Monday, June 25, 2018

Method in Watford’s managerial madness

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 24 May 2016

Walter Mazzarri is the new Watford boss

Walter Mazzarri is the new Watford boss and has the task of attempting to make the Hornets regulars in the top-ten of the top-flight

Watford have appointed former-Napoli Walter Mazzarri as their seventh boss in under four years.

The Italian replaces Quique Sanchez Flores who guided the Hornets to midtable security and an FA Cup semi-final appearance.

More bosses than hot dinners

Flores was very popular figure among the Watford fans and players it seems, but the Hornets endured a difficult end to their Premier League campaign and Flores lost his job.

There was much to admire about the job Flores did at Watford, so his sacking seemed slightly harsh if not unexpected due to the clubs hierarchy’s habit of going through bosses.

They do go through a lot of bosses, but the Pozzo family seem to have the knack of picking good bosses who in the short-term improve the clubs fortunes. The choice of Flores predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic was certainly a wise one, as the Serbian helped the club to promotion to the Premier League.

Flores built on his good work by maintaining the clubs position in the top-flight, which must have been their main objective at the beginning of the campaign following promotion. The Hornets finished 13th position in the table and eight points clear of the relegation zone.

The clubs owners know what they are doing when it comes to hiring and firing bosses, they have had enough practice at both Watford and Udinese, who they also own.

They have been spot on with the last two appointments, after a few dud bosses. Mazzarri heads to Vicarage Road with an impressive CV as well.

A highly-rated tactician

Walter Mazzarri has a stellar reputation in Italy for being an innovator and is a highly-rated tactician. Previous bosses have been handed short-term deals, but Hornets owner Gino Pozzo is believed to be a big fan of Mazzarri and has put faith in his compatriot by handing him a three-year deal.

Mazzarri’s last job was at Italian giants Inter, who he left 18 months ago, having guided the Nerazzurri to a disappointing fifth spot in Serie A. However his biggest success came in his four years at Napoli.

He led the Azzurri to second place in the Italian top-flight, while also winning the Coppa Italia in 2012. That second place finish meant that the side from Naples made the Champions League for the first time in its current guise.

His successive time in Naples led to the opportunity to manage Inter, which never quite worked out for him. His style is not always the most attractive, as he likes to play quick and counter-attacking football, which the Inter fans did not always appreciate.

During his time at Napoli he was highly-regarded though and his preferred formation of 3-5-2 became very popular in the Italian top-flight.

Mazzarri has never managed outside of his homeland, but has reportedly been learning English in the last year to ready himself for a job in the Premier League. If he has as big an impact on Watford as he did at Napoli then he will be a fantastic appointment for the Hornets.

Hoping to push up the Premier League table

Mazzarri is believed to have been appointed to make Watford a regular top-ten team in the Premier League. Last summer the Hornets squad underwent a massive overhaul and this summer could be quite similar as the Italian brings in players to fit his preferred formation and style of play.

Despite the clubs owners having big ambitions for next season, the Hornets are regarded as one of the favourites to be relegated at odds of 2/1. Those odds suggest that the bookmakers believe that the Hornets will struggle next season in the top-flight.

Mazzarri is no fool though and is slightly more straight-laced than the cool and open Flores. He will have his side well-drilled and they will no pushovers.

I have to admit I was a big fan of the way that Mazzarri managed Napoli, but the Inter job has become something of a poison chalice in recent years and it was always going to be difficult for him to be successful in Milan.

For me he is another shrewd appointment by the Pozzo family. He is a boss that is well-respected and will do a good job for the Hornets. He is more than capable of keeping the Hornets clear of the drop zone and developing them into a stable Premier League club.

Is Walter Mazzarri the man to move Watford forward?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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