Claudio Ranieri set to be announced as new Watford boss

Ranieri has been out of work since leaving Sampdoria at the end of last season

Ranieri has been out of work since leaving Sampdoria at the end of last season

CLAUDIO RANIERI is set to be announced as Watford’s new Head Coach later today following the sacking of Xisco Muñoz yesterday.

The 69-year-old Italian, who won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016, has agreed a deal to take over at Vicarage Road and arrived at the club's London Colney training ground this morning.

Ranieri has been out of work since leaving his role at Sampdoria at the end of last season. Muñoz, 41, was sacked just seven games into the season after a 1-0 defeat by Leeds United left the club 14th in the Premier League.

The club said: “The board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when 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.”

Muñoz took over from Vladimir Ivic in December 2020 and led the club back to the Premier League after clinching runners-up spot in the Championship.

He was the 12th Watford manager since the Pozzo family took over the club in 2012.

Two members of staff have left the club along with the Spaniard - fitness coach Jordi Abella and tactical analyst Miguel Munoz, who is the brother of the former Hornets Head Coach.

Writing on Twitter, Abella said: “A dream come true is over. An unforgettable stage for the rest of my life on a personal and professional level.

“We came to fight to bring the club back to the Premier League and so it was, with the daily work, sacrifice and passion of all the players and all the staff.”

Xisco’s assistant, Roberto Cuesta, had already left in the summer, to join Croatian club NK Istra. He was replaced by Jose Sanchez, but he lasted less than a month during pre-season before returning to Spain.

Watford’s approach to Head Coaches has been met with bewilderment and ridicule, but this churn is part of their strategy. The club see the Head Coach as expendable and want any departure to cause as little disruption as possible.

Ranieri, for example, is expected to bring in three members of staff, while only two departed with Xisco. Meanwhile, the club philosophy, staff and software will remain in place.

CEO and Chairman Scott Duxbury has previously admitted that Head Coaches at the club “have a limited shelf life”.

“If we simply replicate what the bigger clubs are doing, we will fail, because we don’t have their resources,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times in October 2018.

"They will either be very successful, and maybe go to another bigger club, or they won’t work out and move on. We don’t want that disruption when a coach leaves.”

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