Upson excited by Zola
Matthew Upson says Gianfranco Zola will command 'instant respect' when he begins as manager on Monday.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 14/09/08 10:03pm
Matthew Upson believes Gianfranco Zola will command 'instant respect' when he commences his role as West Ham United manager on Monday.
Former Chelsea forward Zola watched from the Hawthorns stands at the weekend as the Hammers slumped to a 3-2 loss against West Bromwich Albion.
The Italian officially takes over his managerial position at the beginning of the week as he prepares the squad for his first game in charge versus Newcastle United at Upton Park.
Centre-back Upson is looking forward to working under Zola, who enjoyed an illustrious career as a player, and has backed the coach to succeed.
He said: "Zola's appointment is interesting. I think he will bring a really good culture to the club. I think he was very professional as a player which would indicate he is going to carry on down that route as a manager.
"I think he has got a love for football and wants people to enjoy playing in a good atmosphere and it will be interesting to see how he develops that. I think it is a very positive move.
"I think the Italians, having just spent 10 days with England and Fabio Capello, have very sure and very sound thoughts on football. They spend a lot of time and technical and tactical play.
"I know the Premier League is a lot about the physical challenges but I think Italians are very organised and will bring a different type of culture to West Ham that it hasn't had before."
The 29-year-old added: "I think Zola will get instant respect which always helps a manager coming in. He will get his respect because people respected him as a player and that always helps when you come into a changing room of players.
"I also don't think there should be any fears about him having little managerial experience. That was something for the board when they appointed him.
"But, as players, we are just delighted to have someone here who has got playing experience and a love for the game that he has."