Avram Grant Named New West Ham Manager
West Ham United have appointed Avram Grant as the club's new manager. The Israeli signed a four-year deal which is subject to him being granted a work permit. The former Portsmouth manager succeeds Gianfranco Zola, who was sacked after the Hammers finished 17th in last season's league.
Avram Grant who is a personal friend of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, shot into the limelight when he was appointed as Chelsea's manager following the abrupt departure of then-manager Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea fans were shocked by Jose Mourinho's sacking and livid at the owner's choice of "The Special One"s successor, sparking a series of protests, some of racial and anti-semetic nature, as they felt he lacked the expertise to manage at the highest level.
UEFA didn't make things easier for Grant either, with the governing body threatening to put an end to his long-term future at Chelsea since he did not possess the UEFA Pro License (required under Premier League rules) by anyone wishing to manage a top-flight club on a permanent basis (longer than 12 weeks).
Despite all the chaos surrounding his appointment, Avram Grant kept his head and led Chelsea to a second place finish in the Premier League, the Champions League Final, the League Cup Final and the FA Cup final. Grant's contract was then terminated by Chelsea at the end of the season and he moved to Portsmouth FC.
During his tenure at Portsmouth, Pompey suffered a nine point deduction owing to their financial meltdown and became the first top-flight club to go into administration. Grant, however, motivated his players - who had not been paid on several occasions - to give it their best every time they went on to the pitch. He galvanized the team and Portsmouth fought till the very end.
Through sheer grit, determination and belief Grant managed to take the most obvious relegation candidates to England's most coveted final, the FA Cup. Even though Portsmouth lost to Chelsea, their fans continued to sing past the final whistle, still believing in their club. Last season truly was one of Grant's best, silencing critics once and for all.
His time in England with Chelsea and Portsmouth leaves no doubt about Grant's managerial abilities. No one would argue with West Ham's co-owner David Gold, who felt Grant's appointment as West Ham manager brings "stability and experience" to the club. Grant, who will be officially unveiled this month, said he is "proud and honoured" to be West Ham's new manager.
It seems only fair that a club supported by an impressive fan base - including the likes of Elton John, Rod Stewart, Russell Brand, Alfred Hitchcock, Sebastian Faulks, Nicolas Cage and the President of the United States, Barack Obama - is now managed by the very impressive Avram Grant.
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