Up until the departure of Maurizio Sarri, Gianfranco Zola was working as his assistant, and thus last season had a close connection with the club where he is a legend.
We’ve already looked at his comments on how he and his boss failed to spot the talent of Tomori last preseason, but in that same interview he goes into detail on some of the other breakout stars and how he’s watched them develop over the years.
Unlike with Tomori, Zola claims to have been able to see Tammy Abraham’s potential to be a top striker from a mile off.
He was even able to name the two things that helped the forward turn his “raw talent” into results:
“I’m not surprised about Tammy [Abraham]. When we had him he was a raw talent but I loved the attitude and positivity. They have all got a great attitude.”
Attitude and positivity – it’s two of the things you could really say are the hallmarks of this season so far. In part of course that’s coming from the manager, who is ensuring that everyone under his command is pulling in the same direction.
But it’s also coming from the players, without doubt. Those coming out of academy system seem to have great attitudes built in already, and that’s a huge compliment to the structure we have in place.