Perhaps Sherf will regret listening to his heart

Analysis: Sherf's loyalty to Maccabi will be tested as he embarks on the biggest challenge of his career.

tzvika sherf 88 (photo credit: )
tzvika sherf 88
(photo credit: )
Tzvika Sherf may well be kicking himself when he wakes up this morning and realizes that the last 24 hours were not a dream. "What have I done? What do I need this for?" he's probably telling himself as the fact that he's now the coach of the hopeless Maccabi Tel Aviv sinks in. Sherf's love and loyalty to Maccabi is boundless and will now be tested as he embarks on the biggest challenge of his career. The current Tel Aviv team is in complete disarray. The players' apathetic play has led to one humiliation after another and the team has lost three of its last four league games. The last time that happened was in 1992/93, which turned out to be the only season in the last 38 years that Maccabi failed to claim the league title. The Maccabi management may not like losses in European play, but it lives with them. However, a defeat in the league is considered completely unacceptable. The fear that the team might not be crowned Israeli champion at the end of this season is what caused the Tel Aviv management to push Katash out. Sherf has had plenty of experience rebuilding teams, most notably the national team. The 56-year-old rebuilt Israel after taking charge of the team in 2005 and guided the side to two impressive showings at the 2005 and 2007 European Championships. Matters, however, are far more complicated at Maccabi. The club's management has no intention of investing any more money in the team this season and Sherf will likely have to do with the current roster of players. The confidence level is at an all-time low and Sherf, who admitted on Tuesday that he's not sure what to do first, will need to start with renewing the players' belief in their own abilities. There's no doubt that Maccabi has more than enough talent to cruise to the Israeli championship and at least challenge for a Euroleague Final Four place. The first 18 games of the season, however, have proven that talent without heart is utterly useless. If Sherf can instill a new spirit into the team, Maccabi's season may still have a happy ending. But if he doesn't, the new coach will live to regret the day he listened to his heart rather than his brain.