Gianluca Vialla believes Gianfranco Zola has what it takes to be the next Chelsea manager – and offered his compatriot and former teammate some words of advice of the current Watford boss does move to Stamford Bridge, according to the
Zola spent six years as a player with Chelsea, moving from Parma in 1997 before leaving for Cagliari in 2003. In that time he won the favour of the club’s supporters to the point he was named the club’s greatest ever player in a poll, playing under Vialli as well as Ruud Gullit and Claudio Ranieri.
Now Zola is impressing in his second managerial posting at Watford – another of Vialli’s former clubs – and has been mentioned as a possible contender to take the Chelsea job on a permanent basis, when current interim manager Rafael Benitez departs in the summer.
Vialli believes Zola could do well at Chelsea, but also sounded a note of caution and acknowledged that former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is the favourite for the position. He said: “ I can see another Italian manager taking over there. We have had four in the last 15 years and for some reason, Italian managers tend to do well at Chelsea.
“Maybe Gianfranco Zola could be next if not Mourinho to follow Benitez. With Gianfranco, there has always been a lot of respect, if not friendship. His experience of playing at Chelsea and seeing how other managers would help him if he ever got the job.
“I would say, ‘Just don’t do what I did and you will be successful!”
If Zola was to take the job he would be Chelsea’s fifth Italian manager, with Vialli the first, followed by Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo, a former teammate of both Zola and Vialli, who was sacked in November.
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