The biggest surprise sacking this season took place this morning as Watford sacked manager Marco Silva. Silva and his players were enduring a torrid run, having won 1 out of 11 games. Despite this awful form, the Hornets still remain in 10th place.
Watford yesterday lost 2-0 at Leicester in what was a poor attacking performance from Watford that saw the goal-shy run continue.
At the end of the game the Hornets had 5 attacking players on this pitch, (Richarlison, Gray, Deeney, Okaka and Carrillo) and still couldn’t muster an opportunity to score.
They were well beaten by a Leicester team who now see themselves placed in 7th position. The alarm bells certainly weren’t ringing for Watford though as despite their poor run of form, they are in 10th place.
Shockingly though, the world of football awoke to the news that Marco Silva and Watford had parted company and their early-season love affair came to an abrupt end.
Everton, the pantomime villains
Two months prior to today, Everton had offered Watford £15m for Marco Silva.
For ages it seemed that Silva was going, then staying, going but eventually he stayed at Vicarage Road.
Silva made a terrific start to life at Watford, warranting the strong interest from Everton, as well as other clubs. It was mid-October, Watford had just beaten Arsenal 2-1 which resulted in the Hornets reaching 4th position.
Incredible performances on the pitch by Richarlison, Doucoure and Gomes in goal helped Watford massively in a number of games. The majority of credit must be pasted to Marco Silva, who had come into Vicarage Road in the summer and has since completely turned their fortunes.
It was at this time where Everton had just sacked Ronald Koeman after his huge summer spendings weren’t prevailing. They sat 17th at the time, just 1 point away from the relegation zone.
Seeing the meteoric rise of Silva at Watford, Everton eyed the Portuguese man to take over at Goodison Park.
With the rumours being spread very quickly, everyone knew that Everton wanted to get Marco Silva. Even after offering £15m, Watford were still determined to keep their man. The Hornets are known for chopping and changing their managers but with Silva’s incredible start, it seemed impossible that he wouldn’t last longer than the season.
But in the true reflection of modern day football, Marco Silva now finds himself jobless. Watford when releasing their statement were keen to point out that it wasn’t Silva’s fault but instead their Premier League rivals, Everton.
The club statement read:
This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly. The club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.”
In truth it seemed that Everton’s firm interest took a big toll in Watford’s performances and I do believe that Watford will target Everton more and more over the next few days.
Who next for Watford?
Every year the same question is raised as without fail, Watford get rid of their managers even if they perform well. This sacking however is the most shocking and furthermore in their statement, Watford insisted that: “The Club will seek to make a swift appointment and there will be no further comment until that appointment has been made.”
An early favourite for the job is current Malaga manager Jose Manuel Gonzalez Lopez.
Having just become manager at Malaga, Lopez is being head-hunted by Watford apparently. Is he better than Marco Silva? The man has no experience in English football and is to say the least a massive risk for the Hornets.
Watford are in 10th place but in a matter of games they could find themselves near the relegation zone if they can’t pick up their form.
They have the players to turn their fortunes around but replacing Marco Silva at this stage could prove costly at the end of the season.
Marco Silva to stay in England?
My prediction is that the now-former Watford manager will stay in England to manage… Southampton. The Saints are desperately struggling this season under Mauricio Pellegrino in 18th place and they face Tottenham today. I believe that if Southampton lose today, their board should act swiftly in getting Marco Silva, a man who has proven in his short spells with Hull and Watford that he is a good manager.
If Silva arrived before the end of the January transfer window, he could have the Virgil Van Dijk money (£75m) at his disposal. Whether my prediction will become reality is a different matter but I firmly believe that Watford will regret getting rid of Marco Silva.