Zola reveals Pep talk

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has revealed that he sought the advice of Pep Guardiola as he plotted his way back into Premier League management.

Last Updated: 26/05/13 at 12:28 Post Comment

Gianfranco Zola: Watford boss sought the advice of Pep Guardiola

Gianfranco Zola: Watford boss sought the advice of Pep Guardiola

Zola's Hornets take on Crystal Palace at Wembley on Monday afternoon in the Championship play-off final, with the winners securing promotion to the top-flight.

Should Watford triumph, Zola will have a second crack at managing in the Premier League just three years after he was sacked by West Ham.

The sacking was hard to take for the 46-year-old former Chelsea striker, but after a trip to see Guardiola at Barcelona, and Zdenek Zeman, who worked wonders at Pescara before being snapped up by current club Roma, he soon felt he was ready to give management another go.

"It was hard for me personally because I always live the game very intensively, I always take my work him," said Zola of his sacking at Upton Park.

"It was tough. That's why I took time off. It was time to go back to basics, to go back to the books and do things that could help me with my managerial career.

"I watched a few teams that I was interested in. The first team was a Serie B team Pescara where Zeman was the manager. I like him and his style of football. I spent time with him and it was very good.

"Then I went to see Barcelona - another pretty good team - and it was very inspirational.

"And it wasn't inspirational because of all the stuff they do on the pitch, it was also the way they conducted themselves, the players and managers. That impressed me very much. Very remarkable."

Sabbatical

Given how Watford have performed this season in the Championship, it seems that Zola's sabbatical has been time well spent.

The Italian has managed to integrate a raft of foreign players - most of them on loan from Udinese - into his squad and guide the club to within a whisker of automatic promotion.

Many West Ham fans felt owners David Gold and David Sullivan acted harshly when they axed Zola, but the Italian admits he probably lacked the experience to tackle the pressures of top-flight management.

"Sometimes in that experience I didn't give 100% of myself," he added. "So I felt bad with myself. I could have done more. I didn't have the experience I have now.

"I should have put my ideas more across rather than going on a conservative way. I should have been more positive.

"But I believe that experience was very important because only through tough moments do you get better."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

rturo Vidal, James Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria...........who cares we have Mark Oxley.......Ah tis good to be Hibs fan :)

frakessmee
Hull keeper agrees Hibs loan

I

t's just a ride. Bill Hicks is sorely missed, what a prophet and still relevant twenty years after his death. I'm glad though he didn't get to see George Bush Jnr as President.

thesza888
Wilshere: Is He Smoking Enough?

W

hile not comparing the ability of Wilshire to Dr Socrates of Brazil, didn't he do about forty a day?

nedsmar
Wilshere sorry for smoking

Footer 365

Transfer news: Simon Mignolet backs Liverpool target Divock Origi and welcomes Pepe Reina return

Liverpool are closing in on Divock Origi and the Belgium youngster has been tipped to shine in the Premier League.

Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby convinced he can put injury problems behind him for good

Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby is convinced his latest comeback from long-term injury will not prove another false dawn.

Premier League: Luke Shaw not fit enough says Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has ordered Luke Shaw to train alone because he is not fit enough.

Mail Box

No Wonder Wenger Doesn't Buy British

That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property