The youth team in the final of the European Championship
New life: The youth team has opened a new era in Israeli football
After the youth team woke us up from decades of mental stagnation, it was time to find a solution so that the players would not disappear.
In a good forced profession like coaching, Ofir Haim made us rub our eyes and earned points for holding an entire career
Saturday, 02 July 2022, 12:00
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Summary: The Israel - England youth team 3: 1 (Sports 1)
1. Ofir Haim, his wonderful players, footballers and also the fans did not want for a whole week to wake up from the dream.
A whole week that everyone here walked around with a strange and unfamiliar feeling.
It's inconceivable, it does not really happen to us, it never happens to us.
We escaped the metaphor of "David vs. Goliath" because that's how we're used to seeing our sports stories.
We connect successes to miracles or one-time heroic stories.
We have always seen in ourselves a cheeky little underdog who might have a miracle happen to him or some hero would rise up and save him.
Then we woke up from the dream.
It happened just as Tomer French deflected Liam Delap's kick, and the ball rolled towards Arun Ramsey.
Every football fan knows this second, the second from which there is nowhere to run.
The second where you complete the mandatory goal before the ball kisses the net.
Start preparing yourself for the sting that will come.
It's like waking up a minute before the alarm clock, looking at it and realizing there's no more time to sleep.
Sucks terribly, but only for a moment.
Because if a big day or an exciting event awaits you, the bass changes in a second with anticipation and enthusiasm.
We woke up from the dream of winning the Euro until the age of 19, but we also woke up from 52 years of Mexican stories.
We awoke from the legends of David and Goliath.
We woke up from "In a life not superior to the World Cup" we woke up from calling players aged 23-24 children.
We awoke from the stigma of "we are small and weak."
We awoke from the misconception that there is no talent here and we do not know how to work because facilities and money and professionals.
This team has awakened us from decades of mental stagnation to a new day.
For a new era.
She taught us that we are allowed to dream, that we must believe, that we can dare, that we can succeed.
We can look ahead and quietly say we have it and it will happen.
Sometime in the near future this will happen.
The hourglass turned over.
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The hourglass turned over.
Youth team players (Photo: Reuters)
2. A moment after the whistle, commentator Uri Ozen said a brilliant sentence: "We did not turn, but we won."
It was one of those rare moments where, pride and satisfaction outweigh the disappointment of the end result.
The show won.
There were moments in this game where you had to rub your eyes in front of the screen and remind yourself that you are watching an Israeli football game against England.
Zero fear, war also in exhaustion, ball movement, smart football, miraculous passing attacks, attacking the opponent after losing a ball, coordination, pressure, aggression.
Sometimes, at these ages in national football teams, patterns and style are identified that are reminiscent of the senior team of that country.
You go in with yourself for comparisons and try to guess who will get into whose shoes.
In Ofir Haim's team, the opposite happened.
Did you find yourself saying: "Is this the Israeli team? Real?"
When for decades all your success is a "miracle", the default is a disappointment.
When Andy Herzog lost it in the speech "It's not funny anymore", it actually did make us laugh because we knew exactly what he meant.
This is exactly what we were used to.
This youth team, the most enjoyable Israeli football team to watch that has been seen here for decades, spent everyone here a shaky week sweeping the country.
It's a bit reminiscent of buzz and growing enthusiasm during the Olympics.
An individual athlete, more or less familiar to the general public, is beginning to gain momentum and fascinate people who learned his name the day before on screen (and then on social media).
Usually, there is something terribly Israeli and annoying about riding this success segment, but not this time.
Israeli football has learned a lesson.
There is not and can not be a way back from what has happened in Slovakia in the last two weeks.
Enthusiasm reminiscent of the Olympics.
Gluch (Photo: Reuters)
3. What's next?
The pride is immense.
Yes, this is probably the biggest moment in the history of Israeli football thanks to the road and that it is supposed to reset us.
What does that mean?
It is forbidden to stay only at the stage of slogans and greetings.
Structural change must be summed up as quickly as possible without unnecessary discussions, bureaucracy or politics.
For years we have been talking about the transition from youth to adulthood, but that's where it ends - in talk.
Now is the time for action.
There is one obvious solution.
Give any club in the Premier League that wants and meets the strip criteria to open a real subsidiary team that can start in the third league (and later move up to the second league).
Allow in the bylaws transfer procedures of players from the first team to the second and eliminate the age exceptions in the youth league.
Yes, it is not fair to
certain teams in the lower leagues.
True, this will eliminate those who live systematically on borrowers from the big ones and do not know how to raise themselves.
But all these excuses are no longer interesting.
Ofir Haim's truly impressive group will go down in history.
What will happen to her going forward?
As in any youth team, superstars will come out of it, league players will come out of it and there will also be some who will disappear for one reason or another.
On July 1 every year we are asked where they are today, this achievement, let's say again, perhaps the greatest of Israeli football, will not be forgotten, but surely we must leverage now.
Everywhere in the world, the issue of young players is complex and depends on a lot of variables like the identity of the team and the specific situation in which it finds itself.
Some stars mature at 18 to break out, some break out later, some need a cooking process and questions.
You can't expect any big club (yes, even in Israel) to throw everything aside and change policies to engage young people.
For some young people, even those who are members of the current youth team, this requirement is unfair.
At the same time, at the association level there is an expectation as well as a demand to build a mechanism that will minimize the amount of talent that is missed and falls between the chairs.
These guys are craving minutes of play at a level that is above the youth league.
Give clubs the opportunity to continue to develop these young people.
Hey, if they've brought them this far, it's probably something they know to do right.
They must not fall between the chairs.
Youth national team players (Photo: Official website, Seb Day - UEFA via Sportsfile)
4. The attitude is likely to change.
There are players in the current team who can start in the squad in their teams and there are those who need time.
Either way, players of the second type will also be in demand in most league teams at least in loan deals.
The train left the station.
Young people will play, there is no question at all here.
The challenge is to turn what is now trendy into a fait accompli.
To move from "Hey, let's share young people, this is the talk today" to "Let's see our players who are now 12-13 years old who have a horizon to develop through the clubs".
The feeling that the future of football is rosy, as also expressed in the quotes of Oren Hasson, Ofir Haim and other footballers, did not just come about.
Is a combination of several things that stem from a change of attitude.
The young team was also successful because its players play regularly.
Israeli football understands the mathematics behind the Manor Solomon and Liel Abda deals.
We are a development league.
An 18-19-20 year old talent who plays in Israel can be worth a high amount and then, the chances of that amount increasing become lower.
There is something symbolic that this achievement comes in the days when Eran Zehavi and Nir Bitton return to the Premier League.
We are a development league.
Get out of here young people, come back here after a beautiful career to finish.
This is the ideal.
Zahavi and Bitton (Photo: Berni Ardov)
5. A football coach is a good forced profession, but Ofir Haim earned points here for having a career.
It is made from Mami Leumi materials.
Of one who takes the big brother on a walk.
He has managed to squeeze so much emotion out of an entire country and still maintain authenticity and modesty.
He also put together a cohesive, connected, trained and united team that does not see with the eyes - just like him.
In previous episodes, Ofir Haim ate quite a bit of shit in his coaching career when he came across the disgusting side of business.
If he comes back one day to team football, maybe it will happen again as it happens to everyone, but the point here is different.
We're here on a formula.
Both Ofir Haim and Alon Hazan are the perfect tapecast for ultimate national team coaches.
Modest, unmixed, ones who know how to bring spirit and make players believe.
They bring what you want to see from any Israeli team, regardless of age.
If we are in the segment of waking up from practicality, then let's release the clichés the team is a team and a league coach who deserves or does not deserve to get a team based on his results.
Let's release the search committees and judge by resume.
A team coach is a specific profession that suits very specific people.
If someone like Ofir Haim waits patiently, waits for the World Cup, maybe later jumps to the youngster, one day he will be able to get the senior team as well.
Israeli national teams
The youth team