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    rogeruk wrote:
    I have never criticized Zola until now but I will today! (To err is to be human) I also became aware of the below shortly before the match today. Guidolin is the Udinese head coach has apparently had enough, is depressed and wants to move ‘upstairs’!


    prise - It says amongst other things;

    “The rumour is that Zola will take over as Udinese Coach, because the former Chelsea star is already working for the Pozzo family. They own both Udinese and Watford”.

    If there is any truth in this it is beside the point, the real issue here is neither Zola, the club, the players and fans need such a distraction at this critical time in the season! I suppose what I am saying is I wish Mr Guidolin would keep his thoughts to himself and not mention either Zola or Watford, especially in public or to the Press or TV!

    If Zola still thinks his five changes to the team (50% of the outfield players ) then he has learnt nothing from today and that is worrying Unless of course he has (but cannot admit he screwed up) Man’s pride and all that!

    It is generally accepted in all circles of football “You do not change a winning team (unless you are forced too)! A winning team is high on confidence and adrenalin (Zola broke a winning team strong on confidence by making wholesale changes in effect he fielded a completely different team!

    There is no way today’s team could have performed as well as the team that played against Brighton! Would Ferguson have done that (had he been in Zola’s position)?

    I sincerely hope the FA Cup ( A distraction to Watford at this moment in time) nor Udinese had anything to do with the decision to make a wholesale change today. We lost three precious points which could be paramount at the end of the season.

    This Watford team can be sensational and that is down to Zola. This team can get into the Premier League (the richest league in the world)! The Premier League is much more financially lucrative than the Italian league by a mile!

    Next season the new contract starts and ‘mega money kicks in’ to the Premier League. £64 million in parachute payments alone plus TV and league participation makes Watford’s promotion worth around £120 million, and that is just for getting promotion. (Not that we want to burden the players with this on their backs!

    The truth is and here is a major problem (for the Pozzo’s) it is not Udinese or Granada that is the future it is Watford both geographically and potentially the richest jewel in the Pozzo’s crown!

    I believe Watford can still get promoted either automatically or by the playoffs in this season, today we have lost our ‘game in hand advantage’ by losing three points. The stakes are high. Sincerely hope everybody involved understands this!

    Zola made a mistake today (for whatever reason) if he acknowledged this to the fans and players it would be I think a good thing. If not then so be it! We move on irrespective!

    Forza Watford!
    Just a note from an Udinese&WFC fan. Guidolin is maybe the most correct, humble and honest manager we have in Italy (just as Zola is in England) and NEVER mentioned WFC or Zola with the press. The rumours abound, but they're just rumours and speculations."
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Gianfranco Zola doesn't believe five changes to blame for Watford's defeat against Charlton Athletic

First published in Sport by , Group Sports Editor

Gianfranco Zola was critical of Watford’s “sloppy” first-half performance after his side’s 4-3 defeat to Charlton Athletic this afternoon.

Despite taking an early lead through Daniel Pudil’s first goal for the club, the Hornets were very disappointing in the opening period and found themselves behind at the break after a Tommie Hoban own goal and Yann Kermorgant’s header.

Zola’s side needed to improve after the break, and they did, taking the lead by midway through the second half thanks to an Almen Abdi penalty and Alex Geijo. However, Kermorgant turned in the equaliser before Johnnie Jackson won the three points 12 minutes from time.

The Watford boss said: “I think that today the reason why we didn’t win is we gave away 45 minutes, something you cannot afford in this Championship. Maybe we had too many compliments the other day [after beating Brighton] and we went on the pitch with probably not the same awareness they had because they were winning all the second balls, they were winning all the headers and they found themselves 2-1 doing little, it was more us allowing them to get into the game.

“No disrespect towards them but we let them get into the game too much because we were not sharp enough. That sharpness for me comes mainly because we didn’t manage to get the attention right and you can’t afford that in this league.

“The second half was better. We tried to get the rhythm a little bit better, higher, more quality in the passing but unfortunately our defending today as well wasn’t the best. It’s disappointing but a good lesson again for us. We will certainly next time be aware that after a good game you need to make sure you get the same concentration.”

Although one change was enforced following Fitz Hall’s hamstring injury in the win at Brighton & Hove Albion, Zola also chose to drop Ikechi Anya, Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra down to the bench, while Jonathan Hogg was left out of the matchday squad.

Asked if he regretted making five changes, he replied: “Not at all. I’ve made them before and it worked. I don’t think the problem lies in there, I think it was more like that [they] just didn’t focus.

“The players that played, Geijo, Forestieri, they did quite well, so I don’t think the fact we changed many players has got something to do with the game.”

Zola added later: “We went in front but we were not certainly the normal time that we are. The passing wasn’t good enough, we were sloppy, honestly, we were sloppy and it was very costly. We tried to get into the game, in the second half we did better, but sometimes it’s too late. If you don’t prepare and you aren’t mentally [focused] before the game, it becomes very, very difficult to do when you are in the game.”

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