In a parallel universe, or perhaps a future one, we will have one or both of these Chelsea legends back at Stamford Bridge in some capacity one day. Roberto Di Matteo of course has already drank the sweetest nectar from the Champions League "Big Ears" trophy before getting the boot not six months later, while Zola's currently off in Qatar* gaining experience to fulfill his ambition of being Chelsea manager one day. I'd certainly vote for a Zola-Di Matteo ticket when Jose Mourinho's reign comes to an end in a decade from now.
* When he's not opening ice cream shops in Bromley that is...
"I really hope Mourinho is going to stay long term, stability is so important for the club. We have short memories but only four months ago we won the (league and League Cup) double."
"Chelsea have been so successful for the last 15 years and it can happen that you have a bad year but there is so much quality in the team and the club has one of the best managers in the world."
-Roberto Di Matteo; source: Chelsea Fans Channel via Independent
Indeed, there should be plenty of quality in the squad, but they have failed to act accordingly for most of the season so far. In a way, it really is quite spectacular and fascinating that almost the entire squad, to a man, has managed to hit a rough patch, to be say the least. If winning is a habit, then losing is a disease. And there are plenty of ills to cure.
For Zola, recovery starts with the players.
"There is one compelling reason for the poor start to the season. The poor form of key offensive players Eden Hazard and Diego Costa has not helped."
"Defensively as well the team has dropped the standards set last year so the players have lost confidence as a group and this has led to poor results. The club has it in them to turn around their fortunes."
-Gianfranco Zola; source: Independent
Hopefully both Chelsea legends will be proven correct and we salvage the season somehow. I'm not sure what that would look like — any trophy or decent league position looks like a pipe dream at the moment — but anything's better than sitting three points above the relegation zone with a misfiring offense and a leaky defense.