Watford coach, Xisco Munoz becomes the first manager to be sacked in the Premier League this season

Watford have sacked head coach Xisco Munoz

Watford have sacked head coach Xisco Munoz following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Leeds United.

The 41-year-old only replaced Vladimir Ivic in the Vicarage Road dugout 10 months ago and guided the Hornets to promotion from the Championship last season.

Watford beat Aston Villa 3-2 in their first game back in the top flight, but they have since taken just four points from a possible 18 and are 14th in the table.

Xisco becomes the first Premier League managerial sacking of the season, with Watford confirming the news on their official website on Sunday.

“The board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving,” the club statement read.

“The Hornets will always be grateful to Xisco for the part he played in securing last season’s promotion and wish him well for his future career in football.

“No further club comment will be available until the imminent announcement of a new head coach.”

Diego Llorente’s first-half strike proved the difference in Saturday’s clash between Leeds and Watford at Elland Road, leaving the Hornets four points above the relegation zone.

Xisco departs with a 58 per cent win rate across his 36 games in charge in all competitions.

That includes a return of 18 wins and only five defeats from 26 games in the Championship last season en route to finishing second behind Norwich City.

However, the Spaniard’s win rate of 69 per cent in the league last term dropped to 29 per cent in the Premier League this season, Watford triumphing in two of their first seven games.

Watford have the fifth-lowest average possession figures in the Premier League in 2021-22 (43.29), while only Tottenham have a lower expected goals (xG) return than the Hornets’ 5.76.

The Hertfordshire side, who face Liverpool in their next match on October 16, have now hired and fired five different permanent head coaches since Marco Silva’s departure in January 2018.

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