Following fresh revelations that fellow Israeli Tal Ben Haim expected nothing good to come out of compatriot Avram Grant’s tenure at Chelsea, it would seem that the dagger has sunk deeper and twisted further into the manager’s back. It would not be lost on many how ironic it is for his fellow countryman to criticize his abilities, coupled with the fact that Grant does own an impressive record at Stamford Bridge since his official appointment as the new manager replacing Portuguese Jose Mourinho. However, it has been his record and tactics in crucial games that have led to calls for him to resign or be sacked from his post, for managers are judged based on the number of trophies they win, not on their overall win and loss record.
The Israeli manager has cut a curious figure ever since his arrival at the fashionable London club. Without a doubt, filling Jose Mourinho’s huge shoes would be a difficult task for anyone, given the ex-Chelsea manager’s achievements in his short time at the helm. Winning two titles in three season would always present a hard act to follow for any manager coming in to replace him, and while Grant accepted the task, he also made promises to owner Roman Abramovich that he would introduce the attacking style of play that the Russian so desired. It was this same demand that Mourinho failed to deliver, and which ultimately put paid to his hopes of extending a love affair with Chelsea.
Instead, Grant has continued producing teams and on-field tactics that were a mirror image of his predecessor’s, churning out efficient and productive soccer teams that provided results at the expense of an open, expansive style of football that has been habitually played by the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. Along the way, he has assured Abramovich that the attacking football would arrive with time, as he reasoned that players that have been programmed to play in one style for so long would require some time to relearn the ropes. Unfortunately, time is running short for the Israeli manager, who has often been said to be a charismatic figure with his employers, but has often cut a dull figure on the sidelines and in press conferences.
Perhaps it is time for another change at Stamford Bridge, especially given the fact that the club will now likely not snatch the English Premier League title away from current holders Manchester United. It would also seem unlikely for them to be crowned European champions, given that they have to first overcome bogey team Liverpool in the upcoming semi final. Grant has always maintained that he will leave the job if his employers expressed their dissatisfaction with his results. That time might come sooner than expected.
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