Gianfranco Zola admits he still doesn't know if resigning as Watford's head coach in December was the right decision

Watford Observer: Picture: Holly Cant Picture: Holly Cant

It has been three months since Gianfranco Zola resigned as Watford head coach. The Italian still doesn’t know if quitting the club was the right decision and admits it was “very painful” .

Zola spent 18 months in charge of the Hornets and led the club to the Championship play-off final in his first season.

It was a campaign that ultimately ended in disappointment as the Golden Boys lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace at Wembley.

The promotion charge in his first season came as a surprise but it was expected during the current campaign.

After an encouraging start, the Hornets’ form stuttered. And after a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Vicarage Road, Watford’s fifth consecutive home defeat, Zola decided to resign.

Zola, who was speaking about his departure on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, explained: “It has been very painful because I enjoyed my time there and I enjoyed the company of the people I worked with.

“But obviously something had to be done because it wasn’t clicking.”

He continued: “I think there were things that didn’t work out the way we wanted. We lost players from last year that were very important players.

“The players that came in to take their place were unfortunately not able to fill the gap. So they were a big miss.

“We had players that didn’t play much but were so important within the team, for example John Eustace.

“There were other players that didn’t play much but they were also so important. I have to say it was a big mistake and I put my hands up.

“In the case of John, we could have kept him. There were some questions about his physical condition and he hadn’t played much for me because of that reason.

“So there were a few things that didn’t go the way we wanted.”

While the play-off final defeat was a disappointing end to Zola’s first season in charge, the campaign had been a positive one.

Zola had faced several questions throughout the season about the number of loanees the Hornets had obtained from fellow Pozzo-owned clubs Udinese and Granada.

He believes the links between the teams did give Watford certain advantages but stresses the high turnover of players made it difficult to build a side. Several of the loans were turned into permanent deals last summer and further players, such as Lewis McGugan, were added.

It was anticipated the Hornets would be one of the front runners for promotion this season and Zola believes that the increased expectation didn’t help his squad.

“We are a very young team and last year we were faultless,” Zola told Goals on Sunday. “We enjoyed it, didn’t think about the result and just performed.

“This year many players didn’t complete their maturity. It’s one thing playing for nothing and it’s another when you’ve got to perform all the time. That takes time and we didn’t have that time this year.”

Watford Observer: Hornets boss Gianfranco Zola Picture: Holly Cant

He added: “Of course I made some mistakes and I take full responsibility for that. Some of the things could’ve been done in a different way.

“The club have obviously made some mistakes as well, so it is something that we all have to share.”

Zola’s final game in charge was the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on December 15.

He resigned three days later and says he felt he was doing the best thing for himself and the club.

“I didn’t feel like it was right for me to stay and I couldn’t do more than that,” Zola said. “Whether it was the right thing for me to do or not, I don’t know.

“But I said in that moment that I felt that something had to be done. It has been very painful but I had to do that.

“I don’t want to get too much into that because it might take me to a place where it makes me sound like I am making excuses or accusing people.

“Sometimes in football things don’t go the way you wanted and it is not his fault or my fault. It is the way it had to be.

“I feel for the players and I feel for the supporters because this year we wanted to see things go in a different way.”

Comments (32)

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3:48pm Mon 17 Mar 14

andyhooked says...

A man of integrity. Perhaps a victim of losing the core players from a great season and having to deal with less than better imports. That said, GFZ seemed to have run out of ideas when the chips were down. I am slightly warming to Beppe but he still has to handle substandard imports and doing the rotation stuff. Deeney amazes me with his level of fitness and joy of playing for us. We must not lose him this coming summer.
A man of integrity. Perhaps a victim of losing the core players from a great season and having to deal with less than better imports. That said, GFZ seemed to have run out of ideas when the chips were down. I am slightly warming to Beppe but he still has to handle substandard imports and doing the rotation stuff. Deeney amazes me with his level of fitness and joy of playing for us. We must not lose him this coming summer. andyhooked
  • Score: 41

3:55pm Mon 17 Mar 14

not a regular says...

Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.
Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league. not a regular
  • Score: 28

4:09pm Mon 17 Mar 14

andyhooked says...

"Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league."

ABSOLUTLEY SPOT ON. MY THOUGHTS AND MUST BE THE THOUGHTS OF MANY FANS. I HOPE THAT THE OWNERS DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BUT I SUSPECT NOT. IT WILL REMAIN AN ITALIAN MANAGEMENT TEAM.
"Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league." ABSOLUTLEY SPOT ON. MY THOUGHTS AND MUST BE THE THOUGHTS OF MANY FANS. I HOPE THAT THE OWNERS DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BUT I SUSPECT NOT. IT WILL REMAIN AN ITALIAN MANAGEMENT TEAM. andyhooked
  • Score: 1

4:19pm Mon 17 Mar 14

hogweed says...

If he hadn't resigned he would have been sacked. Simples. Five home defeats on the trot with no goals was completely unacceptable. He also over rotated last season and that cost us promotion. Fairly pleased with Beppe but he needs to learn English and do the media work so we can bond with him. Don't think he will stay for next season. Disastourous decision to sack Dyche as well. Stunning job at Burnley

Hog out
If he hadn't resigned he would have been sacked. Simples. Five home defeats on the trot with no goals was completely unacceptable. He also over rotated last season and that cost us promotion. Fairly pleased with Beppe but he needs to learn English and do the media work so we can bond with him. Don't think he will stay for next season. Disastourous decision to sack Dyche as well. Stunning job at Burnley Hog out hogweed
  • Score: -19

4:30pm Mon 17 Mar 14

matey_from_brighton says...

we need a radical approach. Home and away managers is the way forward. Keep Bepe for the home games, bring GZ back for the away games. Guaranteed promotion, job done. A play off final would be tricky though.
we need a radical approach. Home and away managers is the way forward. Keep Bepe for the home games, bring GZ back for the away games. Guaranteed promotion, job done. A play off final would be tricky though. matey_from_brighton
  • Score: 50

4:43pm Mon 17 Mar 14

The BestTrip2011 says...

not a regular wrote:
Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.
Yes I think you are right. I wonder whether Zola, in his heart of hearts, knew this too and that he was just too proud to admit it and ask for help - always thinking he would get us out of our downhill slide himself?
I also think that had he not resigned, he would have been sacked.
That said, I remain unconvinced about Beppe. I can't dispute the home form, but we are not consistent and I worry about the discipline at the club and his lack of English.
What chance a Zola and GT return double-act next season?
[quote][p][bold]not a regular[/bold] wrote: Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.[/p][/quote]Yes I think you are right. I wonder whether Zola, in his heart of hearts, knew this too and that he was just too proud to admit it and ask for help - always thinking he would get us out of our downhill slide himself? I also think that had he not resigned, he would have been sacked. That said, I remain unconvinced about Beppe. I can't dispute the home form, but we are not consistent and I worry about the discipline at the club and his lack of English. What chance a Zola and GT return double-act next season? The BestTrip2011
  • Score: -4

4:54pm Mon 17 Mar 14

neilhorn says...

i'd have Zola back, for the simple reason that under him, we could dream
i'd have Zola back, for the simple reason that under him, we could dream neilhorn
  • Score: 40

5:01pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Bush Hornet says...

The BestTrip2011 wrote:
not a regular wrote:
Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.
Yes I think you are right. I wonder whether Zola, in his heart of hearts, knew this too and that he was just too proud to admit it and ask for help - always thinking he would get us out of our downhill slide himself?
I also think that had he not resigned, he would have been sacked.
That said, I remain unconvinced about Beppe. I can't dispute the home form, but we are not consistent and I worry about the discipline at the club and his lack of English.
What chance a Zola and GT return double-act next season?
V little chance but what a nice idea. I'm sure GT's influence on Dyche and Mackay, in his capacity as acting chairman, helped make them the solid managers that they are.

I miss Zola's beautiful football and just wish he could've teamed up with GT or someone tough, you know, with balls.
[quote][p][bold]The BestTrip2011[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]not a regular[/bold] wrote: Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.[/p][/quote]Yes I think you are right. I wonder whether Zola, in his heart of hearts, knew this too and that he was just too proud to admit it and ask for help - always thinking he would get us out of our downhill slide himself? I also think that had he not resigned, he would have been sacked. That said, I remain unconvinced about Beppe. I can't dispute the home form, but we are not consistent and I worry about the discipline at the club and his lack of English. What chance a Zola and GT return double-act next season?[/p][/quote]V little chance but what a nice idea. I'm sure GT's influence on Dyche and Mackay, in his capacity as acting chairman, helped make them the solid managers that they are. I miss Zola's beautiful football and just wish he could've teamed up with GT or someone tough, you know, with balls. Bush Hornet
  • Score: 19

5:03pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Bush Hornet says...

matey_from_brighton wrote:
we need a radical approach. Home and away managers is the way forward. Keep Bepe for the home games, bring GZ back for the away games. Guaranteed promotion, job done. A play off final would be tricky though.
Great plan and there would be no play off final. The league would be won by Feb
[quote][p][bold]matey_from_brighton[/bold] wrote: we need a radical approach. Home and away managers is the way forward. Keep Bepe for the home games, bring GZ back for the away games. Guaranteed promotion, job done. A play off final would be tricky though.[/p][/quote]Great plan and there would be no play off final. The league would be won by Feb Bush Hornet
  • Score: 17

5:47pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Andrew1963 says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
matey_from_brighton wrote:
we need a radical approach. Home and away managers is the way forward. Keep Bepe for the home games, bring GZ back for the away games. Guaranteed promotion, job done. A play off final would be tricky though.
Great plan and there would be no play off final. The league would be won by Feb
i think this is the basis of a plan. we already have home and away strip, home and away fans. i think we need a Home squad and an away squad each with their own managers. It would help against fatigue. Premier clubs already have a Premiership squad and a cup competition squad.
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]matey_from_brighton[/bold] wrote: we need a radical approach. Home and away managers is the way forward. Keep Bepe for the home games, bring GZ back for the away games. Guaranteed promotion, job done. A play off final would be tricky though.[/p][/quote]Great plan and there would be no play off final. The league would be won by Feb[/p][/quote]i think this is the basis of a plan. we already have home and away strip, home and away fans. i think we need a Home squad and an away squad each with their own managers. It would help against fatigue. Premier clubs already have a Premiership squad and a cup competition squad. Andrew1963
  • Score: 5

6:23pm Mon 17 Mar 14

endean2 says...

Dear me, is this supposed to be amusing?
or simply the level of humour we don't posses.
Dear me, is this supposed to be amusing? or simply the level of humour we don't posses. endean2
  • Score: -21

7:20pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Surbiton says...

Yes the loss of Abdi this season together with the other afore mentioned players was undoubtedly a deciding factor in his teams demise. However, having a new no.2 this season with no experience of football was frankly a disaster. The play off final at Wembley showed that tactically GFZ needed help and guidance. I too miss his sexy football and a man with more integrity than any other in the game. He clearly loved the club and still does. The fans pretty much feel the same for him. My wish for GFZ is wherever he ends up that he has a competent no.2. He will always have a place in the heart of most 'Orns supporters..........
.
Yes the loss of Abdi this season together with the other afore mentioned players was undoubtedly a deciding factor in his teams demise. However, having a new no.2 this season with no experience of football was frankly a disaster. The play off final at Wembley showed that tactically GFZ needed help and guidance. I too miss his sexy football and a man with more integrity than any other in the game. He clearly loved the club and still does. The fans pretty much feel the same for him. My wish for GFZ is wherever he ends up that he has a competent no.2. He will always have a place in the heart of most 'Orns supporters.......... . Surbiton
  • Score: 23

7:44pm Mon 17 Mar 14

GrahamTaylor says...

It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B.

We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing

Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.
It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B. We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager. GrahamTaylor
  • Score: 9

7:50pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Nordin's Hooter says...

Still saddened the way it all ended, the results sadly were no where near good enough and something had to change, but at the same time the shock of losing that fine person "Gianfranco" reminded me of the void left when the great GT retired. Very saddened ! Thank you so much Gianfranco for being part of our history .
Still saddened the way it all ended, the results sadly were no where near good enough and something had to change, but at the same time the shock of losing that fine person "Gianfranco" reminded me of the void left when the great GT retired. Very saddened ! Thank you so much Gianfranco for being part of our history . Nordin's Hooter
  • Score: 17

8:13pm Mon 17 Mar 14

jasonwatford says...

There are some dreamers on here , If Zola had done what was asked of him by sacking his 2 coaches that he had brought in and accepted coaches who the pozzo's had found to help him out he may still be here. Instead he was loyal to them and resigned as did they. When you think we lost out by 1 point and the number of times we didn't perform when needed too you do have to question him. Beppa Sannino was asked if he wanted a big name ex player from Italy to join him as his assistant / coach but he demanded people he knew and worked with and trusted. Real football people.
There are some dreamers on here , If Zola had done what was asked of him by sacking his 2 coaches that he had brought in and accepted coaches who the pozzo's had found to help him out he may still be here. Instead he was loyal to them and resigned as did they. When you think we lost out by 1 point and the number of times we didn't perform when needed too you do have to question him. Beppa Sannino was asked if he wanted a big name ex player from Italy to join him as his assistant / coach but he demanded people he knew and worked with and trusted. Real football people. jasonwatford
  • Score: 11

8:44pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Hairy Hornet says...

GrahamTaylor wrote:
It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B.

We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing

Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.
A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump.
The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.
[quote][p][bold]GrahamTaylor[/bold] wrote: It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B. We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.[/p][/quote]A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump. The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see. Hairy Hornet
  • Score: 10

10:00pm Mon 17 Mar 14

matey_from_brighton says...

Hairy Hornet wrote:
GrahamTaylor wrote:
It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B.

We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing

Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.
A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump.
The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.
Dreamers we may be but fact is there were more highlights last season than the previous 10. 10 years from now will your memories be of last season or this season? Even if you only saw home games under GFZ(and the away games were FAR better) will you remember 4-0 v. Huddersfield and 3-1 v Leicester and 6-1 v Bournemouth OR 4-0 v. Millwall, Blackpool etc. in last couple of months. We may end up with a better home record than last season but I am not as enthused to see us play as I was under GFZ. I am not saying that GFZ didn't have to go in the end but I for one would love to see us playing that sort of football again in the future. Results aren't everything.
[quote][p][bold]Hairy Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GrahamTaylor[/bold] wrote: It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B. We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.[/p][/quote]A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump. The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.[/p][/quote]Dreamers we may be but fact is there were more highlights last season than the previous 10. 10 years from now will your memories be of last season or this season? Even if you only saw home games under GFZ(and the away games were FAR better) will you remember 4-0 v. Huddersfield and 3-1 v Leicester and 6-1 v Bournemouth OR 4-0 v. Millwall, Blackpool etc. in last couple of months. We may end up with a better home record than last season but I am not as enthused to see us play as I was under GFZ. I am not saying that GFZ didn't have to go in the end but I for one would love to see us playing that sort of football again in the future. Results aren't everything. matey_from_brighton
  • Score: 14

10:47pm Mon 17 Mar 14

barnsey11 says...

I for one would have Zola back tomorrow. I was quite happy to give him some slack and allow him the time to learn the job. It was a real shame he didn't allow himself the same. Rome wasn't built in a day, and another season in this league is hardly a disaster, what with all the work that's being done off the pitch that needed doing to make us into a premier club. Come back anytime Gianfranco, you left too soon!
I for one would have Zola back tomorrow. I was quite happy to give him some slack and allow him the time to learn the job. It was a real shame he didn't allow himself the same. Rome wasn't built in a day, and another season in this league is hardly a disaster, what with all the work that's being done off the pitch that needed doing to make us into a premier club. Come back anytime Gianfranco, you left too soon! barnsey11
  • Score: 18

12:02am Tue 18 Mar 14

Bush Hornet says...

matey_from_brighton wrote:
Hairy Hornet wrote:
GrahamTaylor wrote:
It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B.

We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing

Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.
A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump.
The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.
Dreamers we may be but fact is there were more highlights last season than the previous 10. 10 years from now will your memories be of last season or this season? Even if you only saw home games under GFZ(and the away games were FAR better) will you remember 4-0 v. Huddersfield and 3-1 v Leicester and 6-1 v Bournemouth OR 4-0 v. Millwall, Blackpool etc. in last couple of months. We may end up with a better home record than last season but I am not as enthused to see us play as I was under GFZ. I am not saying that GFZ didn't have to go in the end but I for one would love to see us playing that sort of football again in the future. Results aren't everything.
Couldn't agree more. Last season, and even for some of this season, Zola gave us the best, most entertaining football seen at the Vic, certainly for the best part of 3 decades. Many would say the best football ever. Saying goodbye to that and saying hello to Beppe's pragmatic approach isn't necessarily easy, much as I welcome the improved home form.
[quote][p][bold]matey_from_brighton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hairy Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GrahamTaylor[/bold] wrote: It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B. We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.[/p][/quote]A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump. The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.[/p][/quote]Dreamers we may be but fact is there were more highlights last season than the previous 10. 10 years from now will your memories be of last season or this season? Even if you only saw home games under GFZ(and the away games were FAR better) will you remember 4-0 v. Huddersfield and 3-1 v Leicester and 6-1 v Bournemouth OR 4-0 v. Millwall, Blackpool etc. in last couple of months. We may end up with a better home record than last season but I am not as enthused to see us play as I was under GFZ. I am not saying that GFZ didn't have to go in the end but I for one would love to see us playing that sort of football again in the future. Results aren't everything.[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. Last season, and even for some of this season, Zola gave us the best, most entertaining football seen at the Vic, certainly for the best part of 3 decades. Many would say the best football ever. Saying goodbye to that and saying hello to Beppe's pragmatic approach isn't necessarily easy, much as I welcome the improved home form. Bush Hornet
  • Score: 9

12:20am Tue 18 Mar 14

Bush Hornet says...

Hairy Hornet wrote:
GrahamTaylor wrote:
It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B.

We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing

Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.
A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump.
The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.
You can focus on the negatives if you like, Follicly Blessed Hornet, but I will always remember Zola for his ability to galvanise a new and diverse squad impressively quickly, bring out the best in players already here like Deeney and Doyley, stick doggedly to his purist philosophy and show the Championship how football can be played. And inspire such character and belief that gave us a momentous occasion on May 12 that will forever be remembered by many Watford fans as the best Vicarage rd story so far.

Purveyors Of Sentimental Twaddle Unite!
[quote][p][bold]Hairy Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GrahamTaylor[/bold] wrote: It doesn’t really matter Gianfranco as surely you would have been sacked. Annoys me when people go on about losing players in the summer they seem to forget we were bad since Feb last season when teams worked us out. By the clubs own admission we did less than one hour a week on tactics = we had no game plan or no plan B. We lost to Bristol City, Charlton, Millwall, Leeds, Peterborough and through away 2 points at Wolves we had more than enough opportunity to go up but Zola did not deliver when it mattered culminating in the Playoff final when he got both tactics and substitutions wrong bringing on a forward who had barely kicked a ball all year and taking the team on a break to Italy when they should have been preparing Last 36 Championship games, inc playoffs - W11 D 11 L 14 = 44 points that’s a relegation battle in the making. Thanks for the memories it was a Zola coaster but ultimately you are too nice to be a manager.[/p][/quote]A bit of reality at last. What a lot of sentimental twaddle, Didnt know his best 11 and too indecisive. Too many starting line up changes cost us promotion. Beppe has a bit more discipline and has rescued us from the slump. The East Stand is a major achievement and I am more than happy with the progress the Pozzos have made. If it has to be a season of consolidation I can live with that. If we could maintain this home form and pick up a few more points away next season play offs minimum. After all winning your home games is what most fans want to see.[/p][/quote]You can focus on the negatives if you like, Follicly Blessed Hornet, but I will always remember Zola for his ability to galvanise a new and diverse squad impressively quickly, bring out the best in players already here like Deeney and Doyley, stick doggedly to his purist philosophy and show the Championship how football can be played. And inspire such character and belief that gave us a momentous occasion on May 12 that will forever be remembered by many Watford fans as the best Vicarage rd story so far. Purveyors Of Sentimental Twaddle Unite! Bush Hornet
  • Score: 5

5:01am Tue 18 Mar 14

Tonytheaceman says...

Yes, there's no doubt (in hindsight) the club should have offered GZ some help, I would suggest a British coach to balance the fact the English leagues are tough going, something even Beppe wasn't prepared for ? - maybe bring back GZ to help Beppe, but then I've just contradicted myself - but that football!! COYH
Yes, there's no doubt (in hindsight) the club should have offered GZ some help, I would suggest a British coach to balance the fact the English leagues are tough going, something even Beppe wasn't prepared for ? - maybe bring back GZ to help Beppe, but then I've just contradicted myself - but that football!! COYH Tonytheaceman
  • Score: 2

8:54am Tue 18 Mar 14

Harry's Bar says...

When Zola says "it makes me sound like I am making excuses or accusing people" and "it is not his fault or my fault" who's he referring to? From some of the previous comments in the article I assume it's Nani. Interesting that Saninno soon distanced himself from Nani, almost as if he'd spoken to Zola about the problems he'd faced.
When Zola says "it makes me sound like I am making excuses or accusing people" and "it is not his fault or my fault" who's he referring to? From some of the previous comments in the article I assume it's Nani. Interesting that Saninno soon distanced himself from Nani, almost as if he'd spoken to Zola about the problems he'd faced. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 1

8:54am Tue 18 Mar 14

mkhornet says...

It could have been a great combination if Beppe had come in as Zola's number 2. However he didn't, the rest is history and whatever happens in the rest of this season needs to be put behind us and we move on. Give Beppe the chance to get the squad how he wants it in the summer and get a pre-season in with them. Make sure that we keep Deeney and Tozser, and get Abdi fully fit and next season could be the one.
It could have been a great combination if Beppe had come in as Zola's number 2. However he didn't, the rest is history and whatever happens in the rest of this season needs to be put behind us and we move on. Give Beppe the chance to get the squad how he wants it in the summer and get a pre-season in with them. Make sure that we keep Deeney and Tozser, and get Abdi fully fit and next season could be the one. mkhornet
  • Score: 4

8:54am Tue 18 Mar 14

Goldenboy1960 says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
The BestTrip2011 wrote:
not a regular wrote:
Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.
Yes I think you are right. I wonder whether Zola, in his heart of hearts, knew this too and that he was just too proud to admit it and ask for help - always thinking he would get us out of our downhill slide himself?
I also think that had he not resigned, he would have been sacked.
That said, I remain unconvinced about Beppe. I can't dispute the home form, but we are not consistent and I worry about the discipline at the club and his lack of English.
What chance a Zola and GT return double-act next season?
V little chance but what a nice idea. I'm sure GT's influence on Dyche and Mackay, in his capacity as acting chairman, helped make them the solid managers that they are.

I miss Zola's beautiful football and just wish he could've teamed up with GT or someone tough, you know, with balls.
I concur with this post, and said at the time back in November that Gianfranco should have asked to meet with GT to discuss the situation, and use GT as a sounding board and to get a bit of advice from him as to how to manage that situation and the team.

For me, it shows that perhaps GFZ doesn't understand how to deal with the difficult times, and walks away from problematic situations. He is still a rooky in management and it takes years to learn, so I think he was far too quick to walk away from it. Mentally, Managers ask players to be strong but they have to lead with that strength. In his playing career everything went so well, but of course managing is a different proposition. But perhaps mentally he couldn't cope with the difficulties as happened at West Ham.

I would like to think that at some point the door would be open again for him, even though I was disappointed that he walked away so easily. I have so much respect for him though and the way he handled the press and opposing Managers was really good. Of course the football was great, but as I said you also have to deal with the tough times too.

Bepe has been an absolute gentleman, and for me never gets tied up in controversy, but concentrates on the things that matter. I so respect the way he communicates and works with referees and the players. He keeps it very simple and works hard to get it right with the players. I think Italians in the main seem to be very humble and respectful. It wasn't easy for him, especially not speaking English and if you put yourself in his shoes, going to work in Italy when you can't speak Italian is VERY DIFFICULT.

Can we look at Gianluca Nani though? It is in my opinion difficult to work as a Manager with players that perhaps you don't want. The new roles in Football I cannot understand. If the manager identifies a player he wants then a Nani type role should go and get him but not have the last decision. I think he is under some pressure as I believe there has been some panic from Nani this year with some of the players he has bought in which has not helped the situation. Certainly Diakite is one of those.

There has been some good signs on the pitch now though and it may just be a little too late this time around, but we do need a settled squad going into the summer with a few quality additions. The Championship is getting harder each year as more foreign players come into the Premiership and English players get pushed down, so next year is going to be even more difficult. The likes of Angella, Merkel, Tozser need to stay for sure so that whoever the Manager is has some stability to start with.
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The BestTrip2011[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]not a regular[/bold] wrote: Zola has pretty much summed up what most fans thought from day one of the Pozzo takeover - we needed english experience to go alongside our new imported flair. It's the only downside of their tenure to date, losing Dyche, Eustace, Hogg, and not bringing in a strong assistant manager that knew the league.[/p][/quote]Yes I think you are right. I wonder whether Zola, in his heart of hearts, knew this too and that he was just too proud to admit it and ask for help - always thinking he would get us out of our downhill slide himself? I also think that had he not resigned, he would have been sacked. That said, I remain unconvinced about Beppe. I can't dispute the home form, but we are not consistent and I worry about the discipline at the club and his lack of English. What chance a Zola and GT return double-act next season?[/p][/quote]V little chance but what a nice idea. I'm sure GT's influence on Dyche and Mackay, in his capacity as acting chairman, helped make them the solid managers that they are. I miss Zola's beautiful football and just wish he could've teamed up with GT or someone tough, you know, with balls.[/p][/quote]I concur with this post, and said at the time back in November that Gianfranco should have asked to meet with GT to discuss the situation, and use GT as a sounding board and to get a bit of advice from him as to how to manage that situation and the team. For me, it shows that perhaps GFZ doesn't understand how to deal with the difficult times, and walks away from problematic situations. He is still a rooky in management and it takes years to learn, so I think he was far too quick to walk away from it. Mentally, Managers ask players to be strong but they have to lead with that strength. In his playing career everything went so well, but of course managing is a different proposition. But perhaps mentally he couldn't cope with the difficulties as happened at West Ham. I would like to think that at some point the door would be open again for him, even though I was disappointed that he walked away so easily. I have so much respect for him though and the way he handled the press and opposing Managers was really good. Of course the football was great, but as I said you also have to deal with the tough times too. Bepe has been an absolute gentleman, and for me never gets tied up in controversy, but concentrates on the things that matter. I so respect the way he communicates and works with referees and the players. He keeps it very simple and works hard to get it right with the players. I think Italians in the main seem to be very humble and respectful. It wasn't easy for him, especially not speaking English and if you put yourself in his shoes, going to work in Italy when you can't speak Italian is VERY DIFFICULT. Can we look at Gianluca Nani though? It is in my opinion difficult to work as a Manager with players that perhaps you don't want. The new roles in Football I cannot understand. If the manager identifies a player he wants then a Nani type role should go and get him but not have the last decision. I think he is under some pressure as I believe there has been some panic from Nani this year with some of the players he has bought in which has not helped the situation. Certainly Diakite is one of those. There has been some good signs on the pitch now though and it may just be a little too late this time around, but we do need a settled squad going into the summer with a few quality additions. The Championship is getting harder each year as more foreign players come into the Premiership and English players get pushed down, so next year is going to be even more difficult. The likes of Angella, Merkel, Tozser need to stay for sure so that whoever the Manager is has some stability to start with. Goldenboy1960
  • Score: 3

9:37am Tue 18 Mar 14

bristol hornet says...

There is talk of Zola going to QPR if Redknapp fails, as billionaire Fernandes loves Zola's style of football, and is not happy with the turgid stuff being served up by 'Arry.

Get in before this happens! Get Zola and Beppe to form a formidable partnership and promotion should be a cake walk next season?
There is talk of Zola going to QPR if Redknapp fails, as billionaire Fernandes loves Zola's style of football, and is not happy with the turgid stuff being served up by 'Arry. Get in before this happens! Get Zola and Beppe to form a formidable partnership and promotion should be a cake walk next season? bristol hornet
  • Score: 4

10:57am Tue 18 Mar 14

gloryhornet4 says...

I am a bit surprised you are getting good positive scores (me included) my West Country friend. In any industry bar sales and sport, if you need help/support the structure chart is amended to give you that. If GFZ was not so insular he would have asked for help.

QPR is a bad idea - he would be a trophy boss and be getting a P45 at the start of his second season, as is the pattern of all similar appointments -oddly Watford included.

I agree - the man coming back in some capacity is a bl00dy good idea.
I am a bit surprised you are getting good positive scores (me included) my West Country friend. In any industry bar sales and sport, if you need help/support the structure chart is amended to give you that. If GFZ was not so insular he would have asked for help. QPR is a bad idea - he would be a trophy boss and be getting a P45 at the start of his second season, as is the pattern of all similar appointments -oddly Watford included. I agree - the man coming back in some capacity is a bl00dy good idea. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 0

11:06am Tue 18 Mar 14

Harry's Bar says...

bristol hornet wrote:
There is talk of Zola going to QPR if Redknapp fails, as billionaire Fernandes loves Zola's style of football, and is not happy with the turgid stuff being served up by 'Arry.

Get in before this happens! Get Zola and Beppe to form a formidable partnership and promotion should be a cake walk next season?
That won't happen, it could have happened last Summer, but not now. We need to move on. It's pointless going over mistakes in hindsight. Yes, maybe they were hasty in sacking Dyche. Yes, Zola made a fatal double mistake with Porcu, taking him on then refusing to sack him, but you can't go back and change it.
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: There is talk of Zola going to QPR if Redknapp fails, as billionaire Fernandes loves Zola's style of football, and is not happy with the turgid stuff being served up by 'Arry. Get in before this happens! Get Zola and Beppe to form a formidable partnership and promotion should be a cake walk next season?[/p][/quote]That won't happen, it could have happened last Summer, but not now. We need to move on. It's pointless going over mistakes in hindsight. Yes, maybe they were hasty in sacking Dyche. Yes, Zola made a fatal double mistake with Porcu, taking him on then refusing to sack him, but you can't go back and change it. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 1

11:35am Tue 18 Mar 14

justahornetfan says...

Zola away games, Bepe home, De Matteo in the cups and play offs and Vydra playing every game but who ever manages / coaches or plays, I think we all want the exciting football of last season, easy to dream it and so blessed to have achieved it and at least for a while we showed everyone how to play exciting football.
Zola, always a Watford legend in my opinion despite the shortcomings
Zola away games, Bepe home, De Matteo in the cups and play offs and Vydra playing every game but who ever manages / coaches or plays, I think we all want the exciting football of last season, easy to dream it and so blessed to have achieved it and at least for a while we showed everyone how to play exciting football. Zola, always a Watford legend in my opinion despite the shortcomings justahornetfan
  • Score: 1

5:14pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Oracledave says...

Some thoughtful inputs here - one of the more intelligent threads. For me the most telling point is Zola's inability to reverse the terrible home slump. Clearly as Beppe has shown it was more than possible with the available resources. Does this indicate lack of experience, or fundamental lack of football 'nous' ? (the old adage about great players as managers does in the main hold true).

There is a widely held opinion in football circles that Brian Clough's astonishing record was due in no small part to Peter Taylor's analytical ability. Maybe as suggested GFZ could succeed somewhere as part of a similar double act !
Some thoughtful inputs here - one of the more intelligent threads. For me the most telling point is Zola's inability to reverse the terrible home slump. Clearly as Beppe has shown it was more than possible with the available resources. Does this indicate lack of experience, or fundamental lack of football 'nous' ? (the old adage about great players as managers does in the main hold true). There is a widely held opinion in football circles that Brian Clough's astonishing record was due in no small part to Peter Taylor's analytical ability. Maybe as suggested GFZ could succeed somewhere as part of a similar double act ! Oracledave
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Thu 20 Mar 14

outofwatford says...

GFZ did what he considered to be the honourable thing but I think he was wrong to resign. He is one of a very few coaches who commands absolute respect from top quality players and therefore able to attract players to the club who would not have otherwise considered Watford FC as an option.
GFZ did what he considered to be the honourable thing but I think he was wrong to resign. He is one of a very few coaches who commands absolute respect from top quality players and therefore able to attract players to the club who would not have otherwise considered Watford FC as an option. outofwatford
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Fri 21 Mar 14

garry.armstrong232@btinternet.com says...

zola come back you talk sence missing you down at the viv your a greqat manager come back an do it all again
zola come back you talk sence missing you down at the viv your a greqat manager come back an do it all again garry.armstrong232@btinternet.com
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Ronny oh Ronny Ronny says...

We didn't lose 1-0 to Palace, it was definitely 0-0, I won money on the draw!
We didn't lose 1-0 to Palace, it was definitely 0-0, I won money on the draw! Ronny oh Ronny Ronny
  • Score: 0

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