Watford manager madness?

Watford have sacked yet another manager

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Is there a method to Watford's managerial madness?

By Joe Harker

Watford have sacked manager Javi Gracia after a poor run of form, with no wins from their opening four fixtures in the Premier League leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table.

Gracia's replacement is Quique Sanchez Flores, who Watford fans will remember as the manager who took charge of the team during the club's first season back in the Premier League.

It's a rather strange turn of events for a club to go through managers quite so quickly and to go back to a manager they previously parted ways with.

The Claim:

The BBC reports Gracia and Flores are tied on points per game in the Premier League, each picking up on average 1.18 points in a fixture.

The club has a reputation for going through managers at an alarming rate, so it's not such a surprise that Gracia wouldn't be hanging around for long when the results go bad.

Watford's run of form isn't original to the start of the current season, with the last time they won a Premier League match being back in April when they beat Huddersfield 2-1.

Their record over the last 10 league games is seven defeats, two draws and that solitary win. During that time they conceded 19 goals, kept no clean sheets and scored just six times.

That's relegation form and for some reason Watford managers have a habit of burning brightly before appearing to abruptly run out of road and struggle for results.

Watford fans will remember Gracia fondly but they have grown accustomed to seeing managers come and go. They know not to get too attached or lament the passing of any one manager too much.

The Counter Claim:

However, Chris Sutton has described Gracia's sacking as a "disgrace that can't be justified".

The former Premier League striker could not believe Watford would sack their manager so early in the season and go back to one they had already ushered out.

He thinks it is "bonkers" that a club would chuck their manager after one bad run of form and go back to one who'd already left and appeared to be no better than Gracia.

There are concerns that Watford's approach to managers is creating a culture where players and fans are all too ready to turn their backs on a coach after a bad bit of form.

Gracia's early success at the club made some hope he was the man to break the cycle of managers lasting about a season but his departure may have hit the reset button on hopes that things might be about to change.

The Facts:

During his time as Watford manager Javi Gracia took the club to 14th and 11th in the Premier League, also reaching the FA Cup final last season.

He managed Watford for 51 league games, winning 18, drawing 11 and losing 22. His win rate of 45 per cent is the highest of the club's managers during their current stint in the Premier League.

Flores' win rate is next best of those who have helmed Watford during their recent time in the Premier League, with a 31.58 per cent rate helping him surpass Walter Mazzarri (28.95 per cent) and Marco Silva (29.17 per cent).

They've stayed in the Premier League when many promoted teams end up going back down to the Championship so they must be doing something right.

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