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Slaven Bilić becomes Watford’s 17th full-time manager since 2012

Salven Bilic Watford manager

Watford hired former West Ham and West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilić on Monday. The Croatian is the latest name in a wheel of consistent change at the position at Vicarage Road.

In fact, Bilić is the 17th permanent manager of the Hornets since 2012. That means managers at the club get, on average over the last decade, just over half a season to manage Watford. The list of names to manage the club over that span include Claudio Ranieri, who led the club for 14 games, or his successor Roy Hodgson. Watford allotted the former England boss just 18 games as Watford suffered relegation.

Slaven Bilić’s time in England yielded some great finishes and poor memories. The top of the pile is the 2015/16 Premier League campaign. With Dimitri Payet and new manager Bilić, West Ham finished 7th in the Premier League. That eventually qualified the side for the Europa League qualifying phases.

Another strong memory, particularly for Watford’s interests this season, is that Bilić led West Brom back to the Premier League in his first season at the helm. However, in his second season with The Baggies, a poor start to the campaign led to his sacking.

Most recently, Bilić managed Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan. He departed the club in January 2022 after a year with the side.

Slaven Bilić is Watford’s latest manager

Watford’s decision to hire Slaven Bilić as the manager is surprising from an outsider’s perspective. After relegation in the previous season, Watford’s start to the 2022/23 Championship season is not ideal, but not altogether terrible.

After 10 games, Watford occupies 10th in the table. However, that discrepancy between the Hornets and the top of the table is not as large as it seems. Watford has 14 points after going 3-5-2. That point total is just four points behind the team currently in third place, Reading, and six points off second-place Norwich.

The previous manager, Rob Edwards, had next to no time in charge. It shows the volatility of the manager role at Watford and how unsafe the position is. Therefore, Slaven Bilić likely has to hit the ground running at Watford. Otherwise, he risks his job.


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