Grant confirmed as new Pompey bossby Mick Bates / 26 November 2009, 14:38Tweet
Avram Grant has been confirmed as the new permanent manager of Portsmouth, replacing the recently sacked Paul Hart on the Fratton Park touchline. Grant will make the move from his current role as Director of Football at the club to the dugout as Pompey look to navigate their way off the bottom of the Premier League and to safety. However, with just two wins from thirteen so far this season, the former Chelsea boss could have his work cut out at the South Coast club.
Arriving in the UK in the summer of 2007, Avram Grant was something of an unknown when he was appointed Director of Football at Stamford Bridge, largely thanks to his personal friendship with Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich. Grant was soon thrust into the limelight when he was promoted to the role of Chelsea manager when Jose Mourinho was somewhat controversially dismissed just six games in to the 2007/08 season. Mourninho's replacement was almost as surprising as the decision from the Chelsea Board to part company with 'the special one', with football fans and media alike asking 'who?' about the appointment of an unknown coach from Israel.
Grant soon began to answer his critics, carrying on from where Mourinho had left off at Stamford Bridge and whilst he didn't win any silverware during his season in charge of the West London club, he did not disgrace himself. He guided the Blues to a second place finish in the Premier League and to the final of the League Cup. He also took Chelsea to the Champions League final in Moscow, where his side eventually lost on penalties at the hands of Manchester United, becoming the only manager in the club's history to take the team to the final of Europe's biggest club competition and the first of six managers tried during the Abramovich era to progress beyond the semi finals stage.
Many thought that Avram Grant had done enough to be worthy of at least another season at the Stamford Bridge helm but the former Israel national team coach was relived of his duties after that defeat in Moscow, ending his time at Chelsea with a impressive record of 36 wins from 54 games in charge and just five defeats.
Since leaving the Premier League Grant has been linked with numerous managerial vacancies made available in the Premier League Sack Race over the past twelve months, before joining Portsmouth as Director of Football in October. He now has the tough assignment of guiding Pompey away from the relegation zone, a far cry from his last experience in the Premiership when he was challenging at the opposite end of the table. However, Grant proved at Chelsea that he has the necessary managerial skills to deliver results on the pitch and with money sure to be made available from new Portsmouth owner, Ali Al-Faraj, in January, it would be no surprise to see the team head in the right direction!
Portsmouth & Avram Grant Specials
To be relegated from the Premier League (William Hill): 8/15
Total points for the season (Skybet): under 33 (5/6) 33 or more points (5/6)
To win the League Cup: 25/1 @ Victor Chandler
To win the FA Cup: 100/1 @ Skybet
First Premier League win under Avram Grant (Skybet)
v Man Utd (28/11) 9/1
v Burnley (5/12) Evs
@ Sunderland (12/12) 13/2
@ Chelsea (16/12) 28/1
v Liverpool (19/12) 10/1
@ West Ham (26/12) 10/1
v Arsenal (30/12) 16/1
@ Fulham (9/1) 16/1