Intuition pays off for Luis
In the end, Luis was the difference between Israel kissing goodbye its chances of making it to Euro 2012 and Israeli statisticians getting out their calculators to work out exactly what the national team now needs to do.
There are some things that one cannot take away from Luis Fernandez. His intuition, for example.
Sometimes his intuition tells him that Dani Bondar is the answer to all Israel's woes. Sometimes, it sends him in the direction of Rami Gershon or Maor Buzaglo. Yesterday, his intuition told him to bring Tal Ben Chaim on as a second-half substitute. So while an entire nation was asking itself whether the French coach had taken leave of his senses, Ben Chaim was on the pitch, playing his first game for the national team - and scoring the winning goal.
In the end, he was the difference between Israel kissing goodbye its chances of making it to Euro 2012 and Israeli statisticians getting out their calculators to work out exactly what the national team now needs to do.
Another of Fernandez's positive qualities is that he keeps insisting on bringing fresh blood into the national team roster. He is clearly not a big believer in the stamina of the average Israeli player and that explains his penchant for rotating his squad from game to game.
While other coaches are enslaved by the need to stick to a winning team, Fernandez believes in changing a team to keep on winning.
Most of the top soccer teams in the world change their lineup to suit the opponent. They adapt their arsenal to best counter the opposition's.
It's not done on a whim - although Fernandez has been guilty of that on occasion; it's called versatility. And even Israeli soccer (or, perhaps, especially Israeli soccer ) can benefit from it.