Managers do not last long now in the club once owned by long-time supporter Elton John. Quique Flores succeeds Slavisa Jokanovic who was Watford’s fourth team manager of last season when he was contracted in October last year.
Talks to extend his contract into the Premier League season broke down over his salary demands. Hence Watford’s outreach to 50-year-old Quique Flores.
This will be his first experience in England though not his first job outside of Spain. He coached Benfica before guiding Atletico de Madrid to the Europa League title against Fulham in Hamburg in 2010 and going on to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
New to Watford will be coaching assistants Alberto Diaz and Antonio Carlavilla while Dean Austin, who returned to Watford under Jokanovic in January, remains on the backroom team to ensure continuity and some stability.
Former Chelsea defender Jokanovic tweeted a message of appreciation to Watford, suggesting the parting of the ways was on mutually-agreed terms.
He wrote: “Thank you to Watford FC fans, players and staff for their support during this season. I’m proud to have had the chance to help put this club back where they truly deserve to be. I wish you all the best in the future.”
Watford earned promotion by finishing runners-up to Premier newcomers Bournemouth in the second division. With limited resources it would be a remarkable achievement if Flores could keep them in the Premier League.
The Hornets have been considered third in the priorities of their owner, Italian businessman Gino Pozzo, behind Udinese and Spanish side Granada.
Hence the limits of their transfer potential has been illustrated with the free-transfer signings of Austrian defender Sebastian Prodl from Werder Bremen and Lithuanian goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis from Steaua Bucharest.
Arlauskis, who played for Lithuania this spring against England at Wembley in the Euro 2016s qualifiers, will compete for the first-team place with Brazilian Heurelho Gomes.
** Liverpool have placed the blame for their slippage this past season on manager Brendan Rodgers’s support team. Assistant manager Colin Pascoe and first-team coach Mike Marsh have not had their contracts renewed.