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Sep, 11, 2008

Zola jets into West Ham

Gianfranco Zola will be confirmed as the new manager of West Ham United on Thursday afternoon after agreeing a three-year deal with the London club.

The Hammers have called a press conference at 16.30 BST when the former Italy Under-21 coach will be presented to the UK media.

The 42-year-old will succeed Alan Curbishley, who quit the Hammers last week, and arrived at Upton Park on Thursday morning to sign his contract.

The former Chelsea player is eager to bring in his own backroom staff and Steve Clarke, the Scot who is currently assistant to Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea, is expected to become Zola's assistant manager.

Clarke's arrival will demote caretaker boss Kevin Keen; but he will continue on the coaching staff to maintain some continuity from the Curbishley era. Keen will also pick the team for Saturday's match away at West Bromwich Albion.

Businessman Kia Joorabchian, who acts as transfer consultant for the Hammers, revealed Zola's pursuit of Clarke.

Joorabchian said: "Gianfranco has a very close relationship with one particular person, Steve Clarke. They are very close and they feel his experience in the Premier League, working under very big coaches at Chelsea, has given him a lot of experience.

"He is more defensively-minded than Gianfranco so he brings good balance. I think that is what he is going for."

Zola has already revealed he is committed to a philosophy which will excite the Hammers fans.

He said: "I only know one way to play: on the floor, attacking football, the way things should be done. I want to excite people, that is why we play isn't it?"

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