Connect with us

Sports

Gianfranco Zola was urged not to train with West Ham players when Hammers boss as he was ‘level above’ and would ‘demoralise’ their defence

Published

on

Gianfranco Zola was a world class footballer in his day and was still so good in retirement that he was urged by West Ham players to stop training with them when he was their manager.

Zola was an iconic figure for Chelsea during the late 1990s and early 2000s and regarded as one of the most skilful stars on the planet.

Zola bossed West Ham for just under two years and embarrassed players with his quality

GETTY

Zola bossed West Ham for just under two years and embarrassed players with his quality

He helped the Blues win two FA Cups, the League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners Cup during his seven seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Zola was manager of West Ham between 2008 and 2010 and former striker Carlton Cole revealed that he was still better than every player at the club – even in his 40s.

Cole told talkSPORT’s Super Premier League Preview show: “We had Craig Bellamy. We had James Collins. We had a load of proper senior pros. Scott Parker, a few boys in the team at the time. Matthew Upson as well – and I say him for a reason.

“He [Zola] used to train and he used to muck in. He used to come in and train with us and he was still unbelievable.

“A level above everybody that was there. He put a few players on their backside. We needed to win the game at the weekend!

Zola was told to stop training with the West Ham players

Getty Images – Getty

Zola was told to stop training with the West Ham players

“I think Craig Bellamy went into his office, and said ‘listen, gaffer, you can’t be coming into training and demoralising our defence’.

“I’m looking at him and thinking ‘I can’t do what he does’. This geezer’s world class and I’m not as good as that. I’m going into the game thinking I’m not good enough.

“He had to stop training because Bellers (Bellamy) said ‘you can’t train with us, you are too good – even at your age you are better than everyone’.”

Sign up to play Dream Team 2020/21 now

  • It’s completely free to play
  • Play the traditional Season game as well as Draft
  • There’s a hefty jackpot up for grabs across 2020/21
  • SIGN UP TO PLAY HERE