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Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 09:58 UK

Grant sacking inevitable - Hoddle

Avram Grant
Grant came close to winning three trophies with Chelsea

Chelsea's decision to sack coach Avram Grant was inevitable after he failed to win a trophy, says former Blues boss Glenn Hoddle.

Chelsea came second in the Carling Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

"Managing Chelsea at this time, three runners-up situations is just not good enough," Hoddle told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"When you look at Roman Abramovich's money that he has put into it, unfortunately that's the pressure that anyone who goes in there is under."

Grant was dismissed on Saturday after eight months in charge of the club.

Richard Bevan of the League Managers Association told 5 Live's Sportsweek that Abramovich has said he "contributed 30% towards the club regarding on-the-pitch activity".

And Hoddle believes that another foreign manager is likely to replace Grant as they are more likely to be comfortable with such an influential club owner.

"That is a foreign concept isn't it?" said Hoddle. "And maybe these guys are a little bit more used to having that input for a chairman or a president.

"Looking from afar, I think that's maybe the little chink in the armour and why Jose Mourinho went.

"But you can understand that if someone is putting that amount of finances in they want a say."

Grant faced an almost impossible task in succeeding former Blues boss Mourinho, said BBC Sport's Pat Nevin.

"When he took over the job I felt it was a holding role until the man Chelsea really wanted could come in," Nevin told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He could almost only fail. If he did well it was Mourinho's team; if he did badly he'd ruined Mourinho's team."

Grant's side came desperately close to winning Wednesday's Champions League final against Manchester United and would have done so had captain John Terry successfully converted a penalty.

But Terry slipped and missed and after Nicolas Anelka missed another penalty, United won the shoot-out 6-5.

Avi Cohen, chairman of the Israeli Football Association and a friend of Grant, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's very, very unfair particularly because of the success he did.

"You know, John Terry should have scored the penalty and Chelsea would have been champions of Europe and Avram would have stayed, so you can't blame Avram Grant because John Terry missed a penalty."

As well as beating Chelsea in the Champions League final, Manchester United pipped the Blues to the Premier League title by two points, while Grant's side also lost the Carling Cup final to Spurs.

However, the 53-year-old Israeli coach's position had been subject to intense speculation ever since he succeeded Mourinho.

Among the favourites to succeed Grant are ex-Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, Russia coach Guus Hiddink, Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, and Blackburn boss Mark Hughes.

606: DEBATE

"Hiddink has a fantastic record with Korea, Australia and getting Russia to the finals, while he did a great job with PSV. Everything stands out," said Nevin.

"He's also a good friend of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who played a large part in giving him the Russian job - all the twos and twos add up to make four on this one.

"You want someone who is a very good coach, but who is also a personality. There are very few in the world who can match up to Mourinho, but Hiddink is definitely one of them."

BBC Radio 5 Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard said: "With Chelsea looking for a stellar name with Champions League pedigree - the new Mourinho if you like - Frank Rijkaard's claims are obvious.

"He made Barcelona champions of Spain and Europe; his former assistant, Henk ten Cate is already a Chelsea coach. But Rijkaard has insisted he wants a year out of football.

"Hiddink is another European Cup winner but he has repeatedly maintained his future is as coach of Russia, where he is partly funded by Roman Abramovich. His new contract agreed in March, however, remains unsigned and that is causing tensions.

"Mancini, meanwhile, has signalled his interest but his domestic achievements with Inter have not at all been matched by success in Europe.

"And would Chelsea really want a coach about to be replaced by Mourinho, possibly in the next 48 hours?

"I'm told that Sven-Goran Eriksson is not a contender."




see also
Grant gossip
25 May 08 |  Gossip
Grant sacked as Chelsea manager
24 May 08 |  Chelsea
Terry 'haunted' by penalty miss
25 May 08 |  Chelsea
Grant deserves sympathy
24 May 08 |  Chelsea
Chelsea and Drogba set for talks
24 May 08 |  Chelsea
Grant can hold his head high
22 May 08 |  Europe
Grant gracious after title blow
11 May 08 |  Premier League
How the title was won
12 May 08 |  Premier League
Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea
24 Feb 08 |  Football


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