Gianfranco Zola Is The Man To Lift The Gloom
One reason that Antonio Conte has seen himself increasingly isolated at Chelsea could be put down to the departure of Michael Emanalo. Often used as a scapegoat for all that was wrong, the Nigerian was the connection the playing and business side of the club.
Roman Abramovich`s failure to fill that void has seen Conte exposed to the Directors. Quite why the Russian allowed Emanalo to leave without replacing him, has seen Conte`s stature within the club fall like a pack of cards. One man who has been mooted as a Director of Football is Chelsea 'old-boy` Gianfranco Zola. Zola was, and still is a legend at the club.
One criticism that can`t be directed at Abramovich is his attitude to former players. Under the Russian, ex-players are employed across all areas of the club and welcomed back on matchdays. Zola, himself has been on Chelsea duty at the Geneva Motor Show. Representing the club and its principal sponsor Yokohama Tyres the Italian has been speaking about the current season, which has been fractious to say the least,
"This season perhaps hasn`t been quite as good as last season but the team is still doing well,` Zola explained. 'Chelsea did very well in the first leg against Barcelona and will hope to get through [to the next round of the Champions League] in the second leg. They can still push on in the Premier League too and have a strong finish."
"Compared to last season, yes, of course it`s not as good, because Chelsea dominated the league so much. The Premier League is such a difficult competition, so it is uncommon to see a team dominate for two or three years in a row."
Spoken like a true Abramovich man. Those quotes from The Official Chelsea Website. There surely can`t be too long until Zola is fully on board with the club`s hierarchy. Taking up that crucial liaison role between the footballing and non-footballing side of Chelsea, is something that will rekindle some of the enthusiasm that is so obviously missing at the moment. This is role that would suit Gianfranco Zola perfectly.
Chelsea head off to Barcelona after Saturday`s game against Crystal Palace. Whilst the pundit world write Chelsea`s chances off, fans, and Zola`s one of those, know the game is not over by a long way.
"The Champions League is still open for us and there is still plenty available for us to have a good season.
'Of course we know it will be difficult in the Camp Nou, but we have to go there and give it everything. We need the fans to get behind the players and show their support. Hopefully there will be many fans there and hopefully they will be coming back happy with a win."
Zola will be back at Stamford Bridge on the 18th May playing in a Chelsea Legends Game, raising money for various charities, something he was definitely looking forward to.
"I have been kicking a ball around since I was three years old and as you grow up, people start to follow you and support you. It makes you love your job even more and it helps you give more on the pitch. The connection with the fans is so important."
"I love Chelsea and the club has given me a lot, so whenever I can help and give something back I will. Chelsea and Yokohama are both brands that focus on high performance."
Zola would be a great appointment, should Mr Abramovich allow it. It`s seems a no-brainer. As an ex-player with the club at heart, he could really make the difference that Chelsea`s beleaguered supporters would appreciate right now. Come on Mr. A, you know it makes sense.