Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Normal One' Aware of the Special Task Ahead; Taken for Granted? the New Chelsea Boss Had Little to Look Pleased about as His Side Lost at Old Trafford

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Normal One' Aware of the Special Task Ahead; Taken for Granted? the New Chelsea Boss Had Little to Look Pleased about as His Side Lost at Old Trafford

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN CHADBAND

IT MAY not have been quite the appropriate emotion to feel for afantastically well-rewarded coach of the world's best-heeled football club, butit was possible to entertain genuine sympathy for Avram Grant as he surveyedthe nightmarish start to his Chelsea reign while looking for all the world likeBoris Karloff 's more lugubrious brother.

It is hard to recall an incoming manager at any major club ever being quite soderided and unfavourably compared to his predecessor as the Israeli. From dayone last week, everyone had let him know just how much less brilliant, lessbemedalled, less charismaticand, yes, less young and handsomehe was than the blessed Jose. Like dumping Claudia Schiffer for Nora Battyseemed to be the tone.

Now it turns out he may well not have Mourinho's luck either. If three keyrefereeing calls in a game of this magnitude had gone against you know who,he'd have made such an OTT song and dance of it that they'd have had enoughmaterial to combine "Bring Me the Head of Mike Dean" and "Jose: the Musical"into one West End spectacular.

Grant? Well, he just offered with world-weary irony: "I think the referee wasexcellent." All very understated, no explosions nor theatrics. It felt like theofficial closing ceremony of the Sans Jose Olympics.

Of course, you can't judge him on one outing so disfigured by Dean's dismalcalls but as Grant himself recognised in his TV interview before the kick-off,he doesn't have much time to win over sceptical fans and one impatientbillionaire. Grant the manager is still an unknown quantity but we shouldappreciate Grant the man who, faced with some serious disrespect andinsinuations about his abilities, has so far been almost saintly in the dignityof his responses.

He had appeared caught in the headlights at Friday's media introduction atStamford Bridge, perhaps wondering what the hell he'd let himself in for. Bythe tenor of the inquisition, he was left to understand he was as lucky as hellto land the Chelsea job and was bound to be to their beloved Jose what WilfMcGuinness was to Sir Matt Busby. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.