I saved my comments about Israel’s UEFA Euro 2016 campaign for the end of the tournament in order to be fair and just to the coach, players and management on tournament that saw the Blue-and-White end off in 4th place and missing out on the playoffs.
After a 3:1 loss at Belgium to end Israel’s European dreams it’s time to analyze what exactly went wrong.
Four wins, 1 draw and 5 losses is just not going to cut it, especially when Israel began with three straight victories.
Coach Eli Gutman was on the top of the world after the match at home against Bosnia collecting nine points out of nine and needed to find a way to easily make it into the playoff round at worst. He unfortunately couldn’t figure out a way to do that. In the final seven matches his side went 1-1-5! How is that even possible? I think we’re all trying to figure that out, what went wrong.
What went wrong is that Gutman couldn’t find a way to get what he needed; one more win and one more draw. And that’s why he ultimately has to take the blame for the collapse and disgraceful exit of the Israel National Team.
Gutman played chicken throughout and didn’t have the courage to go for the gold playing with only a single striker especially against Cyprus at home. Back to back home matches against Wales and Belgium in March were mishandled and mismanaged and do the players also get some of the blame?
Certainly they do, but the buck stops with one Eli Gutman. There were times in this campaign where he just didn’t get his team motivated enough no didn’t seem to get the most he could have out of his players. Do they get some of the blame? For sure. They didn’t come up big especially in money time but Gutman couldn’t find a way to get his mojo to work on the players when the chips were down and for that, he takes the hit.
Gutman couldn’t motivate his players, his game plans were flawed and he wouldn’t even take the blame at the bitter end. It never seems to be Gutman’s fault.
How does he have the gall to say that this is where Israel’s natural place is! In 4th!
Aren’t we as Israelis and Jews looking to be the best we can? Aren’t we supposed to be leaders and not followers? Aren’t we cheapening ourselves by being satisfied with mediocrity?
Look at some of the countries that advanced into either the playoffs or directly into Euro2016. Iceland, Slovenia and Albania just to name three of them.
Israel needs a master motivator to get the importance of what a National Team is supposed to be across to the players. The coach must be able to design game plans for specific opponents and for certain situations. Gutman had moments of success but just not enough.
It’s time to bring in someone that can take the program to the next level and that also means having an individual who can begin to remake the whole National Team program from the youth department all the way up to the senior side. Israel needs to bring in the best and should that be a foreign coach then so be it.
It’s time for the Israel FA to bring the best to be the best. Don’t we owe that to our people and our country?