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To think that Watford would see a managerial merry-go-round at Vicarage Road this season…

It must have been unthinkable for Watford fans and Italian owner Giampaolo Pozzo during pre-season.

Watford: Their managerial headacheBut here we are just eleven games into the new Championship season and Watford are already onto their fourth new head coach, after it was announced that Serbian and ex-Chelsea man Slavisa Jokanovic had been brought in to replace Billy McKinlay, after just eight days in charge!

Lets back up a moment. How did Watford end up in this predicament in the first place? Coach number one Beppe Sannino was appointed in December last season after Gianfranco Zola resigned from the role, and the Italian guided the Hornets to a 13th place finish when all was said and done. This season however, his departure came as somewhat of a surprise. 5 games into the season and with Watford sitting second in the table, rumours began to emerge of unrest between himself and the playing staff, leading to Sannino stepping away from the role at the end of August.

Former Watford manager Oscar GarciaEnter coach number two. Oscar Garcia hadn’t long left Championship rivals Brighton, resigning from his position after Brighton bowed out of the end of season play-offs in defeat to Derby County, and had actually signed a contract to manage Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv in June. He quickly departed over moral reasons however, and jumped at the chance to takeover at Watford. Unfortunately for Garcia, continuing chest pains meant he was unable to continue in the role which I believe if health concerns weren’t a factor, he would have been a long-term appointment for the club. He left after the Championship had entered its ninth round of fixtures, with Watford sitting third in the table.

Billy McKinlay, who only joined Oscar Garcia’s coaching team a matter of days prior, stepped up to assume first team duties and managed four points in his two game spell in charge. However in another shocking turn of events, McKinlay left the club that he had been at for only eight days, and the Watford hierarchy have moved quickly to bring in Jokanovic, with the Serbian leaving Spanish side Hercules to make the move to England. It would seem at this point that McKinlay expressed no desire to give up his coaching duties, and it was instead the wishes of owner Pozzo that he saw Jokanovic as a better long term option than McKinlay.

What the amazing thing is that amongst all the managerial unrest, their league form has remained undisturbed, with the team returning 21 points from their opening 11 games, and lying joint top of the league with just goal difference separating them from Norwich and Nottingham Forest above them. Jokanovic is lucky to have the riches of Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra available to select from, with the hard work being done before his arrival to secure their short-term futures at the club at least. So looking forward, he will be a man under pressure to carry on where the others left off and push hard for promotion this campaign.

Dare I say, you-can-ovic?

Originally published at cravingfootball.co.uk

Post written by Ian Gurney, Twitter: @Ian_Gurney
for Craving Football, Blog: cravingfootball.co.uk, Twitter: @cravingfootball

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