Sky Sports News is reporting that Gianfranco Zola has agreed a deal to be the new West Ham United manager. According to the news channel, the Chelsea legend has agreed a three year contract at the Hammers. Zola will be flying into London tomorrow to sign the contract. West Ham United hope to unveil Zola to the media sometime before this weekend.
Zola will be at the Hawthorns this Saturday for the Hammers match against West Bromwich Albion, which kicks off at 10am ET/3pm UK time, but will be in the stands. The Italian’s first game in charge will be the home match against Newcastle United on September 20.
Gianfranco Zola has no direct managerial experience. After a spectacular playing career, he became assistant manager for the Italian under-21 team alongside head coach Pierluigi Casiraghi. They reached the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympics after losing to Belgium 3-2.
While Zola’s managerial knowledge is questionable, his career as a footballer featured many highs including four seasons at Napoli where he played alongside Diego Maradona, and seven seasons at Chelsea where he helped the Blues win two FA Cups, a League Cup, the Cup Winners Cup, Community Shield trophy and the European Super Cup.
Zola was one of the most delightful players to watch. He always had a great attitude, but where he impressed the most was with his deft touches and brilliant free kicks.
In his entire career, Zola played 627 games and scored 193 goals. He earned 35 caps for Italy, and was named Football Writers’ Player Of The Year in 1997 as well as being voted Chelsea’s greatest player ever.
Some West Ham supporters will be upset at the decision since Zola used to play for one of their main rivals, Chelsea FC. However, the move by West Ham United seems like a smart decision and will definitely bring a lot of fresh air to Upton Park where Zola will definitely inspire the team to play more attacking football.