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Watford – next manager

Frank Monkhouse | 22 May 2017

Walter Mazzarri off on Sunday

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri caught football fans off-guard in midweek when announcing that he would step-down as manager of the club following Sunday’s final match of the season, against Manchester City.

The 55-year-old Italian hasn’t exactly set the heather alight during his time at Vicarage Road, but was able to keep them in the division, which would’ve been their main aim back in the summer. That goal was achieved with a bit to spare, and they go into the final game of the campaign six above Hull City and the drop.

Walter Mazzarri has gone to the head of the next Premier League manager to go betting following Watford's winless start to the season.

Did he jump, or was he pushed?

So, has the gaffer had enough, throwing up his hands and admitting he can take the London club no further in the English top-fight next season? Or was he, instead, pushed out by a board who allowed the chance to resign, before he was sacked?

We’ll never know, but it is a strange situation at Vicarage Road, and they now go in search of yet another new manager, who will come in and have his own ideas, so will require another period of upheaval and uncertainty. So, who do those at the top have in mind?

Who’s on the shortlist?

Coral traders have wasted no time in sticking up their views on who will be in the hot-seat come the kick-off next season and, as well as the usual suspects, a few surprises have made the list. Leonid Slutsky goes as the most-likely candidate, according to the early prices, and he’s 2/1 at present.

The 46-year-old Russian has enjoyed spells in charge of CSKA Moscow and the Russian national team. He would arrive in England with a fantastic CV, boasting three Russian Premier League titles, two Russian Cups and a pair of Russian Super Cups. Fans may take a bit of convincing, but the opening offer would suggest he has his foot in the door already.

It was always going to be a tough season for Ranieri and Leicester.

Ranieri to Watford’s rescue?

I’m sure the former Leicester manager, who won the Premier League with The Foxes last season, before being ungratefully dumped, with his side still in the Champions League, will be connected to just about every vacant football job over the course of the summer. His talents don’t need explaining, if the Watford board could get him, I’m sure they would, as he’s capable of hitting the ground running. Would he go to another English side? We think so, making him 9/4 second favourite.

Zola worth another crack?

Would Watford take another chance on Gianfranco Zola turning around their fortunes? The former Chelsea scorer was in charge back in 2012, but without too much success. He did have a solid first season when the club were down in the Championship, but failed to earn promotion, and nothing went right for him in year two. Available, but wouldn’t be a forward-thinking appointment by the owners. Coral punters who fancy a return can get 20/1 on the comeback.

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