Javia Gracia surprised by 'unexpected' Watford sacking

Tanya Simon
September 11, 2019

Javi Gracia's fate was sealed on Thursday after Watford's top brass called a meeting to axe the beleaguered Spaniard.

Watford's announcement that they had parted company with Gracia and replaced him with Quique Sanchez Flores seemed to come out of the blue amid the lull of an global break, after they had brought a run of three successive defeats to an end with a Carabao Cup victory over Coventry and a battling draw at Newcastle.

Since leaving Watford in 2016, Sánchez Flores has managed Espanyol in Spain and Shanghai Shenhua in China. Although Gracia's sacking will be regarded as brutal, Watford have proved themselves decisive and successful when it comes to changing coaches. Proprietor Gino Pozzo spends a whole lot of time on the membership's coaching floor, the place he has an workplace, and is continually monitoring efficiency.

Watford have appeared to be in a tailspin since the end of last season when they were humiliated 6-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

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Gracia is the first Premier League manager to lose their job this season. It was said he had lost some of his drive and was struggling to get the best out of the players.

Watford face Arsenal at home after the global break, before travelling to Manchester City and Wolves.

Pozzo is known as a hard taskmaster but also an owner who will not countenance the possibility of relegation, especially with Watford having invested £31million in a new striker, Ismaila Sarr.

Hornets captain Troy Deeney spoke in support of Gracia before he was dismissed, and the 49-year-old paid tribute to those who backed him during his spell at the club.

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