Grant gone as West Ham relegated

Israeli manager can’t survive dubious honor of leading two different clubs out of Premiership in consecutive years.

Avraham Grant 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Avraham Grant 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Avraham Grant’s time at West Ham United came to an end on Sunday night shortly after his team lost 3-2 at fellow struggler Wigan Athletic, becoming the first side to be relegated from the Premier League this season and ensuring that the Israeli manager will end a secondstraight campaign rock-bottom of the English standings.
Grant’s side endured a wretched season, picking up just seven wins in taking 33 points from 37 matches.
West Ham was condemned to the drop to the Championship (second division) despite taking an early two-goal lead on Sunday.
Two goals from Demba Ba had West Ham 2-0 up in the first 26 minutes, but Charles N’Zogbia started the comeback with a ferocious free kick 12 minutes after the restart.
Substitute Conor Sammon made it 2-2 on 68 minutes before N’Zogbia sent the Wigan fans into a frenzy when he won it at the death.
The other two relegation spots will be decided in the final games of the season next Sunday.
However, Grant, who finished in last place with Portsmouth last year, will not have the chance to bid farewell to the West Ham supporters when it hosts Sunderland next week after parting ways with club almost immediately after it was relegated.
“The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United,” an official club statement read.
“First-team coach Kevin Keen will take charge of the team for the final home match of the season against Sunderland on Sunday 22 May.”
Before the announcement of Grant’s departure was made, the Israeli spoke of how bad he felt for the club’s fans.
“It’s a very sad day for me personally and I’m sorry for the supporters who are amazing,” Grant said in his post-match television interview.
“I believed in this club even though I knew about the financial problems. I believed that we could do something good and stay in the league and I’m very sad we couldn’t do it. I still believe in the future of this club and I’m sorry we couldn’t do it for the fans.”
Ahead of Sunday’s match at Wigan, Grant claimed that West Ham is a better team than it was last season when it avoided relegation and that his side is paying the price for the improved play of the Premier League’s bottom clubs.
“Since January we have had a better squad here than last year,” Grant told News of The World. “We just haven’t taken points when we have been the better side.
“If you see the performances generally I cannot say we are a bad team but I am the last man who can ignore results. And you have to remember there is no Hull or Burnley and no teams that were under the threat of liquidation like Portsmouth, so the league is much stronger this time.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea gained a sliver of compensation for a trophy-less season by effectively securing the Premier League runners-up spot behind Manchester United despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle United on Sunday.
Inconsistent Arsenal lost 2-1 to Aston Villa and cannot now catch their fellow Londoners, although Arsene Wenger’s side could still be pipped for third and the final automatic Champions League place by FA Cup winner Manchester City.
Just one point separates second bottom Wigan (39 points), Blackpool (39), Birmingham City (39), who lost 2-0 at home to Fulham, Wolverhampton Wanderers (40) and Blackburn Rovers (40).
Liverpool missed the chance to secure fifth spot and a Europa League place at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur after a 2-0 home defeat to the London side which leapfrogged them into the European position.
Reuters contributed to this report