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Neil Lennon would welcome the chance to resume his managerial career in Israel

By October 8, 2021No Comments

Neil Lennon would “absolutely” consider resuming his managerial career in Israel.

The Northern Irishman resigned as Celtic boss in February with the Premiership title on the way to Old Firm rivals Rangers for the first time in a decade.

Lennon, who had two spells in the Hoops hot seat, managed Israeli players such as Rami Gershon, Beram Kayal, Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed at Parkhead and worked with goalkeeper Ofir Marciano when he was boss of Hibernian.

The 50-year-old former Bolton manager was speaking before Scotland’s crunch 2022 World Cup qualifier against Israel at Hampden Park on Saturday where Bitton and Marciano are likely to play for the visitors.

Asked by Motti Psheatski of Israeli television station Sport5 if he would consider working in Israel, Lennon said: “Yes, absolutely. For a start, Israel is a beautiful country.

“I have a  great affiliation with Israel, with the football because of the players I have worked with and people I have met, friends, colleagues, over the years.

“I have a good relationship with Dudu (Dahan) who is a big agent in Israel and he brought me lots of players.

“I have always kept an eye on the bigger clubs, like Maccabi, like Be’er Sheva, even Ashdod because we took Efe Ambrose (to Celtic) from there.

“So yes, it would definitely be something I would be interested in. I have always wanted to work abroad.”

Lennon revealed he had been interested in bringing Israel attackers Eran Zahavi and Munas Dabbur to Scotland.

The former Celtic captain said: “Zahavi was one, back in the day. I really liked him.

“He is a good goalscorer, he is an icon, talismanic player.

“I saw Celtic play Red Bull Salzburg and Dabbur played up front and I thought he was great that night.

“So I really liked Dabbur but for some reason he has not really kicked on but I still think he has good attributes.

“When he is hungry, he is a handful at any level.”

Lennon, currently doing punditry work, will be an interested onlooker on Saturday.

Scotland are in second place behind runaway group leaders Denmark but have a play-off spot in their own hands.

Ahead of the double-header at a sold-out Hampden Park against Israel and then the Faroe Islands away, the Scots are seven points behind the Danes, one ahead of Willi Ruttensteiner’s side and four ahead of Austria.

Lennon said: “Scotland might get anxious and nervy at home and that might be an opportunity for Israel to win the game.

“They have the players – Zahavi, Dabbur, (Manor) Solomon – to hurt Scotland.

“Scotland don’t score many goals but they are a difficult team to break down at times.

“So I think it is 50-50 for me.

“I know maybe the general impression in Israel is that Scotland are big favourites but there is not much between the teams.”

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