Club legend Graham Taylor 'shocked' and 'shaken' by Gianfranco Zola's Watford departure

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Watford legend Graham Taylor says Gianfranco Zola’s departure has left him “shaken” and “shocked”.

Taylor was at Zola’s last game as Hornets head coach on Saturday - the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday - and claims there was no talk of the Italian departing in the directors’ box.

The Golden Boys’ honorary life president also questioned whether the Play-Off defeat to Crystal Palace in May had a bigger impact on Zola and the team than initially thought.

“I’m shocked, it’s shaken me to hear he’s gone,” Taylor told the Birmingham Mail.

“I was at the game on Saturday and there was no talk in the directors’ box that Gianfranco might be on the way out, but he was a wonderful player and he has remained an honourable character as a manager.

“He did a fine job but I know from personal experience at Wolves that losing in the play-offs is one of the hardest things that can happen to you in football and I wonder if there has been a delayed reaction to the disappointment of missing out at Wembley.”

Comments (17)

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11:27am Wed 18 Dec 13

the sniper says...

Be interesting to hear what Graham Taylor thinks of the new coach and his assistants...
Be interesting to hear what Graham Taylor thinks of the new coach and his assistants... the sniper

11:29am Wed 18 Dec 13

Bush Hornet says...

It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.
It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him. Bush Hornet

11:49am Wed 18 Dec 13

Rosty'srocket says...

I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.
I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively. Rosty'srocket

12:02pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Harry's Bar says...

Rosty'srocket wrote:
I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.
Was the news of a new number two being forced on him the deciding factor in him resigning? It sends out a message that you can't cope, and most people would find that quite humiliating I would of thought.
[quote][p][bold]Rosty'srocket[/bold] wrote: I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.[/p][/quote]Was the news of a new number two being forced on him the deciding factor in him resigning? It sends out a message that you can't cope, and most people would find that quite humiliating I would of thought. Harry's Bar

12:03pm Wed 18 Dec 13

JohnnyHornet says...

Rosty'srocket wrote:
I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.
My Colleagues son is a very close friend with a Watford professional and it has been stated that Zola hadn't been picking the team for a while now, I wonder if there is an element of truth in this and if so why was it the case.
[quote][p][bold]Rosty'srocket[/bold] wrote: I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.[/p][/quote]My Colleagues son is a very close friend with a Watford professional and it has been stated that Zola hadn't been picking the team for a while now, I wonder if there is an element of truth in this and if so why was it the case. JohnnyHornet

12:29pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Goldenboy1960 says...

I have said it before and will say again that Zola was still very much learning his trade and just needed some advice and support from someone who knows the pressures and how to deal with them. Whether Gianfranco was too proud or what but GT could have helped him enormously with just some advice and encouragement.

I don't go along with those that have wanted Zola sacked because we lost a few games. For me we have a tradition in our club that generally shows care and respect for those who are both working and supporting. We had this before GT but he took it on and really built a belief with care and consideration for everyone at the club. It wasn't just the football on the pitch but so much wider in building a football club to have and show respect in every manner for everybody involved and in football generally.

There are quick fixes in football but none of them are permanent. You could trust Zola to uphold the standards that our club sets and even take them a stage further. I am very sad because we have not just lost a fantastic individual in football, but a great ambassador that will be so hard to replace. I really thought he was with us for the long haul and the Pozzos and Gianfranco could take us on to the next level as permanent.

Impatience in todays world is sad. We are a club with a population of around 85,000 and neighbours to big clubs in London that can get 40 to 60 thousand people. It is hard to compete, but we have had much success by being the club we are and love. I felt Gianfranco was the first person we had since GT to really engage in that.

Going forward we must give the new guy a chance, but looking at his record he only stays at clubs for 2 minutes. We need the stability to continue to build both on and off the pitch, and like many others I am concerned at his 'inexperience' of English football and the competitiveness of a Division where teams do not lie down because they are losing by 2 goals. He will have to go through a massive learning curve, even more so than Gianfranco who had played here for many years.

Our immediate goal should be to get to 54 points, but I hope we don't get a succession of managers who are whistle stop and temporary fix merchants. I don't know what the expectations were but if it takes us another couple of years, the infrastructure was being improved and for the first time I felt we had 'another' GT at the helm, and that is no disrespect to both Malky and Sean who did great jobs for us and were honest and hard working.

I just wish GFZ could have sat down with GT for a 'chat' first. To be successful we need to be us and not chasing shadows as so many clubs have tried and failed.
I have said it before and will say again that Zola was still very much learning his trade and just needed some advice and support from someone who knows the pressures and how to deal with them. Whether Gianfranco was too proud or what but GT could have helped him enormously with just some advice and encouragement. I don't go along with those that have wanted Zola sacked because we lost a few games. For me we have a tradition in our club that generally shows care and respect for those who are both working and supporting. We had this before GT but he took it on and really built a belief with care and consideration for everyone at the club. It wasn't just the football on the pitch but so much wider in building a football club to have and show respect in every manner for everybody involved and in football generally. There are quick fixes in football but none of them are permanent. You could trust Zola to uphold the standards that our club sets and even take them a stage further. I am very sad because we have not just lost a fantastic individual in football, but a great ambassador that will be so hard to replace. I really thought he was with us for the long haul and the Pozzos and Gianfranco could take us on to the next level as permanent. Impatience in todays world is sad. We are a club with a population of around 85,000 and neighbours to big clubs in London that can get 40 to 60 thousand people. It is hard to compete, but we have had much success by being the club we are and love. I felt Gianfranco was the first person we had since GT to really engage in that. Going forward we must give the new guy a chance, but looking at his record he only stays at clubs for 2 minutes. We need the stability to continue to build both on and off the pitch, and like many others I am concerned at his 'inexperience' of English football and the competitiveness of a Division where teams do not lie down because they are losing by 2 goals. He will have to go through a massive learning curve, even more so than Gianfranco who had played here for many years. Our immediate goal should be to get to 54 points, but I hope we don't get a succession of managers who are whistle stop and temporary fix merchants. I don't know what the expectations were but if it takes us another couple of years, the infrastructure was being improved and for the first time I felt we had 'another' GT at the helm, and that is no disrespect to both Malky and Sean who did great jobs for us and were honest and hard working. I just wish GFZ could have sat down with GT for a 'chat' first. To be successful we need to be us and not chasing shadows as so many clubs have tried and failed. Goldenboy1960

1:35pm Wed 18 Dec 13

soulfulhornet says...

Goldenboy1960 wrote:
I have said it before and will say again that Zola was still very much learning his trade and just needed some advice and support from someone who knows the pressures and how to deal with them. Whether Gianfranco was too proud or what but GT could have helped him enormously with just some advice and encouragement. I don't go along with those that have wanted Zola sacked because we lost a few games. For me we have a tradition in our club that generally shows care and respect for those who are both working and supporting. We had this before GT but he took it on and really built a belief with care and consideration for everyone at the club. It wasn't just the football on the pitch but so much wider in building a football club to have and show respect in every manner for everybody involved and in football generally. There are quick fixes in football but none of them are permanent. You could trust Zola to uphold the standards that our club sets and even take them a stage further. I am very sad because we have not just lost a fantastic individual in football, but a great ambassador that will be so hard to replace. I really thought he was with us for the long haul and the Pozzos and Gianfranco could take us on to the next level as permanent. Impatience in todays world is sad. We are a club with a population of around 85,000 and neighbours to big clubs in London that can get 40 to 60 thousand people. It is hard to compete, but we have had much success by being the club we are and love. I felt Gianfranco was the first person we had since GT to really engage in that. Going forward we must give the new guy a chance, but looking at his record he only stays at clubs for 2 minutes. We need the stability to continue to build both on and off the pitch, and like many others I am concerned at his 'inexperience' of English football and the competitiveness of a Division where teams do not lie down because they are losing by 2 goals. He will have to go through a massive learning curve, even more so than Gianfranco who had played here for many years. Our immediate goal should be to get to 54 points, but I hope we don't get a succession of managers who are whistle stop and temporary fix merchants. I don't know what the expectations were but if it takes us another couple of years, the infrastructure was being improved and for the first time I felt we had 'another' GT at the helm, and that is no disrespect to both Malky and Sean who did great jobs for us and were honest and hard working. I just wish GFZ could have sat down with GT for a 'chat' first. To be successful we need to be us and not chasing shadows as so many clubs have tried and failed.
Excellent post, agree with you GFZ is a gentleman with the values that mirrored those of our fantastic club. Obviously we will never know if Gianfranco would have turned it around, but I would have liked to have seen him given more time. On the other hand, he himself admits that he had runout of ideas. But GT had Bertie Mee and Aidy had Keith Burtinshaw as a mentor if you like. GFZ has looked at a lost of late, so I can understand his decision, which like the man was an honest and gracious one.

But Gianfranco is now history as far as WFC is concerned. Last season forms one of the most glorious chapters in our history, but it is done. We must get behind the new guy and see if he can write another great chapter.
[quote][p][bold]Goldenboy1960[/bold] wrote: I have said it before and will say again that Zola was still very much learning his trade and just needed some advice and support from someone who knows the pressures and how to deal with them. Whether Gianfranco was too proud or what but GT could have helped him enormously with just some advice and encouragement. I don't go along with those that have wanted Zola sacked because we lost a few games. For me we have a tradition in our club that generally shows care and respect for those who are both working and supporting. We had this before GT but he took it on and really built a belief with care and consideration for everyone at the club. It wasn't just the football on the pitch but so much wider in building a football club to have and show respect in every manner for everybody involved and in football generally. There are quick fixes in football but none of them are permanent. You could trust Zola to uphold the standards that our club sets and even take them a stage further. I am very sad because we have not just lost a fantastic individual in football, but a great ambassador that will be so hard to replace. I really thought he was with us for the long haul and the Pozzos and Gianfranco could take us on to the next level as permanent. Impatience in todays world is sad. We are a club with a population of around 85,000 and neighbours to big clubs in London that can get 40 to 60 thousand people. It is hard to compete, but we have had much success by being the club we are and love. I felt Gianfranco was the first person we had since GT to really engage in that. Going forward we must give the new guy a chance, but looking at his record he only stays at clubs for 2 minutes. We need the stability to continue to build both on and off the pitch, and like many others I am concerned at his 'inexperience' of English football and the competitiveness of a Division where teams do not lie down because they are losing by 2 goals. He will have to go through a massive learning curve, even more so than Gianfranco who had played here for many years. Our immediate goal should be to get to 54 points, but I hope we don't get a succession of managers who are whistle stop and temporary fix merchants. I don't know what the expectations were but if it takes us another couple of years, the infrastructure was being improved and for the first time I felt we had 'another' GT at the helm, and that is no disrespect to both Malky and Sean who did great jobs for us and were honest and hard working. I just wish GFZ could have sat down with GT for a 'chat' first. To be successful we need to be us and not chasing shadows as so many clubs have tried and failed.[/p][/quote]Excellent post, agree with you GFZ is a gentleman with the values that mirrored those of our fantastic club. Obviously we will never know if Gianfranco would have turned it around, but I would have liked to have seen him given more time. On the other hand, he himself admits that he had runout of ideas. But GT had Bertie Mee and Aidy had Keith Burtinshaw as a mentor if you like. GFZ has looked at a lost of late, so I can understand his decision, which like the man was an honest and gracious one. But Gianfranco is now history as far as WFC is concerned. Last season forms one of the most glorious chapters in our history, but it is done. We must get behind the new guy and see if he can write another great chapter. soulfulhornet

1:42pm Wed 18 Dec 13

1234566789 says...

JohnnyHornet wrote:
Rosty'srocket wrote:
I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.
My Colleagues son is a very close friend with a Watford professional and it has been stated that Zola hadn't been picking the team for a while now, I wonder if there is an element of truth in this and if so why was it the case.
Is he the cleaner? Terrible rumour.
[quote][p][bold]JohnnyHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rosty'srocket[/bold] wrote: I do not understand why they approach another no2 Coach who is ready to come. Yet Gianfranco is not made aware of the help. Did he feel his control would be usurped? I , like GT I think am disappointed that Zola has gone , I still believed, that with help and possibly an english no2 we could have made the play offs. I am concerned that the Interface with the supporters with two Italian coaches now may not bring the stability on the field - we need. To me, Gianfranco was as refreshing to the club as GT was at the start. Great shame - lets all hope we move on positively.[/p][/quote]My Colleagues son is a very close friend with a Watford professional and it has been stated that Zola hadn't been picking the team for a while now, I wonder if there is an element of truth in this and if so why was it the case.[/p][/quote]Is he the cleaner? Terrible rumour. 1234566789

2:44pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Boosey says...

Shocked and shaken? Not after Zola had stated he had run out of ideas and didn't know whether he could turn it around or not!
It was only a matter of time before he resigned and the new appointment certainly wasn't a knee jerk reaction, unfortunately this has been on the cards for a while.
Shocked and shaken? Not after Zola had stated he had run out of ideas and didn't know whether he could turn it around or not! It was only a matter of time before he resigned and the new appointment certainly wasn't a knee jerk reaction, unfortunately this has been on the cards for a while. Boosey

3:18pm Wed 18 Dec 13

davecowling says...

sacked Dyche making his mark at Burnley, and quess what? hes British!.
Watford fans must be gutted
sacked Dyche making his mark at Burnley, and quess what? hes British!. Watford fans must be gutted davecowling

3:55pm Wed 18 Dec 13

MainStandShambles says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.
Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'.

Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it?
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'. Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it? MainStandShambles

3:55pm Wed 18 Dec 13

MainStandShambles says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.
Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'.

Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it?
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'. Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it? MainStandShambles

4:18pm Wed 18 Dec 13

andyhooked says...

I know absolutely nothing about Itailan football. I have no idea who or what the new Italian coaches are like or if they can turn us around now being just 5 points short of the drop zone I am surprised though that Graham could not see the writing on the wall and of course they would not tell Graham of the owners plans. Zola did the right thing but how much was he (Zola) limited by getting in sub-standard falling over Italian players and no replacement for Vydra.
I know absolutely nothing about Itailan football. I have no idea who or what the new Italian coaches are like or if they can turn us around now being just 5 points short of the drop zone I am surprised though that Graham could not see the writing on the wall and of course they would not tell Graham of the owners plans. Zola did the right thing but how much was he (Zola) limited by getting in sub-standard falling over Italian players and no replacement for Vydra. andyhooked

5:53pm Wed 18 Dec 13

kojak17 says...

I posted last week that Zola needed help and not to leave. The guy over performed last year and that has been his demise. Its a pity that Sannino was not approached to help GZ , or maybe he was and Zola was not willing to work with him. I hope this guy secceeds but I am really worried about it. We all know that the championship needs an experienced manager who knows the leage inside out. I sincerely hope that all will will be well and our wonderful club will not fall into the relegation zone. But I must give this guy a chance . I really hope he can speak some English or some of his staff do
I posted last week that Zola needed help and not to leave. The guy over performed last year and that has been his demise. Its a pity that Sannino was not approached to help GZ , or maybe he was and Zola was not willing to work with him. I hope this guy secceeds but I am really worried about it. We all know that the championship needs an experienced manager who knows the leage inside out. I sincerely hope that all will will be well and our wonderful club will not fall into the relegation zone. But I must give this guy a chance . I really hope he can speak some English or some of his staff do kojak17

3:46am Thu 19 Dec 13

rogeruk says...

MainStandShambles wrote:
Bush Hornet wrote:
It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.
Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'.

Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it?
Please Mr Pozzo can I go to the toilet please. No sit down you stupid boy.

My God how pathetic some posters on here!
[quote][p][bold]MainStandShambles[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'. Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it?[/p][/quote]Please Mr Pozzo can I go to the toilet please. No sit down you stupid boy. My God how pathetic some posters on here! rogeruk

9:23am Thu 19 Dec 13

akureyri says...

Do not like Elton John
Graham Taylor who is he?
Dave Bassett, Glenn Roeder, Colin Lee, Steve Harrison all no hopers
Jack Petchey and the Russos, chancers.
Didn't like Lord Ashcroft.
Didn't like Bassini.
Why did we have Aidy Boothroyd, he had no experience.
Malkay Mackay, he will be rubbish.
Brendan Rodgers, scraping the barrel with his appointment.
Sean Dyche, another unknown cheap option.
Who are the Pozzos, do not like them
We do not need Gianfraco Zola.
Who is after Zola? I don't like him already.

Any owner must ask ME and only ME what to do next.

Are these the true thoughts of the Watford supporters or are they successful wind up merchants. I am not agreeing with everything our owners do but I am not negative about everything.
Do not like Elton John Graham Taylor who is he? Dave Bassett, Glenn Roeder, Colin Lee, Steve Harrison all no hopers Jack Petchey and the Russos, chancers. Didn't like Lord Ashcroft. Didn't like Bassini. Why did we have Aidy Boothroyd, he had no experience. Malkay Mackay, he will be rubbish. Brendan Rodgers, scraping the barrel with his appointment. Sean Dyche, another unknown cheap option. Who are the Pozzos, do not like them We do not need Gianfraco Zola. Who is after Zola? I don't like him already. Any owner must ask ME and only ME what to do next. Are these the true thoughts of the Watford supporters or are they successful wind up merchants. I am not agreeing with everything our owners do but I am not negative about everything. akureyri

4:02pm Thu 19 Dec 13

MainStandShambles says...

rogeruk wrote:
MainStandShambles wrote:
Bush Hornet wrote:
It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.
Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'.

Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it?
Please Mr Pozzo can I go to the toilet please. No sit down you stupid boy.

My God how pathetic some posters on here!
Quite !
[quote][p][bold]rogeruk[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MainStandShambles[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: It's all swings and roundabouts but here's a couple of things about Watford that stand the test of time: Zola is a lovely man and the footie was beautiful. GT was and is a LEGEND. Looking forward to the East Stand being named after him.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! I can't wait for the old main stand to become the 'Graham Taylor Stand'. Please Sr Pozzo can we have a vote on it?[/p][/quote]Please Mr Pozzo can I go to the toilet please. No sit down you stupid boy. My God how pathetic some posters on here![/p][/quote]Quite ! MainStandShambles

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