Comment: Guy Levy's limited achievements just aren't enough

What was supposed to be a week of triumph at the European U-21 Championship in Holland turned out instead to be seven days of torture.

June 18, 2007 02:30
2 minute read.
Comment: Guy Levy's limited achievements just aren't enough

Guy Levy 88. (photo credit: )


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"Fault finding is like window washing. All the dirt seems to be on the other side." - source unknown. Israel Under-21 coach Guy Levy is convinced he has done marvelously well; and he has a point. Levy is the first coach to guide an Israeli team to a major tournament in 31 years, leading his team to a surprising 2-1 aggregate victory against France over a two-legged playoff in October of last year. But what was supposed to be a week of triumph at the European U-21 Championship in Holland turned out instead to be seven days of torture. Three defeats by a combined goal difference of 0-6 left many feeling it would have been better off for the blue-and-white never to have even qualified for the event. Unsurprisingly, Levy disagrees and is sure he is the man that should be put in charge of the rebuilding process. "I don't think I have failed. I enjoyed this tournament and hope to experience another in the future," he said after being on the wrong end of a 4-0 humiliation by Portugal on Saturday night. "We must be direct in our approach in order to reach these tournaments more regularly and also succeed in them. We have to produce players who are more physical and more technical. We can't have a situation where teams are at least two levels above us. "I am proud we have got this far and we have reached a high standard of competition," he added. "Now we have to draw conclusions regarding the future of Israeli football, to see how we can progress from here." Levy's ideas are right, but his recent failure disqualifies him from continuing to guide the team. He has taken a leaf out of the book of Israeli politics and come to the wrong conclusion that even though he led the team to an abysmal showing, he should be the one to correct his own mistakes. However, the coach's failure to even admit to any wrongdoing over the last week, should lead Israel Football Association chiefs to an inevitable decision. The future of Israeli soccer deserves better than Levy. Nobody will ever be able to take Levy's achievement of leading the team to the European Championship away from him, but the coach has nevertheless sadly failed to accomplish his main goal. As each match of the group stage proved, Levy's coaching has failed to rid Israel's youngsters of the problems plaguing Israeli soccer since the IFA joined UEFA in the early 90's. A lack of proper preparation cost the team dearly in the 1-0 defeat against Holland. Poor decision making and finishing against 10-men Belgium led to another 1-0 loss. And a dismal all around display ended in a well deserved 4-0 Portugal thrashing. Israel's U21 stars are on the inevitable course of repeating their predecessor's mistakes and, for that only, Levy must go. "In a crisis, don't hide behind anything or anybody. They are going to find you anyway." - Bear Bryant (legendary University of Alabama football coach)

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