Watford have confirmed the appointment of Valerien Ismael as the club’s new head coach.
The 47-year-old replaces Chris Wilder, whose short-term contract came to an end following Watford’s final Championship game of the season.
On the appointment, Watford technical director Ben Manga said: “Being able to appoint a new coach so soon in May means we can prepare very well together for next season.
“To be able to welcome someone of Valerien’s experience to Watford is good news for our club. We are all looking forward to working with him.”
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A month ago, the Hornets announced Wilder would remain as manager until at least the end of the season, quashing speculation he was set to be sacked after just 36 days in charge.
Hornets’ hive of activity
Watford have already had more managers since the turn of the century (28 in 23 years and five months) than they did in the previous 100 years (27 since 1903)
It had been reported by The Athletic that the 55-year-old was going to be the latest managerial casualty at Vicarage Road, with Italian Francesco Farioli previously linked with the job.
Watford finished in 11th position, six points off the play-offs.
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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Stoke City
Wilder oversaw 11 games, winning three, drawing three and losing the other five, with their hopes of reaching the play-offs evaporating.
Watford have built a reputation as a hire-and-fire club in recent seasons, with Wilder being their fourth manager in under a year.
Roy Hodgson, Rob Edwards and Slaven Bilic have all been in charge within the past year, though none of those three lasted more than seven months.
Ismael replaces Chris Wilder at Vicarage Road
Wilder’s coaching staff Alan Knill, Matt Prestridge and Mike Allen have also left the club.
Ismael, who was born in France, has previously managed at Nurnberg and Wolfsburg in Germany before spells at Greek side Apollon Smyrnis and LASK, leading the Austrian side to a first appearance in the Champions League play-offs and a debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage, making it to the round of 16.
Ismael first moved to England to take up a management role in October 2020, guiding Barnsley to the Championship play-offs that season despite being in the relegation zone when he arrived.
Ismael was unable to replicate that success at West Brom during the 2021/22 campaign, and was sacked after just seven months in charge.
In March 2022, he was appointed as Besiktas boss, but a poor run of results in Turkey led to his dismissal last October.
Wilder was the 18th full-time appointment at Watford under the Pozzo family since July 2012 and Ismael becomes the 19th man in charge.
Source : Sky Sports