Pinat Hemed: Hapoel Beer Sheva's bet on the return of Tomer Hemed
Alona Barkat was forced to respond to the sharp movements in the market and once again took a chance on the return of a senior legionnaire, the striker arrives after a difficult year on and off the pitch ("The Australian media saw his behavior as insensitive").
After 11 years overseas, will he be able to meet the expectations?
Monday, 04 July 2022, 14:00
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Ticket: Today's summary clip, 4.7 (Sports 1)
On June 24, 2013, late in the evening, Hapoel Beer Sheva announced the move that changed the face of the club.
Aliniv Barda returned home.
The door, as has often been written, opened.
Hapoel Beer Sheva has become a peripheral team that mediocre players ask for extra money to reach a top team in Israeli football.
In almost every season since, Be'er Sheva has made sure to sign a returning high-profile legionnaire: Maor Bouzaglo, Maor Melikson, Shlomi Arbeitman, Muhammad Gadir, Ben Shehar, Marwan Kabha, Ariel Harush, Hatem Alhamid and Dor Micha.
Tomer Hemed surprisingly joined this list yesterday (Sunday).
Nine years after Barda and Buzaglo, eight after Melixon and Shehar, Alona Barkat has achieved something she has been a bit lacking in recent years: "signing a headline."
An impressive name that creates buzz, arouses audiences, increases interest, causes discussions.
It's a very crazy transfer window, one of the craziest that has been here.
All the teams move fast and at a dizzying pace.
Maccabi Tel Aviv list with Ivica, Zehavi and Bitton, Maccabi Haifa refreshed with foreigners with big money.
Be'er Sheva has shown with Hemed that it does not want to be left behind - not even at the level of expectations.
Any player who returns after a few years has the potential to shuffle the cards.
Tomer Hemed (Photo: Official website, courtesy of Hapoel Beer Sheva)
Returning legionnaires are always a sought-after resource.
The logic is clear.
In a league with foreign restrictions, it is of immense importance to maximize the contribution you receive from your Israelis.
Because the options on the market are limited, any player who returns after a few years has the potential to shuffle the cards.
When you look at the leading Israeli pioneers last year, the picture becomes even clearer.
There are four Israeli pioneers who scored a double-digit number of goals last year.
Shabiru was loaned from Be'er Sheva and the summer was sold.
Rokavica Beer Sheva decided to give up, leaving us with Dean David, the hot cucumber of the summer of 2021, and Alon Turgeman.
In other words, Hemed is an addition to power, as they said in Be'er Sheva yesterday: "We have not had a striker in Hemed's style so far and that is what pushed the deal."
As for Rokavica, they explained in Be'er Sheva, there was a problem of connection between him and the audience.
Quite a few red fans felt that Be'er Sheva was the default for Rokavica and that at some point at the end of last season, his head was already busy going back to Maccabi Haifa.
Not everyone knew how to eat the Hemed deal, but as far as Beer Sheva is concerned, there is a double rationale here - a player with strengths that are not on the staff and in the local market and a reaction to what is happening with the rivalry.
Barkat is not ready to open a professional gap that cannot be closed.
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The problem was connecting with the audience.
Nikita Rokavitsia (Photo: Liron Moldovan)
Hemed must have entered the list of senior legionnaires in the history of Israeli football.
He will maintain an impressive career overseas, despite a late rash, a not-so-simple injury and complex team situations he has fallen into.
He "survived" league relegations, questions and did not succumb to repeated temptations to return here with big money.
Even when the track in England came to an end, he preferred the adventurous option and opted for the Australian League.
what happened there?
Dry numbers, 17 league goals in 41 appearances for Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers.
In practice, these were two completely different seasons.
"In my opinion, we only got a glimpse of the real Tomer Hemed," concludes Sha Nan, an Australian football journalist.
"Like looking at a painting that hasn't been completed yet. His time at Wellington Phoenix was like a rock sliding down the hill. He started very slowly, it took him four months to score a goal, but once he gained momentum, he was deadly and it was hard to stop him.
"Overall, I think he exceeded expectations at Wellington Phoenix and failed to live up to them at the Western Sydney Wonders. In a few years, they will remember the Wallachon era as a player who came under difficult circumstances when the club played a full year out of his country, and played great. Western Sydney had a lot of problems. "On and off the pitch. They brought in big names and most of them collapsed under pressure. There were problems between the players and the coach so they changed coaches. It also affected Tomer. If in Wellington he managed to get out of the slow opening, this time he failed to rise."
Not everyone viewed Israeli patriotism favorably.
Tomer Hemed in Australia (Photo: GettyImages, Mark Kolbe)
Hemed has had a difficult year.
"He had a hard time taking advantage of situations," Sha Nan continues.
"More than once his first touch of the ball disappointed him or he made the wrong decisions under pressure. He looks like a player suffering from insecurity and to his credit it should be said, that the whole team looked like that."
And there was another point.
Hemed is active in the networks.
Many in pro-Israel posts and was not ashamed to celebrate gates with a dome on his head or wrapped in the state flag.
This is of course legitimate and even welcome, but in Australia, and in Sydney in particular, some argue that not everyone viewed the issue favorably.
"During the clashes between Israel and the Palestinians this year, he snatched quite a bit from the media, which saw his behavior as insensitive," Shaanan concludes.
Hemed chose the Israeli option to continue his travels.
He of course returns in a different class.
He left as Blight to say he gave a phenomenal half-season to a European career that made everyone think about how we are neglecting our local talents.
He is back after a wonderful career just in the summer when all the tokens fall.
Young people must play and if they are good enough also go out at a young age, but the other side of the coin is where there will be a return.
Israeli football should embrace returning legionaries like Hemed and not drown them under illogical expectations and make them regret the moment they chose to end their careers here.
If you try to get out of position and look at the good of the league or Israeli football as a whole, there is one complete and clear goal here.
Talents that come out as early as possible, alongside stars who return and are received with respect.
The young Israeli fan deserves to see Zehavi, Hemed and Kiel play here, just as we all want one day to see Solomon and Avda come back.
This is the right order.
It is a circle that maintains attractiveness and interest.
On the other hand there is a given and problematic situation.
Criticism or not, Hemed lives a quiet life in Australia.
He returned to a league that would require numbers from him and would like to see Hemed of 2011 at Maccabi Haifa, Hemed who shone campaign after campaign in the national team, Hemed who brings strength and becomes one of the top pioneers in the league even at 35. This is the challenge every senior legionnaire faced.
A fear that caused some of them to hesitate before making a decision.
If Hemed gets caught up in a slow opening like in recent years, will there be patience?
His return caused the market to move.
Eran Zehavi (Photo: official website, the official website of Maccabi Tel Aviv)
A lot of interesting things are happening in this window.
Almost all groups move much faster and do not wait, as every year, for the reality of August.
We will reach the market for emitted players (local and foreign), but until then, the pace is dizzying and not only for the big ones - also for Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Hapoel Haifa, Bnei Sakhnin, Kiryat Shmona and even Bnei Reina.
Among other things, gold also caused market shifts.
His return influenced the rivalry for the championship fight to aim higher and did its part in the players' own segment as well.
There is no new phenomenon here, but when it is golden everything intensifies.
Zehavi's return is of the kind that make the market "move".
Suddenly players realize that if Zahavi is back, it might not be so bad to be back.
One can only guess that the next in line will be Lior Rapalov, Beavers Natcho and at one point or another also Eli Desa and Monas Dabour.
Returning Legionnaires is a good business for the big ones, especially when they are free.
Jordi Cruyff realized that it is better to pay a high salary to a returning legionnaire than to pay excessive transfer fees within the league (and also a high salary).
Barkat also built the Be'er Sheva dynasty on this model.
This summer with Zehavi, Bitton and now Hemed, when we are a month and a half before the start of the season, promises interest.
One big stamp after another creates expectation, builds tension.
Along with the madness of the youth team that is still holding us, there is a feeling that we are heading towards something promising and mostly interesting.
It's good for Maccabi Tel Aviv, it's good for Maccabi Haifa, it's good for Beer Sheva, it's good for all of us.
Hapoel Beer Sheva