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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Latest Chelsea News + 2 Special Letter

AVRAM GRANT will hit Tal Ben Haim with an £80,000 fine for his amazing public outburst

As open warfare broke out at Chelsea yesterday, furious Blues chief Grant also accused his fellow Israeli of lying over claims ex-boss Jose Mourinho promised the defender a regular first-team role at Stamford Bridge.
Grant said: “It is internal business but, in my opinion, if a player was wrong we need to deal with it — in our way, my way.”
Centre-back Ben Haim, 26, took aim at Grant after the 1-1 home draw with Wigan on Monday night virtually ended Chelsea’s hopes of lifting the Premier League title.
He insisted he would never have moved from Bolton last summer if he had known Grant would replace the ‘Special One’ Mourinho.
Ben Haim was fined two weeks’ wages for his outburst.
As for his claim he would have been a first pick under Mourinho, Grant said: “I don’t think Jose promised Ben Haim he will play before John Terry, Carvalho and Alex.”
The explosive row is the last thing Grant needs ahead of the club’s must-win match at Everton tonight.
Midfield star Frank Lampard is likely to be missing again due to his mum Pat’s illness.
Grant said: “Football is very important but sometimes other things are more important. I understand it.”

Has Buck got a right to criticise Chelsea fans for venting frustration at Avram Grant?

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has given the biggest indication yet that Avram Grant will be replaced in the summer. A day after Peter Kenyon admitted the Blues are a less stylish outfit than they were under Mourinho, Buck has suggested that Grant's position will be evaluated at the end of the season, reports Sky Sports:
"Avram has a multi-year contract and he's our manager," said Buck.
"Having said that, and don't take this the wrong way, every manager, at every club, is judged by results. That's the name of the game, results, and right now Avram's results are very, very good, so he's our manager.

"We would have wished that we would have beaten Barnsley and Tottenham and whatever, but I think we are reasonably happy with where we are now".
Despite this, the Chelsea chairman also called on supporters to get behind the manager for the end of season run-in and criticised those who have been calling for the Israeli to be sacked.
"I was annoyed during the Arsenal match when some people in the North Stand were singing 'You don't know what you're doing' and Jose's name.

"My perspective is, you're either a Chelsea fan or you're not, and in the middle of what was one of the most important games of the season, I don't think you do something which could theoretically unsettle your team."
Buck has also called on influential midfielder Frank Lampard to commit his long term future to the club. With the England midfielder approaching the final year of his contract, Lampard would be able to utilise a new FIFA ruling where he could buy himself out and effectively become a free agent.
Top European clubs have been linked to the former West Ham man, with Juventus and former manager Claudio Ranieri seemingly leading the way.

Avram Grant's side are still in the title race although Arsenal and Manchester United face each other tomorrow; a fixture that is likely to determine where Chelsea may finish this season.
The Blues also face Liverpool in the Champions League semi final though they have been unsuccessful in defeating Rafa Benitez's side on two occasions in the past three years. All of these factors could no doubt influence Lampard's decision to stay at the Bridge or look to finish his career elsewhere.
"The current situation is that we haven't had any proper talks with Frank Lampard or his agent since the last part of the season when Frank said he wanted to concentrate on his football and then we would deal with his contract."

"I would really like to see him stay at Chelsea. The board and Roman Abramovich also believe that Frank Lampard is tops and we are optimistic, confident, pick your word, that we will find a way to keep Frank Lampard at Chelsea."
So, as Chelsea face a crucial last month of the season, what does the future hold for some of Chelsea's biggest names? Should Avram Grant be replaced, and if so, by whom - Frank Rijkaard has been touted, yet Barcelona have endured a very indifferent domestic season, would this be acceptable at the Bridge? And how about Frank Jnr; will Lampard sign a contract extension or will he follow his dream and move to the continent - perhaps reuniting with the man who brought him to Chelsea in the first place?

Comment After Chelsea Vs Wigan Game

I have been a Chelsea supporter for 44 years and was at last nights game and am ashamed to say we are probably the worst side to watch in the premiership at the moment. We have too many players not adding anything (Kalou and Malouda to name 2) and a manager who is tactically inept. My main fear is should we accidently qualify for the champs league final we will probably end up with Grant for another season.

At least there will be tickets available as no one will pay good money to watch rubbish.I have been a Chelsea fan since 1970 and got used to not being in the title race until Jose came along. Watching us play now is like watching paint dry and I'm always on a knife's edge. Apart from the odd great result (Arsenal 2-1) the team seems to be sleep walking and at no point have they shown the cut and trust of either Man U, Liverpool or Arsenal by going for the jugular.

If Ranieri can get the boot for coming 2nd in the league and reaching the UCL semi then I will be shocked to see Mr Dreary in charge of the team next season. The man couldn't inspire his way out of a paper bag. All the pundits say he's done a great job but if he fails to beat Liverpool and I see no way back in the Premier league what will they say then? The team is going backwards, not forward.

Dear Mr Grant, I have supported Chelsea for 46 years and there are two things you don't do. 1. Never underestimate your opponent. 2. Never play a weakend side. Last night both happened and the title is now gone. I dread to think what team you will put out against Everton and Liverpool. I was used to not winning anything, but under Jose that changed. The anti Chelsea brigade will now have a field day.

Other Serious Letter From A Chelsea Fan To Roman Abramovich

Dear Mr Abramovich - a serious letter to a fellow fan. Sir - I believe you have become a serious fan of the club I love? It is addictive isn't it? Painful at times - and glorious at others! Many of us here have seen the bad times in the past, and we don't want to go back to mediocrity. Your influence has helped this club become one of the top clubs in England. Your backing helped bring in some of the extra talent that pushed us on from a 'good' club as we had become under Gullit and Vialli, to a 'great' club under you. One of those talents that contributed to this success was Jose Mourinho.

Unfortunately, Jose wasn't perfect and did some foolish things as well as some brilliant things. He, like me is a flawed human being! He was a genius tactician, an inspiring leader, and a man who spoke with passion. He was also at times, stubborn, arrogant, and needlessly confrontational. It seems to me that you and he clashed on a personality level. Perhaps he seemed to be taking over the club. But surely this club needs to be a team all the way through, from top to bottom, off the pitch and on it? High Performance Teams need to trust and respect each other - not resent and fight each other. There needs to be an environment of openness and willing support, not whispering sullenness and back stabbing.

It seems we have changed in two years from the former to the latter. Jose was not perfect - I wish he could have learned to flex his style more than he did. I hope that is a lesson he will learn. We have a good team of talented individuals put together by the two previous managers. But this year, this talent has not been properly harnessed. We have failed to progress to victory at two key stages - and now it seems we are continuing to stumble at the end. We have become once again a team of 'nearly' men. Nearly doing it - but ultimately failing. Why is this? The missing key ingredient is a leader.

This team of talented individuals needs a leader to blend them into a tight, cohesive fighting force. We lost that leader last September (in part as I say due to his own failings). But we now need a proper leader once again. Sadly, I am sorry to say that Avram Grant doesn't have the qualities to lead. He may have other great qualities that you see behind the scenes, I have no doubt about that. But we need someone who can inspire, give vision, excite, challenge, and bring experience and ideas from his past successful campaigns - in short Mr Abramovich - we need a leader who leads by example. Whatever else Avram Grant has, he doesn't have these attributes - he doesn't have a background of success and leadership track record to enable us to be a truly top team again.

So as one fan to another, please therefore consider carefully the future of this great football club. We desperately need a new manager who can shape this team once again. One that brings the experience of success, and the qualities of genuine leadership. I pray you'll be wise like Solomon, and that you'll have long known the lessons of Hezekiah. My challenge to you sir is not to have a proud and haughty heart - but a humble and open heart. If you do, I know you can make the right decisions for this club and bring in a new leader for the team. We are so nearly there ... please ... change things for the better.


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