Everyone knows of Watford‘s managerial carousel and ruthless sacking record. Xisco Munoz might already be nearing the exit. The Spanish head coach (the club call him a “head coach,” not a “manager”), joined Watford following Vladimir Ivic’s sacking at the end of December. After a strong start, the Hornets’ form has dropped. The Pozzos – the owning family of Watford – never take lightly to such patches of form.
Xisco Munoz Inching Toward the Sack
Watford’s Disappointing Coventry City Draw
Xisco claimed, after Watford’s last match, that a tactical change was in the cards. To the dismay of Hornets fans, the “tactical change” was only subtle and ineffective. Rather than lining up in a 4-4-2, Watford were set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation – with Troy Deeney as the number 10. Effectively, the formation was not much different than the 4-4-2.
Also notable, and not in a positive way, was the squad selection. Xisco dropped Will Hughes from the starting line-up altogether, despite Hughes being widely considered as Watford’s best midfielder. Joao Pedro, Watford’s top goalscorer from open play, was placed on the bench for Andre Gray, who has only scored once in over a one-year span. New signing Philip Zinckernagel, the 6th-most creative player in Europe statistically, did not even see the pitch. The repercussions were there for all to see.
With the exception of a flurry near the end of the match, Coventry City dominated Watford. The Hornets had no control of the midfield, and there was a lack of attacking creativity. Individual player talent suggests Watford should have easily won. The match itself, however, saw Coventry City play as the team more likely to emerge victorious.
Unfortunately for Xisco, his tactical change, or lack thereof, did not pay off. Instead, pressure on his job security has increased.
Xisco Munoz Strong Start Followed by Poor Run
Xisco’s first match in charge was an impressive 1-0 victory over league-leaders Norwich City. The subsequent match was a 2-1 defeat against high-flying Swansea City. But, afterwards, the Hornets won three consecutive matches. Since, poor form has struck.
A lacklustre 0-0 draw against Millwall was followed by a last-minute defeat, at Vicarage Road, against Queens Park Rangers. Only picking up one point from nine available, especially against teams considerably below Watford, inevitably increases pressure on Xisco.
The Pozzos and hierarchy sacked Ivic after a draw against Brentford and loss against Huddersfield Town. Unless the Club has changed their cut-throat habits of sacking head coaches, Xisco’s job is certainly losing safety.
Watford’s goal this season is promotion, and anything else would be underwhelming. The rate Watford are dropping points is too large to overlook. If results and tactics do not change soon, Watford might see themselves searching for their third head coach of the campaign.