West Ham appoint Zola

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Gianfranco Zola has promised to give the West Ham squad the full benefit of his 20 years in football after being named as the club's new manager.

Italy and Chelsea legend Zola has agreed a three-year deal at Upton Park, replacing Alan Curbishley, who resigned earlier this month in disagreement with the Hammers' management structure.

Zola said: "I'm delighted to be here. It is a great honour for me to be involved in such an important job.

"I can promise to do my best to make good for this club. The club has got tradition and I am just here to help develop the team and to develop the players.

"That is my duty and I will do it with all of myself.

"I will give to these players all of my experience and all of my knowledge - I am here to be somebody good for them.

"That is my aim and I will do everything I can to succeed in this."

Zola's previous coaching role was with the Italy Under-21 side and although he admits his managerial CV in thin, he is confident in his abilities.

"I know I am not the most experienced manager around but I have ideas, I have been in football for 20 years.

"I know what we're talking about and I will certainly give something to this club; whether it is enough or not we will see. But I have a lot of knowledge of the game and the players will help me with this."

Zola said he hoped his second stint in English football will be as successful as the seven he spent as a player with Chelsea.

"I will never forget my first seven years with Chelsea," he continued.

"I hope that my next few years will be as successful as the first seven, that's my aim.

"People have to understand that's my job and I will do everything I can do to make it work."

He did admit, however, that he had found the decision to leave his old job as assistant to Pierluigi Casiraghi with the Italian Under-21s a tough one.

"I was doing something I liked very much. It was a very good experience working with young players. At the beginning I was a bit uncertain (about taking the Hammers job).

"I liked what I was doing but this is a great occasion and a great club. I couldn't say no and I am pleased to have accepted it. It's great opportunity and I'm sure i can do a great job for this club."

The Italian rejected the idea that he would find it difficult to work within the current structure of the London club.

Curbishley left the Hammers after accusing the board of interfering in transfer policy.

"My job is to develop the team on the pitch," he said.

"My first duty is to develop the team and I will report to the director. He is not working against me, I am sure that he will help me instead."

Zola also dismissed concerns that having an Italian at the helm would subject supporters to boring football, insisting his team would go on the attack.

"My philosophy is to play offensive football if I can because I trust it," said Zola.

"We have to make it enjoyable for the players and then for the crowd. We will have to be a balanced team and the philosophy will be to play offensively."

Zola has spoken of his desire to return to Stamford Bridge as manager one day, but the Italian insisted he was only focused on the task in hand at Upton Park.

"I like to think that this is a very important part of my life and I will be totally focused on West Ham," he said.

"I don't know what I will be doing in the future, who knows? But what's important now is the present and that this club has faith in me."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen