Walter Mazzarri

‘Walter Mazzarri is a highly-regarded coach’, says Watford chief

Watford believe they have pulled off a real coup in landing former Sampdoria, Napoli and Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri as their new head coach.

The Hornets have wasted no time in replacing the outgoing Quique Sanchez Flores, hiring Mazzarri, 54, after beating off competition from a number of top European clubs. Mazzarri has always had a desire to work in England and has, we gather, been learning English while living in Manchester.

ansa - mazzarri - Italian coach of Napoli, Walter Mazzarri, reacts reacts during Italian Serie A soccer match, between AS Roma and Napoli at the Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy 19 May 2013. ANSA / MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

“Walter has been the target of a number of approaches for his services, so we’re delighted to secure him as head coach here at Watford,” said chief executive Scott Duxbury in a story on the club’s website. “We’re thoroughly looking forward to working with such a highly-regarded coach, with the progress and development of the club always remaining the highest priority.”

Watford went about hiring Sanchez Flores after a recommendation from former Manchester United director Maurice Watkins, who Duxbury worked alongside as a sports lawyer, but the pursuit of Mazzarri is likely to have been driven by Pozzo, who has seen his Udinese team play countless times against the Serie A sides coached by Mazzarri. Chief scout Filippo Giraldi and sporting consultant Nicola Salerno will also have an intimate knowledge of his work at Reggina, Sampdoria, Napoli and Inter Milan.

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The decision makers may also have sought the views of Valon Behrami and Miguel Britos, who both worked under Mazzarri at Napoli. Mazzarri will be the seventh man, and the third Italian, in four years to coach the team since the Pozzo family purchased the club in 2012.

There is a feature length profile on Watford’s new head coach in this week’s issue of WD Sport. It’s priced 60p and is available in most places you’d expect to buy a newspaper. Email jane@wdsport.co.uk for subscription.

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