English Soccer: Grant back at the center of attention after Scolari, Adams sacked

Grant mentioned as leading candidate for two separate managerial positions in the Premiership after Chelsea fired Scolari and Portsmouth sacked Adams.

avram grant 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
avram grant 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Avraham Grant has being linked with a sensational return to Chelsea after the Blues fired manager Luiz Felipe Scolari on Monday. The former Israel coach has been out of work since Chelsea sacked him just three days after losing the Champions League final to Manchester United in a penalty shootout last May. However, according to Sky Sports News, Chelsea has already compiled a shortlist to replace Scolari, a list topped by Dutch manager Guus Hiddink and Grant. Earlier in the day, Grant was installed as the bookmakers favorite to replace Tony Adams as Portsmouth manager after the former England captain was fired by the Premier League club following four months in charge. Grant, who was a technical director at Portsmouth during the 2006/07 season and is a close friend of club owner Sacha Gaydamak, told The Jerusalem Post earlier this season that he has had many offers since leaving Chelsea and is only still out of work because he is waiting for a call from a Premier League club. "Over the years you become more and more picky. I now try to avoid European clubs which in the past I would have run too had I received an offer," said Grant, who was confident he would eventually receive an offer from a Premier League club. "I believe there will be developments this season. I hope it happens this year, but I don't plan these sorts of things in my life." Former Brazil coach Scolari, who took over from Grant, was dismissed, effective immediately, after just seven months in charge at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is fourth in the Premier League, seven points behind Manchester United, after Saturday's 0-0 draw with Hull. The Blues have dropped 16 points at home this season. "Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon," the statement said. "Unfortunately, the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season. "In order to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for we felt the only option was to make the change now." Assistant Ray Wilkins will take charge of the team on an interim basis. Chelsea said it has already started a search for a new manager and hopes to announce a permanent appointment "as soon as possible." Scolari, who guided Brazil to the World Cup title in 2002, came to Chelsea after six years as coach of Portugal. Chelsea won the league title in 2005 and 2006 under Jose Mourinho, who left in the middle of last season after falling out with Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich. Mourinho is now at Inter Milan. The pressure had been mounting on Scolari before the Blues were held at home by Hull on Saturday. During that game, some fans chanted "You don't know what you're doing" when Scolari made substitutions, and the team was booed off the field at the end. Chelsea made a strong start to the season under Scolari, winning 10 of its first 13 league games. But the team lost its proud 41⁄2-year unbeaten home league record of 86 games when it was defeated 1-0 by Liverpool. Home losses followed to Arsenal and the Blues also dropped points to Newcastle, West Ham, Everton and Fulham. Chelsea also lost 3-0 at Manchester United and 2-0 at Liverpool as well as being knocked out of the League Cup by second-tier Burnley. In related news, from Grant's perspective at least, Tony Adams on Monday became the latest England captain to flop as a topflight club manager when Portsmouth sacked him. The 42-year-old former Arsenal defender, who took over after Harry Redknapp moved to Tottenham, follows in the long line of England stars who failed to succeed as managers. Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and, more recently, Blackburn's Paul Ince were among those who struggled as managers. "It's not turned me off management, I just have to make sure I get all the parameters sorted out before I walk into the next one," Adams said. "I've have seven years now in my coaching and management positions and it's all learning. "In an ideal world I would go in at the beginning of the season - you get your group of players, you get a fair budget for the league and realistic expectations. It has certainly not been my case."