Zola appointed manager of second tier Watford
Former Italy and Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola has signed a two-year contract to take over as manager of Championship (second division) side Watford.
“Everyone knows how Gianfranco Zola likes football to be played,” technical director Gianluca Nani told the club’s website (www.watfordfc.com) on Saturday.
“I think Watford fans can expect an exciting and attacking style from his team. Gianfranco represents this project perfectly.”
The new Italian owners had previously made clear their intention to bring Zola, 46, in to replace Sean Dyche.
Zola has plenty of experience in English football, having wowed crowds up and down the country as a skillful, twinkle-toed striker during his seven years at Chelsea. He also had a short spell as manager of their London rivals West Ham United.
Giampaolo Pozzo, who also owns Serie A club Udinese and Spanish side Granada, bought Watford last month.
Since agreeing a “partnership” deal with Udinese in 2009, Granada have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.
They have risen from the third division to La Liga largely thanks to the players the club have received from Udinese.
Zola, who won 35 international caps, began his coaching career working with Italy’s under-21 squad after retiring from playing at the age of 39.
He then took charge at West Ham and led them to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League before parting company with the club.
Watford supporters will be hoping Zola’s spell in charge is more successful than that of his fellow countryman and his former Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli.
Vialli made wholesale changes to the playing and coaching staff when he took charge of the north London club in 2001 but his team finished 14th in the second division and he was sacked after one year.