The Friday Interview: Hoping for a quick return

Avraham Grant is patiently waiting for the chance to coach in England again.

grant 88 (photo credit: )
grant 88
(photo credit: )
The English Premier League season got under way last weekend with one notable absentee, at least in terms of Israelis. He may be no more than a footnote as far as the English are concerned, but Avraham Grant became one of the most famous Israelis in the world during his short stint as Chelsea manager last season. Eight tumultuous months at Stamford Bridge ended in tears as second place in both the league and the Champions League proved insufficient for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian-Jewish billionaire unceremoniously sacked Grant three days after he walked down the steps of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow drenched from the Russian rain and the tears of his captain John Terry following the Champions League final penalty loss to Manchester United. Grant currently remains unemployed, but in an interview with The Jerusalem Post in Beijing this week he claimed he has had many job offers and is only still out of work because he is holding out for a call from a Premier League club, a call which he believes will come some time this season. "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," Grant said. "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." Grant initially joined Chelsea as the Director of Football last July, but although he only worked in an official position at the Blues for less than a year, he revealed to the Post that he had a heavy influence over happenings at the club long before. "I lived and breathed Chelsea over the last four to five years and I also had to save the team in what was a very difficult situation," he said, raising questions of his impartiality while holding the position of technical director at Portsmouth FC in the 2006/07 season. Since he was sent packing by Chelsea, Grant has traveled the world, attending not only the Olympics, but practically every other premier sporting event. At Roland Garros he enjoyed the performances of tennis star Ana Ivanovic and in Los Angeles he traded experiences with the Laker's coach Phil Jackson during LA's NBA finals series against the Boston Celtics. Grant, of course, had no intention on missing out on soccer's European Championships, at which he also commentated for pocket money, and to cap it all off came to Beijing to experience the Olympics. "These are my first Olympics. I never had a chance to watch the Olympics first hand in the past because I was always working during this time of the year. I'm trying to make the most out of this situation," he said. Grant missed Chelsea's 4-0 thrashing of Portsmouth on Sunday, the club's first Premier League match under new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, as he decided instead to enjoy some of the Olympic athletics competitions. Despite what he and many others judged to have been an unfair sacking, Grant claims he bears no grudge. "Over my entire career I never spent any time being bitter or thinking about whether I was treated fairly. My parents taught me to always look forward," Grant concluded before checking his phone... perhaps hoping for a message from a Premier League club.