Gianfranco Zola was at Watford for 18 months between July 2012 and December 2018. He was appointed as manager a month after Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo acquired the Hornets from its previous owner, Laurence Bassini.
Marco Cassetti was one of the players signed by Zola in his first summer at Vicarage Road. The 42-year-old joined the English side on loan from Udinese and his stay at the club was made permanent in 2013.
After spending two years with Watford in the Championship, the defender was released in 2014.
Cassetti has given an interview to Soccer Magazine in Italy and during the course of the discussion, the former player was asked about his experience with Watford, and the difference with Serie A.
“It is an abyss. A completely different world. English football is a world where there is less pressure than Italy and therefore you also experience the daily life of training and the match in a more peaceful way,” Cassetti explained.
“This in my opinion, since it was an experience that I experienced myself, it also makes you do more. In many ways, not only the competitive one.”
Cassetti had played over 10 years in the Serie A and he arrived in England in his mid-30s. The former defender provided his take on why players in England suffer less injuries when compared to those who play in Italy.
“Even from the point of view of injuries: you have less of them because if you are mentally stressed as a consequence of the physical pressure, the muscles are more subjected to being there in tension and are easier to succumb to injuries,” he said.
“I actually went there at 35 and the first year I made 42 appearances and I have never had a muscle injury in a year. This made me understand so much.
“I was in Championship, the English Serie B, maybe even more physical than in the Premier League, where maybe there is much more quality and less dynamism.
“In 46 league games plus the playoffs, a few games were missed either by disqualification or perhaps by some blow, but not due to muscle injuries or things like that.”