Berkovic in for top job

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

first choice to take charge but fol­low­ing his re­turn to Portsmouth, Berkovic, re­cently voted the peo­ple’s choice in Is­rael, looks set to land the role. “I gave my­self a 30 per cent chance of get­ting the job now its 50 per cent,” he told the JC. “Avram made my week by go­ing to Portsmouth.”

The for­mer Is­raeli in­ter­na­tional, who played for Southamp­ton, West Ham, Celtic, Manch­ester City, Black­burn and Portsmouth, is not fazed by the IFA chair­man’s op­po­si­tion.

“Lu­zon is soft­en­ing be­cause he sees that so many peo­ple want me as man­ager, even within the Is­rael FA, as well as most Is­raelis.”

Berkovic re­jects the no­tion that he could be ap­pointed as­sis­tant-man­ager with­aviewto­fu­ture­pro­mo­tion.“Idon’t have the per­son­al­ity to be a num­ber two, but as man­ager I would choose a highly ex­pe­ri­enced as­sis­tant who could work with me.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence isn’t ev­ery­thing. Kash­tan coached for 40 years and failed with the na­tional team. Richard Nielsen and Shlomo Scharf failed. I have al­ways suc­ceeded from the mo­ment I trod on a foot­ball pitch un­til the day I re­tired. Is­rael needs new blood and some­thing ex­cit­ing.”

Berkovic is highly crit­i­cal of Kash­tan. “For the game against Latvia he didn’t even have Tamir Co­hen, who plays with Bolton in the best league in the world, in the squad. He should never have taken off Yossi Be­nay­oun when we were los­ing be­cause he is the only player who can change things and do some­thing bril­liant even if he is play­ing badly.

“I can’t prom­ise that what is hap­pen­ing to Maradona in Ar­gentina won’t hap­pen to me, and if we get drawn in a very dif­fi­cult group we might not qual­ify for the next tour­na­ment, but it’s time for some­thing new.”

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