Watford sack manager Xisco Munoz after defeat by Leeds

Watford are currently 14th in the league with two wins and a draw on the board from their opening seven games

Lawrence Ostlere
Sunday 03 October 2021 15:20
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<p>Xisco Munoz is the 14th Watford manager to depart in the last decade </p>

Xisco Munoz is the 14th Watford manager to depart in the last decade

Watford have sacked manager Xisco Munoz after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Leeds United, only seven games into the new Premier League campaign after he steered the club to promotion from the Championship last season.

Watford are currently 14th in the league with two wins and a draw on the board from their opening seven games, but the club’s owners, the Pozzo family, are infamously impatient when it comes to the lifespan of head coaches, and a toothless performance at Elland Road was enough to push them into action.

In a statement on Sunday morning, the club said: “Watford FC confirms Xisco Munoz has left his post as the club’s head coach. The board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving.

“The Hornets will always be grateful to Xisco for the part he played in securing last season’s promotion and wish him well for his future career in football. No further club comment will be available until the imminent announcement of a new head coach.”

Xisco was appointed midway through last season, and after a slow start he inspired a peerless run of form in the final months to gain automatic promotion to the top flight.

A raft of players arrived at the club in the summer, including forward Emmanuel Dennis, joining from Club Brugge for £3.5m, who made a bright start to the season with goals in wins over Aston Villa and Norwich.

But since last month’s victory at Carrow Road, Watford have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Stoke City, drawn 1-1 with Newcastle and were outclassed by Leeds despite the narrow scoreline, ensuring they remain without a clean sheet so far this season.

The sacking comes as little surprise in the context of the club’s recent history, despite a broadly promising start to the season, and they will now search for their 15th manager in 10 years.

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