Watford have sacked Marco Silva after a run of one win in five games — appearing to blame an approach for their coach from Everton for the dip in form that led to the decision.
The Hornets have won only one of their last 11 Premier League games, and while they remain in the top half of the table they are now five points above the relegation zone.
The downturn in form coincided with Everton’s approach for Silva as their preferred replacement for the sacked Ronald Koeman. Although Silva was refused permission to talk to the Toffees, Watford believe it had a lasting effect on their coach.
Everton’s approach was made on Nov. 14, and although Watford won their next two games to sit in eighth — three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur — the rot set in after that.
In announcing Silva’s departure, the club issued a statement which read: “Watford Football Club has parted company with Marco Silva. This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly.
“The Club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.
“The catalyst for this decision is that unwarranted approach, something which the Board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised.
“For the security and success of the football club, the Board believes it has to make a change. The Club will seek to make a swift appointment and there will be no further comment until that appointment has been made.”
Malaga coach Jose Gonzalez is reported to be the club’s No. 1 choice to replace Silva.