Over the last few years, the Pozzo family at Watford have made a mockery of claims that stability is key, with their managerial revolving door having seen them do pretty well. Current boss Javi Gracia has even got the team up in 7th place and above Manchester United right now, so the Hornets are doing something right.
In the interest of clarity, we’re only including full first team managers or coaches, no interim bosses.
Here are Watford’s last 7 managers: Where are they now?
7. Marco Silva - Everton
Watford’s last manager before the current incumbent Javi Gracia was Marco Silva, and he actually enjoyed a similarly positive start to life at Vicarage Road. It seemed like a match made in heaven. Watford didn’t keep managers for long, and Silva has never stuck around at clubs for too long. And so it proved… Having been handed the job following an impressive albeit ultimately unsuccessful half season with Hull City, Silva made a good start at Watford, but the wheels fell off from December onwards after he started flirting with Everton. He was sacked in January and unsurprisingly replaced Sam Allardyce at Goodison Park over the summer.
6. Walter Mazzarri - Torino
Walter Mazzarri manager of Torino Calcio during the 'Golden Bench' award at Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano on November 12, 2018 in Florence, Italy.
A pretty long-term appointment by Watford, Walter Mazzarri lasted a full season with the club, unlike the half-season given to Marco Silva. The experienced Italian arrived at Vicarage Road after a couple of years out of the game, most recently having managed Inter Milan. Mazzarri struggled in the Premier League, and Watford finished just one place above Marco Silva’s relegated Hull City side in Mazzarri’s single season in charge, albeit they had a comfortable six-point cushion over the Tigers. Mazzarri has been managing Torino since January 2018, and the club currently find themselves 10th in the Serie A table.
5. Quique Sánchez Flores - Unattached
A bit more stylish and a bit more successful, Quique Sanchez Flores took over at Watford following the clubs promotion to the Premier League, and he guided them to an impressive 13th placed finish and an FA Cup semi-final. There was a degree of outrage when the man who looks a little like a Spanish Phil Brown was dismissed then, but that’s just how Watford operate. Sanchez Flores has since spent a couple of years managing Espanyol, but he was sacked in April 2018, and despite links to the Egyptian national team job, he’s currently out of work.
4. Slavisa Jokanovic - Unattached
Slavisa Jokanovic, Manager of Fulham gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield on November 11, 2018 in Liverpool, United...
Until very recently the manager of Fulham, Slavisa Jokanovic has two promotions from the Championship on his CV, but there’ll be some who suggest his brief Premier League struggles in West London show Watford were right to dismiss him following their own promotion. Jokanovic is a likeable character whose teams tend to play attractive football, but the wide coverage of Fulham’s £100 million+ summer spending and consequent struggles in the top flight saw him dismissed last Wednesday, and replaced by Claudio Ranieri.
3. Giuseppe Sannino - Levadiakos
Giuseppe Sannino, better known as Beppe Sannino, became Watford’s manager in December 2013 and was dismissed in August 2014, only five games into the 2014-15 Championship season. To make matters worse, Watford had won four of those five games, and sat in 2nd place in the table. Dressing room unrest and reported displeasure with his management style saw him axed though, and the Italian journeyman has since had five different clubs, currently managing Greek Super League outfit Levadiakos.
2. Gianfranco Zola - Chelsea Assistant Manager
Gianfranco Zola of Chelsea during a press conference at Chelsea Training Ground on October 30, 2018 in Cobham, England.
Another likeable former Watford boss, Gianfranco Zola was a joyous footballer to watch and seems to be an equally affable character since turning to coaching. Undoubtedly top class in his playing days, the Italian has at times left a little to be desired in management. He almost guided Watford to promotion in the 2012-13 season, but was handed his p45 after a dreadful run of form in the latter stages of 2013 the following season. Zola has since managed Cagliari in Italy, Al-Arabi in Qatar and Birmingham City in England, but now works as Maurizio Sarri’s deputy at Stamford Bridge. An intelligent appointment by the Blues boss, Zola commands respect for what he achieved with the club, and is perhaps better suited to working as a number two.
1. Sean Dyche - Burnley
The only English manager in this seven, Sean Dyche was the Watford manager when the Pozzo family bought Watford FC, meaning they have always looked to the continent in their appointments. Despite having earnt what was considered a very decent 11th placed finish the previous season, Dyche was quickly axed. One could argue that now looks to be a poor decision, as despite Watford’s success, Dyche has worked wonders with Burnley who he took over in October 2012.
In that time, the Clarets have had two promotions to the Premier League, a remarkable 7th placed top flight finish and a brief stint in the Europa League. Burnley’s managerial approach couldn’t really be any more polarised with Watford’s, however, so maybe the parting of Dyche and Watford was the best scenario for both parties.
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