Curious Dismissal

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar May 15, 2016 21:53

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Curious Dismissal

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (May 13th 2016)

Curious

Managing in the Premier League offers many things – job security isn’t one of them. Take Watford’s manager Quique Sánchez Flores. It was announced today that Watford and Sánchez Flores would part company at the end of the season. Speculation had been growing for weeks that Sánchez Flores’ job was under threat.

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Was there a more undeserved ‘sacking’ than this in the Premier League this season? Sánchez Flores achieved the pre-season tasks that were set for him and then some. Not only did he ensure safety – the first time in the club’s history early – they were never in real danger, but they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, eliminating holders Arsenal along the way.

After a meeting on Thursday between the club and Sánchez Flores to assess the season, the former Spain right-back confirmed that “the club and me, we don’t have the same point of view about the season, so we don’t have the necessary conditions to activate the clause to renew the contract. My contract finish at the end of June and then I will leave of Watford. This is the consequence”.

He retained the loyalty of his players – never losing the dressing room. Bizarrely, not only did Sánchez Flores Sánchez Flores not lose Watford’s dressing room, he won over that of opponents too.

‘Crazy’ and ‘Sick’

West Ham manager Slaven Bilić was more than angry at the sacking of Sánchez Flores. Yesterday he railed against the treatment that Premier League manager can be subjected to. Despite a poor second half of the season.

‘It’s crazy”, Bilić said. “I’m sorry for Quique, people are saying in that kind of a job that it’s quite common but it’s not right, it’s completely wrong. They’ve had a fantastic season”. He wasn’t wrong.

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“Yet they were never in danger and especially until January, February they were top eight, top 10”, Croatia’s former coach said at a press conference. “Add to that they play good football, and add to that in they were in the semi-final of the FA Cup, by beating Arsenal away”.

Bilić doesn’t hold back. “They had a great season, the whole place was buzzing”, he said. “It was a season to be proud of. It says it’s more important how you finish than how you start but it is nonsense for me. People say it’s common in Europe, it’s common in England, but it’s completely wrong, it’s sick”.

Targets

When he arrived at Vicarage Road Sánchez Flores detailed his philosophy and expectations and targets. “I expect it to be very hard”, he said. “We will be competing in a league where the level is very, very high. We will be competing against some amazing teams. We have to improve in two areas – first to create a competitive block to hide our defects. Second is to get the players to improve themselves until the moment where their confidence is high”.

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He believed that Watford had similar potential to a once small club in Spain, which has now joined the top tier of Spanish football. “The emotion passion and confidence of the players is good after promotion”, Sánchez Flores said at his first press conference. “The most important thing in the new season is to stay up but it’s also important to build something solid because the next year we will try to improve a little bit more step by step. There’s a club like this in Spain – Villarreal. A long time ago they were a small club but after 10, 15, 20 years they became one of the best clubs in Spain. They have played in the Champions League”.

I came here because I want to train in the Premier League. Now I need to adapt. The ball moves faster and you have to fight for it. In Spain, everybody follows the Premier League and they say it is the best-organised in the world.

Respect

Slaven Bilić is far from the only football to leap to Sánchez Flores’ defence. Crystal Palace’s winger Jason Puncheon was impressed with Sánchez Flores’ achievements and was stupefied that he was being put under such pressure.

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“It’s the Premier League you know”, he said knowingly. “I don’t think he deserves it. You know, he’s took a team from the start of the season to being in the mix like we was. They sort of slipped like us. They got to semi-final, you know, and I think they’ve had a fantastic season for the first season in the Premier League, you know, but this game is obviously money driven”.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar May 15, 2016 21:53