Mark Hughes

Watford fires Silva, blames Everton

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Watford has fired Marco Silva as manager, and it’s blaming Everton.

The Hornets are 1W-2D-8L in their last 11 Premier League matches after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Leicester City, and have won just three in the league since the Toffees sacked Ronald Koeman on Oct. 23.

[ MORE: Making sense of Silva situation ]

Watford sat fifth in the table at that point, and has dropped to 10th. That’s five points clear of the drop zone and eight points back of eighth.

Silva was chased hard by Everton, and Watford rejected all advances for the Portuguese boss. The Toffees ended up hiring Sam Allardyce in a move which has also gone south.

Here’s the guts of Watford’s released statement:

The Club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.

The catalyst for this decision is that unwarranted approach, something which the Board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised.

[ REPORT: Stoke to add hometown Harrison from NYCFC ]

Watford will appoint its ninth manager since the start of the 2012-13 season. It faces Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday before a midweek league visit to fellow relegation struggler Stoke City on Jan. 31.

Silva is the eighth manager fired since the beginning of the Premier League season, joining Frank De Boer, Craig Shakespeare, Ronald Koeman, Slaven Bilic, Tony Pulis, Paul Clement, and Mark Hughes.

Man United 3-0 Stoke City: Clinical Red Devils drops Potters

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  • Antonio Valencia scored on return from injury
  • David De Gea made an important save before halftime
  • United collected three goals on nine shots on target

Manchester United was clinical as they dispatched Stoke City with ease at Old Trafford 3-0 on Monday. Antonio Valencia started things less than 10 minutes in, while Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku were the men to see the scoreline out.

The Red Devils opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Valencia received the ball at the top of the box on a square pass from Paul Pogba, and he cut into the box and to his left to create space, and when the incoming defender over-committed, he belted a curler inside the far post, leaving Jack Butland with no chance. The goal is Valencia’s first since December 2nd, coming on his return to action from a hamstring injury suffered against West Brom in mid-December.

[ MORE: What to do with the emaciated Arsenal squad ]

Xherdan Shaqiri tried an audacious overhead effort minutes later hoping to get Stoke City back on level terms, but his shot was weak and straight at David de Gea from a tight angle. Steven Ireland came inches from tying things back up on 21 minutes, but as he unleashed his effort from the penalty spot with space to shoot, he slipped on the wet surface and yanked it wide left.

After Ireland’s miss, Stoke became the more attacking team, and it put Manchester United on its heels for a period of time as they were sloppy in possession. They failed to capitalize, and by the 35-minute mark, the hosts were back on top, and profited.

In the 38th minute, Romelu Lukaku used his strength on the right edge to get the ball centrally for Pogba, who cut left for Anthony Martial. The 22-year-old hit the ball first-time, and ripped it into the top corner just past the fingertips of a diving Butland.

On the stroke of halftime Shaqiri forced an important save from David de Gea down to his left off a volley, but the Spaniard was there to keep the two-goal lead intact. In the second half, United had a few half-chances early on. Martial nearly had a second just before the hour mark, but Butland smothered the chance on the doorstep. Juan Mata pulled the trigger two minutes later and fired just wide of the far post, and then again rifled over soon after.

Lukaku put the game away with 18 minutes to go as he received the ball from Martial with his back to goal and turned past two defenders and slid the ball into the bottom corner for a 3-0 lead. The win puts Manchester United clear into second place, three points above Liverpool and twelve behind Manchester City, who lost for the first time this season last time out. Stoke City, meanwhile, will hand the reigns to Paul Lambert who was in attendance for today’s game, taking over for the fired Mark Hughes.

Geoff Cameron out injured for Stoke City

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Managerless Stoke City will be without U.S. men’s national team star Geoff Cameron as they aim to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Cameron, 32, came off in the 52nd minute of Stoke’s 2-1 defeat at fourth-tier Coventry City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, with the Massachusetts native injuring his hamstring in Mark Hughes‘ final game in charge before he was fired after five years at the helm at the bet365 Stadium.

Pro Soccer Talk understands Cameron will be out for 10-12 days and will miss Stoke’s trip to Manchester United on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Cameron played the full 90 minutes in five PL games in 15 days over the festive period and the hamstring injury is not though to be too serious.

Stoke hope that Cameron responds well to treatment and will be fit for the crucial home clash against Huddersfield Town on Jan. 20.

The USMNT defender was previously out for almost two months after suffering a concussion in training in October and he also spent time out with a hamstring injury in September after getting injured in Stoke’s 2-2 draw against Man United.

With Stoke searching for a new boss, they will want the versatile Cameron back as soon as possible with the Potters in the bottom three with 16 games of the PL season to go and fighting for their lives.

Follow Live: 3 Premier League teams in FA Cup action

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The FA Cup 3rd Round takes flight for another day, with already one Premier League team out of action in this round.

Stoke City was embarrassingly eliminated by League Two side Coventry City yesterday, sealing the fate of now ex-manager Mark Hughes. Now it’s up to West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal to get the job done all against lower league opponents.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

First, West Ham travels to the west coast to take on League One side Shrewsbury Town, with a 9:00 a.m. ET kickoff. Since suffering defeat in three of his first four matches in charge, David Moyes has managed to turn the Hammers around, losing just once in league play since December 3rd, although they did fall in their last Cup outing, a 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the EFL Cup quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Shrewsbury is pushing for promotion to the Championship, currently in second place in the League One table and making it all the way to late October before suffering its first loss of the league season.

Then, Tottenham hosts fellow London club AFC Wimbledon at 10:00 a.m. ET, who also currently resides in League One. Unlike Shrewsbury, AFC Wimbledon is struggling mightily in league play and has been sucked into a relegation battle, currently in 21st and just a point above the drop.

Finally, Arsenal gets its visit to Nottingham Forest under way at 11:00 a.m. ET, traveling to the Midlands for the trip to City Ground. Forest sits 14th in the Championship table, although they have conceded 42 goals this league season, two off the most in the league. Interestingly, Forest picked up its first draw of the season last time out in league play, a 0-0 result against Leeds that marked the first time all year they finished level with an opponent. They have won just one game since November 21st. Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger begins his three-match touchline ban today for Arsenal after disparaging comments made about Premier League refereeing.

Official: Mark Hughes out as Stoke manager

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Stoke City have fired manager Mark Hughes after four and a half years in the job.

[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup | Thursday | Wednesday ]

Hughes’ fate as Stoke City manager was sealed by the Potters’ shocking 2-1 defeat to League Two side Coventry City in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, which followed a poor run of Premier League results — seven losses in their last 10 games — and having dropped into the relegation zone, currently 18th place with 20 points after 22 games.

[ MORE: FA Cup roundup — Man City down Burnley; Chelsea draw Norwich ]

“We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the Club over the last four and a half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth places finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future,” read the club statement.

Stoke will begin their search for a new manager immediately and expect “to appoint a new manager as soon as possible.”