Three potential replacements for Oscar Garcia at Watford


Having been admitted to hospital, Watford could be looking for their third head coach of the season.

Having been appointed prior to the international break, following the departure of Beppe Sannino, Garcia has taken charge of the Hornets for just one game - a 1-0 defeat to Charlton.

Following the loss, it was announced that Garcia had been admitted to hospital with chest pains, and, despite being involved with the match preparation for Tuesday night’s game at Blackpool, he did not travel with the team, for the good of his health.

It has been confirmed that Garcia will remain in hospital for a longer period, with him unlikely to make Saturday’s game at home to Bournemouth, and if he is to spend an extended period looking after himself, it would be wise for both him and the club to replace him before it is too late.

If Garcia does leave, Watford will be looking for their third manager in four weeks, and here are three potential, and highly likely, replacements - who all have ties to the club.

Tim Sherwood

45-year old Sherwood started his playing career at Vicarage Road in the 1980’s, before moves to Norwich and Blackburn, with whom he won the Premier League, established his reputation in English football. A move to Tottenham Hotspur in 1999 brought him back to North London, and it was with Spurs where he started his coaching career. Having been appointed as a coach under Harry Redknapp, he assumed control of the first-team in 2013, following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas. He failed to achieve anything of note during his 28 game spell, although his win ratio of 50% is remarkably high in the Premier League. He has been out of a job since his dismissal in May of this year, and, with top flight clubs unwilling to make an approach for someone with little experience, a drop to the Championship could be perfect for him.

However, he represents the antithesis of everything Watford have stood for in the past two seasons, with his typically English style of football and management likely to raise concerns amongst the owners, who have sought to implement a continental style at Vicarage Road.

Francesco Guidolin

Italian legend Guidolin, most formerly in charge of Watford’s sister club Udinese in Serie A, currently works as a technical director the the three clubs owned by the Pozzo family. He is highly respected in Italian football, having led Zebrette to Champions League football, despite their relatively small size. He resigned at the end of last season on health grounds, but alongside his current work, he could be asked to take charge of the Hornets for the remainder of the season.

A logical move, Guidolin knows a number of the current first-team squad, having coached them in Italy, and he should be able to take the mantle with little change - having played Watford’s favoured 3-5-2 for much of his career. Having stepped down for the good of his health, he may be unwilling to take charge, but the respect showed to him by the Pozzo family should be enough to convince him that a change of heart is good.

Gianfranco Zola 

Having left the club in December 2013, Zola should be an unlikely candidate to return to Hertfordshire. However, he is the only coach who has yet to achieve success with the tools supplied by the Pozzo family, leading an un-fancied Watford side to the 2013 Play-Off Final. He brought fast-paced, free-flowing football to Vicarage Road, and represented the ideological attacking coach - one who’s reputation gained the respect of the players instantly.

However, his second season in charge was less successful, with a disruptive squad failing to find any coherent form. A run of games without a win ended with his departure from the club, and although he admitted that leaving was a tough decision, if he was to return and fail again, he may not be given the chance to resign.

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