Ranieri takes the reigns at Vicarage road
A 1-0 defeat to Leeds United last weekend was enough to compel the Watford board to take drastic action, with the Hornets having taken 7 points from their opening 7 games back in the top flight.
The man responsible for getting the side promoted, Xisco Munoz, saw his contract at the club terminated after just 10 months in charge.
A statement on their website read:
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.
ℹ Watford FC confirms Xisco Muñoz has left his post as the club’s Head Coach.
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 3, 2021
That appointment proved to happen within 24 hours, with former Leicester City and Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri taking over as the club’s new head coach.
🤝 Watford FC is delighted to confirm the appointment of Claudio Ranieri as the club’s new Head Coach.
Welcome to Watford, Claudio! 💛
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 4, 2021
With games against Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal, Manchester United, Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City as seven of their next 8 fixtures, the Italian has a massive job on his hands to potentially keep his job that he has only just taken, with the Watford board notoriously quick to sack their managers.
First signing already in the works
To that end, it seems as though Ranieri is already set to make his first signing, and it is a welcome defensive reinforcement. The Hornets have conceded ten goals so far this season, but have at times looked shaky in defence.
Enter, Nicholas Nkoulou. The Cameroonian international has had spells with Monaco, Lyon, Torino and Marseilles but is currently a free agent, and is set to provide welcome defensive solidity.
#WatfordFC transfer latest
Understand agreement close for free signing of former Monaco, Marseille, Lyon & Torino CB Nicholas Nkoulou. @TheAthleticUK
— Adam Leventhal (@AdamLeventhal) October 7, 2021
Talks first reported by @adamleventhal, now deal completed for Watford.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 7, 2021
Watford fans, can he make the difference?