To help celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Watford’s move to Vicarage Road, Daily Mirror sports writer Mike Walters recalls his encounters with those who have occupied the Hornets’ hotseat.
Next up is Beppe Sannino, who was at the helm for eight months between December 2013 and August 2014...
Somehow, when the language barrier often seemed too mountainous to navigate, Beppe Sannino always managed to get his point across. A convincing 3-0 win against Leeds United, including Troy Deeney’s 22nd goal of the season, had extended the Italian ringmaster’s impressive home record to just one defeat in 12 games, and gave Watford renewed hope of sneaking into the Championship’s top six.
At the post-match press conference – always a hoot trying to decipher Sannino’s extravagant semaphore, body language and sound effects – your correspondent ventured a question that the play-offs might yet be attainable for the Hornets. Sannino spoke virtually no English but he recognised the odd buzzword, and daring to mention the play-offs was like wishing an actor good luck before curtain up at the theatre: well-intentioned, but strictly taboo. Breaking into a high-pitched screech, which was half scalded cat and half emergency brake on a train, his colourful response was delightfully scatty.