Javi Gracia replaces Marco Silva as Watford manager

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Javi Gracia has been appointed as Watford’s new manager following the dismissal of Marco Silva.

Silva, who joined the Hornets from Hull only last summer, was given his marching orders by the club’s hierarchy on Sunday after Watford’s 2-0 defeat at Leicester.

Gracia, the 47-year-old Spaniard, replaces Silva after he agreed an 18-month contract at Vicarage Road. His first game in charge will be against Southampton in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

Gracia, the former Malaga and Rubin Kazan head coach, is the 10th manager to be appointed by the Pozzo family since their takeover at Watford in 2012.

Gracia, who has been out of work since he departed Russian club Rubin Kazan last June, will take the reins of a Watford squad which has won just one of their last 11 matches in the Premier League.

Silva enjoyed a strong start to his tenure at the Hertfordshire club, winning six of his opening 13 league games, but his side’s form dipped following an approach by Everton after they sacked Ronald Koeman.

Marco Silva has been sacked by Watford
Marco Silva has been sacked by Watford (David Davies/PA)

“(The approach) is something which the board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised,” the club said in a statement.

“For the security and success of the football club, the board believes it has to make a change.”

  • Jan 20: Leicester (lost 2-0)
  • Jan 13: Southampton (drew 2-2)
  • Jan 6: Bristol City (FA Cup, won 3-0)
  • Jan 2: Manchester City (lost 2-1)
  • Dec 30: Swansea (lost 2-1)
  • Dec 26: Leicester (won 2-1)
  • Dec 23: Brighton (lost 1-0)
  • Dec 16: Huddersfield (lost 4-1)
  • Dec 12: Palace (lost 2-1)
  • Dec 9: Burnley (lost 1-0)
  • Dec 2: Tottenham (drew 1-1)
  • Nov 28: Man Utd (lost 4-2)

He also oversaw Almeria’s return to Spain’s top flight before a stint in charge of Osasuna. He left Rubin Kazan by mutual consent after they finished ninth in the Russian Premier League last year.

Gracia is Watford’s fourth manager following their return to the Premier League in 2015. Quique Sanchez Flores was sacked after a year despite guiding the Hornets to the semi-final of the FA Cup, while Italian Walter Mazzarri was also given only a season.

Silva is the latest to be fired after serving just six months in charge.

  • Marco Silva (May 2017 – Jan 2018)
  • Walter Mazzarri (July 2016 – May 2017)
  • Quique Sanchez Flores (June 2015 – May 2016)
  • Slavisa Jokanovic (October 2014 – June 2015)
  • Billy McKinlay (September 2014 – October 2014)
  • Oscar Garcia (September 2014 – September 2014)
  • Guiseppe Sannino (December 2013 – August 2014)
  • Gianfranco Zola (July 2012 – December 2013)
  • Sean Dyche (June 2011 – July 2012)

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