Avram Grant, also known as Abraham Grant, was born on May 4th, 1955 in Petah Tikva, Israeli and is currently an Israeli association football manager, and manager of the Chelsea Football Club. Avram Grant spent the majority of his footballing career coaching and managing Israeli football teams, winning some national league and cup victories, and also managing the national team of Israel. In 2006, Avram Grant to move to England to become a Technical Director of Portsmouth. Later on, in July 2007, Avram Grant was appointed as Director of Football at Chelsea F.C., and only two months later after José Mourinho departed from the team, Avram Grant became the newest Chelsea Manager.
Let’s start at the beginning
Avram Grant’s professional football career began in 1972 when he was only 18 years old for his youth team in his hometown in Israel. After 14 years, Avram Grant was promoted to first team coach leading the club to 2 Toto Cup victories in 1990 and 1991. The two subsequent victories brought Hapoel Petah Tikva to the top of Israeli football after 25 years. Between 1997 through 2000, Avram Grant led Macabi Haifa to great success winning the Toto Cup in 2002. Avram Grant left Macabi Haifa in 2002, making him the youngest national team coach of Israel, and although Israeli did not qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Israel still finished 3rd in the qualifying group behind France (winner) and Switzerland (runner-up).
Avram Grant and Management Style
Avram Grant is known widely in Israel for giving young football players the chance to play in the clubs that he coached, such as Alon Hazan, Avi Nimni, Itzik Zohar and Raffi Cohen. In 2007, Berkovic described Avram Grant’s rise to becoming Chelsea’s manager as “disgusting and disrespectful”, and amoung other critics of Avram Grant is Shlomo Shart who was Israel’s coach throughout most of the nineties.
Many Chelsea fans did not welcome Avram Grant becoming the new manager and formed heated protests and debates, holding banners citing “Mourinho” – calling for the previous manager of the team. Bruce Buck, Chelsea’s chairman has stated: "[This] unfairly smears the reputation of the vast majority of the Chelsea fans who rightly do not want to be associated with such activity.” Chelsea fans and other football critics cite that Avram Grant being appointed team manager are unjustified considering his lack of expertise and formal UEFA qualifications as a manager. Some have even described Avram Grant and his methods “25 years behind time” and that Chelsea deserves a better coach than Avram Grant.
Avram Grant’s Progress as Coach
On April 30th, 2008, Avram Grant’s Chelsea team beat Liverpool F.C. 3-2 and advanced on to the UEFA Champions League final, which is something the team has failed to do under previous manager Jose Mourinho. The game is expected to play out on May 21st, 2008 in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Russia. Until then, Avram Grant has proven himself but still have a long road of him to take his team to the next level.