Zola completes attacking jigsaw

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Football News

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola believes Guillermo Franco is the final piece of his attacking jigsaw.

Zola is hoping to unleash the 32-year-old Mexico international in Tuesday night's Carling Cup tie against Bolton. Zola spent the summer bolstering his strikeforce in support of Carlton Cole, with Alessandro Diamanti and Luis Jiminez joining from Serie A before Zola snapped up Franco, who was a free agent after his contract expired at Villarreal.

Zola said: "If there is a possibility I will try to see him. He is a main striker, he is very good at holding the ball and very good with his feet. He likes to play off the other strikers so he can make a difference for us."

Both Diamanti and Cole scored against Liverpool on Saturday while Franco, Zavon Hines, Junior Stanislas and Kieron Dyer now provide Zola with a spread of offensive options.

"I normally like to play with one striker and two small ones behind him," said Zola.

"I am looking forward to having a little bit of consistency so I can put my ideas a bit more. From now on, I know who I am working with. I can start shaping the team and am looking forward to that a little bit more."

Jiminez is available against Bolton after missing the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool - but Zola is set to be without England centre-back Matthew Upson and midfielder Valon Behrami, who were both forced off early in Saturday's game.

West Ham's only victory since the opening day of the season was an extra-time triumph against Millwall in the last round of the Carling Cup.

And Zola is targeting the tournament as a great chance to win silverware in his first full season in charge at Upton Park.

"It is very important to us. We take it very seriously and we want to go ahead in this competition so we are going to try and win the game," he said.

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Carlton Cole
Matthew Upson
Junior Stanislas
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Valon Behrami
Gianfranco Zola
Kieron Dyer
Zavon Hines

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