Watford are currently making a mockery of the age-old contention that a football club needs managerial stability in order to survive, with the Championship top-spot theirs but for three strikes-worth of goal difference.
First Giuseppe Sannino resigned due to a supposed fall-out with players and the club over his training methods, then Oscar Garcia’s ill-health caused him to step aside, passing on the baton to first-team coach Billy McKinley, only for the Scot to be hooked in favour of Slavisa Jokanovic.
Yet on the pitch the Vicarage Road side’s 11/4-rated promotion push has continued apace, with just one loss in their last nine games and there’s little reason the wheels should be expected to fall off now.
Indeed, but for a recently developed penchant for concessions during the fat lady’s warm-up (late equalisers were let slip against Blackburn and Brighton) they’d be four points clear at the top of the shop.
The reason that Watford’s dugout ejector seat won’t cost them promotion rests with the Pozzo family, the club’s owners, for whom the reported reasons behind Sannino’s departure are demonstrative of clear and single-minded way of working.
At the time of the Italian’s departure Frank Smith of the Watford Observer wrote to debunk rumours that player power had pushed the former hospital porter turned Serie A manager over the precipice.
Instead, Smith suggested that it was Sannino’s refusal to comply with certain ideas regarding fitness training that are in force and monitored across the family’s football empire, which also takes in Granada in Spain and Udinese in Italy.
Gianfranco Zola’s methods were understood to have caused a similar type of friction and, while his success during the 2012/13 campaign briefly caused the owners to stymie their misgivings, three wins in that campaign’s last ten games hardened their resolve.
As such the assumption is that former Serbian Super Liga and Thai Premier League winning manager Jokanovic has been informed of what is expected from the Hornets head coach role in no uncertain terms.
With Zola’s 2012/13 strikeforce of Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney back together at Vicarage Road, the Novi Sad native will not lack the firepower for a promotion push.
In fact if the increased fitness focus the Watford Observer contends is behind the Pozzo’s readiness to switch bosses enables them to stem the second-half points slippage (nine of their 12 league goals against have come after the interval) then it may even be that an upturn in performance from their talented squad is on the horizon.