Favourite for Watford job?

Ranieri favourite to replace Walter Mazzarri


Former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri favourite for Watford job not Hull City's Marco Silva

Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is the early favourite to be the new Watford manager following the news Walter Mazzarri will leave the Premier League club at the end of the season.

Italian Mazzarri will depart the Hornets after just one year in charge and with the club 16th in the Premier League table with one game remaining.

Hull City boss Marco Silva had previously been linked with the position, however bookmakers have made Ranieri the early favourite to return to management with the Hornets.

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Bye Bye Mazzarri

Watford will begin their search for a ninth manager in five years after announcing last week that they are to part company with Italian coach Walter Mazzarri.

His final game in charge will be at home to Manchester City on Sunday. The 55-year-old, who has also managed at Inter Milan and Napoli, signed a three-year contract last summer, but will leave after just one season.

His side are 16th in the Premier League, just six points above the relegation zone, following five successive defeats. However, a spirited 4-3 loss to Chelsea on Monday night, showed they've still got a lot of fight in them.

The Italian's spell in Hertfordshire has quite simply not gone as well as the Watford board, the fans or indeed Mazzarri himself would have hoped, writes the Hertfordshire Mercury.

If staying up was the season's objective, then he can't be criticised as having failed

Injuries had an impact on his team's performances, especially around the Christmas period, but ultimately there were underlying problems.

His failure to grasp the English language, which meant there was never any relationship with the fans, his often bizarre post-match observations and the breakdown in his relationship with the players all contributed to the struggle.

Speaking through a translator to the media would not have been a problem if he was able to communicate with his players in English.

That's not to say he did not try and he did not want to speak English. Mazzarri's a workaholic and there is nothing to suggest he ignored the need for English.

He just couldn't get to grips with it, much like many English men and women would struggle to learn Italian at his age.

Then there was the falling out with the players. The first rumblings came back in January; long sessions, sometimes double, were angering players. Watford's injury list was huge and many of them were muscle pulls, strains and tears - surely there was some sort of a link?

Recently murmurs of discontent among the playing staff resurfaced - 12 consecutive days training or playing after the Hull debacle, no time off for any of the players and yet more injuries.

Mazzarri justified himself and said that any players who were not willing to sweat for the cause were maybe at the wrong club.

While many fans appreciated the squad being worked hard after such a poor performance, unfortunately for Mazzarri, it turns out he was at the wrong club.

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Is Leonid Slutsky in line to replace Walter Mazzari?

As pressure continues to grow on Walter Mazzarri following Watford's defeat at Everton, another name has been linked with the job.

The Times are reporting that Leonid Slutsky is one of a number of managers being considered, should the Hornets decide to sack Mazzarri when the season ends.

Slutsky has never managed outside of Russia, but is close friends with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and has spent plenty of time in England recently.

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