(photo credit: )
Ever since Dror Kashtan left Hapoel Tel Aviv in the summer of 2006 the club's fans have been crying for an adequate replacement. If Eli Gutman's press conference on Tuesday is anything to go by, the supporters may have finally got their wish.
Gutman addressed the media in a way that would have made the national team coach proud.
His short cagey answers were classic Kashtan and have surely raised the supporters' hopes that Gutman might also emulate the illustrious coach on the field and not just off it.
"From the moment I signed the contract this morning the only thing on my mind is the match against Maccabi Netanya on Saturday," said Gutman, who was sacked by Maccabi Netanya last season. "Hapoel's situation doesn't worry me. I'll meet the players and get to know them and plan for Saturday.
"The most important thing is what we achieve from today onwards. Whatever led to Tel Aviv's current state is completely irrelevant now."
Gutman, who has only signed until the end of the season, also spoke on Tuesday of his outlook on life and soccer. "I think that you can't reach anything if you're not orderly. You must have a system and a goal. That's my way in life and soccer."
Gutman coached Betar Jerusalem in the 2000/01 season and guided Hapoel Beersheba to the State Cup in 1997 and Hapoel Haifa to the league title in 1999,
Yossi Abuksis, who coached Hapoel Tel Aviv with fitness coach Ron Tziblin after Guy Luzon resigned last week, will be Gutman's assistant and sat by the new coach at the press conference.
"I know Eli from his time at Betar. I know the way he works and I'm very flattered that as soon as he got the job he asked the management to offer me the assistant's position," Abuksis said.
Gutman said he isn't planning any immediate changes at the club. "I'm not going to speak about strengthening the squad because I still haven't met the players we've got," he stressed before taking his first training session at the club's Wolfson training ground.
"After I get to know them better I'll decide what to do."
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>