Entering the first international break of the new Premier League campaign, supporters, pundits and clubs alike are provided the chance to take a momentary step back and evaluate the early start of their league seasons.
It is also usually the time the chopping block comes calling for any managers significantly underperforming, and this season has proved no different.
The unfortunate soul this time round; Watford boss Javi Gracia. Despite leading Watford to Wembley last season in the FA Cup final – albeit where they were turned over 6-0 by a rampant Manchester City side – the Spaniard found himself on thin ice after a woeful start to the new campaign. Three defeats in his opening four games – the only omission being his most recent, and underwhelming, 1-1 draw away with Newcastle was just too much for the Watford board.
It’s little surprise really, with the Hornets having developed something of a reputation for being quick to replace their managers. There is no sentiment towards the man at the helm at Vicarage Road, and Gracia’s exit was just another name in the list. Since Gianfranco Zola’s exit in December 2013, the Premier League club have seen nine men in charge.
Watford announced the departure of Gracia during the first half of the England-Bulgaria match, a seemingly intentional move perhaps to try and drown out any potential backlash. Even more remarkably, however, was that within 30 minutes they’d announced his replacement.
Ex-Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores – who it did seem was unfairly let go after a not unsuccessful previous spell at the club – has now assumed the top job from Gracia.