Avram Grant will face tough test at Portsmouth

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Avram GrantIf he helps Portsmouth avoid relegation from the top flight, it will eclipse his achievements at Stamford Bridge

Avram Grant

Portsmouth have acted swiftly in replacing Paul Hart, who vacated his role as manager earlier this week, appointing former Chelsea boss Avram Grant.

The Israeli is faced with the tough task of guiding the south coast side out of the relegation zone. Grant had already been working at the club in the capacity of football director before being promoted to head coach.

It marks Grant’s second spell at Fratton Park as he was employed by the club as a technical director in 2007. However Chelsea soon lured the Israeli to Stamford Bridge where he subsequently replaced ‘the special one’, Jose Mourinho.

Grant enjoyed a successful spell with Chelsea. During his single season in charge, for the 2007-08 campaign, he guided them to second spot in the Premier League and came agonisingly close to winning an inaugural Champions League title with the London side, only to be defeated by Manchester United on penalties in Moscow.

He parted company with Chelsea later that summer.

Arguably if he helps Portsmouth avoid relegation from the top flight, it will eclipse his achievements at Stamford Bridge. Pompey boast the unimpressive record of a mere seven points from 13 games despite some encouraging performances.

Grant’s first game will see the Israeli pit his wits against Sir Alex Ferguson once more as Manchester United make the long journey south. Ironically, Ferguson’s son Darren had been favourite with the bookmakers to be offered the vacant position at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie justified Grant’s appointment.

He said: “He knows the club, players and set-up so it was logical to make him manager. Avram is a very experienced and respected manager who has managed at the highest level. Storrie added, ‘The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone.”

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