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Ex-Ghana Coach Avram Grant claims Chelsea goes easy on Lampard for finishing 4th in EPL

AVRAM GRANT has claimed he would be exiled to Siberia had he matched Frank Lampard’s fourth place while Chelsea boss.

A surprise appointment in 2007 after Jose Mourinho’s departure, the Israeli moved down from the director of football role with a reasonable degree of success.

Finishing second in the league, Grant guided the Blues to a Champions League final where they were a penalty kick away from beating Manchester United.

Having refused the chance to return to his previous backroom role, he left the club with the Premier League title and a big-name boss desired by Roman Abramovich.

And the owner’s trust in Lampard despite Chelsea ending the season 33 points off the top is, according to Grant, a sign of the changing times.

Goal quote Grant as telling Stats Perform News: “I think it’s a good season, especially compared to how it began, without being allowed to buy players.

“Compared to the requirement of Roman Abramovich, if I told him some years ago that fourth place would be good for him, probably he would send me to Siberia.

“But because of the situation before, I think it’s a good place. For Frank, I think it’s a big achievement.

“It’s his first year as a coach in the Premier League. Of course, he was a player with a lot of experience, but you cannot compare a player to a manager, and I think he’s managed the team very well.

“A lot of young players and he knew how to play them, how to give them a rest and when to push them.

“It’s a good base for the future, I was very pleased with his performance.”

Lampard’s first season as boss was uniquely affected by a Fifa transfer ban, with the club only completing the pre-agreed signings of Matteo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic.

Nevertheless, he secured Champions League football for next season with a young side featuring a number of academy graduates.

Following last weekend’s win over Wolves, Lampard said he was “very pleased” with the season and Grant is not surprised he has become a good coach.

The 65-year-old added: “I was sure, because he was always a leader. When you spoke with him, he had a different view about football.

“In my team at Chelsea there was a lot of leaders.

“I thought [Michael] Ballack would be a good coach, Didier [Drogba], John Terry, because there was a good personality and a lot of knowledge about football.

“Of course, having the knowledge is not the same, you have to pass the knowledge to players, you have to deal with the owner, the media, you have to deal with the supporters.

“But, at the end of the day, you depend on the performance on the pitch – it’s results, especially at the top.”

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