Herve Renard, Otto Pfister, Sven Goran Eriksson and now Avram Grant – the Israeli manager has become the latest European important to follow the money with a move into the Ghana hotseat.
Loathed by West Ham fans and similarly dismissed by those of the Chelsea persuasion, Grant has enjoyed a funny old journey in the world of football management from early success in his homeland to several Premier League stints and most recently of all a season at Partizan Belgrade.
But the 59-year-old is about to embark on arguably his biggest adventure yet, after being named as the new manager of the Black Stars.
Grant has signed a rather odd 27-month deal with the African national side, taking over from Maxwell Konadu who had been in temporary charge following Kwesi Appiah’s departure last September.
The former Hammers boss now has just six-weeks to whip his Ghana side into shape, with Ladbrokes pricing the Black Stars at 5/1 to win a first African Cup of Nations crown since way back in 1982.
Last time out in South Africa they finished fourth in a largely disappointing display and Grant will have his work cut out for him if he is to get the best out of a squad who made all the wrong sort of headlines at the World Cup after a major dispute over player bonuses.
Worse still, there are some concerns that the managers nationality could stop him from even entering some North African countries with Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantekyie admitting “that is an issue” in something of an understatement during an interview with the BBC.
The former Chelsea boss, who led the Blues to the 2008 Champions League final and a Premier League runners-up finish, has his work cut out to avoid flopping in much the same way ex-England manager Eriksson did during his time in charge of Ivory Coast.
Arguably the most successful import was Renard – a one-time Cambridge United manager who led Zambia to the African Cup of Nations in 2011.
With a better squad and easier draw, Grant could well end up somewhere in between.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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