A moderate defeat, November 2010

I have coined the term ‘moderate defeat’ and used it for years in Hebrew, in order to impress upon my readers and viewers that a draw in football is a miserable result.

Conservative coaches (the majority) refused to grasp the fact that a draw in the three points system for victories, is far from being a worthy achievement.

The opposing sides do not ‘share’ the points, as the football reporters tend to write, but actually lose two points each. To be quite truthful, Avram Grant had been one of my perpetual targets, as I considered his style, spiritual leadership and psychological make-up were responsible for his very cagey and circumspect conduct.

After the last two games, against the Midlands clubs Wolves and WBA, there is no reason for me to change my mind about our manager. He is clever, has a fine knowledge of the game and he is less defensive-minded than ever before. Yet, he exudes an air of excessive caution, accompanied at time by sheer defeatism.

As the coach of the Israeli national team he had become universally known as a draw expert. This ensured one point as a reward for our side's robust fighting spirit, but deprived us from our chance of qualifying for the World Cup tournament.

Unfortunately, history repeats itself all over again. Grant's players do their best, but something, almost too subtle to point out, emerges whenever we lead in a given match. When a tragedy reoccurs in tedious regularity, it becomes a farce especially when the people in charge of the team seem to do absolutely nothing about it.

During the recent ordeals I actually prayed for Avram's success, which would have meant three points for us. I am not sure that his management is good for us, and can only hope for a more adventurous tactics even when we happen to have a narrow lead over our rivals.

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