Someone, somewhere does not like Avram Grant. After taking Chelsea to within a flea’s eyebrow of a fantastic treble, the Israeli was cruelly denied on three separate coronation days in 2008. Similarly at Portsmouth, Grant inherited a sinking ship when he took over the reins at Fratton Park, only for another missed penalty to dog his attempts to break his English silverware duck in last year’s FA Cup final.
Now, with his West Ham side only 90 minutes from Grant’s third Wembley final, the former Maccabi Haifa man finds himself facing a fixture the English press have decided he dare not lose. After an extensive board meeting this week, it was decided that the perennially unfortunate Grant would be given a little more time to arrest the Hammers’ slide down the table.
Arsenal arrive at Upton Park on the back of a bizarre Carling Cup defeat away at Ipswich. Much has been written about how poor Arsene Wenger’s charges were on Wednesday, and they will be aware that another defeat against their struggling London rivals could be terminal for their season.