This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Watford made the decision on the weekend to sack manager Vladimir Ivic and swiftly replace him with Xisco Muñoz.
The Hornets under Ivic got up to fifth spot in the table but the Watford hierarchy felt a change was needed and have promptly brought in Muñoz to help the side progress this season.
Muñoz, 40, arrives having most recently guided Dinamo Tbilisi to two consecutive Georgian league titles whilst has also coached at Spanish clubs Gimnàstic and Pobla Mafumet.
It’s a decision that has certainly sparked a mixed reaction from football fans up and down the country.
So what do the FLW team make of Watford’s decision?
Having watched Watford in the flesh over the weekend, I feared for Ivic. The side looked devoid of any ideas and a high-profile squad didn’t particularly look like they were buying into what he wanted to do.
Norwich are making a real statement at the top of the Championship table, which is what Watford feel they should be doing. For my money, they’ve got a better squad and I think that’s reflected with the board’s decision.
That decision shouldn’t be a surprise given Watford’s recent history and neither should who they have sourced as a replacement.
Munoz is a fairly unknown quantity, but he’s a very similar pick to what we’ve seen from Watford before.
He’s got the resources to put a top-two clash back on track, but it’s very important that the players are all pulling in the same direction and buying into what he wants.
That’s cost Ivic and is the main thing that needs addressing.
Have any of these 22 players ever been in Watford’s academy?
I think it was very knee jerk from the Watford board, but I have come to expect that from the Pozzo family to be honest.
Ivic was sampling his first taste of football in this country, which is a tough ask for many a coach and for that reason he quite simply should’ve been given more time.
You have to allow time for the players to become used to a manager’s coaching methods and philosophy in order for that understanding to be transferred to the pitch.
Xisco Munoz is a very young coach that has only held a handful of roles in his short coaching career and I fear that if he gets off to a poor start, he could well be given the boot due to the ruthless nature of the club’s Italian owners.
It’s a very ‘Watford’ thing to do.
I’m not so surprised to see them part company with Ivic, to be honest. The players weren’t playing to their full ability and potential under him in my view.
With the squad they have on paper, they should be challenging for automatic promotion, but Norwich and Bournemouth are somewhat running away with it now.
What am I surprised about, though, is the decision to bring in Xisco. He barely has any experience in management, and I felt they needed someone who knows how to win promotion from the Championship.
It’s a risk, but maybe bringing in someone who was a winger and knows how to get the best out of teams in attack could be beneficial for them.