Football News

Watford confirm shock Nigel Pearson sacking in 49-word statement

By Chris Smith

Published: 20:44, 19 July 2020

Nigel Pearson has been sacked as Watford manager following a 3-1 defeat away to West Ham United at the weekend. 

Having replaced Quique Sanchez Flores early in December, the 56-year-old initially oversaw an upturn in form at Vicarage Road, with the Hornets losing just one of his first nine games in charge across all competitions.

Pearson sacked as Watford manager: Five key things to know…

  • Pearson lost just one of his first nine games in charge after being appointed Watford manager in December.
  • He also oversaw a famous 3-0 win over Liverpool just before the suspension of play.
  • But since returning from lockdown, Watford have taken just seven points from eight games.
  • With the Hornets just three points above Aston Villa and Bournemouth with two games to go, Pearson has been relieved of his duties.
  • Hayden Mullins will once again take up a caretaker role, with Graham Stack as his assistant.

Pearson also masterminded a memorable 3-0 win over newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool just before the temporary suspension of play due to the coronavirus pandemic, and looked to be moving Watford quickly away from relegation trouble.

However, since the resumption of play, Watford have taken just seven points from eight games — a run which has seen them concede 14 goals and score just seven times — and with only two matches remaining, find themselves a mere three points clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa.

The defeat to West Ham — which saw Watford trailing 3-0 after just 36 minutes — proved to be the final straw for Pearson.

“Watford FC confirms that Nigel Pearson has left the club with immediate effect,” read a short statement on Watford’s official website.

“Hayden Mullins, with Graham Stack as his assistant, will take up the position of Interim Head Coach for the Hornets’ final two Premier League fixtures of the 2019/20 season.

“There will be no further club comment.”

Watford face huge tests against Manchester City and Arsenal in their final two games as they seek to hold onto their Premier League status.

List of Watford managers in the Pozzo era:

  • Sean Dyche (July 2011 – July 2012)
  • Gianfranco Zola (July 2012 – December 2013)
  • Giuseppe Sannino (December 2013 – August 2014)
  • Oscar Garcia (September 2014 – September 2014)
  • Billy McKinlay (September 2014 – October 2014)
  • Slavisa Jokanovic (October 2014 – June 2015)
  • Quique Sanchez Flores (June 2015 – May 2016)
  • Walter Mazzarri (June 2016 – May 2017)
  • Marco Silva (May 2017 – January 2018)
  • Javi Gracia (January 2018 – September 2019)
  • Quique Sanchez Flores (September 2019 – December 2019)
  • Hayden Mullins, caretaker (December 2019 – December 2019)
  • Nigel Pearson (December 2019 – July 2020)
  • Hayden Mullins, caretaker (July 2020 – present)
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