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New Watford boss Gianluca Vialli
"This is a club that I want to try to take to the next level"
 real 56k

Watford chief executive Tim Shaw
"This shows the ambition of this football club"
 real 56k

Watford chairman Sir Elton John
"It's the most exciting management appointment we could have made"
 real 14k

New Watford manager Gianluca Vialli
"I want to continue the fantastic job that Graham Taylor has done."
 real 56k

Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Vialli named new Watford boss
Gianluca Vialli is all set for the challenge at Vicarage Road
Gianluca Vialli takes in his new surroundings
Former Chelsea boss Gianluca Vialli has been confirmed as the new manager of Watford.

Vialli has been out of football since he was sacked by Chelsea on 12 September after just five games of the season.

In a statement the club said: "Watford football club have announced that Gianluca Vialli will be their new manager."

Watford wants to be a Premiership club and I'm here to do my best to deliver it
  Gianluca Vialli
"The 36-year-old Italian will take charge after the impending retirement of current boss Graham Taylor who recently announced his decision to end his club management career."

Vialli has signed a three-year-deal with the Hornets and is expected to bring in former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins as his assistant.

The Italian said he was delighted to have joined the club.

"I had to think carefully to make the decision," he said. "But it did not take me long to realise this was the club for me.

"It wants to be a Premiership club and I'm here to do my best to deliver it. It will be a great challenge but we'll also have a lot of fun."

Winning start

Vialli admitted he had needed to take some time off following his shock sacking from Chelsea.

"When I was fired I left Chelsea not on good grounds," he said.

"So I took some time off which was good and I was surprised and flattered when I met with Watford."

  Vialli fact-file
1964: Born Cremona, Italy, 9 July
1980: Signs for local club Cremonese
1984: Signed by Sampdoria
1990: Wins European Cup Winners' Cup
1993: Wins Uefa Cup with Juventus
1996: Wins European Cup with Juventus
1998: Wins Coca-Cola Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup as Chelsea player-manager
2000: Wins FA Cup as Chelsea manager but is sacked after a poor Premiership run.
Since his sacking, he has embarked on a Uefa coaching course in an attempt to improve his motivational and man-management skills. Chief executive Tim Shaw added: "I'm delighted to welcome Luca to Watford.

"I think the appointment shows the club's ambition. This is a monumental day for Watford Football Club."

Vialli helped the Blues to the European Cup Winners' Cup and Coca-Cola Cup in his first season at Stamford Bridge after taking over as player-manager in February 1998.

An FA Cup final victory followed at the end of the 1999/2000 season before he left amid a poor league run and rumours of player unrest.

Nevertheless, the first test of Vialli's new skills will be a stiff one - returning the Hornets to the Premiership.

This season Taylor has been unable to take Watford to the play-offs following their relegation from the Premiership.

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