Claudio Ranieri: Watford sack head coach after just three months in charge amid relegation battle

Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Watford after just three months in charge, with the club lying 19th in the Premier League.

Ranieri has failed to turn around the team’s fortunes since being appointed in October, with the Hornets dropping into the Premier League relegation

zone for the first time this season after Friday’s 3-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Norwich.

Asked about his future after the loss to the Canaries, the former Leicester and Chelsea manager said: “I don’t go away. I want to continue because I am a fighter. I’ve never given up in my career.”

Under Ranieri, Watford have lost seven of their eight league matches. Their last victory was the 4-1 defeat of Manchester United in November at Vicarage Road.

Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher:

“I fear for him. In everyone’s eyes, Norwich are the whipping boys. We love Claudio Ranieri in the Premier League. He’s been a massive character. I just think it might be difficult for him to be in charge for the next game, I really do.

“I certainly think they’ve got the best individuals in attack than the other teams at the bottom. But ultimately that won’t keep you up on its own. Ranieri knows that, he’s an experienced manager, it’s just whether he gets the chance to pick another team.

“There’s no doubt those discussions will be happening tonight at boardroom level with this club because that’s what they notoriously do. Claudio got the job on the back of the way this club works.

“They also face around five shots per game more than under their previous manager.”

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

“This is bad. Norwich are the team everyone thinks they are going to beat. Watford fans emptied the stadium at 3-0. The ones that were left booed. That is a bad, bad result on a Friday Night Football, live on television.

“What Jamie says about his fears for Claudio Ranieri is compounded by the fact we’ve got a two-week break. Ordinarily clubs wait for international breaks, for breaks, and they always plan for who their next manager is going to be.

“This club has a history of acting and you saw the look on the owner’s face during the game. I think Claudio will have a different type of relationship with the family.

“I think he’ll call them up and ask them ‘what are you going to do with me?’. I never want to see a manager sacked. I know sometimes you have to do it, but I hope they continue with him.”

What’s next?
Watford travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley on Saturday, February 5 at 6pm in their re-arranged fixture.

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Author: Arnold Watts