The club has not covered itself in glory in the latest changing of the managerial guard, however, the arrival of Gianfranco Zola brings a smile to the face of Chelsea fans.
The departure of Antonio Conte was as inevitable as a MoPlay Bonus Code but the situation became farcical when the club left a title and FA Cup winning manager hanging on through the entire summer.
Conte even took charge of some early pre-season training sessions despite the open secret that Maurizo Sarri was being lined up to replace him.
Eventually, Conte was sacked and Sarri was installed and Chelsea fans were generally lukewarm to his arrival and not sure quite how to take the next step of the Chelsea managerial rollercoaster.
Club Legend Zola Returns
One thing that has energised fans is the return of Gianfranco Zola as assistant manager, as a player, he was idolised as one of the most gifted players to wear Blue.
Already we have seen that Zola has not lost his touch, being filmed performing the rabona during a practical training session.
His status to Chelsea fans is beyond reproach, he has been voted the club’s greatest ever player in 2003.
After joining in 1996 he spent 7 years lighting up the Premier League winning player of the year 1996/1997 despite only playing half a season. He is the most technically gifted players of the game, let alone players to have played for Chelsea and he was idolised by Chelsea fans.
Although not a guaranteed starter for his entire Chelsea career he made more than 300 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 80 goals.
Sadly, he left without a proper goodbye in the dying days of the Ken Bates era and despite the offer of a contract extension by Roman Abramovich honoured his word to return to Caligari.
He spent three years at Caligari before retiring
Zola The Manager
Post-retirement Zola went into management, however, as a manager, he did not quite hit the same levels with spells at Watford and Birmingham.
A good number two does not have to be a great manager but he does need to be respected by the players. Great Chelsea no.2’s such as Steve Clarke and Ray Wilkins failed at management but were recognised as key parts of Chelsea’s success in the back-room.
Something that someone as talented and respected in football as Zola undoubtedly will be.
We look forward to welcoming him back and reminding him just how loved he is by Chelsea fans for his role in a transformational time in the club’s history.