Surprise surprise, Watford go from the high of beating the club world champions to losing in limp fashion to the masters in ordinary, Crystal Palace. A first half strike from Jordan Ayew on the edge of the box was the difference in a game that was lacklustre from both sides from start to finish. I spoke briefly before the game about Watford’s final hurdles and I am not the least bit surprised that we’ve slumped to defeat against a truly dire opposition when there was a golden chance to push from the drop.
It was always going to be a completely different test, just because you come against one of the weakest squads in the league featuring the awful Benteke, Joel Ward and co doesn’t mean victory will be a given after you’ve just outplayed the likes of Mane, Salah and Firmino. The Eagles look to make the occasion a turgid one and bring you down to their level and my word they did that effectively. The levels of desire looked nothing short of pathetic from the visitors and the game passed them by.
It’s hard to really pick out many incidents in what was such an uneventful game but the winning goal summed up the match for the Hornets. A couple of loose balls were not picked up by any players in yellow and black and when Ayew found the opening on the edge of the box he was tamely ‘closed down’ by Cathcart and Masina as he fired pasted Foster who had very little to do all game.
Watford missed the injection of energy and impetus from Deulofeu, Pereyra is making a mockery of fans who put in the money and effort to watch him amble around the pitch. But he wasn’t the only one, the ball was knocked around as if Watford were not in the mire, when the opening goal went in there was no reaction and as the game went on a source of inspiration was needed. It wasn’t coming from the players and it certainly wasn’t coming from the manager. Pearson was equally shambolic with his management as we’ve seen in recent weeks barring the Liverpool match. His subs are not pro-active and it allowed the game to go out with a whimper.
I fully expected the Liverpool game to provide that extra bit of energy and belief on the ball but we were uninspiring from every single individual. There was no one willing to take risks, get into dangerous areas and inject some life into a lifeless game. You once again wouldn’t have thought Watford were in the trouble with the lack of urgency and leadership shown. And that is exactly why the club is where it is, they are a bunch of losers when it really matters. They’ve shown that from the start of the season and have been the specialists in giving completely ordinary sides the 3 points as they have done again at Selhurst Park.
I think because Sarr had a quiet game there was a lack of penetration for the team, you can’t rely on a 22 year old to pull things out the bag always and because Palace sat deep there had to be some form of creativity. I thought Doucoure was trying and had a couple of bright moments but he is not a creative midfielder, there had to be more rotation among the midfield 3 and Pereyra needed to get into good pockets of space but the intensity was lacking and Watford limped to defeat which now sees them stare down the barrel of relegation.
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featured image credit football london