Tags Posts tagged with "Gianfranco Zola"

Gianfranco Zola

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Chelsea are now living their better moment, with two consecutive defeats in the Premier League and a difficult Champions League last 16 second leg to be played next Wednesday at Camp Nou vs Barcelona.

However, Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola believes Antonio Conte‘s side can reach some important goals in the last part of the season.

This season perhaps hasn’t been quite as good as last season but the team is still doing well,’” Zola explained during the Geneva International Motor Show with his words then published on Chelsea official website. “Chelsea did very well in the first leg against Barcelona and will hope to get through [to the next round of the Champions League] in the second leg. They can still push on in the Premier League too and have a strong finish. Compared to last season, yes, of course it’s not as good, because Chelsea dominated the league so much. The Premier League is such a difficult competition, so it is uncommon to see a team dominate for two or three years in a row.  It used to sometimes happen back in the day, with teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, but now the competition is so high, it doesn’t really happen anymore. But there is still plenty to play for. The Champions League is still open for us and there is still plenty available for us to have a good season. Of course we know it will be difficult in the Camp Nou, but we have to go there and give it everything. We need the fans to get behind the players and show their support. Hopefully there will be many fans there and hopefully they will be coming back happy with a win.”

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In its recent history Chelsea has often appointed Italian managers and Serie A players, so with the reports of Antonio Conte potentially leaving at the end of the season rumours about a possible substitute have started to go around.

Blues legend Gianfranco Zola was asked about potentially returning to Stamford Bridge along with current Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, one of the canditates to replace Conte, should he leave:

Will we both head to Chelsea? Every other week they link me to Chelsea in some capacity- he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

But I know nothing about this hypothesis. On top of that after Birmingham I decided to take a sabbatical year.

“What is Sarri’s style like? They memorize their plays, they have schemes that are hard to stop.

“The way they dominate possession reminds me of the Napoli from my days with Maradona and Careca. I think this is the right year for the scudetto”

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With Michael Emenalo having left Chelsea, now the London club are looking for the right profile to take his role.

In the last few days Frank Lampard has been linked with the role of technical director at Chelsea, but now, according to The Sun, another strong candidate could be Blues legend Gianfranco Zola who spent seven years at Stamford Bridge during his career.

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New Chelsea signing Davide Zappacosta claims he wants to continue Italian legacy at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues can count several Italian managers and players in their recent history and most of them ( Zola, Vialli, Ancelotti, Di Matteo, Conte etc.) were successful.

The former Torino full-back states he wants to follow the footsteps of his compratiots:

“I’ve noticed there is this long tradition [of Italian players at Chelsea],” Zappacosta said in an interview for Chelsea’s matchday programme ahead of the game with Manchester City on Saturday.

“I just hope that, like my predecessors from Italy, I can make my mark at Chelsea and win some trophies. That would be a dream come true for me.”

“I am convinced I am well suited to the style of football in England, probably even more so than Italian football.

“There is more space because the intensity is higher and the game is much quicker, so I can look to exploit that.”

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Former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola is confident that new Blues’ star Alvaro Morata will make an impact at Stamford Bridge under manager Antonio Conte.

“I know he is a very talented player with amazing skills – he told talkSPORT But he has never been a regular. He played with Juventus and he wasn’t a regular, the same for Real Madrid”.

“Nobody doubts his qualities but he is still young and needs to find consistency because when you play for teams like Juventus, Real Madrid and Chelsea you have to be consistent”.

Zola adds: “Obviously Antonio Conte with his methods, his work ethic, he is helping him a lot and it seems he is going in the right direction”.

“For Chelsea, the main striker is a vital position and if he plays well then Hazard, Pedro, Willian, all the players around him, will play well also”.

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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry backs Chelsea new signing Alvaro Morata, claiming the Spaniard just have to adapt to the new league before performing:

“He will need to get used to the Premier League but then he will perform,” the former French forward told Sky Sports.

“I’m very excited about him. It’s a heavy task to come after Diego Costa but someone has to do it.

“Someone had to do it after Didier Drogba, someone had to do it after Gianfranco Zola. That’s the way it is.

“When you look at Morata’s numbers you know the guy can score goals. I like him and I hope it works out.”


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After losing Romelu Lukaku Chelsea are looking for a striker. At the moment manager Antonio Conte seems to concentrate his attentions on Alvaro Morata, but Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola believes the Blues should try to sign another player:

“To be honest, I was thinking Chelsea should go for Andrea Belotti in Italy. I thought that considering the type of qualities Costa has, that Belotti was the perfect fit. – Zola told Brazil Sports Breakfast – “Morata is a little bit different, he’s more of a finesse player. He hasn’t got the presence of a player like Costa in the box. He’s a different player, he brings other qualities”.

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Zola speaks highly of a number of players he worked with.

On this day 20 years ago Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola scored his first goal with the Blues.

“I remember the goal well, I would say it was my first free-kick but there was another one against Newcastle in the previous home game which Vialli claimed, – Zola told the club’s official website – Taking free-kicks was something I practiced a lot and that one was a good goal.”

“My first impression was good because when I came over here Roberto Di Matteo and Luca Vialli were already playing for Chelsea, so they informed me about the situation and spoke very highly of the club,”

Then Zola added: “I enjoyed it very much because there was a lot of enthusiasm and a great atmosphere, not only around the stadium but also with the players. It was really good and I think that’s one of the reasons why we were so successful. We were allowed to get into the system very quickly and there was a collaboration from everyone for us to be successful, which was important”.

“In Italy at that time football was huge. Every aspect of the game was taken to the extreme and I felt it was too much. I felt it was losing the fun part of it. At the end of the day as footballers, regardless of how big you are or how much you earn, what matters is having fun. What I was feeling was that at that time in Italy, the game was so big, so important, and at such a high level, that it was losing something”.

About his arrival at Stamford Bridge: “When I came here I found a high level of football but, above all else, enjoyment. I appreciated that very much and that’s one of the reasons why myself and many others played for so long for this wonderful club.”

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Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola thinks the most important thing in the Blues incredible eight consecutive wins run is not just winning but the way the team does it, with  lots of character:

“They won [but] it was the way they won, it’s very important,” the former Italian player said to Sky Sports.

“There were moments when Manchester City were on top. They probably deserved to score another goal.

“But they never gave up. In the end, the freshness and the physical condition of the players came out.”



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