Since taking over for Jose Mourinho in 2007, Avram Grant has been a pleasant surprise. In 28 matches played, Chelsea have won 21 matches and only lost two. They have achieved a place in the Carling Cup finals, and are currently in the Champions League knockout stages. He has been without at least one of his five headline players, namely John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, and Michael Ballack, throughout his entire campaign. Since the beginning of 2008, he’s been without his 13 first choice players, and he’s won every match. For someone who was given precious little to work with, he has achieved much.
Roman Abramovich, current owner of Chelsea (for those of you who live under a rock), chose Grant because he was a safe substitute for the brash and outspoken Mourinho. Grant, unfortunately, lacks the finesse and charisma of The Special One, and is rather boring to watch. He will never yell at the refs for a shoddy call, never argue with the press off the field, and so far has been rather unremarkable in the public light. I’m rather surprised Abramovich gave Grant a four year contract, especially since he was supposed to be a temporary solution until Abramovich could find a flashier, well-known manager. But, Chelsea’s patience has been well-rewarded with the successes they’ve garnered since he signed on. Like I said, he has had precious little to work with, especially with playing much of the second team as stop-gaps for the missing players on the first team, and has done substantially well.
After hating Grant in the beginning, he’s slowly growing on me. I’ll miss The Special One’s outbursts, but Grant’s methodical organization of the Chelsea side has won him a small, fuzzy place in my heart. What do you think?