Watford kicked off the FA Cup weekend in pragmatic fashion having grinded a 1-0 win away at Loftus Road. QPR gave the Premier League side a lot to think about particularly in the first half and they had to rise up to the challenges posed by the R’s in order to get to the FA Cup Quarter finals where Etienne Capoue’s first half goal was the difference. Here’s how I rated the Watford players from Friday evening…
Heurelho Gomes – 8/10
Gomes had a lot to live up to considering the man in front of him has been one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League this season. He did so on his 38th birthday as he used his experience to ease the pressure on the Hornets backline. With QPR looking to pump balls into the Watford box at every opportunity his handling was top class and I thought his decision making to punch when needed was smart. He didn’t have too much to do in terms of shot stopping but a fine save from Wells in the first half was key from the fans favourite.
Daryl Janmaat – 7/10
An efficient display from the right back who continues to impress with some nice form. Janmaat was accused by Newcastle fans of not getting in the trenches when things get tough before signing but he certainly didn’t look like hiding tonight. Was consistently sensible and tidy on the ball and got up and down his flank nicely meaning he never exposed the clubs right side.
Christian Kabasele – 6.5/10
Kabasele’s input has been fairly damaging in his last few appearances and you feel he needs to shake it off as soon as possible. He was faced by a giant opponent in Matt Smith who I thought he battled hard against. He was less convincing with this that his defensive partner but overall he covered and intercepted regularly enough to put in a productive outing. Unfortunately he played a calamatious clearance in the second half which nearly resulted in an equaliser which wouldn’t have helped his cause.
Miguel Britos – 9/10
Man of the match. A magnificent display from the Uruguayan defender who hasn’t featured much for the club at all this season. He seemed to relish the duel against Matt Smith and commanded the box relentlessly. When the defence were in desperate need of someone to stand up to the physical onslaught Britos always seemed to be in the right positon and take charge. Pretty much a faultless performance.
Jose Holebas – 6.5/10
Holebas is a different player this season and is exactly the character you would want going into such a dogfight. That did prove to be the case with him sticking to task and being part of the successful clean sheet from the visitors. His passing was poor though and he didn’t link up well with Sema, particularly in the first half. His set pieces were good overall and was defensively sound enough to contribute to the victory.
Will Hughes – 4/10
It just wasn’t Hughes’s night. In a game in desperate need of quality you can always rely on Hughes to be on the most intellingent players on the pitch. He often picked up some nice pockets but he gave it away so many times nothing seemed to be working. He was so loose on the ball it allowed QPR to be in transition numerous times and he even gave away a few stupid free kicks which added pressure to the backline.
Tom Cleverley – 5/10
Again workman-like from Cleverley as you’d expect but there does seem to be a limited productivity from his partnership with Capoue and I think that has to be behind Cleverley more than the Frenchman. He did the basics well, screening the back four with some good pressing and kept it simple but there was no added value other than that. Maybe that is the responsibility of the more forward thinking players in front of him but it’s something for Javi to consider as we look a lot more proactive when Doucoure is on the pitch.
Etienne Capoue – 7/10
The match winner and again a changed man as this is the type of occassion which would pass the former Spurs man by. He did start off sloppily and was guilty of getting into a mess from the outset. As the game wore in he became much more the Capoue that we’ve seen this season. Asserting control and being an effective anchor dispossessing the opposition. He showed his class even more so in the closing stages as he linked the play nicely. Took his goal well on the stroke of half time which proved to be decisive.
Ken Sema – 5/10
As stated previously Sema didn’t link up with Holebas very well down the left side. His first half performance very much summed the game up, scrappy and gritty but simply not enough to put Watford at ease. His highlight was undoubtedly some lovely skill in the second half to beat a man and earn an unlikely corner but an overall lack of quality again it has to be said despite the work he puts in defensively which should be recognised.
Troy Deeney – 5/10
The captain started next to Andre Gray which I’m sure would’ve pleased the Watford fans before a ball was kicked. Deeney was again limited in terms of service but I don’t think he had a particuarly good game and was starved of any opportunites to find the net. He did however play a fine through ball to Gray who was wrongfully ruled for offside when he was bound to make it 2-0. Deeney’s leadership came to fruition as he helped see the game out smartly in the closing stages but it was still far from a great performance.
Andre Gray – 5/10
Like his striker partner the link up play was limited this evening and Gray would’ve been frustrated not to add to his goal from last weekend after he made a neat run and rounded the goalkeeper to score only for it to be ruled out for offside. Gray was part of a fairly disjointed Watford performance in spells as he failed to keep possession on occassions. QPR wouldn’t have felt overly troubled by the Deeney-Gray partnership which would’ve been disappointing after their impact against Everton.
Adrian Mariappa – 6/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7/10
Domingos Quina – N/A
What changes would you make to these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!