Although the Watford Hornets suffered a devastating disappointment on July 26 when they lost 3-2 to Arsenal and found themselves ousted from the Premier League after what seemed like a miraculous 5-year comeback, owner Gino Pozzo has sworn to return the club to its top flight status in the coming season.
The club returned to the Sky Bet Championship as a result of this upset, and many supporters blamed Pozzo, along with CEO Scott Duxbury, for what appears to have been a poor judgment decision to fire head coach Nigel Pearson with only two fixtures remaining in the 2019-2020 season. The squad has gone through several head coaches since Pozzo took ownership of the club in 2014.
Pozzo replaced Pearson with interim coach Hayden Mullins, a veteran of English football whose background includes a history with Crystal Palace, West Ham, Birmingham, and Portsmouth. But Mullins’ efforts proved to be futile as the already faltering club was defeated by Manchester City and Arsenal, finishing in 19th place at the Premier League table, much the chagrin of its players as well as supporters.
Pozzo has a history of replacing head coaches frequently, and after replacing Javi Gracia, who led the squad to its first FA Cup final since the 1980s in 2019, things began to go downhill for the squad.
Fortunately, Pozzo is man who takes responsibility for his actions and faces adversity with an optimistic attitude. He and Duxbury released a statement following the final upset declaring, “We have to be scrupulously honest with ourselves and admit our efforts surrounding the team were not good enough.”
“There is obviously huge disappointment at losing our Premier League status, we cannot pretend otherwise,” the statement declared. “Every club wants to be playing at the highest possible level.”
Having said that, both Pozzo and Duxbury reiterated their continued commitment to the Hornets, and their plan to rapidly return the club to the Premier League.
“We have always said we are here for the long-term and we will not allow this one moment of great disappointment to stop the continued development of this club over the next eight years and beyond… There will be lessons learned and changes made but, from today, we move forward. We have to accept a different challenge.”
Having graciously acknowledged the failings on the part of the club’s management, and very elegantly refraining from blaming the club’s players and coaches, Pozzo declared he will make every effort to ensure a brighter season for the Hornets and a rapid return to the Premier League for his club.
“Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to take Watford Football Club back to the Premier League, something we all believe we can achieve,” he promised.
“What league we play in, however, does not define the football club,” Pozzo’s statement added. “We will not allow the core values of Watford FC to become diluted simply because we are not playing in the Premier League. Everything we have achieved as a club over the past eight years should not be forgotten.”
The official statement promised fans that the squad would be overhauled and improved. They also reminded their supporters of the marked progress that the Hornets have made since Pozzo acquired ownership of the club in 2014.
Pozzo also alluded to the pride that the club feels for its enthusiastic support for the Watford community, particularly its historic and generous support of the NHS during the worst period of the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.
“The fact we have transformed Vicarage Road Stadium and built a club of true substance – with links to the community that are the envy of many – is a source of great pride,” stated Pozzo. “We will make changes where the team is concerned and those changes will make us stronger, ready to face the challenges that lie ahead and rekindle the passion that has always been a hallmark of this great club.”
Meanwhile, Hornets Captain Troy Deeney laments that as a squad they didn’t do well enough over the course of the season, and reiterated that everyone involved with the club needs to take a good look at the mistakes made and the steps that will be required to right the wrongs of this past season.
Changes at Watford FC are already becoming evident as the squad reveals brand-new home kits for the 2020-2021 season that feature a bold geometric print, designed and produced exclusively for the club by Kelme, the Hornets’ new technical partner.
Whilst the Hornet’s supporters are anxious to see the new transfers and other changes that Pozzo that will make to the squad in a renewed and more aggressive effort to return the club to better days, there have been mixed reactions to the new kits. Nevertheless, for many of the Hornets’ loyal followers, a bold new look is welcomed as a visible sign of bigger changes to come.
Learn more about how Gino Pozzo transformed Watford FC here: https://www.ilcittadinoonline.it/persone/come-gino-pozzo-ha-trasformato-il-watford-football-club/