BBC Sport is reporting that Avram Grant is set to take over as permanent manager of Chelsea Football Club.
The current director of football at Chelsea will take Mourinho’s position after he departed the club “by mutual consent.” As is often the case when a new manager takes over, he’s thrown into the deep end as Chelsea travel this Sunday to Old Trafford to play Manchester United (11am ET, Fox Soccer Channel).
Roman Abramovich will “live by the sword, die by the sword” with the decision to appoint Grant as manager. We’ll quickly see whether the decision to sack Mourinho was a just one or a complete disaster. Grant’s experience thus far has been as technical director at Portsmouth and manager of Israel and Israeli teams Maccabi Haifi and Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
The biggest question mark about Chelsea is how the players will respond to the decision. We all know that players such as John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole had tight relationships with Mourinho, but it’ll be a true test of their character to see how they respond to having a new manager in place.
It’s going to be difficult for Chelsea to concentrate on Sunday’s clash against Man United due to the media circus that’s going to circulate around Chelsea and their training over the next few days as swarms of photographers and TV cameras will watch every moment.
Abramovich has gotten what he wanted which is to kick Mourinho out based on the poor form the team has been displaying. Remarkably it hasn’t been the results that have been the issue, but rather it’s the poor way the team has been playing on the pitch. It’s safe to say that Chelsea doesn’t currently look like Premier League or Champions League winning material. They’ve been struck by injuries to key players, but the team has shown once again that they lack depth in key positions.
For Grant, this will be trial by fire. He has hardly any time to allow for transition and needs to quickly turn Chelsea around into a winning team both in terms of results and the way they play. Grant will not have the charm that Mourinho has. All Grant will have to win over Chelsea fans is the results on the pitch. I don’t envy Grant’s job one bit. He’s walking into one of the most difficult positions in football at this current moment in time.