The English Premier League has a pantomime villain for every club to boo when they arrive at their stadium. On Saturday, Watford will arrive at Everton’s Goodison Park with their own villain in the home dugout in the shape of Everton manager, Marco Silva. The Hornets owner and Chairman, Gino Pozzo had prized the fact he had not been forced to sack a coach mid-season during his time as the owner of Watford as they moved from the fourth-tier of English football to the Premier League.
Watford FC was forced to change this stance in January 2018 when Marco Silva’s time in charge of the club came to an end after just eight months after taking charge at Vicarage Road. Pozzo had begun the season in impressive fashion but an approach from Everton had affected The Hornets negatively and led to a serious downturn in results and a problem with the relationship between the coach and members of the board.
Gino Pozzo has been one of the leading figures in European soccer after taking control of the soccer dynasty of the Pozzo family after serving a long apprenticeship. Pozzo was undoubtedly riled by the interest in Silva in 2017 and the bad blood between the two clubs remains in place as the feeling that an entire season was lost because of the Toffees interest only a few months after the coach had left Hull City following their relegation. Pozzo has always stated the Vicarage Road club have a long-term strategy that does not see the head coach as the most vital cog in the wheel and includes a range of impressive parts from the scouting operation to the youth coaching setup.
Watford FC fans have yet to forgive Silva for his apparent betrayal but have far worse problems to consider. After a fine start to his reign as coach, Javi Garcia has found the going tough at the end f the last season and in the 3-0 loss to Graham Potter’s Brighton. If Pozzo is to continue to refuse to fire coaches during the season, Garcia needs a turnaround in results and the way his team is playing. The Premier League is the golden ticket for Gino Pozzo, who relocated his family from Barcelona to take day-to-day charge of the Hornets and remains adamant the club is his number one priority above the Serie A side, Udinese.
Returning to form in the English Premier League is the first priority of Watford and the club must get back to winning ways sooner rather than later. The squad is talented and has managed to be held together despite interest in some of the players such as Doucoure who has been the focus of much attention for the last three transfer windows. In many ways, Watford changed their traditional tactics by bringing in striker Danny Wellbeck following his release by Arsenal and this hints at the end of the successful years of Troy Deeney.
Watford needs to return to their identity as one of the leading developers of young players in the Premier League and decide if the short-term approach to the head coach position requires a change in the coming months. A loss to Everton on Saturday will lead to the pressure mounting on Pozzo and Garcia despite the English Premier League season only being two games old.