If Quique Sánchez Flores is to inspire Watford to preserve their Premier League status, he will have to do so with them already facing a significant struggle – they remain winless from their opening 11 league games. The last team in England’s top division to also not record a victory from their opening 11 was Queens Park Rangers in 2012/13, and their season unsurprisingly concluded with relegation.
His predecessor and compatriot Javi Gracia was sacked after they lost three and drew only one of their first four league games of the campaign, and despite having led his team to last season’s FA Cup final. Concerns had grown that their defence lacked the organisation required to resist a return to the Championship five years after Slavisa Jokanovic led them to promotion; although that defence has improved under Sánchez Flores, the team are still struggling to score.
Sánchez Flores was a popular figure in his previous spell at the club, in 2015/16. But what can we learn from that period, and what can we expect from him four years down the line?