Like many of you I didn’t get to see last night’s 0-0 draw against Mauritania but I think it is safe to say that much like our game against Sudan we failed to boss the game. A lot of this has to do with the fact that we haven’t had a decent pairing in midfield for nearly three years now. The retirement of Pablo Abdala and the continued puzzling shunning of Edgardo Abdala and Roberto Kettlun have hurt our team. With the Chilean connection we could shut down bigger teams in midfield and exert our will against smaller ones. Make no mistake, with the likes of those three in our line-up there is no way we leave Nouakchott with anything less than a win.
Which bring me to my main point, I don’t want to argue for the return of players. Mousa Bezaz surely knows about both players and has decided for whatever reason (age for Edgardo since he’s 32 and form for Peto who was playing semi-pro football for Teramo and is now without a club) to leave them out of his plans.
What Bezaz and the FA have done and what I applaud is the inclusion of Israeli-Arabs in the squad. This should be part of our selection policy, we have for too long ignored talented players on the other side of the green line. Due to the political climate that has seen Arab MKs lose their immunity status it probably would be too much of a risk for players to switch allegiances if they have already represented Israel. That said, there are many players that play for Premier League clubs in Israel that we could call up. Curiously enough, all the Arab-Israelis we have called up have played in the lower leagues:
Atef Abu Bilal (Bnei Eilat/3rd Tier), Haitham Dheeb (Ex-Hapoel Bnei Tamra/3rd Tier/Currently with Hilal Al-Quds), Mohammed Jamal (Hapoel Umm AlFahm/3rd Tier), Ahmed Harbi (ex-Hapoel Umm AlFahm/Currently with Al-Am’ari), and Hatem Karim (ex Bnei Lod/2nd Tier/Currently with Hilal Al-Quds)
A little research courtesy of Google and Wikipedia came up with these players who are young and mostly midfielders. I’m not saying that each one of them would accept or that it would be easy to get these players to play for us. But it is worth a shot, the fact that many of them play for an Arab club (Bnei Sakhnin) could help facilitate the matter.
Marwan Kabha (AM-19-Peta Tikvah), Hassan Abu Zaid (M-19-Bnei Yehuda), George Imses (M-19-Bnei Yehuda), Alla Abu Saleh (RB-23-Bnei Sakhnin), Mahmud Kannadil (GK-22-Bnei Sakhnin), Mahran Abu Riya (CB-27-Bnei Sakhnin), Khaled Khaliala (RM-27-Bnei Sakhnin), Siraj Nassar (M-20-Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Hisham Kiwan (AM-23-Hapoel Haifa), Ahmad Diab (FW-25-Hapoel Haifa) Amir Abu Nil (FW-21-Hapoel Haifa)