Avram Grant Makes Smart Move To Portsmouth

07 October 2009

Avram Grant's going back to a place he should be comfortable at, while getting his old job back in the process. It's not the manager's position at Chelsea, but the Director of Football role at Portsmouth.

With Abdullah Al Faraj now in control of the Fratton Park outfit, the focus has quickly shifted to make sure the backroom staff is in place to guarantee Premier League survival. When it comes to a football mind that can come into a backroom and help fulfill the vision of Paul Hart, Avram Grant is that man.

Looking at Grant's accomplishments, he was largely responsible for assembling a squad that went undefeated in 2006 World Cup Qualification. Yes, they missed out on the playoffs due to goal difference, but the talent of Israel's squad had no right being that competitive in a group that included France, Switzerland and Ireland. In his previous run at Portsmouth, Avram Grant got along well with Harry Redknapp and helped shaped the squad that eventually won the FA Cup. At Chelsea, he was thrown to the wolves when Jose Mourinho was sacked. What's even worse about the way he was treated at Chelsea was it was not his fault Chelsea lost the Champions League final.

I'm convinced that Avram Grant has picked this job as a way to vindicate everything that happened at Chelsea. Despite what some Telegraph hack wants to believe (paging Henry Winter), Paul Hart can't do this by himself. He needs help. He needs someone who can take his vision and translate it into players who will not only work hard for him in the second half of the season to stay in the Premier League, but will also in case they do get relegated. Grant is not there to work against Hart, but to use the money that will be on offer in January wisely. That is something Grant will do.

If anything, this relieves some of the pressure on Paul Hart. Those who were at Portsmouth when Grant was there before remember him fondly. Hart will be able to focus more on the training and giving Grant the profile of player he wants. It won't be Avram Grant just biding his time to take over the Portsmouth managerial role.

Besides, my gut feeling is Avram Grant doesn't want to manage in the Premier League anytime soon.


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