BBC Home

Explore the BBC


user rating: 3 star

Chelsea show unity in adversity

Premier League Chelsea
comment on the article

Avram Grant's first game in charge of Chelsea may have ended in defeat but he can still be at least partially satisfied with his day's work.

After the turbulence of the last few days - the rapid end of Jose Mourinho's reign and the Israeli's hasty appointment - there has been speculation over how the London club's players would react.

Would their "shock and sorrow", in Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon's words, at seeing 'the Special One' depart on Wednesday be translated on to the pitch?

With people writing off their entire season already, Chelsea desperately needed a show of unity at Old Trafford - and they produced one.

Grant's players traded hugs and high fives before kick-off and kept battling for their new boss even when luck deserted them.

And, on this evidence, not a lot has changed in the Chelsea set-up, apart from the absence of Mourinho of course.

We were never going to see a radical tactical change for this game because Grant would have been foolish to have tried to make any significant changes to the team's system ahead of such a tough fixture against the Premier League champions.

And, once Mikel Jon Obi had been sent off for his lunge at Patrice Evra, we were never going to see Chelsea in full flow either.

It was a poor challenge by the Blues midfielder but it should have been punished by a yellow card, not a red.

Grant's luck was out and referee Mike Dean's decision was one reason why this game will be better remembered for the official's performance, rather than Chelsea's.

Credit must go to Chelsea as, even without creating more than a handful of chances, they were still in the game until the closing minutes when Louis Saha was judged to have been clipped in the area by Tal Ben Haim and the Frenchman picked himself up to seal United's win.

Undoubtedly, United deserved their victory but they have their own problems too - a lack of cutting edge that meant they needed Saha's spot-kick to make sure of victory.

So Grant begins his reign at the Chelsea helm with a defeat but it is clearly too early too judge him as a manager.

It is over the next few weeks - when Chelsea have faced Hull City, Fulham, Valencia and Bolton - that we will know more about the man and his methods.

And yes, although Chelsea will have easier days against easier opposition, there will still be some tough times for Grant as he tries to step out of Mourinho's shadow and prove his doubters wrong.

He will be grateful though that he can count on his squad to back him where it matters - on the pitch.

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Sep 26, 2007

I dont really want to gossip or judge Grant for his first match in chelsea against manchester united but i will for sure say somethng to him if chelsea loss or a draw tonight against Hull, I dont wish that.

But to be frank with you all, Grant can not give us the best result we deserve in chelsea i doubt.

Hon. Ou Silver

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 26, 2007

Chelsea are not a big club they are a rich club supported by money as opposed to a loyal fan base. These fans will go back from where they came as soon as a few clouds appear oin the horizon. In fact it has already started with the Rosenborg game.

When things get tough for really big clubs the fans stick with it. Not sure the Chelski fans will.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 26, 2007

corzellian, dont you have homework to do. Your opinions are meanigless drivel

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 26, 2007


shouldn't that be mouthy?

So what part is meaningless kid!

You cannot compare Chelsea, a club, who used to be watched by four figure numbers when times were tough with clubs like Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and many more.

Face the facts before Roman's money you were at best number three in London and now you talk about being the biggest in the world!

Dream on!

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 29, 2007

watch birmingham v man u its about time something was done about these so called referees favouring united rooney should have gone for a thuggish attack on the brum keeper
vidic for a blatent push in the box with is hands raised and at least a card for ronaldo for a silly dive even he laughted its making the premier a laughing stock and no i dont follow either side

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 12, 2007

Corzellian, I take it you're a Spurs fan (living in the past) if you think that before Roman Chelsea were the third biggest club in London.

Chelsea will be just fine and are here to stay. Last season their turn over was comfortably the 3rd largest in the UK (and twice that of Spurs) which goes to show they don't necessarily need Roman's money as they can generate enough on their own.

Fair enough we might struggle to compete in the league this year especially when Drogba and Essien go off for the African nations, but we've definitely got a cup in us this season.

The last word.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 12, 2007


Actually I am not a Spurs fan but up until the Russian revolution at Stamford Bridge there is no way Chelsea can be considered ahead of Arsenal or Spurs in terms of status, support, success or past history.

Agreed that recently Chelsea have caught and overtaken Spurs as London's second club... but for how long?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 29, 2007

I hardly think it was just since the russian revolution. Chelsea have been the number 2 club in London for the past decade. Between 96 and 2005 Spurs best finish was 9th, Chelsea's worst was 6th. They have been consistently out performing them in just about every competition.

I'll give you spurs has a bigger support and will do for some time. But as for status (internationally and not just domestically) and success Chelsea were way ahead of Spurs by the late 90's.

Past history, well everyone seems to think Spurs are some sort of trophy winning machine. Forgetting about FA cups, which obviously spurs have a good record in. They have only won 2 league titles and 3 European trophies ever. Before Abramovic Chelsea had won 1 league and two European trophies, hardly miles behind.

Anyway my point is that Chelsea were on the up well before their money came along, people like Hoddle, Vialli, Ranieri, Zola and Ken Bates made sure of that. Spurs have been on the slide for ages and they need to stop living on "past glories" and start competing. Chelsea are only going to get further away from them with or without Abramovic as they have the business structure, turnover and international recognition to keep making plenty of money.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 30, 2007

Dave, your still a nungy !

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 35.56%
    16 votes
  • 4 8.89%
    4 votes
  • 3 13.33%
    6 votes
  • 2 6.67%
    3 votes
  • 1 35.56%
    16 votes

average rating:
3.02 from 45 votes