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Hammers nail down new boss Zola

http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,2483_4127986,00.html

Gianfranco Zola has agreed a three-year contract to become West Ham manager, with the Hammers set to unveil the Italian ahead of the weekend.



Senior club sources have confirmed that the 42-year-old Italian - a former Chelsea favourite - will be flying in to London on Thursday to sign his contract.

Zola was on a shortlist along with Roberto Donadoni, but the former Italy coach withdrew his application leaving the road clear for Zola.

His backroom staff will be announced on Thursday and it can been revealed that caretaker boss Kevin Keen will continue on the coaching staff - but ex-Hammers striker Paolo di Canio is not part of Zola's plans.

Zola spent Wednesday morning speaking to the Italian FA about being released from his contract as joint coach to the Italy under-21 side.

His lawyer was at Upton Park agreeing the contract and all the details have been settled to both sides' satisfaction.

Steve Clarke, the Scot who is currently assistant to Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea, has been linked with a move to becoming Zola's assistant manager - they know each other well from Zola's time there.

So too as has Pierluigi Casiraghi, his fellow joint coach of the Italy under-21 side, but he has cast doubt on that saying: "If Gianfranco decides to go to England, I will lose a great coach and more importantly, a true friend. But I don't want to leave this national team."

Graeme Le Saux, a team-mate of Zola's at Chelsea, believes West Ham have landed a great signing.

Le Saux said: "West Ham have pulled off a major coup. It's been a bit of an unsettled time for the club but every one of that squad will be excited. They will be looking forward to that first training session."

Zola has already revealed he is committed to a philosophy which will excite the Hammers fans.

He said: "I only know one way to play: on the floor, attacking football, the way things should be done. I want to excite people, that is why we play isn't it?"

He also urged West Ham fans to cast aside his links with Chelsea after he admitted the chance to manage the east London club was one he could not resist.

"I know there is a rivalry between Chelsea and West Ham, but that is not a problem. My playing career is my past," Zola added.

"This is a new adventure for me. I spent seven years at Chelsea and they were seven of the best years of my career, I loved playing there but the fans must understand that I have a new career now and my playing career is in the past."

Businessman Kia Joorabchian, who acts as transfer consultant for the Hammers, revealed Clarke is the preferred assistant manager for Zola.

"They are looking for assistants," he told Sky Sports News.

"Gianfranco has a very close relationship with one particular person, Steve Clarke. They are very close and they feel his experience in the Premier League, working under very big coaches at Chelsea, has given him a lot of experience.

"He is more defensively-minded than Gianfranco so he brings good balance. I think that is what he is going for."

Asked whether Zola's appointment was nearly a done deal, the businessman said: "Yes. Pretty much all the i's and t's have been dotted and crossed.

"I think tomorrow he will sign and be the new West Ham manager."
 

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Im not fat... im sex.
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lets see how long he lasts

it will also be intresting to see what players he can get in, perhaps some talented young itailans

plus i dont think hes really proven as a top flight manager but only time will tell good luck to him ive always liked him as a player so well see how he is as a manager
 

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chaotic time at upton park. not so sure whether he is the man to stabilise the club...good luck to him anyway, a true great footballer
 

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Zola was a fantastic player, great to watch and always played with a smile!
Pity he is at West Ham..... lets see what he can do
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll be suprised if he;s still in the job by the end of next season.

He seems like a crowd-pleasing appointment in the sense that he was an entertaining player, but he has yet to be a successful club manager.

I guess he was the best pick of the lot and let's face it - West Ham aren't going to attract the cream of the crop.
 

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proof that foreign investment is not always good.
what a mess the owners are making its starting to look like wimbeldon all over again.
 

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i wish hime well.great f/baller,nice gent.somehow i think some of the boo boys will give him a hard time at west ham.read yesterday that with some of his background being at chelsea,they aint happy hammers. hope they give him a fair go.
 

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No doubt an incredible footballer.

Hes had no experience of top-flight football, club football at all in fact, but still an exciting appointment for the West Ham fans.

Great player doesn't always mean great manager/coach, so we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm a bit surprised hes gone to West Ham in their current climate, but its his choice.
 

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I would love him to do well but i think if he isn't an instance success the Fans will
turn on him because of his Chelsea roots. It is a gamble by West Ham though i
think because Zola has very little experience. Even though he was joint Italy U-21
manager he was seen largely as Pierluigi Casiraghi right hand man more than
joint manager. Premiership management is a major step up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Zola 'honoured' to land Hammers job
http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,2483_4131705,00.html

Gianfranco Zola has promised to give the West Ham squad the full benefit of his 20 years in football after being named as the club's new boss.



taly and Chelsea legend Zola has agreed a three-year deal at Upton Park, replacing Alan Curbishley, who resigned earlier this month in disagreement with the Hammers' management structure.

Zola said: "I'm delighted to be here. It is a great honour for me to be involved in such an important job.

"I can promise to do my best to make good for this club. The club has got tradition and I am just here to help develop the team and to develop the players.

"That is my duty and I will do it with all of myself.

"I will give to these players all of my experience and all of my knowledge - I am here to be somebody good for them.

"That is my aim and I will do everything I can to succeed in this."

Zola's previous coaching role was with the Italy Under-21 side and although he admits his managerial CV in thin, he is confident in his abilities.

"I know I am not the most experienced manager around but I have ideas, I have been in football for 20 years.

"I know what we're talking about and I will certainly give something to this club; whether it is enough or not we will see. But I have a lot of knowledge of the game and the players will help me with this."


Pardew tips Zola to do the business

Former West Ham boss Alan Pardew is hopeful Gianfranco Zola can replicate his successful playing career in his management role at Upton Park.

Pardew managed the Hammers for three years prior to taking up his current role at Charlton in 2006, and has expressed his hope that the 42-year-old Italian thrives in his new position.

He told Sky Sports News: "He [Zola] is a young manager. He has a great pedigree as a player and hopefully he will bring that to his managerial career.

"It is a fantastic club and they will welcome him with open arms and give him the best possible chance.

"All I can do is wish him all the best and hope it is a success for him."
 

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Great start for Zola today with a 3-1 win, even if it was against the Toon.
He seems a likeable guy and we all know how good he was as a player.
 
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