Watford announced on Monday that manager Claudio Ranieri had been fired after only three months in charge at Vicarage Road. The Pozzo family-owned club recruited the Italian, 70, as a two-year successor for Xisco Munoz in October 2021.
However, after less than four months in command, the former Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, and Inter Milan manager was fired.
Watford’s statement on Ranieri
The Italian has only seven points in 13 EPL games after a 0-3 loss to fellow strugglers Norwich on Sunday, and the Hornets are in the relegation zone (19 points from 20 games). Under Ranieri, Watford has lost 11 of its 14 games, including a 1-4 FA Cup defeat to Leicester.
Watford said in a statement: “The Hornets’ Board recognizes Claudio as a man of great integrity and honor, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.”
“However, the board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the head coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time… to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.”
Watford Under Ranieri
Joshua Sargent of the United States scored twice in his final game as manager, a 3-0 home defeat to Norwich City. Ranieri took over at Watford for the fourth time in the Premier League, after being hired by Chelsea in 2000. In 2015, he made a memorable comeback with Leicester City, leading them to a thrilling Premier League title.
In 2018-19, he also managed Fulham for a brief while, and he has also had positions at Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Greece, and Nantes.
Watford’s Next Step
After Xisco, Steve Bruce (Newcastle), Nuno Espirito Santo (Tottenham), Daniel Farke (Norwich), Dean Smith (Aston Villa), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United), and Rafael Benitez (Manchester City), this is the sixth managerial change in the EPL this season (Everton).
The Hornets, who haven’t won in nine games since a 4-1 win over Manchester United in November, are now on the lookout for their third head coach of the season. They return to play on February 5 when they travel to Burnley, who are currently in last place. Vicarage Road are only two points ahead of their next opponents and two points from safety.