Giampiero Ventura must go, says Gianfranco Zola
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 14/11/17 8:26pm
Former Italy international Gianfranco Zola says his country must replace manager Giampiero Ventura after they failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Ventura's future is in doubt after Italy missed out on the finals for the first time since 1958 following a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in their play-off.
Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio has called a meeting to discuss the failure to qualify and former Chelsea player Zola, who won 35 caps for the Azzurri, believes it is time for a change of management.
"It will be necessary [for him to go], because it's not going to be easy for him to continue with his work," Zola told Sky Sports News.
"It's a pity because he's a good coach, he really gets his teams playing good football but in this case, unfortunately as a national team coach, you cannot get the amount of time that is necessary to develop his football.
"It would be wrong to put all the pressure on the coach, all football in Italy needs to be regenerated and we need solutions to improve it.
"There are certainly men with very good credentials. We have to start restructuring our youth system and we need to improve the quality of players that we are producing.
"At the moment we are not producing a lot of quality and a country like Italy, which has always been known for producing players, it is a pity to see that."