Grant and Pompey could’ve been a match made in heaven

By Danny Caro, October 30, 2008

I was disappointed that Avram Grant was not given the manager's job at Portsmouth. I have no doubt that this opinion won't be shared by other national journalists and yes, it would've given me plenty of column inches for the next few months. But I'm saying this as a football fan as I want to see him given a second chance in the Premier League after the job he did at Chelsea.

As mentioned on June 20, when Roman Abramovich appointed Luiz Felipe Scolari as his replacement, I raised doubts about whether or not Big Phil could maintain Chelsea's proud 86-match unbeaten home record. And I was there to see it broken first hand as Liverpool claimed a deserved victory.

The atmosphere in the ground was very different to the one that greeted me for the Champions League semi-final last May. Despite the Blues boasting such a proud record, Stamford Bridge did not feel like a fortress.

It's only taken Scolari five home league games to blow the record, and two of the other games ended in draws. Granted, excuse the pun, they have played a more expansive style, but, unlike Avram, Scolari has failed to beat two of the team's major rivals.

The decision to appoint Tony Adams surprised me, as having worked at Pompey as Director of Football, not many know the club better than the Israeli. I believe owner Sacha Gaydamak will suck it and see and wouldn't be surprised to see Grant taking charge if the Adams experiment fails.

Camden Park's injury-jinxed striker Darren Saffer faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after tearing his hamstring. Saffer, who was in the form of his life with 11 goals in three games, said: "It's taken me 39 years to play like this and is typical of my luck. This was my best start to a season for years. I knew it was too good to last."

Nick Goodmaker has taken charge at Montana Boca United B. He said: "My main aim in the coming weeks is to forge a closer relationship between the players of the A and B teams. For a number of seasons the teams have been run completely separate which has not been beneficial to the club. I am now on the lookout for new players to add to the squad."

FC Team legend Mitch Young scored his 100th goal for the club in just three seasons while on duty for the club's Sunday B team.

After 14 years refereeing, Richard Jaye will make his television debut on November 17 for the Blue Square Premier match between Crawley Town and Ebsfleet on Setanta Sports.

East London Knights player-manager James Ryan hopes to lead the Division Four high-flyers to a JC Cyril Anekstein Cup win over second division Temple Fortune.

Ryan said: "I'll be playing a very strong team and hoping we can go through to the next round. It's going to be a hard game but if my players can play from the first minute then we should have a good chance."

Tie of the round sees Faithfold A host Bafana Bafana.

FC Team A have made a clean sweep of my October awards. Summer signing Richard Salmon pips Adam Goldsmith to the post for the top player accolade. Adam Newsome, FC Team's joint-manager, said: "Richard has been outstanding this month. He has delivered some fantastic performances in some hugely important games."

Newsome has led the Division Three team to eight straight wins including back-to-back victories over title rivals L'Equipe.


Last updated: 3:13pm, October 30 2008