2nd Best Manager?

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by wfc4ever, Mar 26, 2024.

  1. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever Administrator Staff Member

  2. leighton buzzard horn

    leighton buzzard horn Squad Player

    Depends on the time. What Betty did was incredible, same for Ray Lew but for entirely different reasons.

    I really enjoyed the Jokanovic season as well, he had some great players at his disposal but he seemed to bring it all together perfectly.
  3. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

  4. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    The second coming of QSF....

    Nah he was crud. Toss up between Lewington for getting the most out of what was a very young squad, and Gracia for when he took over from Slithers and got us to Cup Final and our highest ever Prem finish. We won't talk about what happened after that.
    wfc4ever likes this.
  5. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    I think for me looking back the most formative season for me supporting this club in many ways was the Boothroyd promotion season. Ultimately it all imploded on itself but it was a really exciting 18 months or so.
  6. R4E

    R4E Reservist

    GT was the best and second best manager we ever had
  7. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    We were also blessed with hardly any injuries, Marlon King in the best vein of form of his career alongside Matthew Spring and D. Henderson who were banging them in for fun. I went to the 4-1 destruction of Sheff Utd at their place. One of the best away performances I had ever seen to that point. Absolutely destroyed them. We could never quite catch them to go up automatically, but then again we would never have had the Final and wiping the floor with dirty Leeds.
    UEA_Hornet, Otter and wfc4ever like this.
  8. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    Ken Furphy for me, got us into the 2nd tier and to an FA Cup semi-final both for the first time ever
  9. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    I'll go for Lewington. Dark days financially but still got us to a cup semi final
  10. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever Administrator Staff Member

    2 infact.

    Agree on Boothroyd too and that wonderful season.
  11. Since63

    Since63 Squad Player

    Always Ken Furphy for me. "Won't somebody wait for me...."
    Took us up to level 2 for the first time and then kept us up and got us to a cup semi for the first time all on a shoe-string budget with little money to spend on players.
  12. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Lewington was shyte. Can't believe people are rating him as our 2nd best manager ever. He played terrible football and got us on a couple of cup runs, but then nearly got us relegated. He was awful and rigid.

    Difficult to judge any of the Pozzo managers as the circumstances don't really allow any of them to express themselves.

    We had a great run of managers pre-pozzo who went on to be hugely successful elsewhere - Dyche, Malky, Mr Integrity. We really had a great knack for picking up and coming managers, giving them a break seeing them push on. For our club at our level, that's how it should be.
    Jumbolina, UEA_Hornet, Otter and 2 others like this.
  13. Robert Peel

    Robert Peel Squad Player

    Jokanovic or Gracia for me.

    The Boothroyd season was great, but the brains behind it was Keith Burkinshaw who was his assistant. The moment he left the season after, the wheels came off and Boothroyd achieved nothing anywhere after that.
  14. Oscar calling

    Oscar calling Squad Player

    Ken Furphy
    Kesgravehorn likes this.
  15. elliott_honour

    elliott_honour Battle Hardened Centre Forward

    It was exciting under Zola.
    Heidar, Bubble and wfc4ever like this.
  16. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth First Team Captain

    It's a tough question because we have had many managers who have excelled for a season and then either left or crashed and burned.
    That Boothroyd season was utterly brilliant and so unexpected. Young coming of age (pun intended) plus a few really astute signings but let's not forget he also lost Helguson who almost single-handedly kept us up the previous season. We were very much relegation favourites and were dreadful in that first game vs PNE. Maybe it would have been different without the injury to King but he really seemed to lose the plot from then on.
    QSF v1/Gracia/Joka/ Malky / Dyche all did great jobs for a short period. Though he pre-dates me watching Watford, I think Furphy sounds like he would deserve the #2 title. He broke new ground on limited funds, and the years after he left showed what an achievement it had been, as we dropped back down 2 divisions.
  17. leighton buzzard horn

    leighton buzzard horn Squad Player

    True, some excellent entertainment under Zola. Great fun.
  18. iamofwfc

    iamofwfc Squad Player

    One of the most underrated managers was Glen Roeder, three exciting season, he had no budget, a chairman/owner that was not really bothered about the club, what he did spend he spent well, apart from moralee, I think, bought some great players for his budget and had so sell are decent players, he not only kept us up, the following season we almost made the play offs, and if it was not for him would the club had been in a worse position and would Elton and Gt may not have returned, the gates were also dreadful, think we only just got above 10000 against Luton. Met him a few times and was a top bloke RIP
    Vic likes this.
  19. BeersThen

    BeersThen Reservist

    Did his best to clear out the bad un's like Coton and Kevin Richardson. And had Barnes sold out under his feet even before he got there. Dead unlucky.
    Keighley likes this.
  20. Keighley

    Keighley First Team

    Oscar Garcia.
  21. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    That’s very harsh. He took over when the club was at its lowest ebb after the Vialli and ITV Digital fiascos, then had no financial support throughout his tenure. So to keep us in the Championship and get to two Cup semifinals was excellent. And I will always maintain that he would have kept us up in 2005.
    Oscar calling and iamofwfc like this.
  22. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    He wooden of
    Keighley likes this.
  23. a19tgg

    a19tgg First Team

    I always find takes like this puzzling and somewhat disingenuous to the managers in question (like Pearson being responsible for winning the Premier League) Burkinshaw’s career peaked at Spurs about 25 years before, and he achieved nothing in management before or after that, other than regular sackings for doing very poorly. I find it hard to believe he’d suddenly be the brains behind the dramatic resurgence of a bang average lower/midtable championship side, overpowering the views of what was a very enthusiastic and unorthodox young manager at the time.

    Aidy just hit on a formula that worked for bit, aided by having some very decent players coming together at the same time, but his methods were very quickly sussed out, especially when we lost Adam Johnson the season after being relegated.
    folkestone orn and UEA_Hornet like this.
  24. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    It's one of those things which were said often enough that they became accepted fact. Aidy was very good for a while and then he wasn't. I don't think it's any deeper than that. Same as the 'it was when Giampaolo Pozzo stepped back that things went awry for WFC.' It wasn't. We were run a certain way, which worked for a while, until it didn't and when it didn't we didn't have a plan B. FML.
    a19tgg likes this.
  25. Cassetti's Beard.

    Cassetti's Beard. Academy Graduate

    Jokanovic for that magical promotion season, especially the scenes at Brighton away.
  26. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    Joka for me, but he was effectively binned before we could find out whether he was an all-time great or a one-season wonder like a few others.
  27. wfcwarehouse

    wfcwarehouse First Team Captain

    Boothroyd for me, Lewington close second.
  28. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    Zola is my favourite, we played some sexy football after some pretty mediocre fare the previous few years, but the winner (well, the silver medal winner anyway!) has to be Boothroyd, he did the most with what he had
  29. goldpapaya

    goldpapaya First Year Pro

    Ken Furphy
    Kesgravehorn and Since63 like this.
  30. Lloyd

    Lloyd Squad Player

    With a win ratio of 50 per cent it has to be Billy McKinlay
    Keighley likes this.
  31. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Squad Player

    It’s an interesting debate because while from whatever viewpoint you look at it, Taylor was our best manager and by some distance for obvious reasons (his longevity, the five promotions, four top half finishes in the top flight, the cup runs, what he built and pioneered) it’s hard to decide who was our next best, because none of the others in my lifetime were here that long (Aidy was the second longest serving manager by a considerable distance if you combine GT’s two terms, and his spell still came slightly behind GT’s second) and even the more successful were quite flawed in some ways or here for a very short time. But in no particular order, here are some nominees:

    (1) Jokanovic - was originally going to leave him out but decided after reading this thread that that would be quite harsh, he may have been here only 8 months, but it’s quality that counts here more than quantity. The first Watford manager to achieve automatic promotion in the play-off era and with a higher PPG than in the 1981/82 season, it was the most solid and satisfying promotion I’ve ever witnessed, even though none of the games from that season quite match the 2006 play-off final and the 2019 FA Cup semi which remain my two favourite Watford games (perhaps Bolton 3-4 Watford would’ve been right up there had I been there).
    (2) Flores first spell - he not only achieved what no manager had managed and kept us up in the Premier League (which even in 1999/00 was quite different from the old division 1 in more than just name), but he did it comfortably. You might say the system and the back then actually astute recruitment was such that any semi-competent manager could succeed, but the squad certainly wasn’t guaranteed to avoid relegation, and I’d never seen a Watford team (and never since apart from in Gracia’s full season) so comfortable, competitive and well-organised for the most part at that level, with unlike in later top flight seasons the shockers almost all confined to the closing weeks. Most of my best memories of the five-year stint at the top come from that season and the 2018/19 one. The collapse in the second half of the season has been somewhat overstated - only in the final third after the FA Cup quarter final did performances (individually and collectively) become really poor and tired, we may have lost four in a row and results and performances slid, but the only truly bad displays before the Arsenal game were Southampton and Spurs away and Ighalo was still playing reasonably well up to that point. In the second halves of the next two seasons I think we only averaged two good performances!
    (3) Gracia - misses out on a surefire best of the rest spot thanks to atrocious away form in his first season and the collapse at the end of 2018/19, which may be attributed to questionable squad management - while some of the players are to blame for brain farts that cost us at least a top half finish, his poor tactics during the crunch league game vs Wolves and inability to mitigate the tiredness and keep the players’ feet firmly on the ground following the epic comeback at Wembley were also at fault. Still exciting times under him, with some of the most technically impressive performances by a group of Watford players which won’t be repeated for a long time, if ever.
    Teide1 and SkylaRose like this.
  32. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Squad Player

    Forgot to include the point that if Bassett is universally considered the worst ever Watford manager despite being here only a few months, it’s only fair to consider Jokanovic as one of the best after GT!
  33. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    Sounds about on point discussing where we are now as a club. Pretty ironic, we have certainly had a roller coaster of a time as a club, and tbh I would rather do that that be the modern day Man City and win every week. Must get boring surely.
  34. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    I really think the Gracia "collapse" is overstated. If we look at the last 13 games (so the last third of the season), we won five, drew one and lost seven. But five of those seven losses were Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea. It was only really the Wolves (finished 7th) and West Ham defeats that were poor results. He also had players running on empty due to the cup run and had to play Doucoure and Capoue every minute of every game as that was the heartbeat of the team.

    He'd definitely earned the right to more than four games the following season but as usual the club was very good at painting at narrative of it being a justified sacking to arrest a long term slide and a lot of fans bought it.
    miked2006, Vic, Lloyd and 2 others like this.
  35. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    Just to add, Gracia's first home game was a 4-1 smashing of a pretty good Chelsea side despite their form at that time. Yes they had a man sent off, but watching Conte' walk down the tunnel at FT from a chorus of boo's from the away end was very appealing. Oh, and to see Hazard score a brilliant free quick to make it 1-1, coupled with how we went on to score three more in the final fifteen minutes of the game? Quality stuff.

Share This Page