Is the new Watford manager the right person for the job? – .

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Is the new Watford manager the right person for the job? – .


Claudio Ranieri’s fate as Leicester City manager entered folklore as he won the title in his only full season at the club

Claudio Ranieri is back in the Premier League after being appointed director of Watford.

The 69-year-old Italian has managed four teams – including Fulham – since being sacked by Leicester nine months after leading them to the Premier League title in 2016.

He replaces promotion-winner Xisco Munoz, who was the 13th manager to leave Watford since the Pozzo family took ownership in 2012.

Will Ranieri be a success? How has he done in recent years? And is Watford’s managerial change policy working?

How has Ranieri been doing recently?

Ranieri has held more than 20 positions during a 35-year managerial career and has led major clubs – Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, Rome, Inter Milan and Monaco .

But, aside from that superb 2015-16 Premier League title with Leicester, his only big silverware has been the domestic cups in Italy and Spain, as well as the UEFA Super Cup in 2004.

His career seemed to be running out of steam just a few months after this decisive title.

He was sacked by Leicester in February 2017, then left Nantes after a season after falling out with the club owners.

Ranieri took over at Fulham in 2018-19 – but only lasted 106 days with three wins in 17 games. At this point, it seemed very unlikely that he would be successful in the Premier League again.

He finished this season in his beloved Roma, winning six of the 12 games in charge. He then spent almost two seasons at Sampdoria before leaving at the end of last season.

When he took over at Sampdoria in October 2019, they were at the bottom of Serie A after six losses in seven matches.

Italian football expert James Horncastle told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He kept them going with games to spare, he then developed that in the second season and took on a Sampdoria side that didn’t have money and had sold all of his players in the first half. He remains a very competent manager.

“You have to respect, he’s two weeks away from his 70th birthday. He could happily retire, live off the league’s biggest win ever, and go on speaking tours. But he just wants to train, he’s totally addicted to it. .

“A lot of people will say Fulham and how it didn’t end well. But he’s been in jobs like this before and has either lived up to expectations or outperformed. “

Ranieri takes over with Watford 15th in the Premier League, with seven points in seven games.

Jacob Culshaw, founder of Watford’s WD18Fans fan channel, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Ranieri is tactically better than Xisco.

“Especially at Sampdoria he used 4-4-2 and that really suits this Watford side. What I love about Ranieri’s squad is that they were so aggressive from the front. “

Does Watford’s managerial system work?

Xisco Munoz had only coached for 11 games – in charge of Dinamo Tbilisi – before getting Watford’s post

Since the Pozzo family took over at Watford in 2012, Sean Dyche, Gianfranco Zola, Giuseppe Sannino, Oscar Garcia, Billy McKinlay, Slavisa Jokanovic, Quique Sanchez Flores (twice), Walter Mazzarri, Marco Silva, Javi Gracia, Nigel Pearson, Vladimir Ivic, Munoz and Ranieiri have all been in charge. Plus two Hayden Mullins spells as a Guardian.

At any other club, Xisco’s 36 games in 10 months – which included a winning promotion – would be a short reign. But only Zola, Flores, Mazzarri and Gracia of the 12 other managers had more games in charge under the Pozzo regime.

Since the start of 2019-20, 12 Premier League managers have been sacked or left by mutual agreement during a season. Four of those 12 have been the bosses of Watford – even though they weren’t in the top flight for one of two (and a bit) seasons.

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards told BBC Radio 5 Live that the dismissal of a manager at the start of the season was ‘ridiculous’, while former Blackburn and England striker Chris Sutton described Watford as a “strange club”.

Sutton added: “Watford fans will say that makes sense and that they have done quite well and compare them to Chelsea, but Chelsea are winning trophies and employing the best managers. Watford is not in their category.

“It sounds like a short-term approach. Looks like they made up their minds before the last game and it stinks. “

The system seems to be working for them, however – except in 2019-2020 when they were relegated.

The Hornets spent five consecutive top-flight seasons before that and reached the FA Cup final. They hadn’t managed consecutive top-flight seasons, or made a cup final, since the 1980s.

BBC Three Counties Radio sports editor Geoff Doyle said: “If the board doesn’t feel like the head coach is getting the most out of his players, he goes. The board of directors is not lagging behind.

“It’s a bit hard for Xisco Munoz who brought Watford into the Premier League with a smile on his face but who may have failed tactically at the highest level. Inexperience was also a factor. And the majority of postings this season weren’t good enough.

“Watford rolled out this hiring and firing policy under the Pozzo regime and it got them successfully into the Premier League and gave them five years in the top flight. The club fear relegation again and will argue that they need to be proactive if affected by the current coach.

“In the long term, it’s a little flawed policy because the club lacks stability and cohesion. What if the players who are given to the coach are not good enough? “

Hornets fan Culshaw said: “What I disagreed with in the past is the hiring system, not the firing.

“I’ve learned not to fall in love with any manager at Watford and when I do, my heart was broken.

“When the owners arrived in 2012, we were on the edge of administration, we only had three stands, a real championship club, not much ambition. They have made us an established Premier League club.

“The model has worked over the years. It goes against the conventional way of running a club, but it has worked. “

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