Watford have sacked manager Rob Edwards and replaced him immediately with former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.
Edwards leaves Vicarage Road after just 11 games and less than three months in charge. And the Championship club took just 13 minutes from announcing Edwards’ departure to announcing 54-year-old Bilic had replaced him.
The initial statement from the Hornets read: “Watford FC has relieved Rob Edwards of his duties as head coach.
“The board of Watford Football Club wishes to place on record its thanks to Rob for all of his work since his appointment and wish him and his assistant Richie Kyle – who will also leave the club – all the very best for their future careers in coaching and management.
“The Hornets will confirm its newly-appointed head coach in due course.”
But that was quickly followed by the confirmation that Bilic had succeeded the former Forest Green Rovers boss.
A statement read: “Watford FC confirms Slaven Bilic as its new head coach on an 18-month contract, subject to receiving the relevant work permit.”
“As with all decisions taken by the board, I believe this change to be in the best interests of the club,” said the club’s owner Gino Pozzo of the move.
“We felt Rob had enough time to show us the identity of his team, however performances haven’t reflected our hopes and ambitions.
“Now we must move forward, and, in Slaven Bilic, we have secured the services of an experienced coach who has recent experience of promotion to the Premier League.”
Edwards left Forest Green under a cloud
Edwards had collected 14 points from his first 10 games at the Championship club, losing just twice. But Pozzo pulled the trigger on the 39-year-old former England U16 coach.
Pozzo is no stranger to sacking managers. Bilic is the club’s ninth manager since September 2019. And unbelievably he is their 17th boss since July 2012, according to Opta’s Duncan Alexander.
Edwards left Rovers in May soon after seeing them promoted to League One. The young coach also left under a cloud with owner Dale Vince hitting out at the way negotiations with Watford had taken place “behind the backs” of the League Two champions.
Edwards’ assistant Richie Kyle has also left Vicarage Road.
As for Bilic, he was a free agent after leaving Beijing Guoan in China in January this year.
The former Croatia international managed West Ham United in the Premier League and managed at Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia. His latest job in England was to guide West Bromwich Albion to promotion in the 2019/20 season before being sacked in December 2020.