All change in Li­gat Ha’Al

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

FOOT­BALL TWO of Is­rael’s top three teams have ap­pointed new man­agers. Vladimir Ivic is the new head coach at Li­gat Ha’Al run­ners-up Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Serb re­places Jordi Cruyff.

Ivic, 41, spent much of his ca­reer in Greece where he played as an at­tack­ing mid­fielder for AEK Athens and PAOK Salonika be­fore be­com­ing PAOK’s man­ager. He led the team to sec­ond place in the league and vic­tory in the Greek Cup fi­nal in 2016/17.

Af­ter win­ning a hat-trick of league ti­tles, Maccabi have watched Hapoel Beer Sheva do the same over the past three sea­sons and Ivic un­der­stands that sec­ond place in Li­gat Ha’Al means fail­ure.

“Maccabi is the big­gest club in Is­rael and our aim is to win the ti­tle, win the cup and do well in Eu­rope,” said Ivic. “My phi­los­o­phy is to at­tack but you need a strong all-round squad.”

Guy Lu­zon has taken charge of third­placed fin­ish­ers Beitar Jerusalem fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Benny Ben-Zaken.

Lu­zon, 42, joins Beitar fol­low­ing an un­suc­cess­ful spell with Maccabi Haifa. With Beitar owner Eli Tabib hav­ing put the club up for sale, Lu­zon, the for­mer Charl­ton Ath­letic boss, will strug­gle to re­peat last sea­son’s third-place fin­ish amid the un­cer­tainty. “I’m de­lighted to come to a great club like Beitar,” said Lu­zon. “It is a huge hon­our and chal­lenge. I wish us all suc­cess and I’ll do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to make it hap­pen.”

Maccabi and Beitar will play in the Europa League next sea­son while Hapoel Beer Sheva will rep­re­sent Is­rael in the Cham­pi­ons League.

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