Dilly ding! Dilly dong! A reputation that can survive Watford FC
Dilly ding! Dilly dong! That’s the sound of the annoying imaginary bell Claudio Ranieri rings during training sessions and team talks to make sure his players are paying attention and remain focused. It’s a sound Watford players are going to have to get used to hearing, what with the Italian being at the club’s training ground for advanced talks to take over as the club’s next former manager, after a different, more booming metaphorical bell tolled for Xisco Muñoz on Sunday morning.
Muñoz discovered he’d be dilly-ding, dilly-doing one less than 24 hours after Watford’s defeat at the hands of Marcelo Bielsa’s Great Entertainers, a beating that left them in reasonable shape with two wins and a draw after seven games of the season but was emphatic enough to convince his trigger-happy employers that it was time for them to bid adiós to the Spaniard.
“It’s been a wonderful journey and it concluded in a way that I neither expected nor wished for,” said Munoz, who can’t have been too shocked at being handed his P45, considering he was Watford’s 12th [TWELFTH – Fiver Vidiprinter] manager of the nine-year long Pozzo family reign as owners and had enjoyed a fairly impressive knock of 10 months, all things considered. “I’m grateful and I will only remember all the good things I have experienced. It’s a sad day for me and my family because it marks the end of a period at a club and in a city where we have felt at home. I’ve got nothing but words of gratitude for the club that gave me the opportunity to start my first adventure in this exciting country.”
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Given the fact that Watford go through managers like The Fiver gets through dire puns and tortured metaphors, a daily football newsletter could be forgiven for wondering what gaffer worth their salt would want a job where success is so quickly forgotten and the merest hint of failure results in termination with extreme prejudice. Not least when the candidate in question peruses their list of upcoming fixtures and sees that – with apologies to Southampton – seven of their next eight games are against Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal, Manchester United, Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester City.
An elderly, Premier League-winning Italian manager with few cares in the world, little or nothing to prove and a reputation that won’t particularly suffer if it all goes belly-up very quickly and he gets fired less than two months into a reported two-year contract? Dilly ding! Dilly dong! The Fiver knows just the man and if he hasn’t already put pen to paper for this free swing by the time you’re reading this, expect him to do so any minute now.