We compare Walter Mazzarri’s and Quique Sanchez Flores’ opening eight games in charge of Watford.
Quique Sanchez Flores and Walter Mazzarri were introduced to English football with tricky away fixtures against Everton and Southampton, respectively. Both men enjoyed a similar fate on the opening day of the season taking the lead before being pulled back for a draw.
It would take Flores five games to register his first league victory, as the Spaniard’s 10-man Hornets beat Swansea City at home. Mazzarri took one game less, with his Watford side coming back from two goals down to take three points off West Ham United. Both Head Coaches would go on to record back to back wins to jumpstart their Watford careers.
Flores’ opening eight fixtures were a lot tighter affairs than Mazzarri’s. The current Espanol boss drew half of those games, including two 0-0 home draws against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton. Flores' side were showing the makings of a solid defensive unit – only conceding six goals and keeping three clean sheets. However, his Watford team were yet to show their capabilities going forward, with only six goals scored and Troy Deeney still goalless.
There have been twice as many goals in Mazzarri’s opening eight games. His Hornet’s side have conceded thirteen times and scored the same amount. Their only clean sheet so far this season came in their recent 1-0 win over Middlesbrough; while Burnley have been the only side to shut Watford out.
One glance at the fixture lists shows that Mazzarri had a more daunting start to his Watford reign. The Italian faced Premier League big guns Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in his first five matches. Flores' biggest challenge came away to Manchester City.
Despite this seemingly tougher start to the Premier League campaign, Mazzarri has amassed one more point than Flores at this stage. With favourable fixtures ahead, the Italian will be confident of building on his impressive start to life at Vicarage Road.