Read a newspaper, watch a TV channel or talk to a random in a pub and you’ll hear the same talk about whether Avram Grant will stay on as Chelsea manager by the end of the season? Where did this speculation start? When the Blues lost the Carling Cup final to Tottenham in February? Has it been fuelled by some of the Israeli’s recent substitutions during a game, despite many of them helping to change the match?
It appears that ever since Grant decided to give some ill-advised monosyllabic responses to the press pack after his team had drawn 1-1 with Wigan (imagine if they had won that match!), the talk has been of Mourinho’s replacement not being able to handle the pressure of managing a big club. Ireland Online reports that captain John Terry is baffled by the rumours.
“Avram plays a massive part along with the players, Steve Clarke, Henk ten Cate, the fans and everyone at the club. It is a credit to ourselves and the way we have dealt with things this year because at times it has not been easy.
“I think he (Grant) deserves respect and rightly so. It is the first time in the club’s history we have got to a Champions League final – it has never been done by any manager or set of players before and he does deserve it.
“To get to where we are and still question the manager’s role at the club is unbelievable. But it is not just the manager, it is the players, and Henk and Clarkie, who have a big role to play behind the scenes. They keep players motivated. We have got such a big squad of players and they manage to keep those not playing motivated and that is a credit to them.”
Tabloid journalists aren’t dumb and it’s clear that many are changing their tune to cover previous comments about Grant being out of his depth as Chelsea manager. Readers also easily forget previous criticisms made by hypocritical reporters, who are bordering on racist with some of the things that they have said about Avram Grant. Sure enough, he may not be a smooth talker, a snappy dresser or have charisma in abundance. But he’s worked damn hard to get this Blues team on the verge of Premier League and Champions League success this season.