In 2017 I wrote about the Pozzo Family being the best owners in the Premier League. Whilst the current feeling at the time would’ve led Watford fans to nod in agreement I’m sure, enough has changed since then where my confidence has now dipped and I’m starting to question the high standards the Pozzo’s have set since taking the club over in 2012.
Following Watford’s complicated and unfortunate relegation last season, Scott Duxbury and Gino Pozzo released the following statement:
Despite relegation I still had the belief that the hierarchy would be ruthless, learning from their glaring errors and at least put us in a strong position in what is a highly demanding division. It is unquestionable that the board’s neglect on the squad in certain areas as well as creating a blame culture on the head coach had resulted in the club’s downfall and now I feel that despite the statement above, the board are still not fully delivering on their ambitions and have a lot to prove this month.
Our squad at the start of the season was one that certainly showed enough intent to deliver on an instant return to the Premier League, with Ismaila Sarr staying signalling that more than anything. This is a player that was wanted by Liverpool and Man Utd so to knock back some lucrative offers with a high asking price shows that they are trying to comprise a good enough squad to get promoted. Players were also moved on who didn’t want to be here when possible and Vladamir Ivic was trying to install a healthier mentality around the camp.
Now months into Watford’s Championship Campaign, the Pozzo’s have to meet their words mentioned above this January. The early departure of Etienne Capoue was a bitter pill to swallow and it is undeniable that the club need a replacement for him. Any fan can see that the performances of Chalobah and Garner are not up to standards and therefore Will Hughes is going to need some ample assistance in that department, that for me is a non-negotiable.
Despite years of failing to add a quality striker to the squad, the club find themselves in a truly testing situation where they have enough forwards but without any genuine quality and a high wage bill to match. Andre Gray and Troy Deeney have shown more than enough to suggest they are not the future of this club, nor worryingly are they the present. If we continue to operate with these two up front then there’s every chance they could be the difference between staying in the Championship without a fight for making the play-offs, they feel that detrimental. Compare this to the last Championship season where we had Deeney in his prime along with Vydra, Ighalo and Forestieri, the comparison is frightening.
I would have sympathy for the board knowing that it’s easy for a fan to make a throw away comment on the finances of a club but putting Andre Gray as such a high earner after an £18 million move is testimony to some of the poor recruitment made in recent times and as testing as it is, it is up to them to solve the issue.
Finally, leaving Ivic without a left back while Masina was injured was not the formidable response in completing the squad for the Championship. Despite 4 full backs presently at the club, having Kiko as backup to Masina has a feel of trying to get by which is somewhat understandable but it has left the head coach limited on possibilities to this point and once again it doesn’t inspire confidence as a fan. While perhaps this now doesn’t feel essential, an addition here would reiterate the ambitions of giving Munoz everything he needs to achieve his task rather than sacking another head coach having left them to dry.
After the departure of a head coach already whether right or wrong, it’s put the spotlight firmly on the Pozzo’s, particularly after appointing such a rookie coach shortly after. Even when decisions have been questionable in the past, I find it hard to not stick by the people that have given the club so much on and off the pitch. I believe their intentions are always the right ones but where I’ve been reluctant to make complaint before, the months have passed where I’m struggling to get on board with the messages they have portrayed to the fans. They simply have to inject some quality into this squad in the transfer window, whilst slowly building the blocks for a resilient and harmonious dressing room with an element of stability. As they said themselves ‘it’s how you react that defines you’ and that really couldn’t be more telling.
What do you make of this Watford fans? Let us know in the comments below!
featured imaged credit prabook