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Ex-Manchester United Premier League winning midfielder lands first-ever senior managerial role

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Tom Cleverley has been named as the interim manager of Watford – following the sacking of Valerian Ismael.

After a run of only one win in 10 league games, Watford decided it was best to part ways with their manager – with Cleverley named as interim head coach for now.

The former Manchester United and England midfielder had been coaching their under-18 academy side after his retirement from playing last season.

Now he’ll take the reigns as first-team coach – in his first-ever senior managerial role.

Manchester United v Valencia

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Tom Cleverley becomes Watford interim manager

Watford confirmed on Saturday that Cleverley would take over the club as manager.

A club statement read: “Tom Cleverley will assume the position of Interim Head Coach at Vicarage Road.

“This follows Watford FC terminating the contract of Valerien Ismael after today’s home defeat to Coventry City.


“The Hornets thank Valerien and his staff for their dedication and commitment.

“However the club’s Board considers it an appropriate time to make a change in order to improve results.

They also stated that Cleverley’s coaching staff will be announced shortly.

Tom Cleverley’s first journey into senior management

Cleverley rejoined the club he finished his career as Under-18 Lead Coach in July 2023 following his retirement from football less than a month earlier.

The former midfielder made over 180 appearances during two spells at The Vic, so knows the club inside out.

For Manchester United, Cleverley amassed 79 apps – scoring five times. He also boasts a Premier League medal, won in 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

However, this will be his first real step into management, and with the Hornets struggling – it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.

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