Picture by Franziska Empl

Soccer Saturday reaction: ‘There will be a lot of clubs that want Quique’

The cult TV show Gillette Soccer Saturday will have taken a break for the summer when the news that Quique Sanchez Flores and Watford will go their separate ways becomes official.

Yet you can already imagine Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas coming off their long run when it comes to discussing Watford’s first game of the Premier League season when the panel reconvene in August. It is likely to be water off a duck’s back to Watford’s principle decision makers, who have barely put a foot wrong since assuming control in 2012, but this decision, judging by the reaction of Jeff Stelling et al, is likely to be the most debated of the lot. Below is what Stelling, Merson, Nicholas and Thompson and Le Tissier had to say on Saturday, before the game with Aston Villa:

“There are very strong rumours that Quique Sanchez Flores will be leaving the end of the season, being got rid of by the owners. They have got a lot of things right, the owners at Watford. Maybe the owners need to cast an eye over the fans’ reaction and look at how Villa have gone.'”
– Jeff Stelling
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“The job he has done is absolutely phenomenal. Watford always come up, go down, come up, go down, I don’t even know what to say, that would just be unbelievable if they got rid of him. The only good thing for him, there will be a lot of clubs that want him. I did the walk [Men United March] from Luton to Watford with some of their fans, and they love the man. They are not going to be happy with that. They couldn’t speak highly enough of him. That will be hard.”
– Paul Merson
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“If they are not careful they are going to be like Charlton. I know they have a lot of money at the moment, they have other clubs, like Granada. It is fairly easy to find players for clubs like that, managers are hard to find –  that can get you into a comfort zone where fans believe. He plays two centre-forwards, he links everything together and he’s very calm. He looks as if he has been thoroughly enjoying his time here and you are going to risk all this. Watford have started looking like a side who sit nicely in the mid-table area and are settled. They are putting this in jeopardy. Now if he does go they might bring in another guy who can do as well. Yes the owners have got things right, but why try and change it now? This is a massively tough league. Here is different to Spain. You can build, all the teams have the same share of the pot, so you have better opportunities to make it stronger.”
– Charlie Nicholas
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“What do they want from him? Look, we’ve all been in the game a long, long time, but this is one of the most crazy decisions [I’ve heard], from a team that have just come up, to establish the team, the club, the manager in the Premier League, which is a hard thing to do. What more do these people want? Are we missing something?”
– Phil Thompson
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“It only takes one wrong decision in the Premier League. It is very unforgiving, and they could end up in Villa’s position.”
– Matt Le Tissier
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