Soccer / Ton Caanen Named Coach at Maccabi Tel Aviv

Just 10 days after Ton Caanen was sacked as Betar Jerusalem coach, Maccabi Tel Aviv appointed the Dutchman as its new coach yesterday.

Just 10 days after Ton Caanen was sacked as Betar Jerusalem coach, Maccabi Tel Aviv appointed the Dutchman as its new coach yesterday.

Caanen replaces Nir Klinger, who quit earlier this month after several poor performances that culminated with a loss to Betar with Caanen at the helm.

Maccabi is in fifth place in the Premier League with 20 points in 14 matches, 20 behind runaway leader Maccabi Haifa.

Caanen led Betar Jerusalem to third place in the league, taking 10 of a possible 15 points in his five games with the squad.

The Dutchman signed a contract for the remainder of the current season with an option for an additional season.

"We met with Ton Caanen, and he will be Maccabi Tel Aviv's coach until the end of the season," said Maccabi Vice President Eli Dricks, who has been serving as the team's interim coach since Klinger's departure. "We believe he can lead the team forward."

The move surprised many, since Maccabi was expected to appoint youth team coach Benny Tabak as Klinger's replacement.

"Maccabi Tel Aviv is a big challenge for me," Caanen said. "The team has excellent players and great fans. I'm very happy and proud to have been given this chance, and I believe that we can succeed together."

The Caanen diaries: From Betar adviser to Maccabi TA coach 19.10 - Caanen arrives in Israel as an adviser to Betar Jerusalem's new owner Arcadi Gaydamak

24.10 - Caanen bursts into the dressing room at halftime against Hapoel Tel Aviv shouting: "You are like a bunch of old ladies."

30.10 - Caanen is promoted to coach.

11.11 - With rumors that a senior coach is about to arrive at Betar, Caanen, with Gaydamak's approval, calls a press conference at which he says he has received the owner's word that he will coach the team until the end of the season.

12.11 - In his first game at the helm, Caanen leads Betar to a 3-2 win at Ashdod.

16.11 - Luis Fernandez lands at Betar, and says at a press conference: "I haven't come to take anybody's job." Caanen responds: "I and [assistant coach] Guy Azuri are the ones to decide the team. Fernandez can only make recommendations." Caanen is on borrowed time.

17.11 - Gaydamak issues a warning to Caanen. and a day later declares: "He has to know that I am the owner of this club."

4.12 - RC Lens captain Jerome Leroy agrees on terms with Fernandez for a move to Betar. Caanen is not informed.

9.12 - Fitness coach Tiberius Darau clashes with Caanen during training and shouts at the Dutchman, in front of team players: "You are a nobody. It's impossible working with people like you."

10.12 - After a 1-1 draw against Maccabi Netanya, Betar calls a press conference to present Leroy. Caanen is not invited. Gaydamak tells Haaretz: "I don't fire people, but Caanen should understand on his own."

12.12 - At a meeting with club chairman Vladimir Shklar and Fernandez, Caanen is told he is longer head coach. Shklar says he can stay on. Fernandez suggests he can be a scout.

15.12 - Caanen call a press conference to announce he is leaving Betar Jerusalem.

20.12 - Caanen is appointed coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv.