The return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge is just the start of the team’s plan to overhaul its structure. One of these plans includes revamping its coaching staff. Gianfranco Zola was, unluckily, part of those who will be leaving Chelsea to make way for the new boss and his own staff.
Zola ends his time at Stamford Bridge after just one season as assistant to former head coach Maurizio Sarri. The Italian tactician left Chelsea for Juventus recently.
Last year, the former Blues legend returned to Stamford to be Sarri’s second man. He played a vital role in helping his countryman adapt to English football and to Chelsea. He also helped the club at their Cobham training pitches.
Zola, begun his career with Chelsea in November 1996 after he moved from Parma. In 1998, Zola and Chelsea won the Cup Winner’s Cup. He made a total of 312 appearances for the Blues until he left Stamford Bridge for Cagliari in the summer of 2003.
He started into the managerial level with his former Chelsea teammate Pierluigi Casiraghi. He was Casiraghi’s assistant manager of Italy’s Under 21.
He then returned to the Premier League and guided West Ham United and Watford who, he guided for the 2013 Championship play-off. Cagliari, Al-Arabi and Birmingham City have also appointed Zola to be their manager before going to Stamford Bridge.
In a report, Zola was believed to have said that he found it out too late and that all managerial positions have all been sorted out already. He said that he wished he had found it sooner. Nonetheless, Zola appreciated what the club had done for him. Ironically, some of the people that Lampard are bringing in are former Blues legends themselves.
“Regardless, it is a minor thing for me. It was important that it helped my career. Working for a top club with a top coach has been good for me. ‘I was head coach before and my main ambition is to return to that. But to work for Maurizio and Chelsea was a great opportunity,” Zola said.