Watford secured their golden 40 point mark with another home win, making it three on the bounce at Vicarage Road and three straight home clean sheets in the process. A refreshing statistic for Walter Mazzarri and the Hornets who put a twelve point margin between opponents Swansea City who missed what should’ve been considered a presentable opportunity to escape the drop zone. A first half Capoue strike at the second time of asking grabbed the points in what gives very contrasting outcomes for both clubs. Here are how I rated the victorious Golden Boys.
Hereulho Gomes 7/10
His first point of call was a poor punch from a cross which lead to a presentable Swansea opportunity, not the calming start needed. Rarely tested to any degree of difficulty when facing shots, Gomes had to be commanding of his box on occasions, particularly in the second half where he relieved pressure and distributed with assurance.
Daryl Janmaat 6/10
Going forwards on the overlap there probably are few that beat the Dutchmen in that department in this league. His quality at crossing is a real asset most noticeably in this match where he set Deeney up which drew a fine stop from Fabianski. Defensively though you can only be concerned, he stuck to his task but was unconvincing in certain moments, particularly when Ki easily worked an opening in the box in the first 45. A tactical change that allowed him further forwards caused panic and he like others was all over the place.
Seb Prodl – 6/10
Prodl would’ve been targeting getting the better of Llorente in this match and that he ultimately did. A couple of stupid fouls given away and inaccurate cross-field balls meant it wasn’t his finest. The team look firmer when he’s in the side so another decent game from surely a player of the season contender.
Adrian Mariappa – 7/10
Not bad for a 6th choice centre back! Mariappa can be happy with his recent contributions playing on the front foot in this clash. Was prepared to play out of the back making just a couple of errors. Offered good cover to the full backs, a good performance.
Jose Holebas – 7/10
Like the rest of the back four, was rarely beaten and pushed back where he is sometimes susceptible. Linked the play with Niang nicely down the left and the Greeks decision making was assured. The type of performance needed from a left back to win games, solid.
Nordin Amrabat – 5/10
Didn’t look overly pleased to be replaced once again but for all the good work the Moroccan has done this season, this has got to be up there as his least influential. I can’t recall him running at Olsson once, he look frustrated at times when he should have got the service but a flat game from Amrabat, by no means a poor display but shouldn’t feel hard done by on this occasion.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7.5/10
Probably another man of the match display, openings are being created and play is ticking and that is down to the introduction of Doucoure in the team. His positivity and drive is giving this midfield an engine and control that’s rarely been there this season. A couple of bursts and switches of play along with a great sliding tackle on the edge of the Hornets box were the highlights but it was all about a simple and effective game that is helping Watford in a different manner previously seen. Bonus.
Etienne Capoue – 7/10
The days are long gone when Capoue dictated games, now it seems he’s based on bits and pieces throughout 90 minutes. He pinched the ball from the Swansea centre half and fired home at the second time of asking, a neat demonstration that the former Spurs man has a lot in his locker but we already knew that. Overall again a solid display in both areas of the pitch, I liked the way he scampered around finding pockets of space, not always found but as other fans have noted, while the suns out, Watford have a talented midfielder.
Tom Cleverley – 5/10
There are two sides to his role, one was executed very well and the other was way off at Vicarage Road on this occasion. He couldn’t seem to string a pass together in the opening stages but while others particularly in this Watford side would cave in, Cleverley has some bottle and grit, something that is massively to be admired. He picked up some nice positions the execution was just off, defensively intercepted a number of times and made life difficult for Swansea, credit to him, just not on it in possession.
M’baye Niang – 6.5/10
Will drive past his opponent and then fall over, you don’t know what you will get from the on loan forward. Had the beating of his full back all day and uses the ball intelligently which shows he’s got a lot to offer. His decision making was very hit and miss but the attitude in this match was encouraging, certainly raw but Niang is showing he’s starting to put a bit of consistency together. Talent.
Troy Deeney – 6.5/10
Held the ball well and made himself an option for a more fluent looking Watford side which means he’s not always having to get on the end of lofty balls up to him which has contributed to a lackluster style of play in the past. Didn’t get much of a sniff at goal again, sliding in a shot which was well saved was the key moment in the first half.
Christian Kabasele – 6/10
The Belgium international was introduced at right back where he’s previously slotted in, the right side looked uncomfortable onwards in truth from a lack of cohesion. That wasn’t much down to the performance of Kabesele but the responsibility of the manager who disrupted the balance of the side. Looked assertive in the challenge and dealt with everything that came is way well but wasn’t truly tested.
Stefano Okaka – 7/10
Although not on the pitch long, his impact was exactly what was needed, carrying the ball as far from the Watford goal as possible, out muscling the Swansea defence, holding the ball in the corner and causing counter threats when Watford were trying their best to throw it away, certainly seems to do no wrong when he wears yellow so far.
Watford fans, what changes would you make? Let us know in the comments below!