Fans’ Forum Transcript: Part Two – On the Pitch

Your four predecessors all gave same answer to this question. Which player impressed you most when you arrived? And don’t worry, Bob Paisley never knew his players’ names either!

GZ: In terms of attitude they have all impressed me. Since I came I keep asking them to change things; things they’d been doing very well until I came. Everybody was willing to try to do things that I was asking for. Sometimes, I was surprised because they were doing some things I didn’t even tell them to do. It’s very difficult to pick one that stands out from everybody. All of them are giving everything. Even those that have sometimes have been outside. I can mention Chris Iwelumo, for example. He’s not playing much nowadays but his attitude is always very good. With him and many others, they’re doing very well. One player that has been doing so well and keeps progressing, every game I see him playing his confidence is going up and his abilities are getting bigger and bigger, his name is Tommie Hoban.

Let’s bring the skipper in on that, which member of the coaching staff were you most impressed with?

JE: The gaffer? Obviously, having Gianfranco here, after the first day he’s come in and all lads see him as one of the best players ever to have played in the Premiership. As soon as he comes in the building he’s got a presence about him, and lads want to learn from him – everything he say, you listen. He’s got that aura and it’s only good for the club to have someone like this here. Especially for the young lads, and even the older lads – you’re never too old to learn. As soon as he says anything tactically, who he played with, little pointers, its great for the players.

How different is he to other managers you’ve worked under?

JE: I don’t know, what do you think? Obviously, Sean Dyche and the gaffer are chalk and cheese, two different characters. The gaffer is very calm and collected, and so was Sean, but he’d certainly let you know if he wasn’t happy. Unfortunately I haven’t been in the dressing room very much with the gaffer this season. I know the lads love the style and formation and as the season goes on they’re going to keep getting better and better. And Watford’s going to be an exciting place to be, now and in the next few years.

What’s your view on players using Twitter?

GZ: We had a discussion about that at the beginning of the seasons. It can be good, it can be bad. The tendency is that you use it and think you’re talking to your friends. When you talk to them you say things you don’t mean – you just say them – it happens so often. Unfortunately there are people around Twitter who use that for different purposes. So it can be risky, they say things that should remain quiet. We need to keep an eye on that and make sure that everybody is sensible when they’re using new ways to communicate. That’s why we as a club keep an eye on Twitter – tweets, is that the word?

And you and John are not on Twitter?

JE: I don think I’d have any followers to be fair.

First, how’s the injury, John? Second, about the role of the captain: we’ve had quite a few refereeing decisions going against us recently. Are we suffering because we don’t have an outfield player to get in the refs ear?

JE: The injury’s coming on. I had an operation two months ago. I started light running this morning. They say this operation usually gets better between 2 and 3 months and I’m eight weeks in so hopefully will be on three months.

GZ: I don’t think we have a discipline problem right now. We’ve been unfortunate with some of the decisions we’ve had against us recently. During the year they end up in balance. I’m sure that we’re gonna have it back sooner or later. Regarding not having the captain on the pitch, don’t worry about that: we are always on the fourth man here, especially Giancarlo Corradini, he keeps going against the fourth man, the other bench, everybody around him. I don’t think it’s a problem. I don’t think we have a disciplinary problem. I don’t like to say we have refs going against us – I don’t believe that. What I say to the players is that we have to be strong. The ref is a human being he can make a right decision, sometimes he can paralyse you. We have to keep focus and keep doing our best and sooner or later these decisions will change.

Was it always your plan to play three at the back or is it more flexible than just having one set formation?

GZ: When I first came over here it was always in my mind to have more than one system. If you remember I played three at the back in a couple of different games. One was a friendly against Gillingham away, and I played three at the back out of the blue because I wanted to see how it was going. Also against Bradford, in the cup. I like the system, I think it’s a very good system. I played it before because we were conceding… we had a problem, we had a physical problem. Because many of the players didn’t have the best condition. So what was happening: when we were in control of the game we were dangerous and creating chances, but as soon as we were getting tired, we were conceding too much. Plus we had four players at the back that were coming from injury like… (long pause) Neuton. That was the best way to give a little bit more balance to the team. Whether I’m going to  keep playing the system, to be honest, I don’t know. Sometimes, I learned in football, you have to follow the logic, and so you do things in a certain way; but sometimes you have to give space to instinct. I never suffocated instinct as a player and I won’t as manager. When I feel that it is the right time to play four at the back again and maybe put one more extra striker I will do. Whatever we play, doesn’t change our philosophy, we want to play on the floor as much as we can and develop our technical abilities and win games in this way. So it doesn’t matter how I’m gonna locate the players on the pitch – the quality of football that won’t change.

How have players adapted to the new regime, style and influx of foreign players?

JE: The dressing room really happy place at the moment. It helps when you’ve got a good dressing room which we did at the start of the season, and all the foreign players and loan players coming in we’ve made to feel at home. You can tell on the pitch that they feel happy and together and the team spirit is there. It doesn’t matter who goes in our out, everyone sticks together, and that’s the way it’s been since I’ve been here.

Is there one language for banter?

JE: Well, I think we need to learn Italian and Spanish! We certainly need a few words in Italian. No, the gaffer’s got the lads learning English and they’re in lessons every day, which is only a good thing. Hopefully, as the season goes on the team will start playing better, the team will be together even more. It’s a big project isn’t it? Sorry, it’s a big plan, we’re starting this season and the club’s got to stick together through thick and thin, and I’m sure it will be very successful at the end of it.

Has table tennis played a part?

JE: I think so. I haven’t been around much. Been getting treatment at St Georges Park. I think we’ll have to have a British v Foreigner League.

One thing SD had really right was the fitness of players; there’s been quite a few occasions of conceding late goals, also certain players with fitness problems. It does seem that levels of fitness aren’t the same as they were last year.

GZ: There is more than one reason. The first one is that a lot of players came over here and didn’t do the preseason with us. That is one reason. Another reason is that, again, many players come over here, last year played hardly ten games, so they don’t have that fitness level that is suitable for this country. Bear in mind we had the same problem at West Ham. Players who come from abroad, especially in leagues like Spain and Italy, really struggle to find the level and rhythm of this country. It takes a little bit of time because they’re not used to playing with such anintensity, even training is so intense for them. Takes time to adapt. This is another reason why physically we are not still at our level. We are catching up quite well. I’m happy. If you think about Cardff, we played with 9 men, but we run right to the end. Even after they scored to make it 2-1 we still had many players around the goal trying to score again. So our performances physically are going up, so I’m confident we will improve with that.

How does the Pozzo’s scouting network work? You seem to pull players from Argentina, have you got people watching players in Tasmania? (ITWM: I feel that Argentina is just a bit more likely to have potential stars knocking about than Tasmania, but maybe that’s just me?)

GN: I think the Pozzo family did unbelievable job with the scouting network. If you think of the players they’ve discovered all down their career it’s unbelievable: Amoroso, Sanchez – sold to Barcelona, Muntari and Gyan, Isla who went to Juventus, Handanovic to Inter -they discovered so many players it’s unbelievable. And honestly, together we have a very good scouting network. But our job will be scouting England, all the young talent, and for sure if we have the assets to use, why not? In this day we are signing exciting players, kids – really really good – that all the important clubs were looking for. And so we try to find the best players, the best talent, in advance. To bring them here, to teach the English mentality, the English philosophy. In the meantime we want to keep the Watford spirit, which is why we give contracts to our young players. This is the reason we are so focused on English talent for the next two, three seasons. Honestly, the job they did is the best in the world of football. If I can mention a lot of players they discovered all over the world, it’s unbelievable. And they have to sell these players. Udine is not like London, so when the big teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter, Juventus try to by them, players want to go. We try to find players to bring here that really don’t want to go. We want to keep these players. Last week, players like Vydra and Forestieri and other players told me how ‘I really feel good here, I want to stay here’. I’m really proud about that. If we had a chance to use also the scouting network that we have all around the world. Why not?

GZ: I believe the scouting network for Udinese is that they have a lot of good people in South America, in eastern countries, but above all they have a lot of former players that work for them as people that go and check talents and they are quite good because they know football a lot, they’re good at spotting players that nobody knows. But they get them when they’re quite young and they train and work them well. Honestly, they’ve produced some exceptional players and we’re looking forward to seeing some exceptional players coming out of Watford. I believe we have some that are promising very well.

Football finds itself on the front pages and back pages for all the wrong reasons. How important is it for clubs like Watford for being known for our good conduct? That if you want to bring your young kid to a football game, this is the place to come to?

GZ: Nowadays with the media they’re more interested with the wrong things rather than the right things. In football like Tennis or in every other sport, there are so many people that do right things and positive things but they are not on the first page. Some people think it’s more interesting to read about controversial things. That’s something I cannot come to terms with all the time. As far as I am concerned we are trying to do things in the right way, play in the right way and win games in the right way. We are ambitious, but that is the way I personally think we should conduct ourselves. It’s difficult to believe, football is always associated now with money and other things. It’s still soccer or football or whatever you want to call it and it still has a vital posiotion In society and we need to be mature when conducting ourselves out on the pitch.

JE: Since I’ve been at the club, the work the club do in the community is top drawer. I think they win awards most years. It is a massive part nowadays. The players have to respect and want to be in the community. Players sometimes might not want to do that, but it’s very very important and the more young kids we can get coming to club the better. Players have huge responsibility on their shoulders especially nowadays.


First, to Scott and Gianluca: Gino Pozzo is coming to country next year, can you give an idea of what his role will be and how that will overlap with you guys? Second, to Gianfranco, regarding loan players, there’s been a lot of conjecture over whether we’ve got too many, but one that we definitely have on loan is Nathaniel Chalobah. We’ve had some great loanees over years – Kightly, Johnson, Cleverley to name but a few. Two of those are currently England squad members; this lad, I believe, will be as well. What chance has we got of keeping him…longer that is?

GN: We know Chalobah and we try our best to bring him here. He is the only player we really have on loan. And I can tell public that we would like to buy. Even though we have to say that he’s playing really bad. I’m really disappointed with his performances! (ITWM: Just in case it doesn’t come across, he is being sarcastic) You never know. For sure we will try to get him first on loan first until the end of the season and then we’ll see. For sure, we can’t promise anything because of the quality of the player and the quality of the club that owns the player, so it’s difficult.

About Gino Pozzo, he is a really intelligent business man, he really understand football. Sometimes you can find chairmen who are good businessmen but maybe on the football side don’t understand too much but he’s unbelievable. He knows football really well and we can just improve watching what he does and listening to him. So, honestly I’ve improved a lot with him, and he will come here next season, try to run his own business. And for sure, he trusts us but everything he can do to help us will be welcome.

Three questions: First, Why can’t we draw a game? Second, what is success this season? And third, has Gianfranco heard of width?

GZ: (laughs) (seethes inside) First of all yes, a draw every now and then would be appreciated. I thought we had one against Blackpool… Blackburn? Yes, we like to rock and roll, but yes, it’s one of the things that we need to work on. A little bit more consistency would be good, so every now and then to get a draw, especially away from home would be a good thing.

Success this season would be to improve the position that we achieved last year. We are ambitious obviously but we know that this year we have many players that have just come in and who are learning about the league; myself as well, and my staff, are learning about the league, so we know that want we want to do doesn’t come from day one and day two – football works that way. We don’t want short term victories, we want something that will last longer. We want to improve, like I said, on what we did last year, and then we see no? We say in Italy, ‘the more you eat the more you get hungry’. We’ve played some very good teams and we noticed that we’ve withstood their levels. And the best from us is yet to come. So we will see what happens. But we have to be patient, we don’t have to be too much… we have to keep under the carpet, as they say in this country; that’s what we want to do, we don’t want to give away false promises.

Regarding the width, with this system, yes, we don’t have many players like Cassetti or… or… Pudil, but we have some options, sometimes when we play home games we can play some more offensive players so that we have more when we’re coming forward. We have some solutions, I’m not worried about that. I believe that this team is equipped to play this system and the other system well. If something is incomplete we’ll see what to do in January, but I have a lot of faith in this squad.

I noticed during break that there’s hot water in the Gents over here. In family section there’s cold but no hot. Is that to try and dispel the away support?

SD: I wasn’t aware of that situation. I will try and rectify it as quickly as possible.

How important is to keep an English spine to the side? Can we expect more British players to sign?

GZ: That is vital, to be honest. One of my convictions is that… I recall at Chelsea, despite having so many different nationalities, the core of the team was by the English ones. So Dennis Wise and others, Steve Clarke, were the core, everybody was going around them. I believe that in this team, although we have many players, the core remains the same. John is one of them, there are also other ones like Lloyd… Lloyd! We have a lot of players that come in here, but the identity, the core remains an English one.

When we get into Europe, would there be a conflict of interests when we draw Udinese or Granada in competition?

GN: I would love to have this problem. We have to go step by step. First is to achieve success in the Championship, then we’ll sit down and find a solution.

Question from Twitter: Gianfranco, what are your memories of coming to Watford as a Chelsea player? DO we need to remind you, I think Watford won 1-0.

GZ: I don’t know what you’re talking about!

We can introduce you to Allan Smart…

GZ: I told you it’s dangerous to use Twitter. Twitter is not good!

With so many players, how close are you to knowing your first eleven or will you change depending on opposition?

GZ: Having so many games, you cannot say you have a first eleven. You have an idea of the ones who will normally play but you have to allow yourself all the time some changes, because having such a big squad I intend to use as many as possible. So when you have three games in a week, you cannot have the same players play the three games because they will end up not performing well. I have an idea but, in football, things they change, because you have a player who for 15, 20 days or three or four games is on fire but all of a sudden they need to recover and somebody else is stepping up in form. So, here we have some good choices. For example right now I am playing up front with Troy Deeney and Fernando Forestieri, but I have on the bench players like Geijo, who played very well against Cardiff and Matty Vydra, who is the player who’s scored the most goals for us. Also I have Chris Iwelumo and Leo Beleck. So I have good choices and at the moment those two are playing, but you don’t know the next game maybe Vydra with Geijo. It depends on their form, and I have to judge that and make sure that whoever goes on the pitch is the best solution for the moment.

Why is Marco Cassetti playing at right back, perhaps his fitness levels aren’t quite what they should be. Also, please can you buy Forestieri?

GN: Yes. Fernando has already asked me to stay. If Manchester United are not going to buy him, we’ll keep him with us.

GZ: Regarding Marco Cassetti, I don’t think anyone can doubt that he’s been a big asset. He’s been playing quite well. Sometimes I should rest him because he’s 35. But he doesn’t look 35, so at the moment I am insisting with him because I know the team can get something out of him.

John, any plans to stay on as a coach when you retire? You could teach the younger players overhead kicks.

JE: Have you seen that gaffer? I think you’d be very impressed, might teach you a thing or two! I’m doing my badges at the moment but y’know I’m fully focused on playing and getting fit. That’s all I want to do at the moment, play football.

Two part question. To Gianfranco, do you think we’re ruthless enough at the moment and scoring enough goals, and do you expect that to improve as the season goes on? And to John, do the players feel pressure, particularly at home, if we don’t score early on?

GZ: I think that we are creating a lot. Maybe not in the last couple of games, but we were creating a lot. Maybe we weren’t scoring as many goals as we should because it happens so many times that Fernando Forestieri came in front of the goal and missed and it happens that Vydra did the same, some others as well. Creating a lot and maybe not getting everything that we deserve. That is something we need to improve, because in this league you really need to take your chances because otherwise the opposition will get some – that’s what they do. Some of the teams that we’ve played are so practical with what they do: they just wait, wait, wait for their opportunity and when it happens it can be dangerous. So when we are in control of the game we should be more ruthless. That is something that we’re trying to improve. Don’t forget that we have a very young team, and that some of the players are talented, but are not yet complete.

JE: As the gaffer said, with the new players coming in, and the young players playing now, this is a very tough league and if you haven’t scored many goals during the game, which happens often as it’s very tight, we can’t get frustrated and have to keep going for the full 90 and go for the goal, but make sure that defensively we’re very strong as well. This league is a very tough league and you need to grind the results out and we need to learn that as a group.

GZ: If I can add something to that: this league is not the way it was before. Because teams are not like they were. They used to come over here and try to win all the games, now they tactically prepare. That’s why you see more away games won. They come, they sit, and they defend with nine players, sometimes ten players and just counter attack. In those conditions it is so hard to break down and you need to have a lot of quality, so therefore it’s not easy, and John is right. You have to be patient and keep playing your football and wait for your opportunity. I think the game against Petersborough (sic) was a good example. In the first half, we suffered  a lot, we didn’t create as much, then in the second half we started creating. We didn’t score until the end, but it was a game which nobody can doubt that we deserved to win, and we deserved to win in a bigger manner as well.

We’re sitting in the Legends Lounge so I want to ask about a legend. Lloyd Doyley is now on his fifth manager. What makes him keep getting picked?

GZ: What is incredible about him is his attitude. I wish I could have 20 players with his attitude. After Bolton he played a good game, he scored an unbelievable goal – and he did mean that – and after that I dropped him because I needed to play a different type of player, but he never gave up. Since then he didn’t play many games, but he never gave up, he waited his moment, and then he came on and he played and he played well, and now he’s still on the team. What makes someone like him special is just that: he gives everything he’s got all the time, he’s always positive, he never said a word about being dropped ad he never got angry about it. He was probably just in this mindset that I have to go and work hard and make sure that he picks me. That is brilliant; I have to say that is brilliant.

JE: yeah, all the young lads look up to him. From the outside looking in he’s not the prettiest on the eye, but when you’re in the group and as the managers that have come in have noticed, he’ll always give 100% for the team and that’s what you need in this league. He’s a Watford legend, hopefully he’ll be here another ten years. He’s just an ambassador for the club and is very good for the young lads.

GZ: Let me say this: defensively, he’s probably the best we have. In the 1v1, you cannot go past him, that’s for sure.

We’ve got a young lad who’s banging the goals in for Southend. Britt… I won’t try and pronounce his surname. Is he going to get a chance? After January might you try him in League One?

GN: We know he’s doing really well and that he did very well also last season. I think the young players need a chance to play, so we are looking at him every game, we have reports about him. We’ll see. Now with Southend, he’s doing well, and in January we will decide. For sure we are taking attention of him, because he is doing well. Then I don’t want to say to anyone what the club are going to do, but the club are looking after him. And if we does good he can come back; if not, he can go for another six months to another team or the same team to show that he’s improving.

GZ: it was a pity that Britt ASSOMBALONGA –see? It’s not that hard! It’s been very good for me tonight, I’m improving my whole problem – that during preseason he got injured quite early so he didn’t have an opportunity to play the friendlies. Because I see something in him. If he had the possibility to play pre-season he would have had maybe a better chance, but he still has time. He knows that. The other day he came back for a training session with us. He’s somebody certainly that’s catching the eye so we hope he can continue like this. It could be a possibility to give him a higher level of football to see if he can keep performing. It’s something we will look in to.

The new players’ attitude and commitment should be commended. You see when Pudil brings his young son on at the end of the game and on pictures on social networking sites how they’re committed and humble. My question is, in order to further links with Udinese and Granada, is there the possibility of a pre-season tour to Italy or Spain, and to their fans, the possibility to offer them tickets, to come watch us, or to increase fanbase?

GN: This season we went to Ireland and it was really good. It’s still quite early to decide on what we’re going to do for next season. We try to look for the best for the team- what the coach needs. That could be Granada, it could be Udine, it could be somewhere else. The other part, there could be the opportunity why not? We try to get all the best from our assets. The scouting network is an asset and the fanbase is an asset. We don’t forget that in everything we do, for now we want to keep our mentality and to keep our idea of football, but if we can use something from Udinese or Granada to achieve our targets, why not?.

GZ: Maybe next year we could play a tournament over here?

I’m a local primary school teacher, all my pupils support Arsenal and Manchester United – what are you going to do about it?

SD: It goes back to the other comment that we have to make the club attractive and successful so that the new generation want to support us. It’s as simple as that. Unless we are competitive and unless we are successful, we’re not going to attract them, so it’s part of the long term plan.

GZ: If you ask me, I’d be giving them so much homework until they change their mind.

Can you explain the circumstances in which we signed five centre backs but had to play Dickinson there against Derby?

GZ: This season has been a strange season. Probably some of the choices that have been made in other circumstances wouldn’t have been made. It’s important that we get the best for this club and we’re trying to find the best solution. Some players have been penalised because of this. At the end of the day we try to, whatever it comes, we try to play all the time the best players and so it’s difficult for me obviously because when I have to choose between ten defenders it makes it very difficult for me. This is how it’s gone so far, and whether I like it or whoever we like doesn’t matter. The ones who deserve to play, play. A player like Carl Dickinson has been penalised and he has not been playing and has gone on loan and he’s a player that has done well for this club and he has to play. That’s the way it is. And don’t forget the best thing is what’s best for this club.

First question is to John Eustace. We know you took a pay cut to play for us, and a lot of fans respect that. What drove you to do that? Also to Gianfranco, you’re known as the nice guy of football, do you feel you can discipline the team? Do you feel you can crack the whip?

JE: The circumstances a few years ago were that I had to defer a bit of money to play. I had to do it, I wanted to play games. I felt I had something to prove from the season before. Brendan didn’t want me in the team, I wanted to come back and play for the club, I was given the option and took it. I’ve had a good three years since. So, I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s been one of the best moves I’ve made really.

GZ: First of all, I believe that with players you don’t have to be nasty, you have to be correct and honest. If the players understand and believe in this, you don’t have to be nasty with them: they do what they’ve been told to do, as simple as that. If somebody does something wrong you have to correct them. But I don’t get the whip, when I don’t like something, the message comes across. I believe that it’s not a problem at all. I get cross when they keep saying this. The best way with people is not to be nasty; you have to be right and if they understand you are being honest and that you’re doing it for the best of them they will do it without even blinking. That’s my view.

JE: It comes down to a respect thing. There are no big-time charlies at all here and as soon as Gianfranco says anything, straight away the players listen. And if he raises his voice very slightly then you should automatically think that he’s probably right. He doesn’t have to lose his voice and shout and rant. It’s a respect thing and luckily the dressing room is very respectful.

GZ: I’ve done only once, when I was at West Ham. I got very angry, very angry. It was Bolton away and we lost and I lost my temper because we’d made many mistakes and I came in and there were a couple of players discussing with each other and I lost it. I grabbed one of those… things on the wall… where you write… flipcharts and I throw it on the side, not even looking, and then I realise that I’d hit one of my fitness coaches so from that moment I decided that no, it’s not for me.

How much contact does the management have with Gino Pozzo? Can they make choices on their own?

SD: Gino has made it clear that he’s left the running of the club to myself and Gianluca. He’s there purely for support. We give him regular updates on the business plan, the financial information, the performance of the team. When we need his help, we ask him and he willingly gives it, but with the day to day running he has no interference, he’s here purely for support.

Who on the table is responsible for Fernando Messi? That boy has excited me more than any player I’ve seen in a Watford shirt in some time. As a question, it’s around Sean Dyche’s appointment. He’s going to be knocking on the door for some of his players. Some of his signings I’d be quite happy for him to take with him to Burnley. One player I’m sure he’s going to be trying to sign is our captain and I just wanted some assurances that he’ll be here for seasons to come. The reason I ask is because of two words: Martin Taylor.

GN: We have to run the club and to do that you have to do some wrongs. Martin did really well with us, he’s a really good player, a really good boy. Another club offered a longer contract with more money. We respect that. We talked to everybody about all these players, we would like to wait until March to decide who’s contract we are going to extend or not. Our other centre back, Fitz Hall was coming back so we couldn’t follow the request, even if we recognised that he’s a really good player and a really good boy.

About John, he will for sure be with us, until the end of the season. For sure. We can’t promise anything but he is doing a really really good job. He is a wonderful boy, on the pitch and outside the pitch. Unfortunately he is not getting on the pitch much but his attitude is fantastic. He’s really helping us, helping the new players, helping the gaffer. In the meantime, we have a lot of players whose contract is ending at the end of the season. Every decision will be taken in the next year. But in the meantime we are really happy with him and his attitude.

Gianfranco, why don’t you acknowledge the fans at the end of games?

GZ: You have to understand that when I’m on the pitch I’m so absorbed by the game that I can’t hear anything. Honestly, I’m not playing around with you.

SD: Seriously, we had to employ someone at West Ham to actually come down to the bench and tell him when the fans were chanting his name. (ITWM: Doesn’t seem like a sensible use of finances to me).

GZ: Honestly, that is one of my other problems. I am a young manager, I don’t hide that. Sometimes I live the game so much that I cancel everything else. Sometimes I have my assistant say to wave to the fans, but it is because I am very taken by the game. I apologise for that. It’s not that I don’t acknowledge you. At the end of the game? I didn’t think of that. Trust me, it’s not that I don’t respect you, not at all. It’s the way that I live the game sometimes that I forget so many things. So I apologise for that. I always respected the fans. If that is something I will try to do. If that is one of the things I have to do I will do that with pleasure.

You put a lot of pressure on the goalkeeper, you start at the back but you keep passing sideways (blah, blah). Not pushing over halfway line… Sometimes it’s not exciting.

GZ: I’ll tell you why. It’s so important that the ball to the striker has to come on the floor, and you have to build up from the back if you want to get opportunities up front. Because we do not have big strikers, so icannot kick the ball forward… It would give too much advantage to the opposition because on stray balls they are so good in this country. That’s why I like to go to the goalkeeper, to go the other side – so the ball goes to the strikers in the way I want, not the way the opposition want. Also if you have the ball all the time you are taking rhythm from the opposition,  that is another thing you have to consider. So that’s the reason we use the goalkeeper so much.


Thanks to all of the top table for actually turning up and answering all of the questions.


  1. […] Read our exhaustive transcripts of the evening’s discussions here and here […]

  2. […] Read our exhaustive transcripts of the evening’s discussions here and here […]

  3. […] Last summer, an injury kept Britt out of pre-season action. Gianfranco Zola lamented this fact at the Fans’ Forum: […]

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