View Full Version : How good was............Gianfranco Zola

Romford Pele
December 10th, 2014, 11:26 AM
I really liked Beefys idea, so I am cloning it.

I was thinking through some of my favourite non-Arsenal players from Division 1/Premier League over the years, and this fella has to be one of them despite who he played for.

Before he signed for Chelsea I was aware of him having seen him play against us in the Cup Winners Cup Final in 1994 for that great Parma side that we somehow beat (Zola, Asprilla & pre-fat Brolin) and thought he was something else. Whenever football italia was on from that point on, I always watched when Parma were playing.

When he signed for Chelsea, I was incredibly jealous even though we already had Dennis Bergkamp.

Already 30 at this point, he was two footed, skillful, wonderful low centre of gravity and an unselfishness that made him a nightmare against defenders. I remember him making Gary Pallister look like a clown on one occasion in particular. Amazingly he left Chelsea aged 37 in 2003, and was still a great player and throughly likeable.

So, the question is where does he rate in the greats? He didn't win as much as others with much less talent so you could argue he underachieved from that point of view.

He also didn't light it up at an International level, partly due to the fact that Italy has a crazy amount of top class forwards at that time (Baggio, Vialli, Ravenelli, Signori, Vieri, Casiraghi, Inzaghi to name but seven), partly because Italy underachieved during this period.

I think he is arguably one of the best 10 Premier League players ever, but probably a notch down from the very very best (Zidane, Messi, Ronaldo, Henry)

Where would you rate him?

December 10th, 2014, 12:09 PM
Yeah, he was pretty good.

Romford Pele
December 10th, 2014, 12:13 PM
Thanks. For. That.

December 10th, 2014, 12:17 PM
He seems to be in that Paul Scholes bracket of players who are more appreciated by professionals. Any time a professional is asked about the best player they've played alongside, if they've played with Zola they say him. Often with a dose of "seriously, you don't understand how good he was" for good measure.

Technically he might be the single best the Premier League has ever had - he never had the physical qualities of Shearer, Henry or Keane, but his intelligence and technical skill put him right up there.

Romford Pele
December 10th, 2014, 12:19 PM
How would rate him against the likes of Sheringham, Bergkamp and Cantona?