Date: 19th December 2013 at 5:42am
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Journalism student Billy Hawkins reflects on a dramatic week at the Vic’ & a change of head coach

ON Monday morning, whilst thinking about what to write, the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas seemed the most relevant to the then-current Watford situation; a manager under pressure following a less than convincing season. And, who doesn`t loathe an unjust sacking? Yet, as I returned from work to discover and read Gianfranco Zola`s open resignation letter, the subject matter for this column defined itself very clearly.

The biggest thing to take out of Zola`s resignation, and his respectful way of doing it, is just how humble the man is, even in the process of a monumental career change. He holds no ill will towards either players or fans – even those who were less than supportive during the drop in form – and, as he admitted after the Sheffield Wednesday loss, he holds full responsibility for the team’s change in fortunes.

It hasn`t taken for the club to move on to the next man – Giuseppe Sannino – afterall, football is a business that requires constant management.

It is no surprise that a defensive coach seems to be the favourite for the job, considering the biggest failure of Zola`s reign was a perpetual failure to defend.

Although a mixture of injuries and bad luck haunted Zola throughout last and this season, the basis of any successful side – especially one coached by an Italian – is the defence; Helenio Herrera invented Catenaccio at his Grande Inter side in the 60`s, and Arrigo Sacchi perfected the defensively sound, pressing based zonal marking system which won him two consecutive European cups.

Whilst Sannino has no such experience – having only bad experiences at the top level in Italy – his Serie B reputation is respectable.

Surely experience in the second division – the same level of football as Watford play – is more important than any other experience a manager may have.

The disenfranchised are usually inclined to stay and repeat the same things over and over again; Zola had no such inclination.

Seeing that he survived much longer than many thought, there was a good chance that the Pozzo`s were determined to see him through to the end. Choosing to resign, for the good of the club, shows a man has more integrity than the majority of humankind.

A man who will be missed for the all the highs and lows of last season; for the masterclass at Brighton, for the loss to Leeds, for the quality of the football and for the Play-OIff Final loss.

Everything amounts to a season that will live long in the memory.

Gianfranco, you will be sorely missed by all at Vicarage Road.


One Reply to “Away From Home: Sannino a good fit”

  • Yes he will be missed, but don’t forget how poor it has been of late and if the reports in the Watford Observer are correct, then he really did lose control and discipline of the team, don’t think this new ne is to be messed with, let’s move on and hope to rekindle aspects of last season.

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