Betar interviews Ossie Ardiles

Former Tottenham Hotspur star flew into Israel over the weekend for talks with Arkadi Gaydamak.

ossie ardiles 88 (photo credit: )
ossie ardiles 88
(photo credit: )
Former Tottenham Hotspur star Ossie Ardiles flew into Israel over the weekend for talks with Betar Jerusalem owner Arkadi Gaydamak over the vacant head coach job at the club. The Argentinian, who was one of the first foreigners to play in English soccer, arrived in Tel Aviv on Friday. He was met at the airport by Betar chairman Vladimir Shklar and was interviewed by Gaydamak on Friday evening. Speculation has been rife over who will take over at Betar since last month when Frenchman Luis Fernandez announced he would not be coaching the Jerusalem team next season. Shklar told The Jerusalem Post that although Ardiles "made a good impression," former Israel national team coach Avraham Grant is still in the running. "We had a good meeting with Ardiles, but we are still deciding and will announce a decision in the next few days," Shaklar said. Ardiles, 54, remained positive as he left the country on Saturday. Speaking at Ben-Gurion Airport, he said he was "very, very impressed" by what he had seen and was hoping to become the next Betar coach. "We had a very good meeting yesterday with the chairman and the general manager," Ardiles told Telesport. "We discussed a lot of things. We are very close to coming to an agreement and now we have to wait a few days." The former Tottenham, West Brom and Swindon Town manager said he had been shown videos of Betar playing and that everything is "very, very positive." "I have been very impressed with the people I have been talking to. The chairman is a very, very impressive guy. He wants to put Betar Jerusalem at the very, very top...," he said. Ardiles had much success as a player, both for his country and at club level. His greatest moment came in the 1978 World Cup, which Argentina won on home soil. However, his managerial career has been less impressive. In 1993, he was appointed manager of Spurs, where he employed his attacking diamond formation. But the experiment failed and Tottenham finished in an embarrassing 15th place in the Premiership and he was sacked a few months into the following season. Since then, Ardiles has coached at Racing Club in Argentina, Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and from 2003-05 at Tokyo Verdy in Japan's J-League, where he won the Emperor's Cup but was fired after a poor run of form.