Austria’s record team player warned of exuberant euphoria after the victories against Scotland and Albania: “We have to keep our feet on the ground”.
Beershewa – Andreas Herzog has silenced the criticism in Israel for the time being. As team boss of the Israeli national team, the Viennese is on the verge of advancement in the Nations League. The 2:0 against Albania on Sunday in Beer Sheva was the second victory in a row for the Israeli. After two defeats at the beginning of his term in office, already a little criticized, the tide has turned for Herzog.
“This is a great victory for us, which puts us in a good starting position,” said Austria’s record international. But he also knew about the current euphoria and therefore warned: “But we must keep our feet on the ground and remember that we are not the best in the world”. One must continue to work hard, if not harder, the 50-year-old noted.
A draw is enough for advancement
Three days after the 2:1 against Scotland in Haifa, Herzog was able to rejoice with his charges. Match winner was goalkeeper Ariel Harush with strong actions in the beginning phase. Harush also started the leading goal with a goal kick by Tomer Hemed (8th). Dia Seba (83.) fixed the victory, Salzburg striker Munas Dabbur was left without a goal. Israel’s draw on 20 November in Glasgow will now suffice to close the group on first place and thus secure a place in the second-class B League.
While Herzog was also sceptical at his performance at the beginning of August, he now received praise. “When Andi Herzog became team boss on 1 August, little would have thought that Israel would be ahead in the Nations League two and a half months later,” the daily Haaretz wrote. The newspaper Jedi’ot Acharonot reported that Herzog’s chances of fulfilling his contract for the initially fixed period until December 2019 had increased. The Israeli Federation (IFA) has an option to prolong Herzog’s contract up to and including qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Ariel Harush Honours
- Israel State CupWinner (1): 2008-09
- Toto CupWinner (1): 2009-10
“Already seen his handwriting”
Israel’s players described the breath of fresh air under Herzog as decisive for the upswing of the national team. “We have already seen his handwriting. We have changed something and it suits us,” said Beram Kayal. The midfielder, who works for Brighton in the English Premier League, also praised Willi Ruttensteiner, who has been IFA Sports Director since the end of June: “He brings change. We have suffered in recent years and we all wanted to see something new”. Goal scorer Hemed explained: “Herzog knows how to give us self-confidence”. Upon registering in Wink Bingo, players will receive a more than generous free bingo bonus.
It was also mentioned that the Austrian had taken up his post unbiasedly. “The fans from the street now feel more connected to the national team. At least we have a coach who selects the players professionally and not on the basis of friendship service,” Muhammed Abu Younes of Jedi’ot Acharonot was quoted as saying. The chairman of Bnei Sachnin, an Arab club playing in Israel’s league, remarked that Arabs would now be playing more as part of the team. In addition to Dabbur, Kayal and Captain Bibras Natcho are also Muslim.