It has been a week to remember for Anthony Edgar and his famous cousin
It has been quite a week for Anthony Edgar. On Tuesday, the West Ham United
winger's cousin Jermain Defoe was named in Fabio Capello's 23-man England
squad for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The news was greeted by a
family get-together where Defoe thanked his family for the support they have
given him since his years as a member of the Hammers Academy. Two days
later, Edgar followed his famous relation's good news with some of his own
by agreeing a new one-year contract with the club. Having made his
first-team debut in the FA Cup third-round meeting with Arsenal in January,
the 19-year-old is targeting a regular place in new manager Avram Grant's
matchday squad next season. Speaking to WHUTV, Edgar said: "I'm definitely
pleased to sign a new contract. I just want to push on from last year. I
played in the FA Cup last year and hopefully I can play in the Premier
League and show what I can do. "It was incredible. I couldn't wait to get
on. I think I came on for approximately seven minutes and I couldn't wait to
touch the ball. I was just screaming 'Give me the ball' so I could show what
I can do. I just had to be patient and when I got the ball, I tried to do
something and show everyone what I can do. "I want to play first-team
football here. I have seen a lot of the youngsters from the Academy where I
grew up hit the big stage and I hopefully I can do that. This is where I
live and this is my club. I want to play for this club every week and
hopefully that ambition will sign me on. "This is like a trial again for me
really. I have got to show the new manager what I can do and what I've been
doing since I was young, getting at it and showing what I can do on the
pitch. "He'll see that I've got flair. I think I've got the ability and got
what it takes, so hopefully I'll show him and prove to him that I can get
It's Hammers Av-a-go hero
By BEN HUNT
Published: 03 Jun 2010
AVRAM GRANT had his appointment as West Ham manager hailed as the 'beginning
of a new era'. At least that is what club co-owners David Sullivan and David
Gold are hoping. They have offered the former Chelsea boss a four-year deal
at Upton Park. The Israeli, who took Portsmouth to last month's FA Cup
final, quit the relegated South Coast club two weeks ago. Sullivan and Gold
see the 55-year-old as the ideal candidate to lead the cash-strapped
Londoners forward. Grant got Pompey playing good football last season,
despite crippling debts that eventually saw them pushed into administration.
And the hope is he can now transform the Hammers following the departure of
former boss Gianfranco Zola. Gold declared: "I have to say that, having met
Avram and spent some time with him, we have got our man. "He is a perfect
fit. We needed experience and stability. He's a footballing man and, quite
frankly, his reputation speaks for itself. "He has a great sense of humour
and I'm sure the players will relate to him and the fans will warm to him.
"It's the beginning of a new era at West Ham United."
Former Birmingham co-owner Sullivan said: "I'm delighted to welcome Avram to
West Ham and am confident he will prove a success. "We have taken our time
over this appointment and are certain we have the right man. "We are all
looking forward to next season, with new players coming in, and Avram's
arrival is just the latest reason for real optimism."
Grant, whose contract is subject to him getting a work permit, will swiftly
want to convince the likes of Matthew Upson, Robert Green and Scott Parker
to stay put. He also has Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng, with whom he worked
at Fratton Park, and Tottenham's Jamie O'Hara high up on his wishlist of new
signings. Grant said: "I'm proud and honoured to be the manager of West Ham.
It's an exciting challenge. I'm ready to do my best. "West Ham is a
fantastic club with great fans and a history respected around the world. I'm
looking forward to getting to work with my players in July and preparing for
the new season."
West Ham United confirm appointment of Avram Grant as new manager
West Ham United have appointed Avram Grant as their new manager on a
four-year contract, subject to a work permit, the club have confirmed. The
Israeli led Portsmouth to the FA Cup Final last month against his former
club Chelsea, but couldn't prevent the financially-troubled side being
relegated from the Barclays Premier League last season.
"I am proud and honoured to be the manager of West Ham," Grant told the
club's official website. "It will be an exciting challenge and I am ready to
do my best. I am already looking forward to getting to work with my players
in July and preparing for the new season."
David Sullivan, the West Ham co-owner, is looking forward to working with
Grant. "I am confident he will prove a success," he said. "We have taken our
time over this appointment and are certain we have got the right man. "We
are all looking forward to next season with new players coming in and
Avram's arrival is just the latest reason for real optimism."
David Gold, co-owner with Sullivan, said: "He [Grant] is a perfect fit. We
needed experience and stability. He is a footballing man and his reputation
speaks for itself. He has a great sense of humour and I am sure the players
will relate to him and the fans will warm to him." Grant is expected to
bring his own backroom staff to Upton Park and will meet his players when
they report back for pre-season training on July 5.
West Ham and Fulham set for transfer scrap over Portsmouth star
Published 22:45 03/06/10 By Darren Lewis
Avram Grant is battling an attempt by Fulham to hijack West Ham's move for
striker Freddie Piquionne. The 31-year-old marksman's loan spell Portsmouth
is over, but he suffered a tough time at his parent club Lyon before
switching to the Premier League last summer and has no intention of going
back to France. He scored 11 goals in total for Pompey, including two
against Birmingham in the FA Cup quarter-final and another in the semi-final
to stun Spurs. Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has agreed a £2million deal with Lyon
for the striker. But Grant is keen to pair Piquionne with Everton striker
Yakubu, who has told friends he is ready to move to Upton Park after the
World Cup, subject to the two clubs agreeing a fee. One other striker on the
Hammers' shortlist is 20-year-old former Chelsea youngster Ben Sahar. The
Israeli international has three years left on his contract at Espanyol but
has hit just hit just one goal in over 20 games for the Spanish club. Grant
could yet keep England marksman Carlton Cole - to complete a quarter of
attacking options - with the Hammers insisting they will only sell if they
receive an offer that meets their staggering £15million valuation. Stoke and
Aston Villa remain interested.
The tug of war over Piquionne is among a number of deals Grant is trying to
pull off as he bids to revamp the West Ham squad. He is also said to be keen
on taking England keeper David James to east London on a free, with the club
ready to listen for offers for Robert Green. And he is also bidding to
rescue midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng from Championship football next
season. The club could also revisit a move for the highly-rated West Brom
midfielder Graham Dorrans, having already had a bid of £4million turned
Avram Grant chasing back-up team from Portsmouth as West Ham rebuilding
By Dan Francis
Last updated at 11:38 PM on 3rd June 2010
Avram Grant's first task as West Ham manager will be to raid the coaching
staff of his former club Portsmouth. The 55-year-old agreed a four-year
deal to take over at Upton Park yesterday and will officially start once a
work permit has been processed. There had been suggestions the Israeli
would team up again with his former Chelsea No 2 Steve Clarke, who remained
at West Ham after Gianfranco Zola left last month. However, Clarke is
understood to be close to agreeing a severance package on his
£1.2million-a-year contract and won't hang around for an opportunity to
renew the partnership that took Chelsea to the Champions League final in
2008. Grant is set to target former Portsmouth assistants Paul Groves and
Ian Woan as part of a new backroom team, although first-team coach Kevin
Keen is expected to stay on in some capacity. Grant arrives in east London
having overcome the odds to steer Portsmouth into last month's FA Cup final,
where the fairytale ended with defeat by Chelsea. Working amid horrendous
financial constraints, he inspired a club who had been placed into
administration to punch well above their weight and won admiration inside
and outside of Fratton Park as a result.
His defiance of Championship-bound Portsmouth's dire situation and success
on the pitch earned him the adoration of Pompey supporters and saw his stock
as a Premier
League manager soar.
Grant said: 'I'm proud and honoured to be the manager of West Ham. It's an
exciting challenge and I'm ready to do my best. West Ham are a fantastic
club with great fans and a history respected around the world. I'm looking
forward to getting to work with my players in July and preparing for the new
season.' West Ham co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold described
Grant's appointment as the 'beginning of a new era'. Gold said: 'I have to
say that, having met Avram and spent some time with him, we have got our
man. He is a perfect fit. We needed experience and stability. He's a
footballing man and, quite frankly, his reputation speaks for itself. 'He
has a great sense of humour and I'm sure the players will relate to him and
the fans will warm to him.'
Sullivan added: 'We have taken our time over this appointment and are
certain we have got the right man. We are all looking forward to next season
with new players coming in, and Avram's arrival is just the latest reason
for real optimism.'
Who is Avram Grant?
Filed: Thursday, 3rd June 2010
By: Staff Writer
Avram Grant was appointed as West Ham United's 13th full time manager
earlier today. Join KUMB.com as we take a look back at his career to date...
Avram Grant's coaching career began just as many players were starting
theirs - at the tender age of only 18, when he took a job teaching the
youngsters at his home town club Hapoel Petah Tikva on a part-time basis
back in 1972.
Having spent 14 years in the role he was eventually promoted to first team
coach with Tikva, where he proved to be an immediate success. A Toto Cup win
- the Israeli equivalent of the Carling Cup - saw the national press sit up
and take note of the rising young star.
However Grant suffered the first of many of a series of last-gasp
disappointments when he saw his Tikva team narrowly pipped to what would
have been their first ever Israeli championship in 1991 - three days before
they were beaten 3-1 in the Israeli State Cup final by Maccabi Haifa.
Having taken Tikva as far as he felt he could Grant made the bold move of
leaving his home town club after nearly 20 years' service to join Maccabi
Tel Aviv, one of Israel's largest clubs. The move proved to be instantly
successful as Grant led Tel Aviv to the Israeli title for the first time
since 1979, beating their closest rivals by a massive 13 points (and
finishing runners-up in the Israeli Cup).
Grant's four-year spell at Tel Aviv proved to be a massive success, helped
by the club being bankrolled by a wealthy group of businessmen under the
MOFET banner. During this period he worked alongside some of the country's
most famous footballers including strikers Eli Driks and the legendary Avi
Nimni, the club's greatest ever goalscorer.
The league success the year before sent Tel Aviv into the freshly-introduced
Champions League for the first time in their history in 1992/93. Having
beaten Maltese champions FA Valetta in the first knockout phase they were
ousted from the competition by Club Brugge 4-0 on aggregate - a decent
performance against a side literally leagues above them. It was to be some
years before Grant was to eventually make his mark on the competition.
Further success followed at Tel Aviv where Grant helped the club take the
State Cup in 1993/94 and then the league title for the second time. However
a second crack at the Champions League would have to wait as Grant accepted
a job offer from Hapoel Haifa - a job which he was to remain in for less
than a year before returning to Tel Aviv.
Introuduced to Haifa by notorious businessman Ruby Shapira, it was a move
destined to failure. A club on the up and looking for their first elusive
championship, Haifa - who included a young Eyal Berkovic - weren't prepared
to give the new man time to settle and after a difficult season in which
they finished fourth, Grant was on the road again.
A further four years with Tel Aviv followed although the manager failed to
repeat the success of his earlier spell at the club, managing just a single
Toto Cup win in 1988/99. A second stab at the Champions League in 1996/97
saw the club fail to make it past the final qualification round, going out
this time - albeit narrowly - to Fenerbache.
With his job made tougher by the fact that his predecessor had left having
won the double, something that Grant was unable to emulate, the club's
supporters began to grow increasingly frustrated and were partly responsible
for his second exit from Tel Aviv in 2000. With the club having gone from a
Championship-winning side to a mid-table club, not many Tel Aviv fans were
sad to see the back of the manager this time around.
Undeterred by the first major setback of his managerial career, Grant took
the vacant post at Maccabi Haifa - where his two years proved to be an
unprecedented success. Two successive league titles instantly followed - as
did another Toto Cup win (in 2002).
His next sojourn into European competition saw Grant take Haifa into the
first round proper of the UEFA Cup (beaten 4-2 on aggregate by VItesse) and
also the Champions League where they became the first Israeli club to reach
the competition's group stages in 2002/03 - but only after they had been
kicked out of the competition the year before for fielding an ineligible
player (Walid Badir) against Haka of Finland, who they had beaten 5-0 on
Placed alongside Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiakos and Manchester United in
02/03, the Israeli's were given little chance of progressing. However
stunning home wins over Olympiakos and Manchester United (both 3-0) -
combined with a draw in Greece - saw Haifa finish a respectable third in the
group which saw them through to the UEFA Cup - where they were hammered 8-1
on aggregate by Athens in the third round.
Impressed by the way he had turned around Maccabi Haifa's fortunes, the
Israeli FA offered Grant the opportunity to succeed the outgoing Richard
Moller Nielsen in 2002. Having become his nation's youngest-ever coach at
the age of 45, Grant's side fared well in the 2004 European Championships
qualifiers, finishing third behind France and Slovakia.
Two years later they went one better and narrowly missed out on qualifying
for the 2006 World Cup Finals, finishing third in their qualifying group
behind France and Switzerland (on goal difference) - despite going through
the entire qualifying campaign undefeated (four wins and six draws).
After three years in the post Grant announced that he would be leaving his
position at the end of his four-year contract in 2006, shortly before
confirming that he would be moving to England to take up the post of
Director of Football with Premier League Portsmouth. During his spell on the
South Coast he worked alongside former Hammers boss Harry Redknapp before a
shock move by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, a personal friend of Grant's,
saw the Israeli land the post of successor to the hugely-popular Jose
The move thrust the previously unknown Grant into the public spotlight. The
first Israeli to manage in the Premier League, Grant took to his new role
like a natural - although it took some time to placate Chelsea fans
disappointed at the departure of Mourinho (anti-Semitic hate mail received
during this period is thought to have been the responsibility of Blues
supporters). Criticism aimed at Grant suggested that he was lacking in
relevant experience, or that his tactical philosophy centred on the
defensive and unadventurous.
Undaunted, Grant led his new club to an opening day defeat against Man Utd
before taking the team on a 16-game unbeaten run. Just three months into his
spell at Stamford Bridge he was offered a four-year deal by Abramovich,
which he promptly signed.
He further made his mark on the side by signing players such as Nicolas
Anelka and Branislav Ivanovic in the January transfer window before leading
the club to a Carling Cup Final defeat against Tottenham and a memorable
penalty shootout defeat in the Champions League Final aganst Manchester
United. He remains the only Chelsea manager to take the team to the final of
Europe's premier club competition.
A third runners-up spot was confirmed when Chelsea finished second to
Manchester United in the Premier League. But only three days after the
Champions League final, Chelsea confirmed via their website that they had
terminated the manager's contract, with Grant having refused the offer of a
Director of Football role at the club. He left having not lost a single home
game during his tenure.
After a year or so out of the game - his longest spell out of work since
entering the sport as a youth coach at the tender age of 18 - Grant was
hired by crisis club Portsmouth in November 2009 to replace the outgoing
Paul Hart. Although he failed to save Pompey's Premier League status he
somehow managed to lead a team of cast-offs and second-rate players to the
FA Cup final, having memorably beaten Tottenham in the semi-final.
Six months later he resigned from his post at Portsmouth, calling the
decision to leave 'the hardest he has ever had to make'. Rumours that he was
on his way to West Ham were rife, but it took another fortnight before his
arrival in east London was finally confirmed.
Avram Grant: Managerial Career
1986–1991 Hapoel Petah Tikva
Israeli Championship: Runners-Up 1990/91; Toto Cup: Winners 1990, 1991.
1991–1995 & 1996-2000 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Israeli Championship: Winners 1991/92, 1994/95; State Cup: Winners 1993/94;
Toto Cup: Winners 1992/93, 1998/99.
1995–1996 Hapoel Haifa
2000–2002 Maccabi Haifa
Israeli Championship: Winners 2000/01, 2001/02; Toto Cup: Winners 2002.
Champions League: Runners-Up 2007/08; Premier League: Runners-Up 2007/08;
Carling Cup: Runners-Up 2007/08.
FA Cup: Runners-Up 2009/10.
2010- West Ham United
No honours (yet).
Posted by Billy Blagg
One of the few benefits of having your contract terminated is that you can
be on the ball with exciting developments at Upton Park. So it is that
within minutes of Messrs Gold and Sullivan opening the door this morning I
can confirm that Avram Grant has been offered a four-year contract to take
over the manager's hot seat at West Ham.
In a secret that hardly was, Grant joins the club fresh from leading
Portsmouth to the FA Cup final and replaces former Chelsea favourite
Gianfranco Zola, who was sacked at the end of the season. It will be
interesting to see if Grant suffers the same anti-Blue backlash that Zola
In a statement Grant was quoted as saying: "I am proud and honoured to be
the manager of West Ham. It will be an exciting challenge and I am ready to
do my best'' "This is a fantastic club with great fans and a history that is
respected around the world. I am already looking forward to getting to work
with my players in July and preparing for the new season."
Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold both welcomed Grant with Sullivan
inevitably providing the rent-a-quotes:
"I am delighted to welcome Avram to West Ham and am confident he will prove
a success,'' said Sullivan. 'We have taken our time over this appointment
and are certain we have got the right man.
"We are all looking forward to next season with new players coming in and
Avram's arrival is just the latest reason for real optimism."
Gold added: "I have to say that having met Avram and spent some time with
him that we have got our man. He is a perfect fit.
"We needed experience and stability. He is a footballing man and quite
frankly his reputation speaks for itself. He has a great sense of humour and
I am sure the players will relate to him and the fans will warm to him."
Well, I wanted someone with good experience of both Premiership and European
football - not that Av need concern himself with that for a good few years -
and I suppose Grant fits the bill. It will be interesting to see how he
works with the squad and I'm not expecting another relegation battle next
year so I wish the man well and look forward to seeing Babka and Hummus
added to the menu at the Martin Peters Tea Bar.