Watford have now appointed their ninth permanent manager since Gino Pozzo took ownership of the Hornets back in October 2014, with the club having dispensed of Vladimir Ivic after a short but impressive four month tenure before hastily replacing him with Xisco Munoz.
What has been made abundantly clear over the last six years of the Italian’s reign in charge of the club is that any shortcomings, no matter how small or minor, will not be tolerated.
It is clear that promotion is viewed as more a necessity than a priority by the powers that be at Vicarage Road and for that reason they felt that a change was needed despite the fact that the Hertfordshire club currently occupy fifth place, just nine points off Bournemouth in top spot.
In fairness to Pozzo, the case of Ivic was not always plain sailing, the club largely failed to offload some of it’s higher earners over the summer, with the likes of Etienne Capoue and Ismaila Sarr having stayed put despite clearly being far too good for Championship level, which could also explain why the club weren’t as active in the summer market.
Quiz: Have any of these 22 players ever been in Watford’s academy?
One of the main objectives that will surely be set for Munoz now is to decrease the club’s ballooning wage budget, as this will undoubtedly hold the key to the new manager’s transfer ambitions if he does indeed intend to bring in fresh blood to supplement the existing Watford squad.
Andre Gray could well be one of the main casualties of any kind of January cull, with the striker having largely failed to have made a lasting impact for the Hornets since his multi million pound move from Burnley back in 2017.
A paltry return of 17 goals in just north of 100 appearances across three years for the club underlines the need for Watford to get shot of the 29-year-old who has seen his game time largely diminish this term due to a combination of injury mishaps and the improved form of Joao Pedro up top for the Vicarage Road outfit.
It is surely viewed as imperative that the newly installed boss gets shot of Gray and the other high earners at the club in order to bring in his own recruits to shape a new identity for a club that has lost it’s way over the course of 2020.
The Gray experiment just hasn’t worked for Watford and for that reason they need to go their separate ways in January if they are to recoup any of the club-record fee that was paid for the ex-Luton Town man.