Walter Mazzarri was humiliated at his passing-out parade, with Watford fans turning on their departing boss and chairman Scott Duxbury not even acknowledging his sacking in the matchday programme.
Duxbury’s upbeat, 300-word message to fans spoke earnestly of ambition and taking the club forwards, but made no mention that Mazzarri had been fired.
And the only time the Italian head coach – normally so excitable and irritable on the touchline – ventured out of his dugout to lodge a complaint with fourth official Kevin Friend, it was Watford fans demanding that he was sent to the stands and booing referee Jon Moss when he was let off with a stern lecture.
On the pitch, Mazzarri’s injury-ravaged side, missing six centre backs, was hopelessly outclassed, and he admitted: “I’m used to being competitive but today there was too much difference between the teams.
“The players did not let me down – I thanked them because with the strength we had on the pitch, it was all they could do.
“I think it’s a record to have six injured players in the same position, and I would like to meet a coach who could have done any better.
“I respect the fans’ opinion, and among 20,000 people you are never going to keep everybody happy, but in such a difficult situation it could have been even worse for a less experienced manager.”
He claimed he did not hear the Rookery’s chant of “Walter Mazzarri, get out of our club.”
Maybe they should have sung it in Italian.