Walter Mazzarri to step down as Watford manager

Watford have confirmed that manager Walter Mazzarri will leave his position following Sunday’s final Premier League game against Man City, after just one season in charge of the Hornets.

The former Inter Milan head coach replaced Quique Sanchez Flores at Vicarage Road last summer on a three-year-deal, as Watford will begin their search for a ninth manager in five years.

Walter Mazzarri will leave Watford after Sunday’s game against Man City
image: skysports.com

In a statement on the club’s website, club chairman Scott Duxbury announced that Mazzarri will be leaving the club at the end of the season and thanked him for his contributions over the past year.

““We thank Walter and his staff for the contribution they have made to Watford over the past year”, said Duxbury.

“After the Board discussed with Walter Mazzarri the club’s future goals and aspirations, it was decided he will be stepping down from his position as the club’s Head Coach after the final game of the 2016/17 season.”

The 55-year-old enjoyed a steady season in charge at Vicarage Road having guided the club to Premier League safety for the second consecutive season, having won 11 of his 37 Premier League games this season.

However, Monday’s 4-3 defeat at champions Chelsea was a fifth loss in a row for Watford and if they lose at Man City on Sunday and Swansea beat West Brom, they will finish the season in 17th place.

There were also rumours of player unrest behind the scenes with captain Troy Deeney dropped to the bench in recent weeks, which may have played a part in the Italian’s departure.

It was Mazzarri’s first managerial reign outside of Italy having also managed the likes of  Livorno, Sampdoria and Napoli, the latter he guided to the Coppa Italia in 2012.

The club’s next head coach will be their eighth since the Italian Pozzo family took over the club in 2012, with former Russia head coach Leonid Slutsky the current bookies favourite to take charge at Watford.

Former Leicester head coach Claudio Ranieri and Hull boss Marco Silva are also considered front-runners to be considered replacing Mazzarri as manager of the Hornets next season.

My Opinion

I am not surprised that Walter Mazaarri is leave his position at manager at Watford, but I think this was more Watford’s decision than Mazzarri’s as they love to change things up year after year.

They sacked Slavisa Jokanovic after they won promotion to the Premier League in 2015, then gave Quique Flores the boot last summer to hire Mazarri and yet again, things will be shaken up at Watford again this summer.

I don’t know why they keep wanting to change their manager but I am not a fan of it. I thought Mazzarri was doing a decent job, but obviously the club’s owners think they should be doing better and want to change things up for a ninth time in five years.

Former CSKA Moscow boss Leonid Slutsky is considered the early favourite, but I think that would be a big mistake. Claudio Ranieri would be a good option but whoever they bring in, I think Watford will be in for another relegation battle next summer.

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