THE good news for Gino Pozzo is that he has saved himself the £1million bonus he’d promised to Nigel Pearson for avoiding relegation.
The bad news? Well where to even begin?
Watford’s Italian owner has been working to the chaos theory for so long he had almost believed himself infallible.
He has got through as many managers in the last ten months as Arsenal have had in 24 years.
But like the gambler who put it all on red and saw it land on black, Pozzo’s luck finally ran out and he will be going home without a lot more than just his shirt.
He will look back on any number of Sliding Door moments as he reflects on Watford’s relegation, particularly Tyrone Mings’ last minute winner at Villa Park in January and Everton’s stoppage time victory at Vicarage Road a month later.
But nothing had a more damaging effect on Watford’s survival prospects than the decision to sack Pearson with just two games of the campaign to go.
And that was to prove the straw which broke the camel’s back as Watford waved goodbye to the Premier League with barely a whimper until it was too late.
They arrived at the Emirates needing to better Aston Villa’s result at West Ham to haul themselves out of the bottom three.
But in the end it wasn’t even close as they were holed beneath the waterline by three goals in the first 33 minutes to suck all the tension out of the final day fight for survival.
And it was hard to tell whether it was Villa or FA Cup finalists Arsenal who most enjoyed Watford’s demise.
Gunners supporters certainly won’t be shedding any tears over the prospect of their team never having to face Troy Deeney again.
Watford’s outspoken captain has been on their hit list ever since he questioned the courage of Arsene Wenger’s team three years ago.
And at 32 years of age and struggling with a persistent knee injury, you have to wonder if that is the last the Premier League has seen of Deeney.
Not that Arsenal have got too much to crow about after limping home to their lowest finish since 1995.
But at least they still have Wembley to look forward to next Saturday and one last chance to secure Europa League qualification.
Mikel Arteta can take some comfort from upholding his promise to respect the relegation fight by selecting his strongest available team.
Yet they still made surprisingly hard work of seeing off a rudderless Watford team who thought they were as good as safe when they beat Newcastle just three games earlier.
Hornets midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure was so keen to get started that he kicked off while everyone else was taking a knee for Black Lives Matter.
And within 30 seconds of the match actually getting underway the entire Watford team were on the floor when Craig Dawson barged through the back of Alexandre Lacazette.
Mike Dean waved Arsenal’s penalty appeals away but Stockley Park wanted another look and VAR Lee Mason spent a good four minutes studying the incident before ruling that a foul had been committed.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sent Ben Foster the wrong way from the spot for his 26th goal of the season and suddenly Watford were facing a mountain to climb.
They gave it their best shot to haul themselves back into contention as Doucoure, Roberto Pereyra and Deeney all went close to an equaliser.
But their obligation to push forward left them wide open to the counter-attack and played right into Arsenal’s hands.
And so it proved in the 25th minute when Nicolas Pepe and Aubameyang combined to set up Kieran Tierney for a shot which beat Foster with a double deflection off Will Hughes and Christian Kabasele.
It was Tierney’s first goal since his £25million summer move from Celtic and one that completely knocked the stuffing out of Hayden Mullins’ team.
They were undone yet again when Kabasele allowed Tierney’s 33rd minute throw to bounce over his head for Aubameyang to score inside the near post with an acrobatic overhead kick.
But just when it seemed that Watford were dead and buried, they were handed a lifeline by David Luiz’s clumsy challenge on Danny Welbeck for Deeney to reduce the arrears from the spot.
Cue second-half mayhem as Ismail Sarr raced clear of the Arsenal defence to tee up Gunners old boy Welbeck for Watford’s second.
Suddenly Pozzo was dreaming of the mother of all great escapes as his team threw the kitchen sink at Arsenal’s panicky defence.
Welbeck was denied by Emi Martinez’s outstanding full stretch save and Deeney threw himself ahead of Rob Holding to head inches over deep into stoppage time.
But all those late heroics were rendered irrelevant by news of Villa’s point at West Ham and Bournemnouth’s win at Everton which meant Watford actually finished 19th.