Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is Zola the Man?

From The MailOnline

With thanks to Hammered for alerting me to the article

Former France international Leboeuf said: ‘He (Zola) is a very intelligent person, very smart on the pitch and I’m sure he’s going to do well.

‘My only concern is that he was a Chelsea player and not a West Ham player. I heard a West Ham fan say that they would rather the club went for Paolo Di Canio because he was a Hammers legend and I can understand that.

‘I never wanted to sign for another club because I gave my faith and my love to Chelsea and I think you have to stick to that.
Zola in his time with Chelsea

The old days: Zola in his time with Chelsea

‘Gianfranco is a legend at Chelsea and I don’t see him at West Ham. I’ve nothing against West Ham but Zola belongs to Chelsea.’

When the amount of money the Clubs are willing to pay to attract players and managers there may soon be no such thing as a Chelsea Man or a West Ham Man. They may all be Money Men. In American terms, Tommy Lasorda is a Dodger and will always be a Dodger. Men such as he are few and far between though. Rick Pitino crossed over in one of the biggest rivalries in sports from University of Kentucky basketball to University of Louisville basketball. Will he retire a Cardinal? Not likely, especially if the New York Knicks offer him the right compensation. The introduction of big money into the sports has made it more accessible (in television terms) to those of us who follow from afar. Conversely, it has made it less of an intimate experience as those who are able to pay the money, or willing to take the money, can inject themselves into organizations where their presence would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

Now, I don't think that is completely bad. There have been many instances where a player or manager who is connected with one team has switched allegiances and been able to overcome those prior ties to be an effective asset to his new club. In some cases, those men develop a special grudge against their former club and strive all the harder to defeat them at every opportunity. Hopefully, this will be the situation with Zola. As soon as he steps into office, I will assume he is a West Ham Man and give him all my support. It is the only thing to do.

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