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Watford were the first team to wield the axe, as Xisco Munoz departed before being replaced by Claudio Ranieri. Jason Pettigrove looks at why the position could prove to be a poisoned chalice for the beloved Italian.

Whilst taking seven points from your opening seven games in the Premier League isn’t the best start, neither is it appallingly bad for a team just coming back up from the Championship.

However, that clearly wasn’t good enough for Watford owner, Gino Pozzo, whose trigger finger was at work again over the weekend when he fired yet another manager.

On this occasion, it was Xisco Munoz. Only in the hot-seat for 10 months, Xisco got the Hornets back to the promised land, but hasn’t impressed the owner in the handful of games Watford have played in 2021/22.

Claudio Ranieri has quickly been installed in his stead, and handed a two-year contract.

The amiable Italian will always be fondly remembered for taking Leicester City to the most improbable of Premier League titles back in 2016.

Though it must be said that the Foxes owner at the time, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was sadly killed in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium in 2018, was the polar opposite to how Pozzo conducts himself.

There’ll be no dilly dinging or dilly donging at Vicarage Road if the owner has anything to do with it, with Ranieri needing to hit the ground running in results terms and ensure that the level is maintained.

Since Pozzo took sole control of the club in 2014, he’s gone through nine managers in those seven years.

Slaviša Jokanović, Quique Sánchez Flores (in two separate stints), Walter Mazzarri, Marco Silva, Javi Gracia, Hayden Mullins (in two caretaker stints), Nigel Pearson, Vladimir Ivić and Xisco have all been dispensed with, without a second thought.

Some did worse than others, admittedly, but Pozzo’s proclivity for the knee-jerk reaction is worrying.

Watford are currently in 15th place but are just three points behind 10th placed Aston Villa.

However, they’ve got to play Liverpool, Leicester, Arsenal, Man City, Man United and Chelsea in six of their next eight games.

If the ‘Tinkerman’ hasn’t been able to work his magic on the training ground during the international break, that run of fixtures is just about the hardest he could face in his opening few weeks.

This poisoned chalice of a job could well have itself another casualty by early December if Ranieri hasn’t picked up enough points to pacify an owner that is largely to blame for why Watford find themselves as a yo-yo club at present with little to no direction over a sustained period.

BetVictor have Ranieri to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked at odds of 8/1, and given Pozzo’s short-termist approach, don’t bet against it happening.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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