It surely will not be long before Quique Sanchez Flores is linked with another Premier League job, especially if continues to establish this previously unheralded Watford team as a mid-table outfit, but the head coach could not be happier at Vicarage Road.
The job the Spaniard has performed in turning this new-look squad into a well-drilled, cohesive and highly-competitive unit will not have gone unnoticed in Premier League boardrooms. It certainly didn’t when, against all the odds, he kept newly-promoted Getafe in La Liga at the first attempt: he was snapped up by Valencia that summer.
Watford are perched in 11th spot, the same number of points adrift of the Champions League spots as they are from the relegation positions. Three of their four defeats have come against the top three while just as impressive has been the way he has carried himself in front of the camera and on the touchline. There has been not a peep out of him with regards to the performance of a referee and he has carried himself immaculately in the technical area, refusing to bark at the fourth official like so many of his opposite numbers.
Sanchez Flores signed a two-year deal when he became head coach in the summer and if Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury were to offer him an extension, as they did with half-a-dozen of the playing staff in the summer, you get the impression he would have no hesitation in signing it.
“I recognise this club is in my heart,” Sanchez Flores told us when asked about the affection he already seems to have for the club. “This is place where I want to stay. I am really happy in London and at the club. Not just the team and the players but the people who are working inside the club. It’s about the style of culture. The British people are very respectful and this is the life I like. I am really comfortable. I feel close to the fans. I know when they sing my song, they are recognising the values of the players, too. Without players we can’t do anything.”
When asked by Geoff Doyle, of BBC Three Counties Radio, if he saw himself staying at Vicarage Road for the forseeable future, the head coach replied: “Why not? When I am happy I would like to keep places I am happy, here in Watford I have everything I need.”
Sanchez Flores is particularly fond of life in London and has settled into Hampstead with his four children, Patricia, Quique Jnr, Paulo and Jorge.
“[Sometimes I get recognised] but this is not my target, I prefer to hide,” he said. “But I sometimes a bit surprised when walking in the street or in the supermarket and people say, ‘Ah, Watford manager’. London is very big, very cosmopolitan city so this is not a problem.”
Sanchez Flores often talks about the similar assignment he was given at Getafe in the summer of 2004. Like Watford, Getafe were promoted to the top-flight as runners-up and also changed their head coach to bring in Sanchez Flores. The move was rewarded as Getafe finished 13th while the two other promoted teams went straight back down. Watford have three more points than Getafe did after 12 games.
“Watford is a little bit better off,” said Sanchez Flores. “After the first four games Getafe we are in the relegation places but we never went back to this position. The [two] teams are similar but we [worked] quicker at Watford on the idea of the shape. We have very good players here.”