Grant looking at present and future

Chelsea boss Avram Grant has started planning for next season at Stamford Bridge, insisting he knows what his situation will be over the summer.

Grant, who is preparing for tomorrow’s final day Barclays Premier League clash against Bolton, is also understood to have drawn up transfer targets to shape his squad for a first full campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Although the 53-year-old cannot 100% guarantee he will be in charge next season - arguing no manager can claim that – it is the clearest indication he will be at the club in some capacity after the summer.

“I know my situation,” said Grant. “I’ve prepared myself for next year.”

Despite being happy in his first season of a four-year contract, the Israeli believes it is foolish to make predictions when football is subject to constant changes.

“Sometimes the club doesn’t want you, sometimes you don’t like the club, sometimes the manager is not happy with the club,” he added. “It can happen.

“You have to do your job and not to be afraid what will happen in the future, what will happen will happen.

“There is no doubt in my mind and I don’t think like this.

“What does not depend on me I cannot answer, and I don’t care. Even Arsene Wenger cannot answer that question 100%.”

Chelsea have two huge games before they can think about next season, with a win against Bolton giving them the title if Wigan take points off Manchester United.

Then there is the Champions League final against United in Moscow, on May 21.

Grant has come full circle since being a guest of Sir Alex Ferguson – it was the first year the Scot promoted his ’kids’ to the first team and there were questions being asked of him.

“He goes with what he believes until the end. He built this unbelievable success,” Grant said.

The Chelsea manager joked: “Alex is a great manager and a great person, but he is under pressure now!”

Although the odds are stacked in United’ favour, Grant has taken heart from his time at Maccabi Tel Aviv when he won the league title, the second of his career, on the final day of the 1995 season.

He had developed a young team and they got the win they needed against Hapoel Be’er Sheva. Grant said he danced on tables that night and although he could not promise the same, he admitted he may enjoy a drink if results go their way this weekend.

Should that happen, Grant would be in charge of one of the finest Premier League comebacks after closing the gap on United, although it has been suggested the inspiration comes from senior players rather than the manager.

“I think it is more easy with these players, I agree,” Grant added. “But people who say that have to say it two or three years ago because there are the same players.

“I could come like an elephant to a shop and break everything.

“Someone said to me that more important than knowing what to change is to know what not to change.

“We changed a few things but what we didn’t have to change was the players. In this, maybe it is personal.”

There have been other criticisms – wilting in big games, being everything Jose Mourinho was not and being underqualified but enjoying a positive relationship with Roman Abramovich.

Perhaps even a league title would not change perceptions?

He added: “England didn’t accept foreign players in the beginning. Every change takes time. You need patience.

“I’m sure in China there is a very good player that we need to look for and find. In every country there can be a good manager and bad manager.

“No two managers look the same. Wenger is very skinny, Alex is different, one has glasses, another hasn’t. They criticised me over the way I looked? I’ll ask my wife...”

A title, or the Champions League, may even lead to Chelsea fans singing Grant’s name. He remains committed to his vision of Chelsea despite the criticism he has received this season.

“You need full commitment to the team to the last minute, whether that is tomorrow or 10 years from now,” he added.

More in this Section

Galway players will have no say on Donoghue successorGalway players will have no say on Donoghue successor

Comerford rues Kilkenny’s system breakdownComerford rues Kilkenny’s system breakdown

Don’t let hurling destroy itself in pursuit of justiceDon’t let hurling destroy itself in pursuit of justice

Fitzgerald fears flat Croke Park atmosphereFitzgerald fears flat Croke Park atmosphere


Lifestyle

Triathlete Carolyn Hayes is flat out. Since October 2018, she’s literally been racing around the world.On the treble: Triathlete Carolyn Hayes goes flat out to win a place in the Olympics

Children starting or going back to school is a reminder of how we all need an energy boost when sitting at a desk for hours, no matter what our age.Energy fix: Top 8 snacks for children

A sommelier shares her top tips.The dos and don’ts of serving wine – you just might have been doing it all wrong

It’s that time of year again; the long summer days are numbered, summer’s lease is all too short as she takes her last few breaths.Learning Points: Top tips on coping with back to school stress for you and the kids

More From The Irish Examiner