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Grant's got alot to prove


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Following on from the is Grant good enough thread.....

Saw this article at the weekend:

http://notw.typepad.com/yourscorepremier/o...goal/index.html

JUST a fortnight ago, Avram Grant was on the brink of becoming a Chelsea ‘legend'.

But a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth saw him fall short of breaking Jose Mourinho's record of nine straight wins.

Then last week's goalless and soulless draw at home to Liverpool left Blues eight points behind leaders Arsenal.

And despite that fine run without several key players, I suspect Grant will fall short when it comes to the business end of the season.

For a start, that nine-game streak was deceptive. Just look at who they beat. OK winning both legs in the Carling Cup semi against Everton was impressive.

Apart from beating Spurs 2-0 at home, the other league wins in that run were over Fulham, Newcastle, Birmingham and Reading. Oh yeah, they put QPR and Wigan out of the FA Cup. All by the odd goal. Wow.

A myth has sprung up that Grant ushered in a brave new world at The Bridge, that Mourinho's pragmatic style has been replaced by thrilling, expansive football.

Rubbish. Against a Liverpool side in chaos, Chelsea didn't muster a single shot on target.

When things weren't going Blues' way, Grant was bereft of ideas, did not change the game with impact substitutions or with a tweak of his side's tactics — both Mourinho trademarks.

They might as well have had Russell Grant in charge

Apart from signing Nicolas Anelka, Grant inherited a strong squad, moulded by Mourinho.

Don't forget, in league games with Manchester United and Arsenal under Grant, Chelsea lost.

Olympiakos will surely be swept aside in the Champions League but I can't see Chelsea winning it. Spurs, too, are in the form to beat them at Wembley next week.

Trust me, the signs are there. And if it all comes on top for Grant, he doesn't look or act like a man who can take the heat.

Interesting few weeks ahead..............

Lets start by beating Spurs next week Avi!!!

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That has annoyed me slightly, it's nothing but negative and slightly twisted observations. How can you criticize Grant for the quality of the opposition? does he prepare the league fixtures?

Very little credit was given to the teams beaten and mockery for most of the teams we had beat.

it's a biased negative article.

AvingYa.gif

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Strange how the record nine game winning streak we set in 06 started with Wigan (remember Crespo's late winner, not exactly a convincing win) and ended with a 1-1 draw with Everton,

Still if people like to read this stuff I suppose when Journo's have got nothing much to report they will carry on dribbling it out.

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Another viewpoint icon_wink.gif

Alex: Abramovich taking back seat

by Laurent Picard, 18 February 2008

Chelsea stopper Alex has revealed that owner Roman Abramovich is allowing Avram Grant to concentrate on footballing matters, emphasising the confidence being placed in the Israeli coach.

Grant has surprised many pundits by smoothly steering the Stamford Bridge ship after Jose Mourinho's abrupt exit earlier in the season.

Mourinho complained about the pressure being placed on him by Abramovich, but Alex has suggested that the players are seeing much less of the wealthy Russian as the season wears on.

"It has been a strange phase," Alex told Globo Esporte when asked about the period after Mourinho's departure. "The team felt it.

"But, step-by-step, things have been sorted.

"The new tactician has a different style from Mourinho but he is a good coach.

"The team are playing well.

"[is Abramovich close to the team?] Not now. At the start of the season, he was present.

"When I started here, he was always there.

"But he is a very calm person that treats people well. We see less of him since Mourinho's departure. Now the results are better."

Alex admits that the Champions League is probably a more realistic option than the Premier League title this term.

"The [league] season is quite difficult for us," he added. "For that reason, we are more focused on the Champions League.

"Arsenal and Manchester United have not given us any chance, especially Arsenal.

"We didn't expect them to continue their good run.

"We are paying for our start to the season. We drew three times at home and you can't achieve such results when you have ambition to be champions against great teams such as Arsenal and Manchester United.

"That's why we are going to push on in the Champions League. We have the team to win it.

"The draw could have been worse. But Olympiacos qualified from a difficult group and are going to be competitive opponents."

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The record bit aside..........you can't help who you play of course.

I've gone back and highlighted the bits that have debated on here for the past week and bits that are as good as fact.

Obviously didn't highlight the 1st line icon_wink.gif

Now we're at the sharp-end of the season, we'll see how Avi get's on.

I want to see him and the club suceed, and as someone said in another thread, this is where he earns his corn.

Spurs is a must win!

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I personally found Alex's interview more revealing and interesting, especially the fact that Roman is no longer hanging around the place as he used to under Mourinho.

It's clear that now with someone who he considers a friend and a person he trusts to implement his wishes in charge he no longer has to physically be on hand and so suddenly the players don't see as much of him.

As for the first, it's another point of view and the fact is this is now the business end of the season where Grant has to prove that Roman was right to make the change in manager in order to gain greater success for his club.

That's the bottom line in all this, you change your manager and become less successful than before well you've f**ked up basically.

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I think the fact RA is'nt hanging around as much as he used to is probably more to do with the novelty wearing off slightly AND the new bird he is banging the brains out of.

But i agree sunday is a massive, massive game. Not only because its a cup final against spurs but because it could have a say in what we go on to achieve for the rest of the season.

We have to wait now untill the end of the season to judge AG on what he does from hear on in. We are well placed in all 4 competitions and have a squad almost at full strength.

It will be interesting to see who he plays and where, and how many trophies we go on to win, its then and only then that he can be really judged.

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I think the fact RA is'nt hanging around as much as he used to is probably more to do with the novelty wearing off slightly

i doubt that. he was at the ressies game last week to watch his di santos, which doesnt seem like a person losing interest to me.

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I doubt very much Roman is losing interest, I genuinely believe the reason he is not hanging around so much is that he now has his cronies in place (be they cronies who work well or not) from top to bottom in his club so he feels much happier - they are "his" people not Mourinho's people the trust is now there and so he doesn't feel the need to poke his nose in so much. He watched di Santos play a week or so ago with Grant so that does not sound like a guy bored with his toy quite yet.

Now is the real testing time for Grant as others have said, he has a fully fit squad to choose from and firm decisions have to be made as the games come thick and fast - Ballack or Lampard or both? Drogba or Anelka or both? And so on.

Winning the Carling Cup is a good base to start from for Grant and he must damn well know it - he sets his marker in the sand in that way not only with the fans generally and the media who are waiting for him to fail but also with the squad - it says "I can win you stuff just like Mourinho".

The big question of course is can he win us stuff? 300.gif

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Roman was also at Huddersfield game.

First reserves match, then the cup fixture against lower echelon opposition...Doesn't strike me as someone who is losing interest. When he starts showing up two-three times a season for some fancy CL fixtures, then we'll have to worry.

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Grant is doing well considering. People forget how BAD we were for 2/3rds of last season when we were the 1-0 kings...numbed my arse in the harding Lower let me tell ya.

Personally I wonder if there are too many egos in the SB dressing room?

I think you'll find we still are actually.

icon_wink.gif

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I never said RA was losing interest, just that the novelty was perhaps after a few years wearing off.

Of course he still goes to watch us play, that will never wear off hopefully. Like it wont for the rest of us. But he does'nt feel the need to hang around the dressing room or training ground anymore,why? Before he bought the club that was obviously something he was'nt allowed to do, or had done anywhere. Anybody can go watch a game a football but not many can go into the dressing room to celebrate with the players afterwards or turn up at training to see whats happening when ever they feel like it so when he bought the club he was obviously keen to do such things. Having been there and done that now perhaps the novelty like i said has worn off.

Or perhaps he has been persuaded to keep out incase his presence is disruptive who knows??

As for 8 points of the top of the league not being a good position well it all depends how you look at things. Obviously i'd much rather be 8 points clear but once we lost JM, and with all the players that have been out for various reasons if you'd have told me that come mid-february we'd be 8 points off the top, with the top 2 still to come to the bridge,play each other and play Liverfool. And that we'd have a fully fit squad for the run in then i'd have taken that.... would'nt you????

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he does'nt feel the need to hang around the dressing room or training ground anymore,why?

maybe hes realised that he was having a destabalising effect by going in to the dressing room, training ground etc. hes obviously a very intelligent and shrewd man, so he would know when and how to stand aside.

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Yeah thats what i said perhaps his presence is disruptive and AG has found a more tactful way of telling him than JM.

AG is apparently a bit of a brown nose where you could imagine JM thinking or even saying 'i wish he'd f*ck off'.

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Perhaps he has a stooge in control who does what he says, rather than a manager who thinks for himself, who he needs to keep an eye on.......just a thought.

Or Perhaps the training isn't as interesting under Grant 317.gif

back to the subject.......

After last nights performance our place in the next round is nowhere near guaranteed so he still has alot to prove in my eyes.

Even if we get 1-0 up at the bridge with 5 mins to go in the next leg....it'll be a nervey last 5 mins!!! That tie should have been sewn up last night!

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I never said RA was losing interest, just that the novelty was perhaps after a few years wearing off.

Of course he still goes to watch us play, that will never wear off hopefully. Like it wont for the rest of us. But he does'nt feel the need to hang around the dressing room or training ground anymore,why? Before he bought the club that was obviously something he was'nt allowed to do, or had done anywhere. Anybody can go watch a game a football but not many can go into the dressing room to celebrate with the players afterwards or turn up at training to see whats happening when ever they feel like it so when he bought the club he was obviously keen to do such things. Having been there and done that now perhaps the novelty like i said has worn off.

Or perhaps he has been persuaded to keep out incase his presence is disruptive who knows??

As for 8 points of the top of the league not being a good position well it all depends how you look at things. Obviously i'd much rather be 8 points clear but once we lost JM, and with all the players that have been out for various reasons if you'd have told me that come mid-february we'd be 8 points off the top, with the top 2 still to come to the bridge,play each other and play Liverfool. And that we'd have a fully fit squad for the run in then i'd have taken that.... would'nt you????

Summed up pretty much how I see it,

The nil nils have been a bit of a dissapointment (mainly the Pool one) but we played away to a team that is very consistant and who have had decent results so far in the CL and we went there with not conceding in mind, one eye on the CC final and with a lot of confidence we could put this to bed at home.

No need for all the bad feeling towards the manager to rear its head (IMO) we've played for draws before and its not an easy task to pick the players or the formation now we are at full strength, I cant even make up my mind who I would play and in what formation and I have no pressure to succeed.

We look good for the last eight and thats ok as we have time to find out the best first eleven before the next round.

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Guest Brian M

If the unthinkable happens in the final, Grant will be shown up big time, and the fans will be out for blood.

Like the pundit in the article above, I too have not seen anything 'managerial' from Grant beyond his picking the team and putting a sub on around the 60 minute mark. I've not seen anything - and I mean anything - to indicate he knows how to alter the course of a game by out thinking the other team's manager, and I really question his tactical awareness during the game. Where JM is the master of reading the game as it happens, I suspect Grant may be just be good at analysing where things went right or wrong, after the game is over. Something that is a handy skill to have, but not exactly going to win heavy weight clashes with Sir and Wenger.

And remember, Grant has no more 'injury crisis' to fall back on, should we crash and burn from here until May. He's got a full squad of very talented players to choose from. Let's just see if he knows how to use them.

But, as many articles on Grant have pointed out, the man is 'lucky' when it comes to the teams he manages. And against Sp*rs in the final of the League Cup, I'd take a lucky one nil win just fine, thanks!

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Another viewpoint icon_wink.gif

Alex: Abramovich taking back seat

by Laurent Picard, 18 February 2008

Chelsea stopper Alex has revealed that owner Roman Abramovich is allowing Avram Grant to concentrate on footballing matters, emphasising the confidence being placed in the Israeli coach.

Grant has surprised many pundits by smoothly steering the Stamford Bridge ship after Jose Mourinho's abrupt exit earlier in the season.

Mourinho complained about the pressure being placed on him by Abramovich, but Alex has suggested that the players are seeing much less of the wealthy Russian as the season wears on.

"It has been a strange phase," Alex told Globo Esporte when asked about the period after Mourinho's departure. "The team felt it.

"But, step-by-step, things have been sorted.

"The new tactician has a different style from Mourinho but he is a good coach.

"The team are playing well.

"[is Abramovich close to the team?] Not now. At the start of the season, he was present.

"When I started here, he was always there.

"But he is a very calm person that treats people well. We see less of him since Mourinho's departure. Now the results are better."

Alex admits that the Champions League is probably a more realistic option than the Premier League title this term.

"The [league] season is quite difficult for us," he added. "For that reason, we are more focused on the Champions League.

"Arsenal and Manchester United have not given us any chance, especially Arsenal.

"We didn't expect them to continue their good run.

"We are paying for our start to the season. We drew three times at home and you can't achieve such results when you have ambition to be champions against great teams such as Arsenal and Manchester United.

"That's why we are going to push on in the Champions League. We have the team to win it.

"The draw could have been worse. But Olympiacos qualified from a difficult group and are going to be competitive opponents."

Looks like the Chelsea PR machine has been working overdrive...........according to the press he attended 3 training sessions last week, was there during the bust up between Cate and JT and is all over the papers in training this week!

Still .........it's Romans toy so he can play with it when he wants icon_rolleyes.gif

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"We are paying for our start to the season. We drew three times at home and you can't achieve such results when you have ambition to be champions against great teams such as Arsenal and Manchester United.

Good player, but if he believes this he has rocks in his head.

The 4 results that have hurt us the most in the league were the 4-4 draw with Villa, 1-0 loss to Arsenal, 1-1 against Pompey and 0-0 against Liverpool. All under Grant. All at crucial times, when one of the other two teams ahead of us had slipped up.

I have no doubts that if Mourinho was still here we would never have let any of those results happen (possibly barring the 0-0 against Liverpool).

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