Gianfranco Zola insists there will be no interference in Watford's team selection

Watford Observer: Picture: Holly Cant Picture: Holly Cant

Gianfranco Zola has stressed he will be in charge when it comes to team selection and stated there is “always space” in the first team for Watford’s young players.

Zola’s appointment as Hornets manager was confirmed on Saturday, following Sean Dyche’s sacking the day before.

His arrival was a result of the Pozzo family’s takeover and the introduction of chief executive Scott Duxbury and technical director Gian Luca Nani, who both worked with Zola at West Ham United.

The Pozzos own Serie A outfit Udinese and since they bought Granada in 2009, the Spanish side has always included a host of loan players from their Italian counterparts.

The family have denied Watford will become a feeder club for Udinese but have stated they do plan to use the Little Zebras’ world-renowned scouting network.

Watford have already taken two players from Granada and Udinese on trial this week but Zola insists there will be no outside interference when it comes to picking his team.

Speaking exclusively to the Watford Observer on Wednesday afternoon, Zola stated: “I work very well with them (Duxbury and Nani) but they do their own jobs and I do mine. I don’t interfere with their jobs and they don’t interfere with mine.

“There is respect and friendship between us and it would never happen, and it has never happened in the past.”

The West Ham position was Zola’s first managerial job and he was appointed by the two men who will be running Watford on a day-to-day basis – Duxbury and Nani.

Zola said: “They are two people who have been good to me and the fact they are here has been very important.”

Zola’s predecessor at West Ham, Alan Curbishley, criticised Duxbury and Nani for selling players over his head and also signing players without his “input or permission”.

When asked by the Watford Observer whether he will have autonomy over transfers at Watford, Zola replied: “First of all there is no separation between me and Gian Luca. He will look for the players that can fit my system. If I need a player for my system and I can have a better one than I was thinking of, then it is even better.

“The expertise of Gian Luca and the family’s scouting system will help me because if I have a position which needs filling, then they can provide me with four or five choices rather than maybe my one or two suggestions. That should be the benefit of having a system like this behind you.”

Udinese’s scouting network and recruitment policy has been crucial in the Italian club reaching the Champions League qualifying round in the last two years. Granada have also retained a place in La Liga following promotion.

This has been achieved while both clubs have remained self sufficient despite having significantly smaller budgets than many of their opponents.

Czech duo Daniel Pudil, who plays for Granada, and Udinese youngster Matej Vydra have been training with Watford earlier this week and it was reported that the pair had signed on season-long loans.

However, Zola stated a decision on the two players had not been made.

Pudil is a left-sided player who can play at full-back or in midfield. He is 26 and only just missed out on Czech Republic’s Euro 2012 squad.

Vydra, 20, is a forward who spent most of last season on the sidelines following a knee ligament injury, but was signed by Udinese for €4m two years ago after an excellent six-month stint at Banik Ostrava, while still a 17-year-old.

Watford are likely to utilise the loan market considering the relationship with Udinese and Granada, but at his press conference on Tuesday evening, Zola was also asked whether he had money to spend on permanent signings.

He replied: “The club will have the backing of the Pozzo family and their experience. Along with their huge experience comes a lot of resources. They probably have one of the best scouting networks in the world so they will use that for Watford as well.

“I have been told the team will be strengthened and don’t forget that we start from a base where the team ended last season in 11th place.

“They will certainly try to make the side better and we will see.”

Zola addressed the media for the first time on Tuesday following just one pre-season training session and said it was too early to decide whether minor tinkering or major surgery was needed.

He said: “We will have to see what the players are like here. I have seen them play before but I would like to judge them on training and seeing them play live.

“After that we will decide what to do. We want to try to make the team stronger and more competitive though.”

Watford’s Harefield Academy is recognised as one of the finest in the country and the club have had an unusually high number of home-grown players make their debut in recent years.

Zola developed a reputation for giving young footballers a chance at West Ham and he hopes to continue that at the Hornets.

He said: “The project is to have good players in the first team and all the time, space available for the young players to come through. That is the idea.

“Therefore, yes I will leave a space for the young players. I like working with young players and I would always leave a space for them.”

Watford’s exceptional work rate and team morale has become a trademark of the club and Zola admitted he was pleasantly surprised with what he saw on the training ground this week.

He said: “I have been surprised, in a positive way, with how good the partnership is in this team.

“The previous staff and manager did a very good job in that sense and it is good to see an environment that is so willing to work and impress.

“From a manager’s point of view, it is great news,” the Hornets new boss added.

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:06pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Lsheridanos says...

i hope GZ know he cn only field 4 loan players at one time!!
i hope GZ know he cn only field 4 loan players at one time!! Lsheridanos
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Bringe says...

Lsheridanos wrote:
i hope GZ know he cn only field 4 loan players at one time!!
Overseas season long loans are treated as transfers so no. However existing home grown players rules do still apply.
[quote][p][bold]Lsheridanos[/bold] wrote: i hope GZ know he cn only field 4 loan players at one time!![/p][/quote]Overseas season long loans are treated as transfers so no. However existing home grown players rules do still apply. Bringe
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Bringe says...

I'll add should we get to the Premiership that is .... I don't think there has ever been a need at this level.

However I'm no expert.
I'll add should we get to the Premiership that is .... I don't think there has ever been a need at this level. However I'm no expert. Bringe
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Fri 13 Jul 12

cliff46 says...

If you can't print anything original Frank then best to not print anything.
If you can't print anything original Frank then best to not print anything. cliff46
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Fri 13 Jul 12

jasonwatford says...

FILIPO INZHAGI to watford ??? just been on sky sports
FILIPO INZHAGI to watford ??? just been on sky sports jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Bringe says...

cliff46 wrote:
If you can't print anything original Frank then best to not print anything.
The bottom bit is new.

Anyway they are a newspaper, do you really think they won't publish because a different site has the same info? ... Not everyone has computers.
[quote][p][bold]cliff46[/bold] wrote: If you can't print anything original Frank then best to not print anything.[/p][/quote]The bottom bit is new. Anyway they are a newspaper, do you really think they won't publish because a different site has the same info? ... Not everyone has computers. Bringe
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Fri 13 Jul 12

sherlock65 says...

jasonwatford wrote:
FILIPO INZHAGI to watford ??? just been on sky sports
Interesting, I've read about this too. He's currently unemployed and it appears he was about to accept Milan offer to train young team. It's told that Zola phoned to ask him if he wants 1 more year on the field. Obviously "old" as a striker, but I think he can still give something, and showed that in his few appearances in Milan last season. Moreover, that would mean even more spotlight on WFC.
He has still to decide.
[quote][p][bold]jasonwatford[/bold] wrote: FILIPO INZHAGI to watford ??? just been on sky sports[/p][/quote]Interesting, I've read about this too. He's currently unemployed and it appears he was about to accept Milan offer to train young team. It's told that Zola phoned to ask him if he wants 1 more year on the field. Obviously "old" as a striker, but I think he can still give something, and showed that in his few appearances in Milan last season. Moreover, that would mean even more spotlight on WFC. He has still to decide. sherlock65
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Fri 13 Jul 12

jasonwatford says...

what a player to have thou....a better kevin phillips ???
what a player to have thou....a better kevin phillips ??? jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Fri 13 Jul 12

True watford fan says...

if anything, he would be a great coach/role model to our other forwards. He could show iwelumo and garner where the goal is.....
if anything, he would be a great coach/role model to our other forwards. He could show iwelumo and garner where the goal is..... True watford fan
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Fri 13 Jul 12

jasonwatford says...

Following the takeover of Watford FC (English Championship) by the Pozzo family, Fernando Forestieri was signed by the Hornets on a season long loan in July 2012.!!!!!
Following the takeover of Watford FC (English Championship) by the Pozzo family, Fernando Forestieri was signed by the Hornets on a season long loan in July 2012.!!!!! jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Fri 13 Jul 12

True watford fan says...

thats not been confirmed anywhere...and he's been playing in lower leagues...i'd rather inzaghi.
thats not been confirmed anywhere...and he's been playing in lower leagues...i'd rather inzaghi. True watford fan
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Fri 13 Jul 12

jasonwatford says...

its on his wiki page normally true on there..lets have them both
its on his wiki page normally true on there..lets have them both jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Fri 13 Jul 12

True watford fan says...

hmm fair point, i guess he's got to be better than what we have. I see Del Piero is also available....
hmm fair point, i guess he's got to be better than what we have. I see Del Piero is also available.... True watford fan
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Dino1982 says...

Pippo Inzaghi reportedly has a choice of two clubs to continue his playing career at this summer, or a new role with Milan.

The veteran striker, who will be 39 by the time the new season kicks off, is a free agent after leaving the Rossoneri at the end of 2011-12.

Initially declaring that he was keen to continue playing on, his choice for doing so is apparently between two clubs.

First is a return to Atalanta, who he spent the 1996-97 season with, whilst second is a surprise move to English Championship side Watford, who have just been taken over by Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo and have just hired Gianfranco Zola as Coach.

Del Piero is trying to get a London club, but is hoping on a perm club apparently.

Inzaghi would be good as a super sub. Amazingly fit for 38 year old.
Apart from always getting offside, his awareness around the box is amazing. A milan legend.
Be amazing if he comes even for one season and will attract other players and fans.
Pippo Inzaghi reportedly has a choice of two clubs to continue his playing career at this summer, or a new role with Milan. The veteran striker, who will be 39 by the time the new season kicks off, is a free agent after leaving the Rossoneri at the end of 2011-12. Initially declaring that he was keen to continue playing on, his choice for doing so is apparently between two clubs. First is a return to Atalanta, who he spent the 1996-97 season with, whilst second is a surprise move to English Championship side Watford, who have just been taken over by Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo and have just hired Gianfranco Zola as Coach. Del Piero is trying to get a London club, but is hoping on a perm club apparently. Inzaghi would be good as a super sub. Amazingly fit for 38 year old. Apart from always getting offside, his awareness around the box is amazing. A milan legend. Be amazing if he comes even for one season and will attract other players and fans. Dino1982
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Fri 13 Jul 12

True watford fan says...

inzaghi and del piero lining up in yellow next year- i can see it now!!
inzaghi and del piero lining up in yellow next year- i can see it now!! True watford fan
  • Score: 0

10:03pm Fri 13 Jul 12

SAHornet says...

Someone pinch me !
Someone pinch me ! SAHornet
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Fri 13 Jul 12

cliff46 says...

Bringe
The original part of this article is padded out with whole chunks they have written previously.
My comment made no reference to any other sources.
Bringe The original part of this article is padded out with whole chunks they have written previously. My comment made no reference to any other sources. cliff46
  • Score: 0

12:14am Sat 14 Jul 12

D.unstable says...

Not knocking our new sponsor but can you imagine the great inzaghi with egg on the front of his shirt
Not knocking our new sponsor but can you imagine the great inzaghi with egg on the front of his shirt D.unstable
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Sat 14 Jul 12

andyhooked says...

I confess that I do not know what our scouting system is like in the UK anymore. Bertie Mee had a netwrook and worked with GT, if memory serves me correctly. Hope we do not just look abroad, and of course, we have our own accademy to treasure even if we loan them out to see if they make the grade.
I confess that I do not know what our scouting system is like in the UK anymore. Bertie Mee had a netwrook and worked with GT, if memory serves me correctly. Hope we do not just look abroad, and of course, we have our own accademy to treasure even if we loan them out to see if they make the grade. andyhooked
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Sun 15 Jul 12

lutondown says...

True watford fan wrote:
if anything, he would be a great coach/role model to our other forwards. He could show iwelumo and garner where the goal is.....
No he could show them where the door is
Just see a sign put up at the Vic it was a cart horse with a x through it!
[quote][p][bold]True watford fan[/bold] wrote: if anything, he would be a great coach/role model to our other forwards. He could show iwelumo and garner where the goal is.....[/p][/quote]No he could show them where the door is Just see a sign put up at the Vic it was a cart horse with a x through it! lutondown
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Tue 17 Jul 12

supermikey says...

Just reading the rumours that Inzaghi & Del Piero could be coming to Watford - If they do come, I get worried that Zola will be doing a Viali, by bringing in all his old mates and asking them, "fancy playing for 25 mins next Saturday?"
Just reading the rumours that Inzaghi & Del Piero could be coming to Watford - If they do come, I get worried that Zola will be doing a Viali, by bringing in all his old mates and asking them, "fancy playing for 25 mins next Saturday?" supermikey
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree