Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Avram Has the Blues Buzzing at Last; Blue Heaven: Sidwell Enjoys His Goal Spelling It Out: John Terry Shows His Support for New Boss Avram Grant (Left) after the Win at Hull While Chelsea Fans Express Their Feelings over Jose Mourinho's Exit during the Match (above) but There's Plenty for Them to Shout about as Scott Sinclair Opens the Scoring and Salomon Kalou Heads Home the Second Goal (Below)

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Avram Has the Blues Buzzing at Last; Blue Heaven: Sidwell Enjoys His Goal Spelling It Out: John Terry Shows His Support for New Boss Avram Grant (Left) after the Win at Hull While Chelsea Fans Express Their Feelings over Jose Mourinho's Exit during the Match (above) but There's Plenty for Them to Shout about as Scott Sinclair Opens the Scoring and Salomon Kalou Heads Home the Second Goal (Below)

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Chadband

Hull City 0 Chelsea 4

ANIGHT at the KC watching his sunshine band deliver Chelsea's first win underhis stewardship was enough to transform Avram Grant from ashen worrier toplayful warrior.

After his team had offered their most eloquent show of support for the Israeliby following his attacking philosophy to the letter in the Carling Cuptrouncing of Hull in the KC Stadium, Grant, as if released from the suffocatingpressure of the past week, felt emboldened to turn the tables on those whocan't see him as anything else but Roman Abramovich's puppet.

Was Roman at the game, Grant was asked as if he were the Russian's personalsecretary? "When he's here, you say that he picks the team. When he's not here,you're not so happy," sighed Grant, half in jest and half in retaliation. "Ithink he missed a good game." Good for him for going on the offensive.

He has taken a lot of flak in the past few days, what with the unflatteringcomparisons to Jose Mourinho, the ongoing controversy over his lack of a prolicence and the talk of Marco van Basten having already been gifted his job.

Yet for 90 minutes at least, helped by an obligingly dismal Hull defence, apotentially excruciating night for him on Humberside ended instead with awarming demonstration that Chelsea, from players to supporters, may be ready toembrace life after their blessed Jose.

And maybe embrace him, too. Grant must have felt he'd scored a small butsignificant triumph as the visiting army started the evening by chanting "Josehis kids are Mourinho" but ended it with "We love you, Chelsea".

To Grant, the sight after the game of John Terry kissing the badge on his shirtbefore throwing it to the visiting fans must have felt like a personalstatement of backing even if he preferred to interpret it as symbolic of hisplayers "wanting to play for the club".

A pity Abramovich hadn't been there to see it - something to do with travelproblems, apparently, even if the mind boggles as to what travel problems abloke with three private jets and a helicopter has - because even if anyeuphoria had to be tempered by the fact that are the Tigers ended up beingtoyed with like Tiggers, the victory was fashioned with enough elan to havesatisfied even his lust for more entertainment.

For even if the Championship strugglers were ultimately so outclassed thatChelsea ended up attacking almost at will, it was the team's willingness allnight to press forward in waves which hinted at something a little moreexpansive than in the Mourinho era.

In Abramovich's absence, chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Peter Kenyonled a dressing-room delegation of congratulation and you couldn't have blamedGrant for asking them to send a video of the fourth goal to Abramovich for itsurely represented everything that he's been craving for. …

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