Jumat, 12 September 2008


When Alan Curbishley stepped down as manager of West Ham, many names were linked with the vacant job. Of these names, two Italians were listed to be in the running: Roberto Donadoni, who was fresh off his 2 year reign as Italian National Team manager and speaks fluent English after his stint in MLS with the Metrostars, and Gianfranco Zola, who spent 7 seasons with Chelsea in the EPL, making 249 appearances and scoring 89 goals, and was most recently an assistant to Pierluigi Casiraghi for the Italy U-21 squad. Both Donadoni and Zola were interviewed, and then rumors came out that West Ham were all set to name Zola as manager (with Donadoni releasing a statement that he had withdrawn his name from the running). On Tuesday, after the U21 qualifier vs. Croatia, Zola responded to questions about the job and said he would reveal everything on Wednesday. Yesterday Zola announced he was about to sign with West Ham, and today it became official, with the Sardinian fantasista signing a 3 year deal worth around 4.5 million pounds.

This is 42 year old Zola’s first ever head coaching job, and the only previous experience he has is his assistant job with the Italy U-21’s. Zola has experience playing in the EPL and speaks the language, so he shouldn’t have much a problem adapting to England. However it remains to be seen if he has the necessary experience to be successful at such a high level. Zola is West Ham’s first ever non-British manager. Also West Ham’s director of football is Italian Gianluca Nani, who used to be the director of football at Brescia and discovered such talents as Marek Hamsik, Fabiano Santacroce, and Emiliano Viviano just to name a few. Zola will also find another Italian at West Ham in striker David Di Michele, who arrived from Torino on loan during the transfer window.

Zola’s first words as West Ham boss were, “At Chelsea I had some great years, but I wanted to find a new challenge and I know West Ham can be a successful club.” Then he talked about his time as U-21 assistant, “I’ve always liked to work with young players, but the offer I was presented with was irrefutable.” He also says because he was an attacking player he likes to play attacking football and his team will be fun to watch.

I wish Zola luck because it’s always great to see Italians doing good abroad.more detail


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