5 years to the day, the Pozzo family took over Watford Football Club and it’s been a great journey since then. I’ve previously expressed why I think they are the best owners in the Premier League but things haven’t always been plain sailing since the Italians have taken over. With so many players arriving at Vicarage Road in 5 years I take a look at a selection of the best and worst.
Worst Signing – Gabriel Tamas
Let’s start off with the worst signing under the Pozzo family, there have certainly been a fair few. For me Gabriel Tamas takes this award with 7 appearances to his name it’s crazy to think he was actually part of the club’s promotion season. He was a complete car crash of a signing even if he arrived on a free transfer. He scored an own goal vs Leeds in the 3rd game of the season, followed by a stupid sending off in his next home match vs Huddersfield with his next home outing at Vicarage Road resulting in one of the worst individual performance seen at the club’s home ground during these 5 years where he gave away a penalty against Bournemouth and was run ragged all game. Thankfully a goal from Cathcart salvaged a point in that game and while Cathcart never looked back, thankfully Tamas was no longer part of the plans.
Best Signing – Heurelho Gomes
A very difficult award as there’s numerous contenders for different reasons. I’m going with Heurelho Gomes on the basis that he’s made great contributions to the club in both the Premier League and the Championship. When the Brazilian arrived in 2014 he came with a reputation for calamitous errors but they have been few and far between for the Hornets since his arrival. He’s embraced the club and become a real favourite between the sticks. A significant reason for the club’s promotion, the former Spurs man won the player of the season award in the club’s first season in the Premier League and was the player’s player of the season for the last campaign showing how valuable he has been. A great piece of business.
Most Underrated Player – Ben Watson
Watson and Cathcart came to mind but I’ve gone with Watson on this occasion. His debut epitomises everything he has been for the club, coming on at half time when Watford were 2-0 down to Blackpool, he changed the game by being a steady influence in the middle of the park where Vicarage Road would witness 7 Watford second half goals and a 7-2 win. Ighalo grabbed the headlines but Watson was the quiet mastermind who would often not get much credit. Costing next to nothing from Wigan, he was crucial in the promotion season calming the play and really controlling matches. His experience has been pivotal and he was able to step up and produce in the Premier League under Quique Sanchez Flores where he made 41 appearances. Not a player that will get you off your seat but a very reliable figure and one you feel that was sometimes under appreciated at times.
Worst Team Performance – Hull City (A) 2017 0-2
There’s been a few of these and certainly under Walter Mazzarri you could have your pick from a number of contenders. So with it unfortunately fresh in the mind I’ll go with last season’s defeat to Hull City where Watford were surprisingly on the receiving end of a favourable refereeing decision when a Hull player was sent off. Despite playing against 10 men since the 25th minute, the side were woeful and gutless which summed the season up. Hull countered and scored 2 goals and despite having a lack of quality themselves were worthy winners which showed how pathetic the Watford performance was. There’s been a fair few to rival this down the last 5 years but when a side is that abject against a poor side it’s very disheartening.
Best Team Performance – Arsenal (A) 2017 2-1
We’ve been fortunate to witness a fair few in recent seasons but I’m going to go with last season’s away win at Arsenal. This edges it over the FA triumph over the Gunners and Manchester United among others for the fact it was completely unexpected and simply faultless particularly in the first half. Two goals inside 15 minutes by Kaboul and Deeney had the Emirates stunned and in truth it could have been more. A few days prior we were humiliated by Millwall so to see a performance full of organisation, quality and spirit was mesmerising. The inevitable fightback from Arsenal was tamed and the club walked away with three points which was staggering in the context of the season.
Match of the Pozzo Era – Watford 3-1 Leicester
It’s more than likely no game will come close to this one, even before the famous Deeney moment it was a breathtaking play-off semi-final. Vydra re-invented himself after a drought and scored a screamer to open the scoring. Despite Nugent equalising shortly afterwards Vydra found a second half finish to put the score level on aggregate. Everybody knows the rest, it was simply incredible and no words can do it justice so I will leave you the video for you to enjoy again!
Player of the Pozzo Era – Troy Deeney
The likes of Almen Abdi miss out to Troy who has been a part of the journey every step of the way. 3 successive 20+ goal seasons in the Championship in the end resulted in promotion for the club captain who was then to inspire the club on further in the first Premier League return under Quique Sanches Flores. 15 goals in all competitions and 10 this season is a good return but the former Walsall striker is much more than that. He’s been a huge asset and is very much the main man at Vicarage Road, his ability and personality has helped take the club to where they are today.
What do you think Watford fans? Let us know who deserves what award!
featured image credit At The Match