Tuesday 17 September 2019

Watford's Javi Gracia becomes first Premier League manager of season sacked as Quique Sánchez Flores returns

Javi Gracia led Watford to the FA Cup final (John Walton/PA)
Javi Gracia led Watford to the FA Cup final (John Walton/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Watford have sacked manager Javi Gracia with the club bottom of the Premier League and without a win this season.

The Hornets have managed to score just two goals so far and have not won in eight league matches stretching back to April.

"Javi has represented Watford with great dignity and will always be deserving of our fullest respect for his achievements," said chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury.

"Javi Gracia's staff will also be leaving the club, ahead of the imminent appointment of a new coaching team.

"Everyone at the Hornets wishes Javi and his staff all the very best for the future, and they will always be welcome visitors in the future at Vicarage Road."

Gracia did lead Watford to the FA Cup final last season but they were hammed 6-0 by Manchester City.

Their tally of two goals this season is the fewest in the league and since beating relegated Huddersfield on April 20 they have scored just five times in eight league matches, earning just two points.

Since the departure of current Burnley boss Sean Dyche on July 2012 they have gone through Gianfranco Zola, Guiseppe Sannino, Oscar Garcia, Billy McKinley (on a caretaker basis), Slavisa Jokanovic, Quique Sanchez Flores, Walter Mazzarri, Marco Silva - who went to Everton - and now Gracia.

Within half an hour Watford had announced Gracia's replacement, and it meant a surprise return for Sanchez Flores as their 10th manager in just over eight years including his previous stint.

The 54-year-old came back for a second spell having guided them to a comfortable mid-table finish during the 2015/16 campaign on the club's return to the Premier League.

PA Media

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