If you were to put a handbook together about how to stay manager of Chelsea Football Club, #1 would probably be “Play Andriy Shevchenko no matter what the cost so Roman doesn’t fire your ass.”
But it is starting to look like the honeymoon at Stamford Bridge is over for Avram Grant. The Guardian is reporting that after Wednesday’s excellent victory over Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium, instead of joining in the celebrations in the changing rooms, perennial pain Andriy Schevchenko had a moan and a rant for not playing.
In yesterday’s game at Bolton yesterday, Grant could have brought Shevchenko back into the fold with Drogba suspended, and won some brownie points with Abramovich. Grant, either insane or very very determined to show everybody at the Bridge that he is boss (see: McClaren Drops Beckham), started with Salomon Kalou who went on to score Chelsea’s goal in a 1-0 win. And Shevchenko was snubbed still further when Pizarro was brought on for the injured Kalou at half-time, and when Shev did come on later he was told to slip in to Malouda’s left sided position and help ‘defend’.
Grant, obviously keen to shed his Mr Bean image was reveling in this new found power this weekend. He wants to show everybody at Chelsea who wears the trousers, and that he isn’t just Abramovich’s puppet – a newly toughened Grant said:
“They pay me to be in charge; I have to be in charge and make the decisions. When I got this job nobody said I had to pick the friends of Peter Kenyon or anyone else at the club. Every player has good times and bad times and I’m sure Sheva will be a great player for us. But I need to make decisions for the good of Chelsea.”
Good on Grant for sticking to his guns and proving he is nobody’s yes-man, it reminds us of Jose Mourinho and he… well, he got sacked. So…