Where are they now? The Watford managers of the Pozzo era, including Zola

Former Watford manager Gianfranco Zola

Walter Mazzarri is Watford’s eighth manager in four years under the Pozzo family.

In June 2012, the Pozzo’s completed their takeover of Watford and decided to terminate the contract of manager Sean Dyche. The ex-Watford player had just helped Watford to their highest finish in four years (11th), winning 17 of his 49 games in charge.

Four months after his dismissal, Dyche replaced Eddie Howe as Burnley manager, leading the Clarets to a 13th place finish in his first season. Dyche’s Burnley side are currently making their second attempt at the Premier League following relegation in the 2014/15 season.

Gianfranco Zola was the Pozzo’s first handpicked manager. The Italian came agonisingly close to getting Watford promotion in his first season but lost in the play-off final against Crystal Palace.

He resigned from Watford in late 2013 and, a year later, agreed to manage Serie A side Cagliari. He lost his first game in charge 5-0 before being sacked three months into the job.

Last season, Zola welcomed a move to manage in Qatar with Al-Arabi. The former Chelsea man only lasted a season in the Middle East, getting sacked after a disappointing 8th place finish. The 50-year-old has recently been linked a return to English football with Nottingham Forrest.

The Pozzo’s replaced Zola with fellow Italian Giuseppe Sannino. Despite a solid record on the field, Sannino resigned in August of 2014. He stepped back into management two weeks later with Serie B club Catania but tensions with the board and poor results led him to quit after three months in the job.

Sannino suffered a similar fate at Seria A side Carpi. The Italian only managed one win and was sacked after just over a month in charge. He is now in charge of Lega Pro (Italian Third Division) side Salernitana.

Illness hampered Oscar Garcia’s reign as Watford boss. The former Brighton Hove Albion manager left the club after 27 days following chest pains that caused him to miss four of his first five games in charge. The 43-year-old has been the manager of Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg since December of 2015.

He has already proved to be a success, winning the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup in his first six months. Garcia’s side currently sit 3rd in the table.

Billy McKinlay was next in the Watford hot seat but the Scotsman’s reign was even shorter than Garcia’s - lasting eight days in the job. A month after losing the Watford job, McKinlay joined David Moyes as assistant Head Coach of Real Sociedad. He would stay in Spain for a year before leaving when the Spanish side sacked Moyes.

Earlier this year, McKinlay took another attempt at management with Norwegian side Stabaek Football. He lost 12 of his 22 games at the helm, including a Europa League defeat by Welsh team Connah’s Quay Nomads. He left the club shortly after that shock result.

Slavisa Jokanovic became Watford’s fourth manager of the 2014/15 campaign and guided the Hornets back to the Premier League. However, he failed to agree a new contract and left Vicarage Road in the summer. After a spell in charge of Maccabi Tel Aviv, he is now back in English football with Fulham. Jokanovic helped the relegation-threaten Cottagers to a 20th placed finish last season and his team currently sit 11th in the table.

Ex-Althetico Madrid manager Quique Sanchez Flores was given the Watford job following Jokanovic’s exit. The Spaniard impressed in his first job in English football, securing Watford a 13th place finish as well as a FA Cup semi-final appearance. Flores is now with La Liga club Espanol, where he has won two of his opening ten league fixtures.

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