Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Moti Ivanir 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
He took his time, but Maccabi Tel Aviv owner Mitch Goldhar finally made his
decision on Sunday, choosing Moti Ivanir as the team’s next coach.
sacking manager Avi Nimni last Tuesday, Goldhar methodically sieved through the
different options and flew into Israel on Saturday to personally meet the final
two candidates, Ivanir and Roni Levy.
With three championships to his
name as Maccabi Haifa coach, Levy clearly had the superior resume, but Tel
Aviv’s Canadian boss eventually elected to go with a yellow-andblue icon, giving
Ivanir his first chance at a big club.
Ivanir will be unveiled as coach
on Monday after being handed a contract until the end of the season – with an
option for another year – and will have the ideal opportunity to see the
dysfunctional team he inherits when it hosts Betar Jerusalem at Bloomfield
Ivanir, 46, was one of Maccabi’s greatest players of the 1980’s,
playing for the side between 1981 and 1990, apart from one season which he spent
at Dutch club Roda.
After playing at six different clubs in the final six
years of his career, Ivanir went into coaching in 1997, beginning his career at
third-division Betar Beersheba.
He followed up his success at Beersheba
with short tenures at Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Beersheba, Hapoel Kfar Saba and
Hapoel Ramat Gan, with his biggest accomplishment as a coach coming at Upper
Nazareth where he guided the team to promotion to the Premier League before
leading it to a fifth-place finish in its first ever season in the top flight
In 2006, Ivanir began coaching Israel’s under-17 team and
after two years was promoted to guide the national under-21 side, leading it to
a playoff for a place in Euro 2009.
After being replaced by Guy Luzon
this past summer, Ivanir continued to work for the Israel Football Association
as a scout for national team coach Luis Fernandez.
Now, however, he has
been given the opportunity he has waited for to prove he belongs with the very
best and only immediate success will do.
Greens move back into first
place Maccabi Haifa is showing no signs of slowing down, defeating Maccabi Petah
Tikva 3-1 at National Stadium in Ramat Gan on Sunday for its sixth straight
The three points take Haifa back above Hapoel Tel Aviv, with the
Greens now on 40 points, two ahead of the reigning champion.
Dvalishvili gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot in the 31st minute,
but Sebastian Sansoni beat Haifa goalkeeper Nir Davidovich to a corner two
minutes from the break to tie the score with a header.
Petah Tikva had
its chances to take the lead, but couldn’t convert them, and Tomer Hemed put
Haifa back in front in the 55th minute before Dvalishvili completed the scoring
in stoppage time.