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Walter Mazzarri departure proves Watford were wrong to axe Quique Sanchez Flores

Thursday 18th May 2017
Watford have recently announced manager Walter Mazzarri will be leaving the club in the summer following a poor end to the Premier League season.
The Hornets look set to finish lower in the table with fewer points than they attained under former manager Quique Sanchez Flores in 2015/16, raising the question why the latter was relieved of his duties last summer.

Watford much worse under Mazzarri than Flores

This season under Walter Mazzarri, Watford are 16th in the Premier League table with 40 points from 37 games, having suffered five consecutive defeats ahead of their final outing of the campaign. The Hornets have suffered 19 defeats and have conceded 63 goals – the joint-fifth worst defensive record in the division - picking up just 12 points from a possible 57 away from home in the league while conceding more than two goals per game on average. Watford were also knocked out of the EFL Cup in August and the FA Cup in January.

Last season under Quique Sanchez Flores, Watford finished 13th in the Premier League table with 45 points from 38 games. They suffered 17 defeats and conceded 50 goals - the joint-eighth best defensive record in the division. Watford averaged over a point-per-game away from home, conceding eight fewer than this season. They were out of the EFL Cup in August but reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, defeating Arsenal along their way to Wembley.

Flores has proven his worth with Espanyol after leaving Watford

Watford striker Troy Deeney lamented Quique Sanchez Flores' departure last summer, calling the decision “crazy”. And given how well the former Hornets boss has fared in Spain, Watford may be regretting the decision. Espanyol hired Flores a month after his exit from Vicarage Road (June 2016) and have reaped the benefits of having the 52-year-old at the helm.

Currently 10th in the Spanish La Liga with 53 points from 37 games, Espanyol are on course for their highest placing in the table since 2010/11 (8th) and their largest points tally since 2004/05 (61). Flores' achievements in La Liga this season have surpassed the efforts of former managers Javier Aguirre, Mauricio Pochettino and Ernesto Valverde.

Watford avoiding hypocrisy jibes as they've not overlooked form in 2017

The poor form of Quique Sanchez Flores' Watford in the second-half of the season was used as the excuse to part company. Supporters sided with the decision too, saying the FA Cup run to the semi-final shouldn't detract from their wavering 2016 form in January-May. Watford picked up just 16 points from their last 19 Premier League games under Flores, winning four games and scoring only 16 goals, but his successor has fared just as badly.

Watford have picked up only 18 points from 19 games between January-May this year, winning five matches and scoring 18. Only three Premier League clubs have fared worse in 2017 but only one side have lost more games and conceded more goals, leaving the Hornets with no choice but to axe Mazzarri this summer. Watford had to treat the Italian coach with the same ruthlessness as they did the Spaniard.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 330

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