The Last Word: It's time for Roman to bring back Grant

The Israeli's impressive results at Chelsea were dismissed by Abramovich and the English media.

January 16, 2009 07:08
2 minute read.
The Last Word: It's time for Roman to bring back Grant

jeremy last 88. (photo credit: )

There can't be many Chelsea fans out there who don't love what Roman Abramovich has done for their club. When the Russian billionaire arrived on the scene the Blues were still an average London side with no real hopes of challenging for the English Premier League title and a massive debt. Abramovich transformed the club into one of the glamour teams of Europe, a soccer tour de force which, with the hope of coach Jose Mourinho, won the the Premier League twice in a row and battled with the best of them in Europe. In general, Abramovich was the perfect soccer club owner - pumping cash into it without getting very involved in team affairs. So why does Chelsea suddenly seem to be deep in a crisis of confidence? The answer is simple - Abramovich should never have sacked last season's coach Avraham Grant. In all his five and a half years at the club, Abramovich has made few mistakes. His one big error, however, was deciding that Grant was not good enough for Chelsea because he did not lead the team to a trophy last season. The acquisition of World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari last July appeared to be a genius move by Chelsea. After employing up and coming coach Jose Mourinho and turning him into a world star it seemed right to then put Scolari, an experienced man, in charge of the first team in Mourinho's stead. Now it has become clear that it was a poor decision as Chelsea under Scolari has become a shadow of its former self, even though the team is still third in the league. All the impressive results achieved by Grant at Chelsea - leading the team to within two points of the Premier League title, taking it within a missed penalty of winning the Champions League and reaching the Carling Cup final - were dismissed by Abramovich and the English media last summer because he didn't win anything. But the correct thing to do would have been to give Grant a fair go at building his own team after refining Mourinho's. Few analysts have considered that the former Israel national team coach took over at Chelsea with the club in disarray following Mourinho's decision to leave. Grant restored the confidence to the team and introduced a new level of flair. Reaching the Champions League final was believed to have been easy for Grant due to his high quality playing staff. But money doesn't win games and now Scolari's side has shown how easy it is to get it wrong. The Brazilian has taken a quality Chelsea team and reduced it to a group of players who don't compliment each other and often look like they don't understand what they should be doing on the field of play. Making the quarterfinals of the Champions League would be seen as impressive for the current crop at Stamford Bridge. Last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Manchester United underlined this point and now there is only one thing to do. Now is the time for Abramovich to swallow his pride and re-employ Grant. Sack Scolari and bring back the Israeli tactical genius. [email protected]

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