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Avram Grant - short-term appointment?


Butch

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Many of us, well if not all, feel that Avram Grant is not the man to lead Chelsea following the departure of Jose Mourinho. On a footballing level, he may be a decent manager, although he doesn't really have the credentials to impress us. With time, he may turn out to do a reasonable job, a la Claudio Ranieri. However, a few things conspire against his success.

For starters, he is inheriting a very disappointed and volatile dressing room. Most of the players are both disappointed and angry that Jose has been "allowed to leave". On top of that, Grant has been seen (it is rumored) to be part of the process/problem. I suspect players are not going to be entirely happy with him for that association. His lack of credentials (lack of top flight coaching badge counts against him as well) is not going to make his acceptance any easier. The bottom line is that he is going to have a hell of a fight on his hands to win over the dressing room. And win them over is what he is going to have to do in order to get them pulling in the same (and right) direction again. Without this, we are going to be very inconsistent at best and our play is going to depend on individual form rather than team strength.

I've gone on record as saying that we need a strong personality, preferably with good track record, to win over the dressing room right away. Allowing things to go on as they are is going to be detrimental. Relying on the professionalism of the players is going to be inadequate, at least in the short term. The players are human beings. The players will of course rebound, given the time. But I feel this frustration/disappointment/anger bubbling underneath could lead to a snowballing effect in the short-term that is un-needed and unwanted. So, the sort of it all is that the ideal solution would be to bring in a Capello or Lippi, strong managers with proven track records who are available right now. Of course, whether Roman Abramovich wants to do that is something entirely different.

Let's think about this for a moment. Avram Grant was brought in from Portsmouth and looks to be entirely an Abramovich signing. Obviously, there is something there Roman likes. I don't have any idea what, and speculation will only be unfair on him and possibly misconstrued. Chelsea have also been at pains to stress that Grant is a long-term appointment. These two things together make it difficult to fathom that he will be removed in the short-term. Where would he go from here? He's an Abramovich man. The logical move would be back to some "technical director" position, but how would that be viewed by people, including the players? It would also take some significant back-tracking from the management. Fire him? Really?

Although I desperately want a big name, big personality, successful manager to join us (as soon as possible), I'm finding it hard to believe this will be the case. So, who's mistaken?

Is it us for our belief that he doesn't have what it takes? Or is it Roman for believing he does have what it takes or that it is better to stick with Grant despite him not having what it takes so that we can have a better selection of managers in the off-season?

Who in their current jobs would be available in the summer that are better than what is available now (and I'm talking Lippi and Capello specifically)? You can forget about Fergie or Wenger, as if I needed to say that. Hiddink is the only one I can think of. Rijkaard? Van Basten? Really? This is why I don't understand why we're waiting, if that is what we're doing. If we are, it must be Hiddink; there cannot be any other explanation.

Back to the alternative though, if Abramovich fancied Grant enough to hire him, then I suspect he really does have faith that he can do something as manager of Chelsea. To be honest, I think he's over-estimating the former Israeli national team manager, and underestimating the unhappiness of the players. Either way, he's harboring some unrealistic expectations.

To a certain extent, I have to agree that he is going to be hampered by the quality of players he has inherited. We're all now expecting the team to play attacking, uninhibited football, as the lack of that was one of the supposed reasons Roman wanted Jose out. However, he doesn't really have much cutting edge, or speed, in his front line. We've always been more about power under Jose. We have some skillful footballers, such as Joe Cole and Florent Malouda, raw skill in Kalou and raw speed in Shawn but I'm wondering is this is going to give the right blend to do what Grant wants to do. Drogba's Drogba - the king of power football, a bit clumsy on the ball in most situations (flashes of skill of course). The supporting cast of Shevchenko and Pizarro don't have any pace, and I haven't seen much of control or powerful shot on them yet either. Makes you wonder what they are going to be able to pull out of their pockets to surprise defenders.

So I'm not seeing how Grant is going to be able to introduce much change to the way we play football with the current players he has at his disposal. Unleashing Joe and Florent may be possible changes, but you have to wonder if that is for the best. Still, we better hope it is.

I think we need Lampard back pronto. I'm not saying he is going to score goals for fun and transform us back into challengers. I do, however, believe his influence in the top half of the pitch will bring us some much needed direction. I believe he does for our attacks what JT does for our defense. He's the glue. Before we even talk about getting back into rhythm or form, I believe that has to come back first - a unity. I've said it before, we're playing desperation football. We can't be doing that. We need to get back to the basics. Players need to be disciplined. And I hope Grant is not preaching otherwise.

We're a team that has lost its way in more ways than one. I'm not getting the feeling the manager's doing an awful lot, or has the ability, to help us find it. But I don't think he's going anywhere soon and that is what is frustrating me greatly.

Cheers,

Butch

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Nice post butch,

I still don't understand Grant's previous role- I know he talked to the first team players about whether they were happy with the way they were playing, but was he also an advisor to roman?

If so I guess his advice would have been that the team is not built for attacking football and needs rebuilding, therefore the manager won't matter so much....

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Great post Butch.

I do have some points I wish to add though. After the stick Chelsea and Roman in particular has received over Mourinho and the fact troubles have been brewing for quite a while up to the incident, I don't think Roman is willing to bring in anyone with a big personality because of the risk of this happening again.

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Excellent post, Butch, and I think you?ve hit the nail on the head when you point out the significance of Roman?s estimation of Grant, which is either perceptive or na?ve. Only time will tell and it?s time the team, in terms of development, can ill afford to waste should Grant prove to be totally out of his depth. Sadly, I can?t help but think that maybe he is installed for the rest of the season with the specific aim of testing out the sanctity theory [of top club management] and should we spiral down the league, or out of the CL, in the pursuit of entertaining football, it will nevertheless have been a noble cause. Just when a decision is made to stop the bleeding of expectation and respect is anybodies guess, but I hope we come to our senses soon.

Then again, there will be those who think I?ve got things totally wrong - this is what we the fans should want to see happen and we are [potentially] changing from being the type of club that is successful at the highest level, both domestically and in Europe, into a club that is prepared, in the short term at least, to try to promote style over substance instead. The process by which this happens will be a painful one for the vast majority of fans, especially the new ones, but for others it will be less so because this transition is the exact reverse of what the older fans are used to. Whatever the reasons, under Ruud and Luca the style was there, but the high grade substance (the Premiership title and the European Cup) was out of reach. Now the judgement from On High is that those days were better than the final days under Jose and, even if it takes the rest of a transitional season under someone like Grant, we will benefit in the long run. In short, Roman pays his money and makes his choice ?let?s hope he knows what he is doing.

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Good lick Butch,

I just can't help feeling no matter how much the club say to the contrary the players will never accept Grant as a coach or tactician, in some ways by Christmas we could be back to pre-Hoddle days

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Qaz I am not sure I agree with you, I think we HAVE to have someone with a big personality. We don't want a Martin Jol type, we need someone with flair and spark and an ability to talk to the press and urge on the players and fans.

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Qaz I am not sure I agree with you, I think we HAVE to have someone with a big personality. We don't want a Martin Jol type, we need someone with flair and spark and an ability to talk to the press and urge on the players and fans.

i always wonder what sparky hughes could do with the players weve got...

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Qaz I am not sure I agree with you, I think we HAVE to have someone with a big personality. We don't want a Martin Jol type, we need someone with flair and spark and an ability to talk to the press and urge on the players and fans.

I didn't say we should go for a Martin Jol type and I didn't say we shouldn't go for someone with a big personality. I'd prefer we signed a real top manager with a big personality and someone who is going to demand full control of team affairs. Unfortunately after the troubles Abramovich had with Mourinho, I get this feeling he won't go for another big personality manager and we will be stuck with managers like Grant who won't rock the boat. The sad thing is the way we reacted over Mourinho's sacking rather than encouraging Roman to change his ways I beleive will only make him more determined to hire a "patsy" manager so that this situation doesn't happen again.

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Qaz I am not sure I agree with you, I think we HAVE to have someone with a big personality. We don't want a Martin Jol type, we need someone with flair and spark and an ability to talk to the press and urge on the players and fans.

i always wonder what sparky hughes could do with the players weve got...

Blimey Ess you must have been reading my mind.

I like the look of Hughsey as a manager. Anyone else think he would be worth a gamble - before Man Ure snap him up as Fergies long term replacement?

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personally, i feel that at this moment in time the club needs stability and by that i mean, Grant to stay in charge for the rest of the season and give Guus Hiddink, who i beleive will replace Grant the summer to rebuild the team.

having said that, Grant has won titles in european leagues, not the same as the premiership but he is a proven winner and winning is winning right ?

if he does well and gets chelsea into the title race and who knows ? this squad is still capable of winning the champions league so why not ? then he fully deserves to keep the job IMO all managers had to start somewhere and look at the faith man u n arse have in ferguson and wenger and look what it has done for them

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