Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola believes Maurizio Sarri is among foreign Coaches who brought “new ideas and ways of playing” to English clubs.
The Stamford Bridge side are in the Europa League semi-final this evening against Eintracht Frankfurt, while Arsenal take on Valencia.
There could be an all-English Europa League Final, but there already is that scenario in the Champions League, where Liverpool will face Tottenham Hotspur after dramatic comebacks.
“It’s confirmation that right now the Premier League is at a high level,” Zola told Sky Sport Italia.
“It also rewards the courage, determination and confidence of two sides who never stopped believing, despite very difficult results to come back from.”
Zola was asked if the fact all these clubs have foreign tacticians – Sarri, Unai Emery, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and likely Premier League winner Pep Guardiola – points to a crucial development in the English game?
“Absolutely, the Coaches are important, as they are of the top level not just in Europe, but in the world. They certainly brought new ideas, new ways of playing, which united with the aggression, tempo and determination of English football, combined to create something very effective.”
Chelsea drew the first leg 1-1 in Germany and host Eintracht Frankfurt this evening.
“We have a difficult match, as Eintracht are extremely dangerous, above all away from home. We are a team who must be absolutely concentrated to give our best,” warned Zola.
“We’re already qualified for the Champions League, so I hope we are calm enough to feel we can play our football, but also always present on what needs to be done.
“I think this club, this squad and this Coach deserve to reach the Europa League Final and hopefully win the trophy.”