LONDON: Avram Grant’s relegated Portsmouth will be looking for an almost impossible saving grace today as they face Premier League winners Chelsea at Wembley.
The fact that Grant could prevent Chelsea winning their first double adds spice to a plot that is already scarcely believable since Chelsea are the club he guided to within half a goalpost of winning the Champions League in 2008 before being unceremoniously sacked. While Grant’s short reign at Chelsea ended without any silverware, the players he left behind still hold him in high regard and after his semifinal coup against Tottenham Hotspur they know Pompey cannot be treated lightly.
Since November the Israeli has been at the controls of Portsmouth as the club hurtled towards financial oblivion and inevitable relegation - once nine points were deducted for the debt-laden club sliding into administration. But against all the odds he crash-landed Pompey into the FA Cup final and Grant has galvanised a multi-national squad and the fiercely loyal fans for one last hoorah.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 15th, 2010.
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