Maccabi Haifa midfielder Roei Kehat.
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
Guy Luzon begins his audition to remain the coach of Maccabi Haifa when the Greens visit Maccabi Netanya in Premier League action on Saturday night under the watchful eye of new technical director Mo Allach.
The 44-year-old Dutchman was appointed earlier this month to a position that hadn’t been occupied since the departure of Norwegian Tor-Kristian Karlsen in May. Karlsen lasted just one season at the club, which previously didn’t have a technical director.
Unlike Karlsen, who was mainly a scout before coming to Haifa, Allach served as the technical director of Eredivisie club Vitesse over the past four years, and previously worked with the Netherlands national team.
Despite a hefty investment, Haifa has fallen well short of expectations over recent seasons. The club dominated local soccer in the first decade of the 21st century, but hasn’t even been able to challenge Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beersheba for the league title over the past five years.
The first big decision facing Allach was whether to continue with Luzon, with the Greens once more getting off to a disappointing start.
Haifa is in sixth place in the standings, winning for only the fourth time in 10 matches when it beat Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 in its last match, almost three weeks ago prior to the international break.
Allach, who decided not to make a change at the coaching position for the time being, watched that match from the stands, but will be scrutinizing the side as the man in charge for the first time in Netanya.
Haifa is nine points off first place and four behind surprise-package Netanya, which sits in fifth. Netanya beat leader Hapoel Haifa 2-0 in its last match and has lost just two games all season, against Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem.
Also Saturday, Bnei Sakhnin hosts Hapoel Ashkelon, Bnei Yehuda visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Hapoel Acre welcomes Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Maccabi Tel Aviv can move tied on points with first place with a victory at Hapoel Haifa on Sunday, with Ashdod SC also hosting Hapoel Ra’anana.
On Monday, Hapoel Beersheba, which only trails Hapoel Haifa on goal difference, visits Beitar Jerusalem, which is three points off the top.