Next Watford manager - Odds as ex Chelsea, Leeds and Fulham bosses named as Valerien Ismael replacements

Watford were reported to be 'on the verge' of sacking Valerien Ismael earlier this week after defeat to Huddersfield Town.
Scott Parker has been linked with the Watford job.Scott Parker has been linked with the Watford job.
Scott Parker has been linked with the Watford job.

A string of familiar faces have emerged as potential candidates to succeed Valerien Ismael as Watford manager, after the club parted ways with the Frenchman following a poor run of form - home defeat to Coventry City proved the final blow for the 48-year-old.

Watford now sit 14th in the Championship and are in danger of being plunged into a relegation battle, rather than the promotion push first hoped for this term. The club has won just two league matches since the start of 2024.

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Former Hornets star Tom Cleverley has been named as interim coach as Watford look to appoint their 11th manager since 2020 in due course. Chris Wilder, Slaven Bilic, Rob Edwards, Roy Hodgson, Claudio Ranieri, Xisco Munoz, Vladimir Ivic, Hayden Mullins and Nigel Pearson have all taken the reigns in that period.

A statement from Watford read: "Tom Cleverley will assume the position of Interim Head Coach at Vicarage Road. This follows Watford FC terminating the contract of Valérien Ismaël after today's home defeat to Coventry City.

"The Hornets thank Valérien and his staff for their dedication and commitment, however the club's Board considers it an appropriate time to make a change in order to improve results."

Watford next play Birmingham City on Saturday before welcoming high-flying Leeds United to Vicarage Road before the end of the month. The team has nine fixtures left to play in the Championship this season.

Scott Parker has been named as a frontrunner if Ismael is sacked.Scott Parker has been named as a frontrunner if Ismael is sacked.
Scott Parker has been named as a frontrunner if Ismael is sacked.
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Who Watford could look at to replace Ismael permanently remains somewhat of a guessing game but BonusCodeBets has drawn up an early list of candidates. The frontrunner is former Fulham and Bournemouth manager Scott Parker, who has been out of work since leaving Club Brugge in 2023 and is believed to have recently snubbed the Aberdeen job. Parker helped both the Cottagers and the Cherries into the Premier League.

Recently departed Sheffield United coach Paul Heckinbottom is another name touted by bookies, alongside former Cardiff City man Sabri Lamouchi. Cleverley could also be handed the role permanently if he impresses in his caretaker stint, with that outcome seemingly just as likely as the appointment of former Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper and ex Sunderland man Mick Beale.

Elsewhere, former Watford star Troy Deeney, who has admitted he 'couldn't say no' to his former club while Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Manchester United talisman Wayne Rooney are considered outsider options.

Next Watford manager odds -

  • 2/1 Scott Parker
  • 4/1 Paul Heckingbottom
  • 5/1 Sabri Lamouchi
  • 6/1 Tom Cleverley
  • 8/1 Mick Beale
  • 8/1 Steve Cooper
  • 8/1 Bruno Lage
  • 8/1 Chris Hughton
  • 10/1 Javi Gracia
  • 10/1 Jesse Marsch
  • 12/1 Wayne Rooney
  • 12/1 Steven Gerrard
  • 12/1 Mark Fotheringham
  • 12/1 Paul Ince
  • 12/1 Troy Deeney
  • 12/1 Alex Neil
  • 16/1 Frank Lampard