Israeli Coach Avram Grant, has come out to say jokingly that if he was the one who led Chelsea to a fourth place finish, he’d have been “sent to Siberia” by Roman Abramovich meaning he’d have received his sack letter. But the ex Chelsea gaffer is happy with the work Frank Lampard has done.
Chelsea secured their spot in the 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League after a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the 2019/2020 season.
The Blues have two competitive matches at hand which is a round of 16 UEFA champions league clash against Bayern Munich and an FA Cup final against Arsenal. The FA Cup final comes first as they’d battle Arsenal in the FA Cup final tomorrow at Wembley before they take on Bayern Munich in the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, though the Bundesliga champions have a 3-0 aggregate lead.
In his first and only season as Chelsea’s Coach in the year 2007/08, Grant led the blues to a second-placed finish in the 2007/2008 English Premier League, led the team to the EFL Cup final and eventually losing out to Tottenham Hotspurs and then failed to stop Manchester United from winning the UCL as they lost on penalties leaving them to another second place finish for the third time in the season.
In the wake of the UEFA Champions League finale defeat, he got the axe. He is impressed with Lampard for guiding Chelsea to a top four finish this season, though he aimed a dig at Abramovich who did not give him such grace 12 years back.
“I think it’s a good season, especially compared to how it began, without being allowed to buy players,” Grant told Stats Perform News.
“Compared to the requirement of Roman Abramovich, if I told him some years ago that fourth place would be good for him, probably he would send me to Siberia, but because of the situation before, I think it’s a good place. For Frank, I think it’s a big achievement.
“It’s his first year as a coach in the Premier League. Of course, he was a player with a lot of experience, but you cannot compare a player to a manager, and I think he’s managed the team very well.
“A lot of young players and he knew how to play them, how to give them a rest and when to push them. It’s a good base for the future, I was very pleased with his performance.”
The former Black Stars of Ghana coach is of the opinion that Frank Lampard has the right mentality as a player to become a world class coach, with the former English midfielder one of a number of players in the Chelsea squad of 2007-08 who showed potentials of becoming great gaffers.
“I was sure, because he was always a leader. When you spoke with him, he had a different view about football,” Grant said.
“In my team at Chelsea there was a lot of leaders. I thought [Michael] Ballack would be a good coach, Didier [Drogba], John Terry, because there was a good personality and a lot of knowledge about football.
“Of course, having the knowledge is not the same, you have to pass the knowledge to players, you have to deal with the owner, the media, you have to deal with the supporters, but at the end of the day, you depend on the performance on the pitch – it’s results, especially at the top.”