"Oh, Icarus," warned Daedalus. "Fly not too near the sun, lest thy waxy wings should melt."

Icarus failed to heed the warning and instead soared high into the heat, where his wings dissolved, leaving him flapping his arms in mid-air, before he plunged into the sea and drowned.

The parallels between Icarus' doomed flight and Watford's disastrous season are pretty stark, for this season, the Hornets have tried to fly with wings of wax and now find themselves plummeting towards the ocean, after the scorching heat of the Premier League melted away any notion that this club might once again be in a position to compete among the best.

While Icarus flailed his limbs in a vain attempt to salvage his flight as he crashed towards his death, there was no such desperate effort from Watford on Saturday, as they meekly accepted their relegation with a soft 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

It's an outcome that has been more or less signposted ever since Claudio Ranieri bravely declared, "the season starts now" ahead of a late collapse away at Brentford back in December. It was not the first capitulation of the campaign, nor would it be the last, and it was indicative of a clear inability to cope with the demands of Premier League football that has been present throughout the season.

Since that point, the Hornets have salvaged a measly nine points, which may as well be zero considering all the good it has done them, as they find themselves back at the drawing board, in need of a new head coach to guide them through a potentially tempestuous spell in the famously frantic second tier of English football.

On the evening of the relegation, a senior club source described the circumstances simply as "depressing" owing to a "diabolical combination" of factors, while reflecting on what has been something of a replica of their last campaign in the top flight, albeit a shoddy one. They also advised it would take more than one article to get to the bottom of why it had been such a catastrophe.

Yet, an almost identical "diabolical combination" came the last time the club crashed out of the top flight.

The turnover of head coaches, the clear defensive frailties, the sincere messages from the board as the inevitability of the situation became increasingly clear...it has all been seen before and is demonstrative of an organisation either not willing, or simply not able, to learn from its mistakes. Whichever it is, something has to change, because at the moment, the club is a mess.

So much so that representatives of at least two former players have told the Watford Observer that their clients are now far happier to be elsewhere, away from what one described as "a madhouse".

"He's just really glad to be out of it," was another curt response.

While it could be argued that keeping such unhappy players around would be detrimental, questioning why those players aren't happy in the first place is perhaps a step that could be taken to prevent the need to further adapt to already trying circumstances.

Several big names left last summer and the gaps left by either their talent on the field, or their influence off it, have not been adequately plugged. Limiting such departures could have had a bigger, and ultimately brighter, impact on this season's fortunes.

One representative explained that the churn of bosses constantly altering the players' understanding of their status within the team was more than just a contributing factor to their desire to leave. That may not be the case for all players at the club, but it is something few players in England have to deal with quite as much as the squad at Vicarage Road.

This once again raises the point that has been made several times over the past few seasons, that Watford have to get better at hiring head coaches. The reason why they find themselves firing so many is because the ones they hire are usually the wrong choice in the first place. This season has seen three more come and go, who simply were not up to the standards needed, creating an environment where upheaval is the norm instead of steady routine.

That lack of stability is something that is being addressed, with longevity and the potential to build two of the chief attributes the club is hoping to find with the hiring of their next coach, but it will be interesting to see how long they can resist the urge to use their notoriously itchy trigger fingers, should things start to go downhill.

A change of tack has been taken in the search for a new leader, with young, homegrown talent pushed to the front of a shortlist of names, instead of another candidate just being plucked from Gino Pozzo's conveyor belt of obscure international up-and-comers.

It is an appointment they can ill afford to get wrong too, with the fans' patience stretched to breaking point by yet another campaign in which they have not been able to form any kind of a bond with the person in charge of picking their team, or been able to see their players develop a discernible identity which they could get behind.

Instead it has been more lurching from stop gap to stop gap, with any hopes of building a tangible brand of football jettisoned after just seven matches when it became clear that Xisco Munoz might not be ready to compete with the cream of the crop just yet.

From then on, Watford have been on the back foot, attempting to defend themselves with weak and tired footballing philosophies that were far too flimsy for the immense crushing pressure of the Premier League, especially with the squad at their disposal.

The level of underinvestment in the team, particularly in defence, was notable before the season had even kicked off, and the late arrivals of Nicolas Nkoulou, Hassane Kamara, Samir and Edo Kayembe point to a quick realisation that the squad was in a bad way at the back. However, by then it was already too late, and though there was some impact from the new signings, it was far from enough.

Expecting defenders that had not looked entirely convincing in the Championship last season to suddenly be able to hold their own against much stronger opponents was only ever likely to end one way, and so it has proved, as the club descends back down to a level to which its talent is arguably more suited.

To prevent a repeat of this next season, any future recruitment has to have better due diligence carried out, with fewer gambles taken on new arrivals.

While Emmanuel Dennis will be able to hold his head high, relatively speaking, as he departs for a sizeable profit, a stark number of players signed in the summer just simply have not worked out.

Danny Rose was frozen out midway through the season, Ozan Tufan shipped back off to Turkey after being completely unable to assimilate, Ashley Fletcher, who still has four years left on his contract, sent out to the States on loan, Joshua King has not done anywhere near enough...the list goes on.

Now, new signings are being considered for next season's promotion push and it needs to be all-but guaranteed that whoever is brought in will contribute positively. Rolling the dice at this stage is not an option.

That it had come to dice rolling in the first place is one of the main frustrations for supporters, who have seen their club build positively in the Premier League in the very recent past. Because, theoretically, everything is in place for Watford to become the established top flight team they once threatened to, before a dismal season of mismanagement and uncertainty torched all the hard work that had been put in place.

What is needed now is introspection and foresight in order for them to begin to repair the damage that this season has done, while also restoring belief among supporters that this club can be everything it promises.

However, if Watford keep attempting to fly in the Premier League with wings of wax, they will only ever find themselves back in the ocean at the end of the season.