Hapoel boss Lu­zon hopes to add to Spurs’ woes

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

UEFA CUP Un­der-fire Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Guy Lu­zon will try to save his job and kick­start the team’s sea­son when they host Spurs in the latest group stage game next Thurs­day.

Nei­ther team has had the per­fect prepa­ra­tion for a game ex­pected to at­tract 16,000 fans to the Bloom­field Sta­dium. Spurs, who were un­able to sell their 700-ticket al­lot­ment to sea­son ticket hold­ers or mem­bers, lost man­ager Martin Jol af­ter last week’s 2-1 home de­feat against Getafe and suf­fered a sim­i­lar de­feat in the Pre­mier League against Black­burn Rovers on Sun­day, un­der the gaze of new boss Juande Ramos.

Hapoel slumped to a 2-0 de­feat in Bel­gium to An­der­lecht in Europe and lost 2-0 at home to Ash­dod in a do­mes­tic league com­pe­ti­tion they have yet to win in this sea­son.

Most Is­raeli pun­dits pre­dict it is a mat­ter of time be­fore Hapoel’s re­cent- ly ap­pointed man­ager, the nephew of Is­rael FA Pres­i­dent Avi Lu­zon, is axed.

Af­ter the An­der­lecht de­feat, Lu­zon told a press con­fer­ence that he thought Hapoel de­served a draw. When an Is­raeli jour­nal­ist asked how he could say that, when Hapoel had not cre­ated a sin­gle chance, the 31-year-old walked out. The fans were also call­ing for his head af­ter the de­feat against Ash­dod.

Hapoel chair­man Moni Harel said: “We are not go­ing through a very good time in the league but that does not mean that we won’t beat Spurs. Even with their prob­lems, Spurs are a su­perb team but Hapoel have a tra­di­tion of beat­ing top Euro­pean teams.

“I know the play­ers will give ev­ery­thing and, if we can beat Spurs, I’m sure we’ll start win­ning in the Is­raeli league too.”

Lu­zon in­her­ited a squad which is a far cry from Dror Kash­tan’s side that reached the quar­ter-fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion in 2002, dis­pos­ing of Chelsea en route.

Is­raeli of­fi­cial Alon Ye­fet has been con­firmed as a ref­eree in the fourth round Cham­pi­ons League group stage matches next week.

The 35-year-old from Ne­tanya, who is a cus­tomer ac­count man­ager with the Is­rael Elec­tric Cor­po­ra­tion, be­came the first Is­raeli to ref­eree a Cham­pi­ons League game in Novem­ber 2005 when he of­fi­ci­ated in Club Brugges 3-2 vic­tory over Rapid Vi­enna. Ye­fet has ref­er­eed more than 50 Euro­pean and in­ter­na­tional matches over the past five years.

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