“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”
Henry V, Acy IV, Scene 3
Following what I heard was David Pleat’s habit – deciding, at the end of the season, which players should be classed as winners and which as losers – I look at the winners we’re left with (we’ve already shipped out the losers).
They aren’t numerous, though new signings are on the way. The winners from last season, who have survived to fight another campaign, are: Duani, Gabay, Khidrian (goalkeepers); Bentulila, Pachima (defence); Machluf, Haftzadi, Ben-Sa’adon, Abohazira, Messika, Galván, Yosipovich (midfield); Meir, Zaguri (wingers); Mizrahi, Nimba (forwards).
That’s 16 in total, of whom only 8 survive from the squad I inherited.
I don’t even think all sixteen of these are out-and-out winners. Pachima had a great chance to develop by getting game time in the play-offs for European places, but has shown little sign of development; Machluf and Abohazira didn’t feature in the play-offs because they don’t like big matches; and Yosipovich played poorly.
The radical in me wants to make a clean sweep by clearing out all the deadwood. But exiting those four would make a total of 13 divestments. The pragmatist tells me that’s too much disruption. There’s already a small knot in my stomach, born of the feeling that I might already have been too headstrong.