John Obi Mikel explains what Avram Grant actually did at Chelsea

    Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel says Avram Grant ‘had absolutely no clue’ when in charge at Stamford Bridge.

    The ex-Nigeria international spent 11 years with the South West London club under eight different managers, including Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.


    Mikel has revealed what challenges Chelsea players encountered when Grant was in chargeCredit: Getty

    But one boss who does stick in his mind, however, was Grant, who took charge of the Blues during the 2007/08 season following Mourinho’s shock departure.

    “For me, he [Avram Grant] just wasn’t a manager,” Mikel told ex-teammate Florent Malouda on the The Obi One Podcast.

    “He wasn’t a manager because he [had] no clue of what he was doing. He absolutely had no clue.

    “He [had] someone who does the training and someone who does the training – and all he does is come in and tell us stories about Michael Jordan and a fire that is burning somewhere.

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    “But it worked for him, he got us to a Champions League final.”

    Grant managed a win percentage of 66.67% in a season that saw Chelsea miss out on the Premier League title by two points and lose the Champions League final on penalties to Manchester United.

    He was sacked days after the season concluded but Malouda suggested it was a good call as he backed up Mikel’s claims.

    “Yeah, I agree with you,” Malouda replied.

    On the surface it appears Grant did a very good job at Chelsea but two of his former players have suggested he was out of his depth


    On the surface it appears Grant did a very good job at Chelsea but two of his former players have suggested he was out of his depthCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    John Obi Mikel reveals what it was like working under owner Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, and admits senior players had a lot of ‘power’ over managers

    “I remember in training when he tried to lead the session, he realised he did not have that skill so he had to find a guy who had that skill.

    “But, I would say when you look at the results, we reached the Champions League final.

    “At the time, he knew [his limitations] and he knew what he needed to help him, because management is not easy – even if you are experienced, it is very, very hard.

    “So, I think he did well, because he was not experienced but he still did the job.”

    Despite his coaching shortcomings, Grant is still in the management game and is currently in charge of the Zambia national team.

    He also managed Portsmouth and West Ham in the Premier League, although he was once reportedly found asleep at his desk by players during his stint with the east London club.

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