Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has faith that the new arrivals will adapt in England
8:00am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in Latest Sport
When a player joins a new club, especially in a new country, it is easy to forget the dramatic change it causes on and off the pitch.
It is something Gianfranco Zola knows well. As a player the Watford boss spent the majority of his career in Italy before moving to Chelsea in 1996.
He made an immediate impact in English football but there are countless examples of players who have either adapted slowly to their new surroundings or failed to adjust entirely.
While some of Watford’s summer signings have settled on the pitch, it is unlikely all of the 16 arrivals will immediately find their feet in what is an uncompromising league.
It is also easy to forget that many of the loanees brought into Vicarage Road are young and still learning their craft - not to mention several of them had injury problems last season.
Zola admits it can be difficult when joining a new club but remains confident that the new players will adapt with time. “It is not easy for everybody,” the Watford boss explained. “But we think they have everything they need to become good footballers, so we try to play a system of football that will suit them and they are going to play well in.
“In football it’s not a logical thing sometimes but because of what we have seen on the training ground, we believe they can become important players for Watford.”
He continued: “They have the potential to become excellent, like the players that we have here already, such as Sean Murray, Connor Smith or Tommy Hoban - potentially they could be excellent.
“We just need to make sure that they become excellent and it is a similar story for players such as Neuton and Fernando Forestieri.
“We have a young team with a lot of potential.”
Due to injuries and fitness issues, there are still signings integrating themselves into the Watford squad.
It is something Zola acknowledges but he is confident the team will improve.
Zola was asked whether his team are where he wants it to be at this stage of the season.
He replied: “They are where I want them to be at times, we have not been able to maintain the same standard from the first minute to the 90th minute.
“At Brighton we did excellent for 30 minutes, then we had ten minutes where we lost it for a little bit, but we came back towards the end. Then the other day we did it for 55 to 60 minutes but then we dropped the standard. “The good thing about this is that the team are always creating a lot of opportunities and going forward we are doing very well, we just need to improve the other way. We need to improve our defending, not just the defenders only but as a whole team.”