Watford manager Claudio Ranieri sacked after 16 weeks

Watford have sacked Claudio Ranieri less than four months after giving the Italian the task of keeping them in the Premier League.

Ranieri was appointed after Xisco Muñoz was sacked in October, but he was unable to make a positive impact and picked up just seven points from his 13 league appearances.

Patience has been wearing thin for a while and Watford, who slipped to 19th after losing 3-0 at home to Norwich City last Friday, are in the hunt for their third manager of the season.

Watford owner Gino Pozzo was never slow to switch dugouts when results were poor and Ranieri paid the price for his failure to inspire his team. The 70-year-old has won just two games since replacing Muñoz, deemed too inexperienced for the Premier League, and has run out of ideas in recent weeks.

Watford said in a statement confirming Ranieri’s departure that he was “a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts to lead the team with dignity”.

Explaining the move, the club continued: “With almost half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in head coaching position will now give a new appointment plenty of time to work with a talented squad to to achieve the immediate objective of retaining Premier League status.”

Questions will inevitably be raised about the decision to fire Muñoz. The Spaniard won promotion last season and Watford were 15th when they sacked him.

There has been no improvement under Ranieri, whose greatest achievement was helping Leicester City win the title in 2016. The former Chelsea manager was a surprising appointment considering he got away with it disastrously when Fulham were relegated from the Premier League in 2019.

Watford had appeared to be on the right track when Ranieri inspired them to a famous 4-1 win over Manchester United on November 27. But they have picked up just one point since – a 1-1 draw with fellow wrestlers Newcastle two weekends ago – and the performance against Norwich was the final straw. It was Watford’s 11th defeat in 14 games under Ranieri.

Attention will turn to who is tasked with trying to save Watford from relegation. They will not play again until their rearranged match at Burnley on November 5.

Watford have previously been linked with Diego Martínez, the 41-year-old Spaniard who left his job at Granada last May.

Watford have not won in nine games in all competitions, their longest winless streak since December 2013. – Guardian

Comments are closed.