I, Rowan Farnham-Long, would like to make a sincere apology to Chelsea manager Avram Grant, relating to comments made to everyone and anyone who would listen following his side’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Championship Barnsley on the 8th March 2008.
In the heat of the moment I said some things which are not true and were purely the result of an emotional ninety minutes.
I accept that these falsehoods may have done damage to Mr Grant’s reputation and livelihood and, upon reflection, would like to withdraw certain statements I may have made around the time of 7:30PM on said night.
I claimed Mr Grant is criminally inexperienced to perform the managerial job at a club like Chelsea FC, who just a couple of seasons ago were considered title favourites, cup kings, not to mention one of the major forces in European football, but since August have lost the Community Shield, the League Cup, and the FA Cup from their trophy cabinet.
I claimed that Mr Grant has constantly shown a complete and utter lack of tactical acumen during his time at Chelsea FC, devoid of a plan B or any impact substitutions, the likes of which the club have seen under previous management.
I claimed that Mr Grant sometimes picks players on reputation alone rather than form, including a certain French winger, a Ghanaian midfielder, and a Brazilian full-back, who have been strikingly bad in past games yet still given the nod ahead of proven players who do the business week in, week out.
I claimed that Mr Grant has brought nothing new to the side since taking over from previous management under the veil of ‘attacking football’, except an unwelcome record of zero goals scored and just one point gained from games against the club’s title challengers, a lifeless display in a League Cup Final resulting in defeat to the club’s arch-rivals, and most recently, an embarrassing defeat to lower league opposition in England’s top knock-out competition, the FA Cup.
I claimed that Mr Grant has all too often sent his side out to play matches with the team showing little to no cohesion, little to no creativity, and little to no invention or passion, resulting in dull performances and dropped points in several games which the team is expected to win.
I claimed that Mr Grant has often “got himself out of jail” on occasions, where the team itself has luckily equalised or scored the winner despite playing poorly, despite Mr Grant having little effect on the eleven on the pitch as a result of tame motivational skills and the aforementioned tactical vacuum he possesses inside him.
I claimed that Mr Grant was only in the job he is in currently because of pure nepotism, and his close relationship to Chelsea FC’s owner Roman Abramovich, who was unable to work with the previous management, hence the appointment of his ally Mr Grant.
Upon reading these claims back to myself I acknowledge that I have made knee-jerk reactions to problems encountered. While these are views widely-believed by my fellow supporters, and indeed by experts in the game itself, I cannot tar Mr Grant with all of these allegations.
I can however say what I still genuinely believe, with the dust settled and the anger and disappointment adequately subsided after a shocking day in the history of the club.
Mr Grant is not the man for the job. We all know it, the game knows it, he probably knows it himself. I’ve done my apologising, maybe it’s time for the people in charge to take a look at themselves and make a decision for the good of the football club for once.