Odion Ighalo has got Quique Flores the Sack

Vic Road

Written by David Robinson

From afar, Watford Head Coach Quique Sanchez Flores has guided newly promoted Watford to 13th in the Premier League with 1 game left, having been comfortable safe from relegation for quite some time. The Hornets have also had a Wembley visit for an FA Cup Semi-Final. The Spaniard certainly has done a fantastic job this season. So why on Earth has he just lost his job?…

150714_Quique_FloresWatford have been in the decline since 2016, their results read 4 wins, 3 draws and 11 losses from 18 games but also noticeably a miserable Semi-Final performance against Crystal Palace. The Golden Boys lack of attacking prowess means they are the 2nd lowest scorers, behind Aston Villa. Many Watford fans will tell you its been a painful watch in recent months however I believe the sharp twist in fortunes since the change of the year has be down to one main factor that I think has cost Quique Sanchez Flores his job…

Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian transformed his scintillating Championship form over to the Premier League becoming a leading scorer in the early months of the season. His partnership with Deeney was a handful for defences and an unknown quantity more importantly. This paired with a very well structured defensive unit throughout the whole team was becoming a perfect recipe for success for a promoted team. All the chances seemed to fall for Ighalo and he would take them more often than not. His all round confidence and ability on the ball made him look a top player in 2015.

2016 has been a different story. Before Wednesday, Ighalo had scored just one Premier League goal in 2016. This is why I mainly believe Odion Ighalo has got Quique Flores the sack.  First of all I acknowledge that a team shouldn’t have to rely on one goal scorer, a lack of alternative attacking options has put the pressure on Deeney and Ighalo to score. And while performance levels have certainly dropped which QSF has to take responsibility for, Ighalo’s drop in performance has been heavily costly. The 26 year old has looked out of sorts, his all round game has been painful at times with his decision making woeful. When a big chance has come along, he hasn’t taken it like he did in 2015. Poor team performances or not, he has cost Watford points alone and possibly his Head Coach his job. Manchester United away was the prime example, Watford surprisingly dominated the match, having a host of chances and getting into a good areas.  Here Ighalo wasted several clear cut opportunities to score or assist with Watford losing 1-0 to a late Juan Mata free kick. It was disappointing not to win that game let alone not get anything. Several clear cut chances missed by the front man has left Watford with several blanks and zero points to show from it which on paper looks awful. If Ighalo had been ruthless in front of goal, Quique’s men would certainly have gathered more points in the process. An extra 6 points which is a realistic reflection in some games would have take them up to 9th, ahead of Chelsea. While I can still acknowledge what I believe the minor faults of QSF to be, I strongly believe that a more confident and even slightly more clinical Odion Ighalo would have raised no questions of QSF’s job in the first place.

Watford fans, do you agree that this has been a large contributing factor or is it a lot more than this? Have your say in the comments below!