Watford fires Gracia after winless start

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Watford will change managers for the first time in a year and a half, which is ages for the Premier League club, and it’s bringing back a familiar face

The club fired Javi Gracia and his entire staff on Saturday, bringing Quique Sanchez Flores back into the fold.

Flores managed the Hornets from 2015-16, and has since led Espanyol and Shanghai Shenhua.

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Watford gained just one point from its first four matches, losing to presumed top half rivals West Ham and Everton in addition to a draw at Newcastle and blow out home loss against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury said: “Javi has represented Watford with great dignity and will always be deserving of our fullest respect for his achievements.”

The Pozzo family has been quick to pull the trigger on managers, and Gracia’s 51-match tenure makes him the longest-tenured boss in eight hires since Gianfranco Zola.

The timing isn’t great for a replacement, as Watford’s next two matches are home to Arsenal and away to Man City. A cup match then arrives before a tricky visit to Wolves.

Gracia finishes with an 18W-11D-22L record. He led Watford to the FA Cup Final last season, where they were blown out by Man City.