Is Claudio Ranieri the right man for Watford?

Xisco Munoz has been relieved of his duties as Watford manager and has been replaced by former Leicester man Claudio Ranieri.

claudio ranieri watford

This has come as a shock to many as Watford have had an impressive start to the season, picking up 2 wins and a draw against the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa.

The main surprise is that Watford only had a £5,000,00 net spend, leading fans to question the sacking of Xisco Munoz relative to their league position. However, Ranieri’s impressive CV has earned him a two-year contract as the Watford head coach, the Italian has previously been in charge of the biggest teams in Europe, this includes winning the Premier League with Leicester, the Super-Cup with Valencia CF and the Italian Cup with AC Fiorentina.

Claudio Ranieri Play Style

In England Ranieri altered his tactics and shape to a rigorous 4-4-2 which looked to press intensely with two strikers to regain possession. In possession of the ball, Ranieri’s side looked to play long direct balls into Jamie Vardy, this was met with great success as they achieved the highest long ball success rate in the 15/16 in Europe.

Leicester wasn’t a team who had the quality or desire to play out from the back as their highest possession was recorded against West Bromwich Albion with 52% of possession, in total 18th in the whole league over the season. However, due to the change in quality and style of the Premier League over the last couple of years, there has been an expectation that teams build out and look to play expressive, attacking football that excites crowds.

Since Ranieri’s stint in charge of Leicester, he has modernised his tactics to be a high pressing team that attacks with multiple players. The formation however is the same as he often lined up with a 4-4-2 system with Sampdoria, he most noticeably tried to create an impenetrable block that saw defenders and midfielders advance up the pitch and made offensive transitions difficult for various oppositions. Overall, his tweak in the system has allowed his tactics to be rejuvenated in a way to fit the current Premier League.

How can Ranieri fit current players into his system?

Similar to Leicester Watford have a more experienced, older team that are ready to perform. Similarities such as Danny Rose, Mousa Sissoko and Ben Foster offer the same intelligence and experience as the likes Danny Simpson, Robert Huth and Wes Morgan.

The most noticeable similarity is Ismaila Sarr to Mahrez, both naturally left footed with great skill, agility and pace. Sarr has started the season with 4 goals in 7 appearances and is a big threat against any team, Ranieri’s main task will be for him to continue this excellent run of form and push Watford up the table. Claudio Ranieri’s experience, man management and knowledge will hopefully get the best out of average players and look to get Watford higher up the Premier League. 

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