Watford appoint their 17th manager in 10 years with Rob Edwards the latest casualty


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Watford have officially appointed Slaven Bilic as the latest manager after Rob Edwards was dismissed on Monday. Bilic will incredibly by Watford’s 17th permanent manager in the past decade since the Pozzo family took over the club in 2012.

Gianfranco Zola was their first appointment back in July 2012 and the Chelsea icon remains the longest-standing manager under the Pozzo family. He took charge of 75 games during his 18 months in charge before being replaced by Giuseppe Sannino.

That appeared to be the start of the manager merry-go-round at Watford with the likes of Slavisa Jokanovic, Quique Sanchez Flores (twice) and Javi Gracia coming and going among many others. Edwards came in as Roy Hodgson’s replacement at the end of last season following the former England manager’s retirement.

But he’s lasted just 10 games into the new season with the club winning only three matches. Shortly after Edwards was dismissed, Watford confirmed that Bilic has signed an 18-month contract.

Watford owner Gino Pozzo explained the club’s decision on their website. It read: “As with all decisions taken by the Board, I believe this change to be in the best interests of the club.

“We felt Rob had enough time to show us the identity of his team, however performances haven’t reflected our hopes and ambitions. Now we must move forward, and, in Slaven Bilic, we have secured the services of an experienced coach who has recent experience of promotion to the Premier League.”

Hodgson was Watford’s third manager of last season after both Xisco Munos and Claudio Ranieri were sacked. Munoz helped push Watford back into the Premier League in 2021 as they finished second in the Championship.

But they were immediately relegated, finishing 19th and 15 points adrift of safety. Bilic’s last managerial job was with Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan, helping them qualify for the Championship stage before leaving in January this year.

He last managed in England back in 2020 where he was dismissed by West Brom after earning them promotion to the Premier League the previous season.


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