Maccabi Tel Aviv landed in Israel this morning (Friday) and returned with mixed feelings from the away game against the Slovak Spartak Trnava, in the third round of the Conference League qualifiers. The team was encouraged to keep a clean sheet at 0.0 and in fact passed the decision to the rematch on Thursday at Bloomfield. The superiority of the trophy holder was clear throughout most of the minutes of the game, but despite the relative improvement in the attacking game, the Yellows finished another game without finding the net and again the need for serious reinforcement for the attacking squad arises. The professional team continues to search for at least two new foreigners, in the position of central striker and front link. One of the things that stood out again last night is the lack of link players, who will know how to feed the strikers.
The team players reached a number of not bad valley situations at all, when the ball met the beam and crossbar of the Slovakian goalkeeper, but in the bottom line, these were another 90 minutes without a goal. Coach Patrick Van Leven had to make do without the injured Eduardo Guerrero, who is expected to return to training earlier this week, as well as without Jonathan Cohen, who was not allowed to train in the two training sessions that preceded the flight. Daniel Tennenbaum, who is increasing his training pace, and Eyal Golsa, who is in the process of undergoing his rehabilitation, after the operation on his knee, were also absent.
“We got to so many valley situations, so according to the state of affairs in the game, it should have ended 0: 5 for us,” the team said. “You can definitely see the trend of improvement, we’ll finish the work in Bloomfield,” the same sources said.
Who returned to the squad last night was captain Sharan Yeni, who only a week ago came out of 10 days of isolation and actually did only 3.4 training sessions with the team. Yeni opened last night alongside Dan Glazer in the back link and put up an absolutely good game. Another player who received compliments is the young goalkeeper Daniel Peretz, who again managed to keep a clean sheet, even if it was only a Slovak rival, who should not stand in the way of the Yellows on the way to the playoffs and from there to the houses in the Conference League. The team players will be given two days off over the weekend, and will return to practice on Sunday to start preparations for the rematch against Tarnava.
In parallel with the preparations for the rematch in Bloomfield, the club members will have to make decisions regarding the future of Jonathan Cohen. The star, who is strongly in the sights of Italian Pisa, was not allowed to train with his teammates during the past week and in the concluding training held prior to the flight to Slovakia, he was even asked not to attend the tactical meeting held in Kiryat Shalom. Contacts with the Italians have been renewed in recent days and the past decision has now passed directly into the hands of owner Mitch Goldher and his representative at the club, chairman Jack Angelidis. There are currently no agreements regarding the sale deal of the Israeli midfielder, after the heads of Pisa offered a monetary amount of 1.5 million euros, in addition to a league promotion grant of an additional 300,000 euros and 15 percent of future sales.
Regarding the procurement sector, in addition to the search for two foreigners, talks are continuing with the Bulgarian Ludogorets regarding the addition of Dan Bitton, but even here, at the moment the parties are not close to agreements.