Former Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri has been named the new Watford gaffer after the departure of Xisco Muñoz who brought them from the English championship.
Xisco’s tactical expertise lifted Watford to the second position in the Championship last campaign and got them promoted to English top-flight football but that was not enough to save him beyond the second international break of this season.
The Italian signed a two-year deal. The 69-year-old replaces the Spaniard who was axed after the hornets lost 1-0 to Leeds United at the weekend. This defeat leaves the club in 15th position in the Premier League table with two wins from a possible seven games.
According to the records, The Hornets will be Claudio Ranieri’s fourth Premier League club side in his managerial career. He has coached Chelsea, Fulham, and Leicester City.
Having Left Sampdoria at the end of the last campaign, several Italian clubs are seeking his signature but were rejected. When Watford knocked, he heeded, he arrived at Watford whose triumphant promotion from the second tier of English football kept people in suspense of what could have been their outing in EPL.
However, the Hornets are far from being the ones that dominated the Championship. They have only 7 points from a possible 21 from their opening 7 EPL fixtures under Muñoz.
Despite leading the Hornets to promotion five months ago, the Spaniard faced the exit door unprepared. He is the sixth permanent manager being axed as Watford manager since the summer of 2017.
Ranieri would kick off his Watford coaching career at home against Liverpool after the international break. This is more than a true test of mettle for the Italian.
Claudio will be joined at Watford by assistant coaches who are also Italian. They’re Paolo Benetti and Carlo Cornacchia and fitness coach Carlo Spignoli.
Announcements were made through Watford’s website on the arrival and appointment of their new gaffer:
“Watford are delighted to confirm the appointment of Claudio Ranieri as the club’s new head coach, on a two-year contract. The Italian arrives at Vicarage Road boasting a wealth of experience in charge of some of Europe’s biggest clubs, with Premier League, Coppa Italia, and Copa del Rey titles among his managerial highlights.”
Claudio Ranieri’s last stint in English football was during the 2018-19 season when he oversaw Fulham in November but was unable to flourish. He managed 17 games for the Cottagers and he could only record a meager three wins.
He was sacked after three and a half months at Craven Cottage and he was replaced by former England international, Scott Parker.
The Italian’s spell at Leicester City was a success to behold. He gallantly and famously led the Foxes to their first-ever top-flight league title in 2015-16.
This success was magnificent in Leicester City’s history. Unfortunately, his sojourn at the King Power Stadium was cut short, he was shown the exit door the following season due to the club’s retrogressive state after their successful title drama.
The Italian’s first coaching job in England was when he managed Chelsea in the early 2000s. Ranieri’s four seasons as Chelsea gaffer saw them improve their points tally season on season, with them finishing second in 2004 behind Arsenal and also reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-final the same season.
He was sacked by Chelsea mogul, Roman Abramovich that season. We cannot discuss Claudia’s time at Chelsea without pouting out his indelible impression left behind.
The great number of players he signed and coached during his time at Stamford Bridge formed the fulcrum of the Chelsea side that went on to achieve domestic and international glories in subsequent seasons.
The last manager to survive two years as Watford tactician was Malky Mackay between June 2009 and June 2011. Since that time, The Hornets have had 15 permanent managers appointed and axed.
Ranieri, whose coaching odyssey started 35 years ago isn’t a stranger to hiring and firing. He has managed 22 football clubs in his coaching career, It’s left to be seen if his time as Watford manager would be lengthy.