As expected, the Watford hierarchy have begun their manager search for the new and upcoming campaign.
The appointment of Roy Hodgson and his assistant Ray Lewington was always a short-term fix and for this season only. Both of their contracts end at the end of the season which means a new man is expected to take charge on the sidelines at Vicarage Road for next season.
The Watford board are eager to appoint a new manager sooner rather and before this season finishes. There are many reasons for this mainly because the 2022/23 campaign will begin a few weeks earlier than usual with the Championship set to start in the middle of July and the Premier League in early August. This is due to the FIFA World Cup which will be played in November and December in Qatar.
With that said, you can understand why the Watford board have started their manager process already. It’s important to note that no manager is expected to be confirmed and official before this season ends but it’s expected that a definitive decision will be made by then. Some of the managers that Watford were looking at may now be ruled out following their relegation. Some of the coaches being mentioned were only going to take the job if Watford retained their Premier League status but this has not come to pass.
It’s fair to say the next manager to take charge of the Hornets will have to be given more power and authority than most recent managers who have managed under the current structure. For managers to succeed and do well at clubs it’s vital that they have large control over what players come in and out of the football club, which is not what we have seen recently in the Gino Pozzo reign. Head coaches and managers have been overruled by the Watford hierarchy and this cannot be repeated in the future for the club to succeed.
It’s also being reported that Watford are expected to change the way in which they operate which is definitively a positive for the fans and maybe we could see a project being built at Watford, something the fans crave so much at their football club.
There are many managers being linked to take over at Watford for next season. The current candidates that the board are closely looking at include the previous Watford captain John Eustace, the current Swansea City boss Russell Martin, the previous Norwich City boss Daniel Farke, who has great experience of the Championship, and the Spaniard Diego Martinez. Martinez has worked at Spanish side Granada CF; the current Watford owner used to own the Spanish side so it’s expected that their should be a good connection between the two. He has also worked under Unai Emery as assistant manager at Sevilla for close to two years.
I have been told by people who are close to Martinez that he’s is ready to come back into management and he has a dream of taking charge of an English football club and is even learning English. According to some reports, Martinez was seen at Watford’s training ground last summer trying to understand how the club operates.
John Eustace is currently the favourite and preferred candidate. He still has a one-year deal left on his contract at Queens Park Rangers but a return to Vicarage Road is on the cards and is very likely to happen after deep negotiations in the past few days. With the Championship season over, it’s now appropriate for him to make a decision about his future. A source close to Eustace says he would “bite your hand off for the Watford job”.
Diego Martinez and John Eustace are both the perfect fit for Watford, especially for the new direction the club needs to take. Both managers are very young but they also have experience in football. I think Martinez and Eustace would both be a perfect fit for Watford and they would restart the club and undergo a rebuild as part of a new project.
I have been told by a club source that John Eustace is the ideal manager to take charge for next season and he is willing to take the job with Watford returning to the Championship. Initial talks have begun but it’s expected that deeper discussions will take place heading towards the end of the season and next few days.