Eyal Berkovic, arguably Israeli football's most successful export to Britain, has strongly criticised Avram Grant, the new Chelsea manager, suggesting he "should be ashamed to walk the streets" and arguing he made Israelis more unpopular.
Berkovic, who played for five Premiership clubs, and Celtic, admitted Grant's appointment was a milestone for Israeli football and believed he would be successful, but added: "He will be always remembered as the man who pushed away Jose Mourinho."
Writing on ONE, an Israeli website, Berkovic said: "To be honest, if there are people who hate Israelis now they hate us more because of Avram. I think the way that Grant got his job was disgusting. As a human being I would be ashamed to walk on the streets after the things Avram has done. Avram undermined Chelsea's greatest manager. The one all Chelsea fans admired with craziness and probably the most charismatic man in the football world today. And don't tell me it is not Avram Grant who did it."
The former Southampton, West Ham, Manchester City, Blackburn and Portsmouth midfielder, whose 82-cap international career was ended by Grant while he was Israel coach, added: "Way to go, Grant. You made it. There is no need to be a great manager in order to become successful with a team like Chelsea.
"You have got money, good players and everything you want. All you have to be is a good psychologist and you are very good at it.
"I have the feeling Grant will be successful but there is one problem, though. He became hated in the United Kingdom and will be always remembered as the man who pushed away Jose Mourinho.
"As for Chelsea players I can understand their feelings and thoughts right now. This is far from being a professional act, and it's really hard to understand."