Friday, 26 March 2010
Zola Is Too Weak To Win
Given his undoubted ability, Zola does not have a great record of winning things as a player. True he has a Seria A winners medal, but in that season he only made 7 appearances for Napoli. Describing him as a "bit part" in that success would be hyperbole in the circumstances therefore. Then there was the Supercoppa Italia in the following year (the Italian Charity Shield), but the Italians take domestic cup competitions as seriously as Katie Price takes marriage vows. There were 2 UEFA Super Cups but that's the European equivalent of the Charity Shield - an exhibition game with an edge.
The medals that really count boil down to two FA Cups with Chelsea, a League Cup, a Cup Winners Cup and a UEFA Cup - and try telling Rooney, Lampard, Ballack, Keane, Scholes and co that those competitions are anything more than padding for the trophy cabinets. No side featuring Zola as a regular ever won a league title and no team featuring Zola ever won the European Cup / Champions League. A total of 35 international caps is also disappointingly low for such a great player.
Significantly, Zola finished as a "runner up" on too many occasions: he was on the losing side in the final in the FA Cup in 2002, the Charity Shield in 1997, the Cup Winners Cup in 1994, the Coppa Italia in 1995, the Supercoppa Italianna in 1995, in Seria A in 1994/95 and in Seria B in 2003/04. Zola was also in the squad when Italy finished runners up in the 1994 World Cup.
There is a saying that "Nice guys come second" and Zola illustrates this perfectly. In truth, given his prodigious talent, his playing career is a story of massive underachievement. And leopards don't change their spots.
We are going down because Zola is not a winner. Look at his lily livered response to both Tuesday's inept performance and Sullivan's fully justified criticism of that shambles. Sullivan simply voiced what every fan is thinking. He witnessed the fans turn on the team on Tuesday and he came down on the side of the supporters. But Zola? He has criticised Sullivan and tried to make excuses for the team. Crazy, absolutely crazy! The players needed to hear that their performance was pathetic and shambolic. Instead Zola has said, "Blame me". So Zola has simply given his players a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card! Ludicrous.
Just listen to him:
"We know that we have to produce a fantastic performance against Stoke," Zola said. "The good thing is that I do not need to motivate the players with a team talk, because they have already had one."
No need to motivate the players? Was he watching on Tuesday? Who has motivated them? Sullivan? But Sullivan was wrong to say what he said according to Zola.
He adds, "We are a good team, but going through a difficult moment. We need to make sure we show everyone we are a good team and are going to try to show that."
I know he is operating in a foreign language but that "moment" has been going on for 9 months now and I am worried by that use of the word "try". I don't want to hear they are going to try to show that they are a good team, I want to hear that we will!
Who would you back to motivate our malingerers on Saturday, Nice Guy Zola or Neil Warnock? Unfortunately Pulis is a Warnock type, a manager who will punch a player who has upset him. Stoke have nothing to play for but are guaranteed to arrive full of fight; but are we sure of that our dandy boys will be up for a battle? To answer that, look back to Tuesday night!
Posted by Hammersfan at 17:50