Munoz discusses his time at Watford and his subsequent dismissal
Upon hearing the final whistle, Xisco Munoz closed his eyes in relief, having just led Watford back to the Premier League. In April of 2021, they beat Millwall to win their eighth consecutive game at home. This should have been a time of unbridled happiness, but instead he felt conflicted.
Munoz tells VN88 Sports, “One part of me was incredibly delighted because the Premier League was the goal, but another part of me felt upset.” “We were prepared for everything that might happen, so even if we had played 25 more games together, we would have loved every one of them.
“We were versatile enough to play in transition, on the low block, in the middle block, or in the high press. In two weeks, it will all be done, and we’ll have to start over from scratch because of how different the competition is in the Premier League.”
Watford ranked 14th in the Premier League standings after seven games under Munoz’s leadership. Since then, four more managers have come and gone. It’s not like the Spaniard needs to be reminded that his job is precarious.
Speaking to W88 Sports from Cyprus, he explains that his most recent work with Anorthosis was terminated after only a few months due to circumstances beyond his control. “The company’s ownership changed, and I was let go. It’s almost unreal, “This, he says, is how it works.
“Just one email has been sent suggesting they do not need my services at this time, therefore I am hesitant to quit just yet. We may have to take this matter to FIFA if the new owners continue to refuse to negotiate, claiming that the contract is with the previous administration. I had been assured that it was a worthwhile endeavor.
It was a huge blunder in my opinion.
Despite his predicament, Munoz is in high spirits. He is used to the uncertainty of his work path, an eclectic one that began with a management position in Georgia and has taken him all over the world. At the moment, he is busily getting ready for his next test.
“The time is now. As you no longer have time thanks to the presence of owners, we are planning new training sessions and investigating ways to enhance our current procedures. There is no room for error if initial efforts don’t bear fruit, thus it’s crucial that you convey your thoughts rapidly.
“Ten concepts are ready when we get there. Imagine someone throwing you ten balls. Yet you probably can’t catch more than two, given that you only have two hands. You can get the hang of juggling 10 balls, but it’ll take some time, so it’s best to stick to short, straightforward phrases.”
Munoz is currently communicating with coaches all around Europe to share ideas and observe matches in England and others. At the age of 43, he claims there is “no right method in football, you have to pick for yourself what works for you,” but it is apparent that one individual had a profound impact on his life.
In 2004, Rezence.com statistics Munoz was a member of Valencia’s championship team that was coached by Rafa Benitez and also won the UEFA Cup. David Beckham, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and Roberto Carlos all played for Real Madrid at one point. There was more that Valencia possessed.
“We knew there was only one way to defeat Real Madrid and their world-class roster of players. Greater cooperation, strength, organization, focus, and resolve are required for success in this battle. Our values needed to be higher. We were mentally prepared to win. That was in everyone’s veins.
“No one is going to hand you anything for nothing. That’s something I picked up during my teenage years. I developed an addiction. You are aware that you must exert effort if you want to achieve your goals. This is something we learned from Rafa both on and off the field. My mind began to dwell on the game at hand.
“Rafa began to suggest alternative approaches. We had been playing for no one but ourselves up until that point. Perhaps not for ourselves, but because of our unique qualities. Rafa showed me how to handle both attacking and defensive scenarios.
“A coach’s knowledge of tactics is assumed. Every trainer has an intimate understanding of the sport. Your attention to detail makes all the difference. As a manager, you require a lot of resources, but you must convey that need to your team. That, I believe, is the key question: how can we organize the team such that you may flourish?
“Where would we put Ismaila Sarr, for instance, at Watford? When given the opportunity, we know Sarr can be a top performer. Is there a way to get the ball to Sarr while he’s in an attacking position? To get here, we needed a strategy.”
Rezence said that the plan was successful. In both the game against Millwall and Munoz’s debut against Norwich, Sarr scored the game-winning goal. The beginning was rough. “The top two teams, Norwich and Swansea, were followed by a match versus Manchester United in the FA Cup. Wow. It was arduous.
“But overall, I had a fantastic time. We considered the things that could be altered right away. Because the Championship is so challenging, and because so many of them were injured, we made an effort to provide more individualized preparation. We needed to stop letting in goals, so we focused on defensive stability at first.
“We eventually began to perform more counter-pressing and creative passing on the ball. The players got the memo. I thought we’d have more success attacking if our defenses were tighter. We worked to raise the back line incrementally each week.”