Watford, a newly promoted Premier League side last season, were mostly unnoticed despite being impressive for majority of the campaign.
Although Leicester City and their Premier League fairy tale were the most discussed topic during the last campaign, the Hornets have quietly built up a strong enough team under former boss Quique Sanchez Flores to compete in Premier League for the upcoming campaigns.
Last year, they managed to attract several reputed names in spite of their first Premier League campaign since 2006-07. This season is no different either as they have successfully recruited few more admirable names along with new manager Walter Mazzarri, a respectable name in football circuit for his previous experience with the likes of Inter Milan and Napoli.
Major Ins and Outs:
Roberto Pereyra – Juventus, £13m
Younes Kaboul – Sunderland, £3.5m
Isaac Success – Granada, £12.5m
Christian Kabasele – Genk, £5.8m
Jerome Sinclair – Liverpool, £4m
Juan Camilo Zuniga – Napoli, loan
Brice Dja Djedje – Marseille, £3m
Daryl Janmaat – Newcastle, £7m
Stefano Okaka – Anderlecht, undisclosed
Adrian Mariappa – Crystal Palace, Free
Kenedy – Chelsea, loan
Daniel Pudil – Sheffield Wednesday, undisclosed
Steven Berghuis – Feyenoord, loan
Mario Suarez – Valencia, loan
Gabriele Angella – Udinese, undisclosed
Miguel Layun – Porto, undisclosed
Matej Vydra – Derby, £8m
Allan Nyom – West Brom, £4m
Jose Manuel Jurado – Espanyol, £2.1m
Almen Abdi – Sheffield Wednesday, £4m
Ikechi Anya – Derby, undisclosed
Watford have had a tough set of fixtures to begin with: they have already contested the heavyweights like Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United along with West Ham United and Southampton – two mighty sides who finished within top seven of 2015-16 campaign. But they somehow have managed to create a couple of upsets already, defeating Manchester United last weekend along with a 4-2 victory over the Hammers where they were 0-2 down at the end of the first half.
Mazarri has been successful with his 3-5-2 formation. Two wing-backs Daryl Janmaat and Jose Holebas have been effective with their overlap runs and crosses. Captain Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo have opened their accounts in order to carry forward their last season’s mastery and providing lots of energy, pace and physicality upfront. But the biggest surprise has been Tottenham flop Etienne Capoue who is enjoying the form of his life. The midfielder has already netted four times and been equally good in his combative midfield role. Roberto Pereyra, the new club record signing from Juventus, has begun his Premier League career brightly with a goal and a couple of assist for his new employers.
The Hornets have been promising so far and the new signings have slotted in properly. But they are yet to build up proper bench strength and increase squad depth. Lack of Premier League experience might cause troubles and it will be interesting to follow how the new boss cope up with his new challenge in later stages of the season.
Watford – Where They Can Finish:
Watford, the FA Cup semifinalists last season, ended up 13th in the league and could have finished much above if they had not lost their plot in later stages what cost Quique’s job. Nevertheless, they definitely have a decent squad to make it to the top half of the table and with such spirited display, they can even cause bigger upsets in upcoming fixtures.
What do you think of the current Watford squad? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Photo by bluebirdwfc