Despite his stunned expression at left, I seriously doubt the firing came as a surprise. In fact, what surprises me is that he lasted the entire year. He may have made some good tactical decisions in Chelsea's victories against Arsenal and United at Stamford Bridge, but for the most part, he seemed out of his depth. Chelsea supporters can angrily point to underwhelming draws (Wigan, Bolton) and failure to control personnel (Drogba's slap, Anelka's refusal to take one of the first five penalties) as the primary reasons they're not celebrating a historic double right now. Though the job was a tough one, and he had some very large boots to fill, he just didn't do enough to justify his retention. And if that's my verdict, than you better believe that Roman Abramovich came to that conclusion within a couple milliseconds of van der Sar's final save.
Now one has to wonder what's next for both Chelsea and Grant. A lot of people have been talking about Frank Rijkaard as his replacement, but I happen to think that's a horrible idea. He'll be coming to a big club, desperate for trophies, willing to spend money, and fielding a collection of some of the best (albeit somewhat overpaid) talent in the world... sounds like a recipe for success, no? Well, I guess it might if Rijkaard weren't leaving the exact same situation at Barcelona, where he couldn't make things work for the last couple years. There's really nothing which suggests to me that his results with Chelsea would be any different. As for Grant, I hear Man City might be looking for a new manager fairly soon. That strikes me as a good match for his level of talent and ambition (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).