How Crazy Watford's Managerial Sacking Have Been Since 2015 Promotion - Ranked

Looking for a well-paid, challenging job but don't want to commit to anything too long-term? Happy to work under an ever-so-slightly demanding owner, and with a captain who is not-even-slightly afraid to speak his mind? Partial to the works of Elton John?

Well, there's a vacancy at a Hertfordshire-based football club that might just be the answer to your prayers.

Gino Pozzo is renowned for his ruthlessness as Watford's owner

But with this vacancy comes a big, bold warning - please owner Gino Pozzo with a beautiful brand of attractive, successful football, or face the axe when you least expect it. Things have been a bit crazy - bordering on utterly barking mad - at Vicarage Road since 2015, when the club were promoted back to the Premier League.

They've gone through bosses like no nobody's business, with Nigel Pearson the latest in a long, long line of you didn't deserve that mate casualties.

So to honour how silly things have become, 90min has done the honourable thing - by ranking every sacking sanctioned by Watford's trigger happy owner, based on how absolutely crazy the decision was. Enjoy.

7. Walter Mazzarri

Truth be told, Mazzarri wasn't the best manager Watford have ever had

Walter Mazzarri? You know, the guy who took Watford to 17th and the fourth round of the FA Cup? From the unforgettable season where Troy Deeney top-scored in all competitions with a whopping ten goals? You seriously don't remember him?

In fairness to the Pozzo family, the levels of enthusiasm were not exactly sky high for one of management's great journeymen, on his eighth club after seemingly coaching half of Italy. In fact, when your own fans are shouting 'OFF, OFF, OFF' at you after a confrontation with the referee, it could well be time to move on.

The move just wasn't right for Watford or the former Inter manager, who, depending on who you listened to was laid low by his lack of English, the cardinal sin of attempting to sell Deeney, or the Hornets' lack of ambition (this last one obviously came from Mazzarri, who in the same interview boasted of his somewhat unambitious achievement of getting Watford to 40 points.)

Still, a great pub quiz answer in ten years' time.

Craziness of Exit: 4/10
Resemblance to Alec Baldwin: 10/10

6. Javi Gracia

Javi Gracia was a little hard done by, but failed to deliver the results

The sacking of Javi Gracia will probably always be seen as unjustifiable in the context of what came before and what came afterward, but it's difficult to say whether the man himself would've lasted much longer at Vicarage Road.

Graham Taylor might have slipped Gracia's mind when he defiantly claimed to have delivered the 'best season in Watford's history' having been sacked, but you'd be a choosy Watford supporter indeed to turn down 11th and an FA Cup Final (the less said about the final in question, the better).

But Watford's form in the aftermath of their astonishing FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves was - a bit like Gracia - not great, not awful... but just a bit 'meh'. They won just once after Gerard Deulofeu's Wembley heroics, against a Huddersfield side who were basically a free hit at that stage, and although they always looked somewhat capable of winning, when the bad form carried over into next season, you can hardly blame Pozzo for twisting instead of sticking.

Craziness of Exit: 5/10
Learning About Getting Sacked While Picking Up Your Kids From School: 0/10

5. Quique Sánchez Flores (Second Spell)

Sometimes, it's better not to go back

Even Watford managers aren't immune to that old chestnut about history repeating itself as farce, and it doesn't get more farcical than Watford turning to their old flame Sánchez Flores to dig them out of trouble - a reunion which lasted precisely ten league games.

To be clear, there wasn't anything remotely controversial about sacking Sánchez Flores the second time round - it's generally considered pretty difficult to survive an eight-goal losing margin, even if it is against Manchester City (although as Ralph Hasenhüttl will tell you, nine-goal defeats seem a little easier to navigate).

But turning to a guy who had already been deemed surplus to the ambitions of your football club? Well, that just seems a little counter-intuitive if you ask us.

Craziness of Exit: 7/10
On-Again / Off-Again Relationship With Watford: Strangely touching

4. Nigel Pearson

Did Pearson lose the dressing room?

James MacArthur, Mel Morris, the ostrich community... Nigel Pearson himself would admit that he isn't everyone's cup of tea. In spite of that, he's a pretty good manager, and proved exactly that by lifting a Watford side who were six points adrift of safety - having won one game in 15 - to a fighting chance of Premier League survival this season.

Pretty good right? Even if it doesn't get the pulses racing, it probably guarantees Pearson another transfer window at least? No transfer window? Fair enough, but I guess he's got the last two games of the season to prove himself? Oh, you've got to be kidding me...

Though Pearson had lost four out of seven since the restart, wins against Newcastle and Norwich have put Watford in a strong position for survival. But with rumours that the Pozzo family were not a fan of his in-game management, and (probably untrue) whispers of a bust-up with Adam Masina circulating, Big Nige had run his last race and was dismissed in pretty sensational fashion.

Craziness of Exit: 8/10
Odds of a Troy Deeney Stint as Player-Manager: Tumbling

3. Quique Sánchez Flores (First Spell)

Flores delivered too much too soon for Pozzo's liking

One of the unspoken rules of a new job is that you can often end up shooting yourself in the foot by doing too much too soon. By the time you've raised expectations with a few promising shifts, people annoyingly expect you to maintain those standards, and all the overtime / weekend shifts / comfortable 13th-place finishes / FA Cup semi-final berths in the world won't save you.

Such was Sánchez Flores' fatal error in his first, rather less traumatic stint at Watford, where he was sacked at the end of the season, admitting that 'the club and me don't have the same point of view about the season'. Granted, two wins in your final twelve league games is not exactly an ideal way to bow out, but Watford fans might struggle to reconcile Pozzo's decision with the generally fond memories of a season that took them to Wembley for only the second FA Cup semi-final in their history.

The strike partnership of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo was at its iconic best, there were memorable victories over Liverpool in the league and Arsenal in the FA Cup, and it looked as if the Spaniard had set a pretty tidy platform. But ultimately, there may not be a platform in existence tidy enough for Mr Pozzo.

Craziness of Exit: 8/10
Niceness of Coats: 11/10

2. Slaviša Jokanović

Liverpool FC v Fulham FC - Premier League

A lot of the managers on this list, in fairness to Watford, had some plausible grounds for dismissal, from losing the dressing room, to losing the actual games, to just losing Troy Deeney.

On the other hand, Jokanović put in an awful lot of legwork to get Watford to the promised land of the Premier League, then got the chop before he could even appear on Match of the Day.

Jokanović came in as the team's fourth coach in five weeks hot on the heels of three Pozzo appointments - Beppe Sannino, Oscar Garcia and Billy McKinlay - who diehard Watford fans probably have a hard time remembering, and won 15 out of 20 games to take the club to an automatic promotion spot.

And then? Either Jokanović wanted too much money, or Watford 'didn't have a real will to renew my contract' (i.e., he wanted too much money). Either way, the man who made it all possible for Watford in the first place never got his reward (although given his subsequent misadventures at Fulham it may not have worked out in the end...)

Craziness of Exit: 9/10
Intensity of Gaze: 10/10

1. Marco Silva

Not only did he jump ship, he took Richarlison with him!

The enigmatic, Fred Flintstone-esque manager who was known for planning everything, even throw-ins, to the finest detail, looked set to reduce the Premier League to rubble after taking Watford to within three points of a Champions League spot.

But as with Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Cenk Tosun, he was unable to resist the siren call of one of Premier League football's most powerful and glamorous institutions - Everton.

What followed was an almighty feud which reverberated from Merseyside to the Watford Gap and continues to this day - Everton were forced to pay Watford £4m in compensation, the Hornets were forced to send their Social Media manager packing after he made fun of both Gary Lineker and Marco Silva on Twitter, and Troy Deeney told his teammates to 'kick the s***' out of Silva's Everton side when they next played. Spicy!

Craziness of Exit: 10/10
Subsquent 'Rivalry' Between Watford and Everton: Extremely tedious

Source : 90min