen, Kartsev (Guiagon), Almog*, Blackman (Guerrero)

Derby day joy as we beat our fiercest rivals Hapoel in the Tel-Aviv derby. We got the winner thanks to a superb long range strike from Almog and then the usual happened - we dominated possession but did ****** all with it! Unfortunately Geraldes got injured and will be out for 6-7 months so that is a massive blow.



I havent done a pre-season post as ****** all happened! I had no money to spend, not even for a free transfer and I had a huge squad to sift through so just got on with it. I did manage to sell to **** players for pennies and sold the clause on the Predrag Rajkovic deal to get me a whopping £90,000 and thats all that I have to work with.

My first XI is more than decent for domestic football but we are lacking quality up front and have a lack of strength and depth at CB in particular. With the added problem of my best RB being out until next year I dont have my problems to seek! Kartsev looks like a decent prospect though!

I need to learn about how Israeli football works. I know in the league we play each team twice before the league splits but the cup competitions need fathoming out! The "Super Cup" is played over 2 legs and we won that and then for some reason the "League Cup" involves group stages which leads to a final and everyone else plays-off to see who finishes down to 8th place. Barmy! We for some reason got a bye straight into the final and won that match on penalties.

We won our Europa League match 1-0 to set up a tie against Bohemians of the Republic of Ireland and in the league we won our one and only match by beating our bitter rivals Hapoel Tel-Aviv 1-0.

Two trophies in my first month in charge - not bad!!!!







- Daniel, Kandil (Ben-Zaken), Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit (Davidzada), Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen*, Kartsev, Almog, Blackman

A great result as we easily beat the defending champions. We were given 2 penalties which were converted by Cohen and Nick Blackman finally got off the mark for the season which was pleasing.


UEFA Europa League Path 2nd Qualifying Round

- Daniel, Kandil, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer*, Cohen, Kartsev (Guiagon), Almog (Ben Haim), Blackman (Kalaily)

Dan Glazer's headed goal just before half-time is enough to send us through to the next round. Again we dominated and again we didnt convert our chances.


UEFA Europa League Path 3rd Qualifying Round

- Daniel, Kandil, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen*, Kartsev, Almog (Ben Haim), Blackman (Guiagon)

We make it through to the final qualifying round thanks to 2 goals from Yonatan Cohen. He started on the RW but I moved him up front with 20min to go and he duly grabbed both goals.



Just the 3 games this month for my club side. We beat Maccabi Haifa comfortably in the league before we won our 2 qualifying matches in the Europa League. We will now face Galatasaray to see who will reach the group stages and for sure we will be the underdogs.

I bought my first player! With Geraldes suffering a long term injury I had to find another RB so I paid £69,000 to S.C. Ashdod for Tom Ben-Zaken. As you would expect he is no world beater!

I also sold a veteran player who hadnt played for £84,000 and I will scour the transfer market to see if I can bring in a striker - even on loan but it is difficult!!!!

As for Israel we were great! We were unlucky not to beat Slovakia away and had to settle for a draw but then we beat Scotland at home so the potential whipping boys of the group are doing well! We have a Euros play-off against Norway next month and that will be a tough fixture.








UEFA Nations League B Group 2

Lineup - Marciano, Dasa, Bitton, Abu Hanna, Biton, Natcho, D.Peretz, Cohen, Zahavi (E.Peretz), Solomon*, Saba (Weissman)

We are probably seen as the whipping boys in this group so to get a point away from home is a great result but we should have won the match as we played so well. I was missing a few key players here so I am delighted with this result.


UEFA Nations League B Group 2

- Marciano, Dasa*, Bitton, Abu Hanna (Goldberg), Biton, Natcho, D.Peretz, Cohen, Zahavi (E.Peretz), Solomon, Saba (Weissman)


We battled hard for this result. Scotland were all over us in the first half but we managed to hold on and we were much better in the 2nd half. Cohen struck early on and Natcho then missed a penalty for us to put the game safe but we held on to the win anyway.


UEFA Europa League Path 4th Qualifying Round

- Daniel, Kandil, Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen, Kartsev, Almog (Ben Haim), Blackman (Hozez)

Meh. We gave it a good go and tried to spring a surprise but Galatasaray had too much for us in the end. We did hit the post twice which would have been interesting had one of them went in but Galatasaray deserved to win.

We can concentrate on domestic football now!



Lineup - Daniel, Kandil*, Hernandez, Yeini (Piven), Saborit, Golasa (Shahar), D.Glazer, Cohen, Kartsev (Guiagon), Almog, Guerrero (Hozez)

Beitar Jerusalem went into this game top of the table but we managed to get one over on them here thanks to a goal from Eylon Almog. Cohen had a goal disallowed late on. We love a 1-0 win it seems!!!



Lineup - Daniel, Kandil (Ben-Zaken), Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Hozez (Blackman), Kartsev, Almog*, Skavysh

Ashdod almost got away with an undeserved point here but thankfully Almog struck a late winner to give us the win. Kartsev got his first goal of the season and my new striker, Skavysh, made his debut.



Lineup - Daniel, Kandil, Hernandez, Yeini*, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Cohen*, Kartsev, Almog (Hozez), Skavysh (Blackman)

Yonatan Cohen scored a superb hat-trick here to give us all 3pts as his fantastic start to the season for both club and country continues.



Lineup - Daniel, Kandil (Ben-Zaken), Hernandez, Yeini, Saborit, Golasa, D.Glazer, Hozez, Kartsev (Guiagon), Almog (Ben Haim), Skavysh*

We went 2-0 down here with their only 2 shots on goal in the match and I was livid but we came back to win with Skavysh scoring his first 2 goals for us. His 2nd was a fine effort from the edge of the area.




UEFA European Championship Qualifying Playoff Semi-Final

- Marciano, Dasa, Bitton (Abd Elhamed), Bareiro (Habashi), Tawatha (Biton), Natcho, D.Peretz, Cohen (Kinda), Zahavi, Solomon, Dabbur

This was always going to be a long shot but I expected a much better performance as Norway ran all over us and if it wasnt for Marciano in goal they could have had double figures. To perform so dismally at home is extremely disappointing.


UEFA Nations League B Group 2

Lineup - Marciano*, Dasa (Abd Elhamed), Bitton, Bareiro, Tawatha (Biton), Natcho, E.Peretz, Cohen (Kinda), Zahavi, Solomon (Abada), Dabbur (Weissman)

A great result and we are in control of this group which is remarkable. Defensively we were all over the place however and a combination of them missing sitters and Marciano having another worldie of a performance kept them out at large. We did look decent going forward though and Bareiro who I just naturalised from being Argenitinian scored on his 2nd cap and Omer Biton popped up with the winner.


UEFA Nations League B Group 2

- Marciano, Dasa (Habashi), Abd Elhamed, Bareiro, Tawatha (Biton), Natcho*, D.Peretz, Cohen (Kinda), Zahavi (E.Peretz), Solomon, Dabbur

We were excellent here and the scoreline doesnt do our performance justice. We had over 20 shots on goal and battered them throughout and we are in danger of winning this group now which I dont know if I want! Israel in the top group? Lots of hidings await there!!!!


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Sorry everyone but this save isnt working for me. Despite being successful but I am not enjoying it like I normally do in a new save.

Back to the drawing board