Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Did Carlton Blow It Or Was It Zola's Fault?
The one big feather in Zola's managerial cap was supposedly the way he transformed Cole from a useless tosser into an England striker. Look at what he's done with Cole, the Zola fans insisted, ignoring the fact that Cole was a regular under Curbishley because of Ashton's injury woes. Am I remembering wrong, or were Inter linked with Cole BEFORE Zola became manager?
How appropriate that, on the day Zola was sacked, Cole was left out of Capello's squad of 30. Heskey, Zamora (ruled out by injury) and Bent are all considered better options. Now, if you want to talk transformations, then look at what Bruce has done with Bent, who whilst at Tottenham was behind 'Arry's wife in the queue for the number 9 shirt, and what Woy has done with Zamora - shipped out by Turds because he saw Cole as the better option! How many goals have Zammo and Bent netted this season? Both make Cole's 10 seem rather pathetic.
But I'm not having a go at Cole here. I rate the guy and, prior to his injury, I thought he was a banker for a place in the World Cup. So what happened? Well Zola happened. With no shape to the team and nobody providing anything like decent service, Cole found himself feeding off scraps and playing whilst not fully fit into the bargain. Suddenly he looked lumbering. Suddenly he looked one paced. Suddenly it looked like every ball he received was a hand-grenade minus the pin. His confidence was dented and, like Zamora and Bent, Cole is a confidence player.
So what happened to Zola's legendary coaching skills then? It's a bit of a mystery really, although I suspect Freddie Sears might be able to help here. After all, Zola did a brilliant job coaching him didn't he?
Sadly, by staying loyal to West Ham, Cole has lost his place in the World Cup squad. Had he demanded a transfer in January, aka Bellyache, I suspect he would have made it onto the plane. How big a debt of gratitude does Carlton owe to Zola? It's a case of thanks for nothing I fear.
Posted by Hammersfan at 20:06