Watford Make Major Managerial Decision

Watford have sacked Head Coach Valerien Ismael following The Hornets’ 2-1 defeat to Coventry, with former midfielder Tom Cleverley taking over on an interim basis.

The Hertfordshire-based club have won just one of their past 10 Championship matches and are 13th in the league, 13 points off the play-off positions.

Watford have expressed their gratitude for Ismael’s efforts during his time in charge: “The Hornets thank Valérien and his staff for their dedication and commitment, however, the club’s Board considers it an appropriate time to make a change in order to improve results.”

The owners’ decision to part ways with Ismael marked the end of the coach’s 10-month-long stay at Vicarage Road. He was the club’s 20th different manager since the Pozzo family took control of the club in 2012. With this sacking, it is clear that the owners will maintain their strict standards regarding their team’s performance, they have once again parted ways with a coach less than 12 months after bringing them into the club.

In the statement released by the club, Watford highlighted that ex-Manchester United and England midfielder Tom Cleverley will assume the position of Interim Head Coach of Watford.

This season, the 34-year-old has been managing Watford’s under-18 team, after he retired from professional football last July. The former Watford captain made 136 appearances over two spells for The Hornets, and this will be his first role in senior football management.

Cleverley will be in the dugout for Watford’s next match, when they travel to relegation-threatened Birmingham City next Saturday.

Writer’s View

With Ismael’s sacking, it is hard to escape the feeling of déjà vu. Under the Pozzo regime, Watford has become a club with a revolving door. It is hard to believe that the owners continue to persist with this method of hiring and firing coaches despite the lack of success they have had operating in this way. Once again, fans of The Hornets find themselves left in the dark with no idea who will be in charge at the end of the season, and what style of football they will be watching.

It will be interesting to see if Tom Cleverley is given a fair opportunity to showcase his coaching ability. The former Manchester United midfielder has been praised for his football intelligence, and Watford fans will be hoping that he can turn the side’s dismal run of form around.


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