The English soccer scene on Monday was buzzing with rumors that Israeli Avram Grant could be invited back as a consultant to Chelsea, the London-based team where he was once manager.
Grant, 57, who has a long history of success as a soccer coach in Israel, both in local competition and with the national squad, is reportedly being considered by the owner, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, for an advisory role.
Chelsea recently took on Rafael Benítez as manager after firing previous manager Roberto Di Matteo less than two weeks ago. The move, unpopular with many of the team’s fans, was an attempt to pull the club out of a run of four winless games. However, after Di Matteo was sacked, the team’s winless streak was extended to seven games. On Saturday, Chelsea lost 3-1 to West Ham, after scoring first and holding the lead throughout the game’s first half, and now Abramovich is reportedly fuming and desperate for a victory.
Media reports say Abramovich has held top-level meetings with the club’s directors, and had also met with fans to plan a strategy for reversing the club’s fortunes.
Grant, a personal friend of Abramovich, took over as manager of Chelsea in 2007 and succeeded in bringing the team to the finals of both the English League Cup and the European Champions League. However, Grant ultimately failed to bring home either of the trophies, and was fired shortly thereafter.
Since then, Grant has served as manager of Portsmouth and West Ham, but in both cases left the teams when they were relegated after bad seasons. He was also briefly manager of the Serbian team Partizan Belgrade. He left in May on this year and has since been residing in London, the perfect location for a comeback to Chelsea.