Marco Silva’s Watford reign is over after the Vicarage Road club dismissed the head coach after just 26 games.

The 40-year-old provided his fair share of entertainment on the pitch as Watford came accustomed to both scoring and conceding late goals.

There were, however, as many key moments off the pitch as there were on it as Silva found himself at loggerheads of transfer policy and involved in a public courtship with Everton.

It may have been ended before in under a season, but the timeline of Silva’s Watford stay provides plenty of intrigue.

May 27 – Silva excited by ambitious Hornets

There was little indication of the sour turn Silva’s Watford career would take from his initial thoughts on a club he believed to be on the up.

The 40-year-old was full of praise for Gino Pozzo, praising the owner and club’s ambition after becoming the ninth incumbent of the Vicarage Road hot seat in five years.

“I really like the approach of the board and the owner,” he told the club’s website.

“They showed me the project and I like the ambition. I’m excited. It’s a good challenge and I’m really happy.”

With Watford beating a number of clubs across Europe to Silva’s signature, the noises coming from both club and coach suggested a prosperous future.

June 24 – Hughes arrival signals intent

Watford Observer:

After a relatively slow start to the summer transfer window, Watford made a statement with their first acquisition of the Silva era.

The deal to bring Will Hughes to Vicarage Road for a fee which could rise to £8 million was a coup for a club of Watford’s stature.

Hughes, a regular for England’s Under-21s with 187 Derby appearances under his belt, had been linked with a Premier League move for a number of years.

Liverpool had previously shown and interest and the Hornets had signed a player with genuine potential.

Nathaniel Chalobah followed soon after and Watford made further statements in the market as Richarlison, Andre Gray and Andre Carrillo all arrived before the deadline.

July 18 – Plzen success seals maiden win

Having gone down to a 3-2 defeat to AFC Wimbledon in their first pre-season game, a Stefano Okaka goal gave Silva his first taste of victory as Watford boss.

The Hornets went on to win just one of their remaining pre-season games before the real action got underway in August.

August 12 – Britos strikes late on in season opener

Watford Observer:

Watford offered a sign of things to come under Silva as Miguel Britos scored in the third minute of added time to seal a dramatic 3-3 draw on the opening day.

The result provided a huge confidence boost on Silva’s debut in the dugout and Watford would go on to enjoy a start to the season which had fans, albeit rather optimistically, dreaming of Europe.

Their early season form was driven by late goals, as the Hornets secured points at the death against Swansea City, Arsenal and West Brom.

September 7 – First signs of transfer tensions

While matters on the pitch were going swimmingly, Silva was left frustrated by the club’s transfer activity and aired his grievances in public.

The departure of Nordin Amrabat was a particular bone of contention as he felt he had been left short in wide areas by the club.

He said: "I expected something different, it’s true, even though we lost one player after August 31, it was not in my plans to lose the player but I can’t control it.

"If I didn’t expect to lose Nordin Amrabat, it’s impossible I’ll lose another.”

Silva’s worries were born out as the season wore on as Richarlison and Andre Carrillo both suffered a dip in form after rarely being rested.

It was the first indication that not all was well between Silva and the board.

October 14 – High-flying Hornets climb to fourth

Watford Observer:

Troy Deeney came from the bench to inspire a comeback win against an Arsenal side, as Deeney put it, “lacking cajones” and take Watford into the Champions League places.

The Watford skipper levelled from the spot, before playing a vital role in Tom Cleverley’s stoppage time winner which had the Vic rocking Eager to dampen expectation, Silva continued to insist survival was the peak of Watford’s ambition in the wake of the win.

Nonetheless, the Portuguese’s stock was at an all-time high and his impact at Watford hadn’t gone unnoticed.

October 23 – Everton sack Koeman

It may have taken place some 200 miles north of Watford, but the departure of Ronald Koeman would set in motion the sequence of events which coast Silva his job.

The Toffees were 18th at the time and saw Silva as the ideal man to come in and save their floundering campaign.

Weeks of speculation followed as Silva refused to take himself out of the running for the job and results subsequently suffered.

The Hornets were beaten 1-0 at home by struggling Stoke City and, after their flying start to the campaign, took just 11 more points under Silva.

November 5 – Goodison capitulation

Silva did get his move to Goodison soon after first being linked with the Toffees, even if it was only for 90 minutes as Watford blew a 2-0 lead to lose on Merseyside.

Watford were cruising with just over an hour played before an injury to Heurelho Gomes led to Orestis Karnezis making one of the most inauspicious debuts of recent times.

The keeper ran from his line to gift Everton a lifeline and they scored twice more before Tom Cleverley missed a stoppage time penalty as the hosts won 3-2.

The defeat signalled the first occasion in which Watford’s penchant for a collapse had been seen and they would continue to throw late points away as the season went on.

December 12- 30 – Festive cheer in short supply

Watford Observer:

Watford once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as two late goals gave Crystal Palace a 2-1 midweek win.

The defeat came in the midst of a dismal December which saw Watford lose four games in a row and pick up a solitary win.

They suffered a 4-1 home drubbing at the hands of Huddersfield and newly promoted Brighton claimed a 1-0 win just before Christmas.

A comeback victory over Leicester City on Boxing Day seemed to provide a timely boost before familiar gremlins resurfaced in the final game of 2017.

An early Andre Carrillo goal put Watford in the ascendency over Swansea City, only for the Hornets to once again collapse late on.

Jordan Ayew and Luciano Narsingh both scored in the final four minutes to take all three points from the Vic and the full-time whistle was greeted by boos.

January 16 – Giraldi speaks

After Silva had once again gone public with his frustrations over squad depth, Filipo Giraldi issued a riposte.

His message was a simple one as the technical director insisted Watford’s squad was strong enough to compete.

With Silva making his feelings clear, the cracks in his relationship with senior figures at Vicarage Road were well and truly starting to show.

January 20 – Foxes defeat the final straw

Watford Observer:

A run of one win in 10 games leading up to the trip to the home of the 2016 Premier League champions meant the knives were suitably sharp for Silva.

Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez gave the hosts a comfortable 2-0 win as Watford produced a display devoid of quality across the park.

Gino Pozzo was in attendance at the King Power,and had seen enough as the powers that be at Watford pulled the plug on Silva.