You Don’t Know What You’re Doing… Avram Grant Exposed By Birmingham City Comeback

Ollie Irish

27th, January 2011


By Ollie Irish

Grant: decent chap, poor manager

So Uncle Avram has indeed been winging it in English football all this time. West Ham’s abject capitulation at St Andrews last night confirmed what many of has had long-suspected: Grant doesn’t know what he’s doing and admitted as much after the match, saying “I didn’t know what to say to them at half-time.”

Er, but that’s sort of THE ESSENCE of your job, Avram. I understand the point you’re making – we were ahead and playing well – but half-time is undoubtedly when a manager earns his keep.

Neither did Grant appear to know how to instruct his players to deal with the very limited Nikola Zigic. The giant Serb is a poor footballer but West Ham’s back four made him look like Van Basten.

Grant is a charming man with a lot of dignity but he does not have the authority or the expertise to make his own mark on a football team. He lucked into the Chelsea job, as we know, ‘leading’ a team that was led not from the touchline anyway but by three senior players (Terry, Lampard and Drogba). At Stamford Bridge his big achievement was in just letting the players get on with it, essentially happy to be a yes man.

At Portsmouth he had nothing to lose. A fine FA Cup run partly papered over the cracks, but Pompey went down, though it would be very harsh to blame their plight directly on Grant; a nine-point penalty for going into adminstration was the final straw for the south-coast club. Again though, there was little sense during Grant’s spell at Pompey of a manager exerting his will.

Now, at West Ham, Grant continues to underwhelm with his hands-off management style – what does he do exactly? What type of football does he believe in? The Irons lie bottom of the Premier League and there is no trip to Wembley to paper over the cracks – for the majority of West Ham fans, who have had enough of the Israeli, missing out on a Wembley day out will be a blessing only if the loss leads to Grant’s dismissal. Whatever happens now, and relegation looks likely, Gold & Sullivan’s endorsement of their manager now looks foolish and premature.

You can only surf a wave for so long. Come in Avram, your time is up.

More pics from St Andrews:

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  1. SeanBCFC says:

    the luck scarf didnt help avram this time! i am not expecting a huge result against the gunners, but the fact that us struggling bluenoses are going to wembley is pretty damn close to a victory

  2. Tinez says:

    I’m glad Birmingham went through, I’ve got absolutely no time for the current West Ham sob story.

  3. bradford says:

    never should have sacked zola. he had a great relationship with his players and they all played their best football under him. his only problem was tactics, which he was figuring out. i’m telling you, he just needed some assurance, a bit of time, some backing from the owners.

  4. Ari M. says:

    Oh stop it already. Yet another bash Avram article. It’s really pathetic at this point when one manager is the target of constant criticism and others get off pretty much scott free. I suppose Sir Alex didn’t know what he was doing when Avram and the Hammers destroyed Man U in the previous Carling Cup round, right? Never mind that the Hammers dominated the first half and were without two of their best players. They should have won anyway, but as usual fell asleep defending set pieces, a problem that has plagued them for years.

    As for Avram, let me repeat the facts once again. Grant did a very good job at Chelsea and should have won the biggest prize in club football had Terry not slipped in 2008. Is that his fault? It’s the furthest Chelsea has ever advanced before or since, so it’s ridiculous to say that it was in spite of Grant and that he contributed nothing. Then when you look at the situations at Portsmouth and now West Ham, can anybody in their right mind actually say these are stable places to manage a football club? Portsmouth was an absolute mess last season. The first EPL club to enter Administration, and they probably won’t recover for years, if ever. To reach the FA Cup Final with that team was a pretty remarkable accomplishment if you ask me. As for the League, I don’t think any manager could have kept that team up. As far as this year at West Ham is concerned, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manager more unfairly criticized by the media week in and week out. They’ve literally been calling for his head since game one at Aston Villa. It’s just not fair as Grant or any manager deserves at least one full season at the helm in before you make a real judgement. Even that is probably not enough time to put your own stamp on a team long-term, and that’s what Grant was obviously expecting to do when he signed a 4 year contract. It’s not like WHU was supposed to be a very good team this season. They finished 17th last season, and if not for the unusual circumstances at Portsmouth, they probably should have gone down last year. All that said, I still believe the Hammers could be saved this season, with a few shrewd signings during the window, and if the media would just lay off this man already. Unfortunately, I don’t think either is going to happen.

  5. Durham Dave says:

    Wow Ari, why don’t you just call Ollie anti-semitic while you’re at it.

  6. Peter says:

    In total frustration I have been looking up Grant’s football history and suprise suprise he hasn’t got one! Not good enough to play professional football even at a low level, he started his “managerial career” aged 18 coaching a youth side. What an admission of footballing failure.
    You’d think he’d be a tactical genius and a walking footballing encyclopedia as he has no actual footballing skills or experience but apparently not. Players everywhere are still waiting to hear his first words of insightful footballing analysis. He simply has nothing to say. Full stop. People have been wrongly crediting his silence as being a sign of inner calm when it is only inner emptiness.
    Do you remember the Peter Sellers film where he played a retarded simpleton gardener whose mumblings were taken to be utterances of great wisdom?
    The rest of Grant’s years have been spent making friends in high places and lucking in on backdoor appointments.
    He commands no respect with players as shown by the majority of the West Ham squad (shame on them) who wander along to training late every day at whatever time they feel like.
    More fool Gold and Sullivan for putting their money in the hands of such a con-man chancer.
    God help the Hammers.

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