Thursday, December 8

Watford sacked manager Claudio Ranieri after a dismal 14-game tenure | watford

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

Ranieri was signed after the dismissal of Xisco Muñoz in October, but has not been able to make a positive impact and has only added seven points in his 13 league games in charge. Patience has been wearing thin for a while and Watford, who dropped to 19th after losing 3-0 at home to Norwich City last Friday, are looking for their third manager of the season.

Watford owner Gino Pozzo has never been slow to make changes on the bench when results are poor and Ranieri has paid the price after 16 weeks for failing to inspire his squad. The 70-year-old has won just two games since replacing Munoz, who was deemed too inexperienced for the Premier League, and has recently seemed to be short of ideas.

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 in leading the team with dignity”. Explaining the move, the club continued: “With almost half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the head coach’s position will now give a new appointment ample time to work with a talented team to achieve the goal.” immediate goal of retaining Premier League status. .”

Questions will inevitably arise about the decision to fire Muñoz. The Spaniard won promotion last season and Watford was 15th when he was sacked.

There has been no improvement under Ranieri, whose crowning achievement was helping Leicester City win the title in 2016. The former Chelsea boss was a surprising appointment given that he was disastrous when Fulham were relegated from the Premier League in 2019.

Watford seemed to be on the right track when Ranieri inspired them to a resounding 4-1 victory over Manchester United on 27 November. But they have only picked up one point since then – a 1-1 draw with fellow contenders Newcastle two weekends ago – and the performance against Norwich was the last straw. It was Watford’s 11th loss in 14 games under Ranieri.

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The focus will be on who is tasked with trying to save Watford from relegation. They do not play again until their rearranged match at Burnley on February 5.

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

The Hertfordshire club have gone nine games without a win in all competitions, their longest winless streak since December 2013.

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