Grant in, Rafa out.
Another quiet post season day in the world of Premier League football saw the departure of Rafa Benitez from Liverpool, and the arrival of the Transylvanian looking Avran Grant at West Ham United.
Another one of footballs worst kept secrets, Grant was unveiled as West Ham’s new manager by a statement on the club website, he is on a 4 year contract subject to a work permit.
It will be interesting to see if the constant drip feed of information to the media will still be as forthcoming from David Sullivan as it was under Gianfranco Zola’s spell as manager.
Or was it more a case of just trying to continually undermine Zola? A risky stratergy given the clubs perilous position at the time.
Grant would seem to have a large job on his hands at Upton Park. He will almost certainly be required to reduce the wage bill, a task not likely to be made any easier while the club are openly pursuing the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, presumably on large contracts.
It will be interesting to see how things develope at Upton Park, get the feeling ‘The Two Davids Show’ will find it hard to keep their opinions to themselves over the course of the season.
Meanwhile at Anfield, Benitez is finally gone. I have wrote a lot on this blog about how lucky he seemed to be to keep his job last season, and do believe he had to go.
I’m not suggesting he is a bad manager, his CV would contradict that. I just think at times he over complicated things, making a simple game harder.
And at times he was way too negative to win the Premier League, all too often picking defensive sides at home to lower league teams.
Nothing surprises me about this saga though, so it was no great shock to hear that fans gathered outside Anfield to protest in the wake of Rafa’s departure.
I take it they would have rathered Steven Gerrard left instead?
Some reports are suggesting that Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush are being lined up to take over, possibly on a caretaker basis.
Another report suggested that Dalglish and managing director Christian Purslow will begin the search for a successor to Rafa.
One name heavily touted around and up there in the betting is that of Martin O’Neill’s. He might well be unsettled at Villa, and the sale of James Milner might be the final straw.
Anyone looking to back O’Neill with their hard earned though, should bear in mind that it was he who ordered Kenny Dalglish’s removal from his role as Director of Football at Celtic before he took the managers job in Glasgow.
King Kenny may well have a long memory.