Avram Grant (to the rescue?) at Portsmouth! - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old November 27th, 2009, 01:43 Thread Starter
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Avram Grant (to the rescue?) at Portsmouth!

As the man who followed José "I'm not one from a bottle" Mourinho at Chelsea, Avram Grant is familiar with taking on challenges of which contestants on the Krypton Factor may have been wary.

Yet Grant's appointment as Portsmouth manager yesterday apparently requires him to display even more superpowers than he required at Stamford Bridge, where he followed a charismatic head coach with movie-star looks and a bulging array of silverware that included Premier League titles in consecutive seasons.

On the south coast Grant, who takes his opening training session this morning, has an easier predecessor to follow in Paul Hart, who was sacked on Tuesday. However, the Israeli walks into a club rooted to the bottom of the table, riven by internecine politics, crippled by debt, and now on their third owner in three months – Ali al-Faraj, the absentee Saudi.

When Grant glances at Portsmouth's imminent fixtures he is unlikely to feel any warmer. The ordeal commences with the visit of the champions, Manchester United, to Fratton Park tomorrow, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool must all be negotiated before the close of the year.

While any points from these games would be a welcome bonus Grant will concentrate on winning the matches against those teams above Portsmouth who are also threatened with relegation. This means Saturday week's visit of Burnley, who are 10 points better off than Portsmouth – whose tally is only seven – then the Boxing Day trip to West Ham United (four points and a place better off). These encounters will be focused on as those that have to be won before the new year.

Grant is also sure to tighten Portsmouth's formation, discarding the two strikers often favoured under Hart, a system that yielded a paltry 10 goals and has left the club as the lowest scorers in the division.

At Chelsea Grant shook up his personnel, employing Henk ten Cate as his assistant within a month of his arrival, but he will only employ a No2 if he can identify a strong candidate who is not afraid to voice an opinion, as the Dutchman was.

A further headache for Grant is that he will lose up to six players to the African Cup of Nations in January (Kanu, John Utaka, Aruna Dindane, Hassan Yebda, Nadir Belhadj and Kevin-Prince Boateng, if Ghana call him up). He is also hindered by his limited ability, due to the club's finances, to recruit in the next transfer window – if the current Premier League embargo is lifted – though he will look to bring in three or four players then.

While Grant will have to live up to one nickname he picked up in Israel, the Magician, he does have some advantages, such as an intimate knowledge of Portsmouth, having spent a season there in 2006-07 in the director of football role he signed back up for last month. He has accrued vast experience during a 37-year career, which includes winning the Israeli championship at both Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa, before spending four years as the national team head coach.

Additionally, as a man who spent his three years of mandatory military duty in the Israeli secret service, he is among the brightest operators plying their trade in football changing rooms, with a reputation for being a players' manager.

The Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James said yesterday: "I love Avram, he's a great guy. When I first joined the club he was there and very active in his preparation for matches. He is a very wise man and his football knowledge is immense."

Grant will require all that wisdom during the coming months. At Chelsea he negotiated the constant scepticism regarding his appointment and the club's fractured internal politics cleverly enough to reach the 2008 Champions League final, only losing it by a penalty shoot-out to Manchester United, while also taking the team to second place in the Premier League.

Grant is under no illusions, though, about how difficult keeping Portsmouth up will be – the size of the task was a consideration when he weighed up whether to accept the job.

However, if he can save the club from relegation Grant will have greatly enhanced his reputation, while ensuring Pompey mushes everywhere have a very enjoyable summer contemplating another year of Premier League football next season.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old November 27th, 2009, 21:41
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Good luck to Grant. He is a good coach and is very good to see he has a good name in England.

Hope he could save Portsmouth from relegation. So he won`t return to the NT afterall.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old November 27th, 2009, 22:31 Thread Starter
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We should definitely consider someone outside of Israel this time to lead us in 2012 and beyond...

If players like Benayoun, Ben Haim and all our international can thrive and do well under an International coach..so too can our NT

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 01:23
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Originally Posted by Kappa21 View Post
We should definitely consider someone outside of Israel this time to lead us in 2012 and beyond...

If players like Benayoun, Ben Haim and all our international can thrive and do well under an International coach..so too can our NT
I am favored for a foreign coach, but the great question is if he will be able to understand and "cure" our mentality.

Richard Nielsen tried and had a modest achievement, maybe who knows if it wasn`t for that last goal by Herzog in injury time, Israel would have qualified for the playoffs instead of Austria.

Louis Fernandez wasn`t really succesful at Beitar, he had decent results, but nothing more.

Both had good relationship with the media and many liked him, but let`s see what happens. The thing is don`t know if Luzon is actually doing something about it.

Benayoun was quoted earlier this week saying if Luzon asked him about the issue he would give his advice is picking Eyal Berkovic.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 02:35 Thread Starter
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I am favored for a foreign coach, but the great question is if he will be able to understand and "cure" our mentality.

Richard Nielsen tried and had a modest achievement, maybe who knows if it wasn`t for that last goal by Herzog in injury time, Israel would have qualified for the playoffs instead of Austria.

Louis Fernandez wasn`t really succesful at Beitar, he had decent results, but nothing more.

Both had good relationship with the media and many liked him, but let`s see what happens. The thing is don`t know if Luzon is actually doing something about it.

Benayoun was quoted earlier this week saying if Luzon asked him about the issue he would give his advice is picking Eyal Berkovic.
1) Eyal Berkovic is still in the talks, but should be out of the topic. The man never coached once in his life and all of a sudden you give him the nations honor? you try to make him as the next Bilic. I am not saying he doesnt have talents..but his record on the NT both on and off the pitch should judge him in the end.

2) Louis Fernendez came to Beitar as a circus, not as a coach. He went from doing greats in Europe to punching iraqi players in Qatar. Then we got him. We did alright, but still...im not going to compare him cause he was never good for the NT level...

3) Richard Neilsen was a good coach. Sure, it can be debatable that if only the Austrian player Herzog hadn't scored that XTRATIME goal in the 90+3 minute than Israel would have gone through.
But there is alot of ifs, ands and butts... what if they played us on the same date, what if we played better and not laid back? what if we won and played turkey.
Richard Neilsen is good, but so is Shlomo Sharf. Sharf did well and he brought a team from 2nd last place to a Euro cup birth in his reign..still you give him the bull and in the end we lose 8-0 on aggregate to Denmark.

4) Its not a foreign player learning out mentality. Its a NT learning his and what he brings to us from his experience coaching world class football. Enough that someone comes to Israel and learns to speak hebrew and enjoy Israeli food and the beaches. Its time we find a person who is world class and can give us an edge. Let the players learn english, let the players be trained and learning new techniques.. We need someone who has the courage to form an amazing team. Kashtan is a great coach and so is Grant, but in the end of the day, they only know the Israeli leauge and nothing more. Sure they can be blindfolded into picking a good team, but they wouldnt have a clue on who their opponent is. Thats how they come to play. What if we get a foreign coach that can actually know who the enemy is? And to add to the topping...... bring in Berkovic as his assistant to be the eyes and ears for the Israeli soccer, Israeli players and best of all...Israeli Media

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 03:06
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Regarding Berkovic, he was a great player and for me maybe the best Israeli football player. But of course we should separate the player and the coach. He hasn`t any experience coaching, but people want to bring him because he understands football. He has good vision (that was his best quality and that is why he was a brilliant playmaker).

He wants to win and one of his main attributes was to play with commitment for Israel and this is what the fans want. That is why Berkovic is popular among the fans, but the risk is big, he could end like Maradona for example.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 17:21
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i agree with kappa, we need a foreign coach with foreign mentality. With ethics, with discipline, hard work, and no fear. Winning should be a priority, and I also agree that despite him adjusting to Israeli football mentality the players should adopt to his mentality and his way of playing...as long as he is a respectable foreign coach who has had previous accomplishments.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 17:29
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Since when did this thread become a discussion about our next national team coach???


Portsmouth lost 1-4 against Manchester united, tough start for grant.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 17:47
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did you expect a shocker? I sure didn't...he needs time with the players
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old November 28th, 2009, 18:01
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Portsmouth played well until they conceded the 2nd goal. The commentator said he trusted in Grant`s work and that Pompey will improve.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old December 19th, 2009, 14:43
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Great win for Portsmouth against Liverpool today 2-0, there now level on points with West Ham, but have a worse goal difference, go grant!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old December 19th, 2009, 20:55 Thread Starter
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Big win for Portsmouth. Grant came in and really got them doing well since he took over. First game was a fluke cause it was vs. ManU, but things are keeping up now...hopefully they will improve.. who knows...get a spot in Europe even?

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2009, 05:22
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The players have confidence in Grant and he has proved that he is a competent coach. Porstmouth has everything to take advantage of this momentum.

Did Grant and Yossi shake hands?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old April 12th, 2010, 18:03
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Despite not being able to rescue Portsmouth from relegation, Grant has managed to take Portsmouth to the FA Cup final with a 2-0 win over Tottenham.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old April 12th, 2010, 23:02 Thread Starter
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Grant is doing everything he can to make an impact wherever he can on Portsmouth. Fans love it and i dont know whether they would take the FA cup or all.....but he is trying to show his strenght....

Mind you it was only a simple PK that costed him a Premier win from Man Utd while he was in charge....and the people in Chelsea realize that the other 2 managers after Grant didnt do much.....or had an impact like grant did...

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old April 13th, 2010, 19:31
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Without a doubt Grant has made himself a name in England and Pompey recognize his hard work and that he is doing what he cans in order to bring pride to its fans.

Under his guidance the team played much better in the Premier League and if it wasn´t for the bad start maybe he would have rescued Portsmouth.

Now, he could win the FA Cup against Chelsea and if I am not mistaken he has managed to qualify Portsmouth to next season Europa League since Chelsea is will be at the Champions League.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old April 13th, 2010, 22:46 Thread Starter
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So if they win who? Chelsea they automatically qualify for EUrope?

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old April 13th, 2010, 23:12
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If Chelsea wins the league, Portsmouth go through to Europe regardless of the result in the fa cup final, however Portsmouth failed to get a license for Europe, but they are appealing the decision.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old April 14th, 2010, 03:47
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If Chelsea wins the league, Portsmouth go through to Europe regardless of the result in the fa cup final, however Portsmouth failed to get a license for Europe, but they are appealing the decision.
Yeah the management is a mess. Eversince Alexandre Gaydamek sold the club there have been about four different bosses and some of obscure origins and it seems unlikely Portsmouth will gain the license.

Beitar, for much less managed to lose their license to play this season in Europe and Bnei Yehuda played instead.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old April 14th, 2010, 19:19
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Grant´s good work at Portsmouth has linked him with several team in Britain.

Ir is rumoured that Celtic and West Ham are very interested in counting with the Israeli manager. Last month Hull City was also rumoured to be interested in signing Grant.
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