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Sunday, July 29, 2007

QPR's Ben Sahar in Israeli Press - "I was ready to go to Charlton and fight for a spot...but Chelsea preferred that I move to Rangers and play"

Haaretz - Nothing comes easily By Shaul Adar

LONDON - Ben Sahar sounded pleased yesterday after coming in as a 56th-minute substitute for his new club, Queens Park Rangers, during a 1-0 victory over Wycombe in a training match yesterday.

"I felt like I played well and it was fun to play," he said. "Everybody at the club received me very well. The transfer from Chelsea was completely smooth and the goal is to play as much as possible."

That is also the goal for the small west London club during Sahar's short loan period: playing as much as possible, picking up experience, confidence and goals. Chelsea's management and Sahar's family decided at the beginning that the player would stay in London, but it was a surprise that they chose QPR over Charlton. The club from southeast London, which was relegated to the second division this past season, is held in higher regard than QPR in every aspect and is favored to return to the Premier League.

Alan Pardew, the head coach at Charlton, is thought of as one of the best coaches in England, his budget for players is reasonable after selling Darren Bent to Tottenham for 16.5 million pounds and the squad, which consists of international and former international players, does not have the look of a second-division team. On the other hand, QPR takes out loans to open the season, is about to lose its home ground and most of its fans will make do with not being relegated any further.

"I was ready to go to Charlton and fight for a spot in the starting lineup, but Chelsea preferred that I move to Rangers and play," says Sahar.

There are two ways of looking at this. Either Chelsea feared that the young striker would not be chosen for the first team at Charlton, or as an encouraging sign ahead of January, when Chelsea will be missing a number of players who will be involved with the African Cup of Nations. Mourinho is likely to include Sahar in the senior team starting lineup and he wants the forward to play as much as possible.

Up until now, Sahar, who was able to introduce himself to the glow of Stamford Bridge via the warm and cozy confines of Chelsea's reserve squad, is set to meet English soccer head on. The difference between a match against Wigan or Manchester United at Stamford Bridge and a nighttime encounter in the middle of the winter against a raucous crowd at Barnsley or Cardiff can be measured in light years. Haaretz

JERUSALEM POST - Ben Sahar makes debut for QPR
Ben Sahar made his debut for Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon after joining the League Championship side for an initial three-month loan deal on Thursday night.
The 17-year-old Israel international, who will officially join from Chelsea on August 1, played 34 minutes in the second half of QPR's 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
.....Sahar, who joined the Chelsea youth academy from Hapoel Tel Aviv in May 2006 in a deal worth a reported $600,000, will wear the No. 17 shirt and is sure his time in the Championship will help him further his career.
"The style of football here is much more aggressive and you need to be stronger," he acknowledged. "The Championship is very tough, so it can only improve me as a player. That is why I am very happy to be here. I can't wait to wear the QPR shirt." Jerusalem Post

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