Saturday’s 3-0 thumping of Newcastle gave a real demonstration of how much Marco Silva has brought his Watford side forward in this short space of time. And as Everton have come calling last week it’s the perfect time to look back on his incredible achievements so far at Vicarage Road.
Silva’s career in England started on 5th January this year when he joined Hull City with the aim of keeping them in the top flight. Before Silva even sat in the dugout he was being written off by pundits everywhere, with former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson saying “What does he know about Hull? It’s quite astonishing that they’ve plumped for someone like this. It’s just baffling when there’s a lot of people out there who know about the Premier League – know what’s required to dig it. He’s not got a clue.”. The two-time UEFA Cup winner also added that it was “another slap in the face to all our British cultures and managers – and what they have done to make this appointment for six months is just embarrassing to the football club.”. However, Silva almost proved his critics wrong keeping a struggling Hull side in the Premier League until the penultimate game of the season. And after Walter Mazzarri departed after an underwhelming spell at Watford there was only one place for Silva to go.
Once arriving in London Gino Pozzo and Co gave Silva the funds to build a squad around his style of play, bringing in players such as Will Hughes and Richarlison. Since his incredible start to the season people have discovered how hard Silva works behind the scenes looking at his opponents weaknesses and training his squad around them. Take Saturday’s thumping of Newcastle for example, Silva was able to discover that the Toon’s Achilles heel was the left channel in which DeAndre Yedlin put’s very little work in and floats inside. Therefore he placed Zeegelaar in that channel so cross-field balls can be played to him so he can cut inside and shoot. This lead to the Hornets tearing apart Newcastle as Yedlin was refusing to track back and other defenders were refusing to cover him.
However, after setting the Premier League alive in his first couple of games one of SIlva’s signings Richarlison has started to fall off. The young Brazillian has started to miss clear chances in front of goal. With his mistakes against Chelsea making the headlines. Luckily Silva thought ahead and brought in the service of Andre Gray who bagged a goal at St James’ yesterday.
Since arriving in the summer Silva has set up his squad around his style of play. Starting with a 3 at the back, a five-man midfield and a centre-forward who plays just behind the striker. The five-man midfield allows for the central midfielder to sit just behind the defense whilst the left and right center midfielders remain in there positions like a 4-4-2 formation, but more spread out, which allows the left and right midfielders to push up and almost play as wingers. this allows the center-forward to have options to the left and right of him allowing him, the striker and the left and right center midfielders to push into the box if a cross was going to be played in. This also allows for expansive play and for the center midfielders to draw the defense into the middle of the pitch leaving the wingers space to cut in and shoot.
Silva’s extensive research on opponents and tactically advanced play has been a massive part of the Hornets success with them taking 21 points from 13 games. There best ever start to a season, and long may it continue!
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featured image credit Sky Sports