It’s amazing what a bit of player power can do, isn’t it? It appears that this is what stopped Avram Grant taking charge of Chelsea and presumably Portsmouth with Guus Hiddink and former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson the preferred choice of the senior players. I’m sure that Bill Shankly and Brian Clough will be turning in their graves.
I’m glad Grant did not go back to Chelsea, in any capacity. There is an old adage that suggests you should never go back, that returning to an old haunt is never a sustainable notion.
First and foremost, Chelsea fans must remember that the Israeli took the club the closest they ever have been to winning Europe’s premier trophy. I would’ve loved it if he took over the reins until the end of the season and won the Champions League, sticking up two fingers at his many critics. Our columnist, Martin Samuel, summed up what many English sports writers are thinking when, writing about Grant’s initial appointment at Chelsea, he wrote in his column in The Daily Mail: “The ludicrous employment of Avram Grant, a man with no credentials for the job other than a cultural bond with Abramovich, started the drift away from sanity”. Grant may not be regarded as box office, as despite his apparent success, he was castigated by the support for his lack of charisma.
Removed from office last May, you’d have to be pretty thick-skinned to just walk through the door and try to pick up where you left off. If Grant had any self respect he would turn it down in any case.
So what next for Avram? It’s clear he’s not popular in England and he could do worse than to take up the next national role that comes his way, even though it’s clear he wants another crack at the Premier League.
There are 22 league and cup games scheduled involving JC MSFL teams on Sunday, weather permitting of course.
The Maccabi Masters will look to reach round four in the Peter Morrison Trophy when they travel to third division Montana Boca United B. Having knocked out Maccabi League opposition in the previous round, they have named a strong squad including North London Raiders players Ashley Davidson, Dan Flitterman, Dan Wolfson, Dean Schulberg, Paul Herzshaft, Kevin Lotzof and Ilan Cohen for the tie at South Oxhey.
Montana boss Nick Goodmaker, who claims to “know nothing” about Sunday’s opponents, has named a fully fit squad. He said: “We go into the game with nothing to fear.”
North West Neasden B have a full-strength squad available for the London FA Sunday Junior Cup quarter-final against The Ship at Bricket Wood.
Having returned from Daniel Fox’s stag in Prague, Neasden A joint-manager Jamie Cole hopes his players don’t suffer a hangover as they look to record their 12th straight Premier Division win.
Ahead of the clash against Faithfold A, he said: “We have been extremely pleased with the results up until now, but we have two very difficult games over the next couple of weeks with Hendon next Sunday. Six points is the aim. Faithfold are a very good team and on their day they can beat anyone. Without a doubt this will be a very tough game.”
Hendon United C will be relieved to hear that FC Team top-scorer Mitch Young will miss the game as he’s “taking the missus away”.
The JC MSFL rep team opening London Inter-League Cup match against the Turkish Federation has been rearranged for February 23 at Potters Bar Town.
North London Raiders top-scorer Jonny Blain faces a month on the sidelines after tearing tendons in a foot.
Neasden A will meet Baldon Sports in the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup semi-final on March 1. Their London & Kent Border League opponents knocked out London Maccabi Lions A in the first round.