After rare media attention and praise for how Marco Silva has started his reign at the club there was an air of inevitability that Watford would come crashing back down in far too predictable fashion when the hosts were such clear favourites going into a game against a poor Stoke side.
One corner in the 14th minute later and the script was all very much set as Darren Fletcher fired home from yet another lapse in concentration and organisation from a corner. Being at the game I was almost resigned to defeat as soon the Scotsmen opened the scoring, really I shouldn’t have been considering how much fight the team had shown in the nine games prior, this was more of a case of it just feeling like one of those days, it was about time I felt a dose of disappointment really otherwise I’d question what club I was supporting.
The main talking point over the weekend has all been about style of play, Manchester United under serial winner Jose Mourinho has been lambasted for United’s dull approach and while it is something to think about, who really cares should the Red Devils continue to claim silverware like they did last season despite being so poor. In response to a brilliant article by The Guardian Stoke are a whole new ball game and for me a debate over style is completely different. The Potters sat everyone behind the ball against Watford, there is nothing wrong with that at all when considering how the high flying hornets had done prior to the game but again this relates to the bigger picture, a cycle of rubbish on offer for the likes of Stoke who are merely existing.
This was a team once trying to integrate the name Stokealona, jovial or not it looked like the tide was turning from their ugly days under Tony Pulis. Xherdan Shaqiri looked a stunning capture from Bayern Munich, Bojan of Barcelona arrived, big money (£18m) was spent on Imbula, now on loan at Toulouse. So to park the bus against Watford really paints a picture of the miserable nature of Stoke City, I understand they did the professional job they needed, they defended very well and in Mark Hughes fashion, made it ugly and completely ruined a spectacle. But again it’s just a very dull cycle, there can’t be an exciting future ahead for Stoke.
We’ve seen with West Brom and Pulis that fans are sick of watching his football despite how well West Brom do results wise, fans of stable clubs outside of the top six have little to really hope for. I cannot see how a Stoke fan, a West Brom and including myself a Watford fan goes into a game truly caring about what the season can hold. 8th place is the title winning season and even then that’s not enough for some, as Southampton sacked Claude Puel for finishing there last campaign.
Watford have a far brighter future, under Silva the football has been exciting and thoughtful with the results to match. If teams want to ruin a game then it first of all is a compliment to us, we need to show more quality if teams are to do that, but for me I accept it is what it is, the bigger picture is I don’t have to watch tedious football every week, something that has to be a huge factor in the life of a fan outside the top six, in a league full of limitations there has to be a way of getting something out of a season so maybe the real winner wasn’t the club walking away with 3 points at Vicarage Road on Saturday…
Stoke and Watford fans, what are your thoughts on this article? Let us know in the comments below!