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Chelsea are on war footing


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AVRAM GRANT has revealed the behind-the-scenes battle plans as Chelsea set out to dominate world football.

The sacked boss believed he would be at Stamford Bridge for at least FOUR years after replacing Jose Mourinho.

But after being dumped, despite finishing runners-up in the Premier League and beaten Champions League finalists, the Israeli has been opening the lid on Chelsea's strategy secrets.

Grant tried to alter the culture of rowing with rival managers like Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson that he feels Mourinho used to take the spotlight off his players.

And while many feel Grant was weak, he insists he let the squad know who was the boss by giving Didier Drogba the mother of all rollickings in front of his team-mates.

He revealed: "When I took over, we set ourselves targets that seemed crazy at the time.

"One: Reaching the Champions League final. Clubs with half the budget, such as Liverpool, reached the final a couple of times.

"Two: Improving the quality of our game and changing our image. We are living in the era of TV and internet. Chelsea want to be everywhere and therefore must change the quality of play.

"Three: Finding a solution to the problems and atmosphere in and surrounding the club.

"The club is overshadowed with constant wars as part of its strategy. The coach fights with the owner through the papers, fights with other clubs and other managers.

"It is an atmosphere which has not contributed to the club's image. So we had decided on a different path to transform Chelsea to the most attractive and supported club in the world in the next two, three years."

Grant, speaking at a Pro licence course in the Israeli capital, also told how he erupted after the on-pitch row between Drogba and Michael Ballack over a free-kick against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in April.

With Roberto Mancini now the bookies' favourite to replace him, Grant said: "In the team meeting after the game, I gave Drogba a b******ing he will never forget. The players all know I am the boss."

He retained Steve Clarke as his No 2 as the Blues stalwart was honest with him.

Grant admitted: "Steve Clarke, who was a Mourinho appointment, told me 'I don't know whether I can work with you'. As he was straightforward and honest, I decided he should keep his job.

"I had come for four years and planned with my staff to change the style as well as the way of thinking.

"Over the last three months as manager, this plan began taking effect. If we had played at the start of the season how we finished, we'd have won the Championship.

"Our progress was gradual but very clear. We reached our peak right on time."

Edited by the wes
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