Watford today announced that Quique Sanchez Flores is to leave the Hornets at the end of the season. After a scintillating start to 2015/16, they were seventh in December, things in 2016 have dropped off incredibly.
The Premier League new boys were vying with Leicester for ‘story of the season’ at one point and whilst Leicester went on to famously win the title, Watford fell away from an unlikely European spot to mid-table mediocrity. It shows just how well they were doing in the early part of this campaign that they haven’t been threatened with relegation.
Whilst Watford fans would have bitten your arm off if you’d offered them a midtable finish in August, glimpses of what could have been and the high ambition of the owners at the club have seen Sanchez Flores shown the door.
The Hertfordshire side’s Italian owners aren’t afraid to sack a manager if they think they can improve the team’s fortunes – Flores only joined last year after Slavisa Jokanovic left following securing promotion – and clearly they feel Watford shouldn’t have tailed off as they have done.
It’ll be interesting to see who gets appointed at a club clearly aiming for the top and so here at FootballFanCast we bring you FIVE managers who could be deemed good enough.
You can’t be that bad a manager if you’ve managed a side to win the Champions League.
What’s more, the Italian won it with a Chelsea side that shouldn’t realistically have got anywhere near the final. The former Blues player is well suited to English football management and after spells with West Brom and Schalke he’s beginning to build some good experience. There are still a few question marks over him, but clearly has some managerial nous.
The bookies have Mazzarri as steep odds-on favourite, and if the Hornets could bring him in it would certainly be a coup.
The Italian has managed many clubs in his home country, most notably Sampdoria, Napoli and Inter Milan, so he clearly has the CV that the Watford owners are looking for. He’d likely be a good fit with his bosses and his knowledge of Serie A might yield some success in the transfer market. The only possible downside would be a lack of Premier League experience.
It has to click at some point for Martinez surely? He must realise after his time at Everton that you can’t simply pass and pass and pass and not have a Plan B and so with the proviso the penny has dropped with the Spaniard he could still prove to be a Premier League manager.
He gets his teams to play nice, attacking football and the Watford faithful would enjoy that and if he can work on his defensive coaching he’d be a hit. Will the owners want to take that risk though?
Rodgers had an indifferent start to his managerial career at the Hornets, guiding them to 13th in his one season in charge.
He’s certainly a better manager now, and Watford are in a far stronger position currently, so perhaps the Ulsterman would fancy a second bite of the cherry. Like Martinez, he’d get Watford playing attractive football and although at Liverpool some of his signings were poor, he also brought in the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Philipe Coutinho for relative bargains. Do similar at Watford with an ever improving budget and his appointment would make more sense by the day.
No, really. The former Manchester United right-back threw himself right in at the deep end at Valencia and unfortunately it didn’t quite come off. What we need to consider though is that it was his first step into management, in a foreign country where he couldn’t speak a word of the language. Neville joined Valencia in the middle of the season and they were already struggling, so it was completely the wrong set of circumstances, circumstances which at Watford he wouldn’t have to face and with a clear in-depth knowledge of the game, he could still prove a point to his critics.