Meet Mazzarri: Signings, smoking and Success

Former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores left the club in a shock departure at the end of last season, having brought the team up to an incredible 13th position with 45 points.

While many fans were left questioning the reasoning behind the Spaniard’s departure, Italian Walter Mazzarri was announced as the new gaffer for the Hornets.

Hollseey met the man himself this afternoon, getting the low-down on all the latest news and Mazzarri’s thoughts on the season ahead.

The 54-year-old seemed confident in his abilities as new head coach, telling Hollseey: “I don’t have to be the one to define myself. I leave this to the people. I am a manager that thinks about the players and the work the club gives me 24 hours a day.

“I consider myself the boss of the group. For me it is very important that there are rules and respect in a team. I think victory comes from these principles.”

Mazzarri has gained a reputation for himself as a coach with the ability to transform players. His work left Cristiano Lucarelli regarding him a “hero”, adding: “He is so meticulous and he can fix things that aren’t working during games.”

Following an inconsistent performance by the Golden Boys last season, a manager with the ability to adapt and turn games around, could be exactly what Watford were missing.

Striker Odion Ighalo managed to find the back of the net 14 times before Christmas last season, but scored only once from January onwards, as Watford slipped down the table into a dangerous position.

Captain Troy Deeney has played a vital role in the Hornets success with Watford rejecting a £25million offer from Leicester, refusing to sell the club legend, but a new face upfront could see Deeney or Ighalo spending time on the bench.

Record signing Isaac Success strengthens the team’s attack as they head into their second season in a row in the Premier League, joined by three more new signings.

New additions to Watford include Success, Marseille’s Brice Dja Djedje, Kabasele from Genk, and Liverpool’s Jerome Sinclair, but new boss Mazzarri made it clear that the signings will not be ending there.

He said: “I spoke with the club and being a new manager, they allowed me to first of all evaluate the players that were already in the club. The club is leading the possibility to go ahead for another two or three players. They said it’s no problem if we need them, and I think we need them.”

In terms of who the two or three signings could be, Walter remained quiet, telling Hollseey: “I prefer not to go into too much detail, but probably one in each position. Maybe two in one position.”

The former Inter Milan and Sampdoria manager was accused of reportedly smoking in the dressing room during the break of a pre-season friendly against QPR.

Mazzarri set the record straight. He said: “first of all I want to say that it’s not true at all that I was smoking inside the dressing room. Nobody is perfect and I do smoke, but it is very important for me to say that I always have extreme respect for the person who is next to me and if they do not want me to smoke, then I do not smoke.”

As for expectations for the season, he said: “I only think about improving the team at the moment. I am thinking about growing match by match and how we can play in the best possible way. When we start playing well, the points will come.

“I am very happy with pre-season and the ways the players have been reacting to my new formation. When you go to a club, players have to adapt to the new formation and it takes time. The important thing now is that the players learn my kind of game and see how we do.

“I know we have a very difficult start but it also means I am very curious to see how my players will be able to cope and fight against these teams. I am a very positive person so we will see how it goes on the pitch and accept whatever comes from it.”

Will the Hornets beat Southampton on Saturday, and will Isaac spell success for Watford? Stay tuned.



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