Claudio Ranieri sacked as Watford manager after Norwich defeat plunges club into relegation zone

Manager of Watford Claudio Ranieri is interviewed after the Premier League match between Watford and Norwich City at Vicarage Road on January 21, 2022 in Watford, England.


Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as manager of Watford just three days after the Premier League club lost 3-0 at home to relegation rivals Norwich City.

Watford fell into the bottom three with the dismal defeat, which lifted Norwich out of the relegation zone on Friday evening.

The terrible nature of the loss as well as the result ultimately sealed Ranieri’s fate, while it is understood the decision to sack the 70-year-old was taken by the Watford hierarchy in a meeting on Saturday morning.

Watford do not play again until February 5, when they travel for their re-arranged fixture away to Burnley and it is understood that the club want to make the change quickly to give the new man as much time as possible to prepare for such a crucial fixture.

Manager of Watford Claudio Ranieri is interviewed after the Premier League match between Watford and Norwich City at Vicarage Road on January 21, 2022 in Watford, England.


Watford have suffered 11 defeats in 14 league games under Ranieri, having succeeded Xisco Muñoz. Watford were 15th in the table when Xisco was sacked with the Spaniard, who had earned promotion, deemed to be too inexperienced for top-flight management.

Only a couple of weeks ago senior Watford sources were insisting that the club still had full faith in Ranieri – despite only having won two fixtures – and that is why they had fully backed him in the transfer market.

However, that always came with the caveat that the situation could change if Watford dropped into the bottom three.

They delayed that with a late equaliser away to Newcastle United but the defeat to Norwich saw any remaining faith in Ranieri disappear, especially given how badly Watford played in that fixture.

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