Patrick van Leeuwen out as Maccabi Tel Aviv FC coach

Oct 26, 2021 | Football

After a very slow start in league play, Maccabi Tel Aviv dismissed head coach Patrick van Leeuwen following the club’s shocking 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Ashdod in front of over 17,000 vocal fans. The yellow-and-blue have struggled mightily in domestic play as they sit in 12th place, just one point above the relegation zone with only 2 wins, 4 losses and a draw in seven matches so far this campaign as Barak Itzhaki will take over the reins on an interim basis.

Van Leeuwen had been given a 2-year contract extension over the summer after having taken over the club from Georgios Donis early on during the 2020/21 season and guided Maccabi to a strong finish winning the State Cup and falling just a few points off the top of table. However, this season has been anything but successful thus far in the Israeli league. 

The Dutchman who arrived back in 2016 to become the club’s Performance Director did a masterful job turning around the youth department and then moved into the coach’s role. In fact, the team’s results in Europe this season have been excellent as Maccabi leads their UEFA Conference League group and just came off a 5-0 victory over HJK in Helsinki, Finland.

But that apparently wasn’t going to be enough as it had been reported in multiple outlets that there was a disconnect between the players and Van Leeuwen. With owner Mitch Goldhar’s representative Jack Angelides accompanying the team to Finland and attending the match in Tel Aviv, the official notice that the club would part ways with the 52-year old came just two hours after Monday’s loss. 

Goldhar said to the Maccabi’s official website, “Patrick has made a tremendous contribution to Maccabi Tel Aviv FC since his arrival as head of the youth academy and performance director. Since he joined Maccabi more than five years ago, Patrick has exhibited a strong work ethic and loyalty to the Club, for which I and Maccabi owe a debt of gratitude I wish Patrick all the best for the future.”

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