Watford release unusual 'club statement' about manager Ismael

Watford release a ‘club statement’ about manager Valerien Ismael after sluggish start to the Championship season… but it’s not what everyone expects!

  • Watford have started the Championship season in disappointing fashion  
  • So fans expected only one thing when a ‘club statement’ on Ismael came out  
  • CLICK HERE to listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ 

When Watford tweeted out a ‘club statement’ concerning manager Valerien Ismael, fans thought they knew exactly what was coming.

With the Hornets a lowly 20th in the Championship table and a long-established reputation for being trigger-happy with bosses, most assumed Ismael had been axed.

But the important update was actually that the Frenchman had been rewarded with a contract extension, leaving plenty red-faced for jumping to conclusions.

Watford put out the statement at 11.45am on Tuesday morning, saying they were ‘pleased to confirm’ that Ismael, 48, had extended his existing contract along broadly the same terms.

‘The Hornets have moved to lock in the services of the former France youth international for a longer period of time.’

Watford released a ‘club statement’ about their manager Valerien Ismael on Tuesday morning

Most supporters feared the worst for the head coach when they saw this announcement

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It featured a quote from sporting director Cristiano Giaretta that said: ‘The owner, the board and all of the senior management team have enjoyed getting to know and understanding Valerien and his methods.

‘It’s true we haven’t achieved the points we would like yet, but it’s the work and the progress we can see that gives us great confidence.

‘It’s like others have said this season; you can feel and sense that we are changing here and there is a positive atmosphere everywhere.

‘We have told the first-team players and staff who have reacted positively, so now we all must focus on our work – the match at Sunderland tomorrow night.’

Former Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion coach Ismael only arrived at Vicarage Road at the beginning of the summer.

But given Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, had got through 19 managers in 11 years, it certainly wasn’t too soon for Ismael to be shown the door.

‘I can’t be the only one who thought of something different to a contract extension,’ one fan replied to Watford’s post on X.

‘A club statement where no one has been sacked. GET INNNNNNNN,’ wrote another.

Fans were stunned when the statement about Ismael concerned a contract extension

Watford later released another posts showing Ismael celebrating his new deal there

‘Clearly the club has a sense of humour announcing it like that,’ said another post.

A good few took a different perspective, however. ‘This is going to look even worse when we sack him in December,’ wrote one. 

Watford are just a point above the Championship relegation zone nine games into the season, having won only twice so far.

They started with a 4-0 thrashing of Queens Park Rangers but have since suffered losses to Stoke City, Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United and Middlesbrough.

They also crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Stevenage at the first round stage.

Ismael’s side were beaten 3-2 at home by Boro on Saturday and travel to Sunderland on Wednesday.


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