Hull City’s Portuguese head coach Marco Silva applauds the fans following the English Premier League football match between Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur at the KCOM Stadium in Kingston upon Hull, north east England on May 21, 2017. Tottenham won the match 7-1. Lindsey PARNABY / AFP
Watford hired former Hull City boss Marco Silva as their new manager on Saturday following Walter Mazzarri’s departure from the Premier League club.
Silva left Hull earlier this week following the Tigers’ relegation from the English top flight and Watford quickly made him their top target to replace Mazzarri.
Although Silva couldn’t stop Hull slipping into the second-tier Championship, the Portuguese coach earned praise for his work during five months in charge of a club dealing with boardroom turmoil for much of the season.
The 39-year-old had been linked with the vacant jobs at Porto and Crystal Palace, but Watford won the race for his signature on a two-year contract.
“Marco was one of the most sought-after head coaches in the Premier League,” Hornets chairman Scott Duxbury told the club’s website.
“His pedigree and promise speaks for itself, with his achievements in top divisions elsewhere across Europe as well as his work at Hull City last season.
“We are delighted to have secured his services and to be welcoming a head coach of his profile and potential.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Watford fan and I’m sure all supporters will join me in offering Marco and his family the warmest of welcomes to Vicarage Road.”
Silva becomes the ninth man to take charge of Watford in just five years, with owners the Pozzo family notoriously quick to punish perceived underachievement.
Mazzarri, who replaced the popular Quique Sanchez Flores last year, certainly fell into that category as Watford finished the season only one place above the Premier League relegation zone after losing their last six matches.
The Italian reportedly alienated Watford’s players with an egotistical approach and he struggled to win them over during a campaign that featured embarrassing cup exits against third tier Millwall and Gillingham.
Silva will be expected to lift Watford back to mid-table respectability as he looks to build on his burgeoning reputation.
He won the Greek title with Olympiakos in 2016 and the Portuguese Cup with Sporting in 2015.
After moving to Hull this January, he forged a strong bond with his players and their impressive results at home kept the Tigers in with a chance of avoiding relegation until the penultimate weekend of the season.