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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
Berkovic would relish Israel job
Eyal Berkovic
Berkovic in his Pompey playing days
Eyal Berkovic has urged Israel coach Avraham Grant to quit and has put himself forward as a replacement.

"I am prepared to retire from playing and coach the national team," said the 35-year-old playmaker. "If they ask me, I will do it - it is an honour.

"Maybe it's time to bring in new blood, people who understand today's players, their psyche."

Berkovic, who has won 82 caps, spent nine years playing in Britain and is currently with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

But he did not figure in Israel's World Cup qualifying campaign under Grant and says the coach was wrong to portray Israel's efforts in Group Four against France, Switzerland, Ireland, Cyprus and the Faroe Islands as a success because they did not qualify for the 2005 finals.

"I think it was respectable, but we are no longer interested in being respectable," added the ex-Portsmouth player.

"Avraham said we have never had such successes but did he win many matches? Should we be proud of home draws?

BERKOVIC'S BRITISH CLUBS
Southampton, West Ham United, Celtic, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City & Portsmouth

"I have a different approach. We have great attacking players. I would want to win, I do not think a draw is a good result.

"People say 'a draw, what pride', what are they talking about? What pride can there be in a draw?

"It's nothing personal against Avraham. I respect him. He made a mistake and he should admit it and leave."

Grant has refused to criticise Israel's Football Association for its delay in either re-appointing him or sacking him.

But he is adamant his second spell in charge has been a success.

"Group winners France scored less goals than we did but took their chances. We have built up a group of strikers who I am sure will make their mark in the next campaign," said Grant.




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