Watford: Quique Sanchez Flores reappointed after Javi Gracia exit

Quique Sanchez Flores
Quique Sanchez Flores led Watford to 13th and the FA Cup semi-final in his one campaign in charge

Watford have reappointed Quique Sanchez Flores as their head coach after announcing the exit of Javi Gracia.

Sanchez Flores was in charge of Watford for the 2015-16 campaign before leaving at the end of the season.

Fellow Spaniard Gracia, whose coaching team have also left, had been in charge since January 2018 - making him the first Hornets boss to last more than one full season since 2013.

The appointment of Sanchez Flores was confirmed 30 minutes later.

Watford are bottom of the Premier League table with one point.

Gracia led the club to Wembley last season, where they lost 6-0 to Manchester City in the biggest FA Cup final win in over a century, as well as 11th place in the Premier League.

But three defeats in their opening four league games saw him lose his job in an announcement made by the club during the first half of England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria.

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

Javi Gracia
Watford picked up two points from their last eight Premier League games under Javi Gracia

Gracia and Sanchez Flores have Watford's best managerial records in the Premier League - with an average of 1.18 points per game each.

Watford have become known in recent years for changing managers on a regular basis. Since Gianfranco Zola's exit in December 2013, they have had nine managers including Sanchez Flores twice.

In one spell between August and October 2014, they had four permanent bosses. Since then Slavisa Jokanovic lasted eight months, Sanchez Flores and Walter Mazzarri one season each and Marco Silva about eight months.

Sanchez Flores has managed Espanyol in La Liga and Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua since leaving Watford in 2016.

Watford on Twitter
Exactly 30 minutes separated the announcements

Analysis - 'club affairs work smoothly whoever is in charge'

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty

Javi Gracia can feel a measure of injustice at his sacking as Watford manager after leading them to only the club's second FA Cup final in their history in May.

But he has paid the price for a poor end to last season in the Premier League and an undistinguished start this term.

Watford may have a reputation for instability when it comes to managers but behind the scenes there is a tried and trusted scouting and recruitment network that means much of the club's affairs work smoothly whoever is in charge of coaching the players.

It has ensured Watford have established themselves in the Premier League and may explain why they have acted so quickly and, in the eyes of many, harshly. They will not want to risk that hard-won status.

Watford trust their set-up and system, although there is some irony that they have now gone back to a manager they sacked previously in Quique Sanchez Flores.

There will, though, a good deal of sympathy for Gracia.


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