a different side of Israel

Avraham Who?

Avraham GrantThe British football tabloids and other news media sources are having a field day regarding the pending appointment of former Israeli National Team coach Avraham Grant to coach the Premier League team, other known as “The Blues”. Grant replaces Jose Mourinho who suddenly quit the Chelsea team on Wednesday following adverse publicity concerning the teams’ recent performance including a lackluster 1-1 Champions League match draw against the much inferior German Rosenborg team.

Grant, age 51, was born in the Israeli City of Petach Tikvah in 1956. His football career includes being head coach of the Israeli Premier League football clubs Macabbee Haifa, and Macabbee Tel Aviv, as well as being coach of the Israeli national team which almost made it into the World Cup team line up in 2006. He was hired last July by Chelsea Club owner Roman Abramovich to assist the now departing Mourinho. Grant, though virtually unknown in the U.K., is known in Israel a tough, experienced coach whose game strategies have resulted in scores of victories. When interviewed on the street in the team’s home “territory” in S.W. London, most Chelsea fans said “Avraham Who?” in regards to their knowledge of this man from a very controversial country, as far as most Brits are concerned.

Mourinho formerly coached the successful Portugese team FC Porto before being hired to coach the Blues in 2003. He has often called himself “The Special One” in regards to his talent and skills.

Chelsea’s fortunes have been dampened in recent years, with a number of disappointing losses and ties which have reduced the Blue’s former luster. These disappointments are said to be part of the reason for Jose Mourinho’s sudden departure from his position as head coach. Grant will be assisted by Bill Clark, a former Chelsea player and experienced game strategist.

Chelsea is currently ranked at No. 5 in Premier League standings. They face another high ranking team, Manchester United, in a very crucial game on Sunday. Many people are wondering if Grant, being Jewish, will be present during Chelsea practices on Friday and Saturday, which is also the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur.

That speculation is anybody’s guess, and it might bode well for Avraham Grant to take time off to pray in a London synagogue since Yom Kippur is Judaism’s holiest day and is one in which God seals a person’s fate for the coming year. That might be an important ‘strategy’ for both Mr. Grant, as well as his new position.


  1. Steve Clarke.

    Rosenborg are Norwegian.

  2. Those slight errors are not as important as the outcome of Sunday’s game with M.U.

    That could decide a lot of things about both Chelsea’s fortunes, and those of the new coach.

  3. OK, they lost to Manchester 2-0. but considering Grant was named head coach on Thursday and the game was played on Sunday, he really can’t be blamed.

    What he needs to do now is to gain the player’s confidence, so they will feel that there is someone at the helm who cares for them.

    The season is only just beginning, so give Avraham a break!

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