Grant gets second chance to help Chelsea to title
AVRAM GRANT gets a second chance to help deliver the Premier League trophy to Chelsea on Saturday when Manchester United visit Fratton Park for the Israeli’s first match in charge of Portsmouth.
Twenty-four hours before Chelsea have the chance to seriously dent Arsenal’s title hopes at the Emirates, Grant is perfectly placed to do his former club a huge favour by inspiring his new charges to take some- thing from their meeting with the defending champions.
Grant, whose first and last matches as manager of Chelsea ended in defeat by United, was installed as Portsmouth’s new manager on Thursday with a brief to guide a squad that has secured only seven points from 13 matches this season off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone.
It represents a tall order. But former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric is among those who believe Grant can defy the odds by leading the club to safety.
“He is a very proud man, who has ability and experience,” Mandaric said of the former Israel manager.
“Portsmouth have enough good players and with Avram organising them they have a very good chance of getting out of trouble.”
Grant’s last game in charge of Chelsea was the 2008 Champions League final in which John Terry’s miss in the penalty shoot-out handed United the trophy, and effectively cost the manager his job.
His first ended in a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford, a setback that Grant’s Chelsea avenged with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge later in the season.
United visit the south coast looking to cut Chelsea’s lead at the top back to two points ahead of tomorrow’s London derby, for which the leaders are hopeful of having Frank Lampard fit following the England midfielder’s recovery from a torn thigh muscle. – Sapa-AFP