The Hornets looked dead and buried not all that long ago. Now after a miserable start to the season with no victory in their first 11 matches, hope has been restored thanks to an upturn in fortunes through the appointment of former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson. With the club now outside the drop zone on goal difference only, it’s all to play for in the remaining 10 games of the campaign. But can Watford Football Club seal what would be an impressive turn around and come back from the dead to avoid relegation?
It would be hard to argue that Watford’s emphatic 3-0 victory over Liverpool was one of THE results in the Premier League season so far. The most complete performance you will see from the team in yellow and black will have given them an almighty lift going into the final hurdles. Now though is where mental strength and holding your nerve is of greater significance than ever. This is an area that you have to question whether they are capable of dealing with pressure and finding the answers when they matter more than ever. The mentality around the place was a joke at the start of the season, starting with Brighton on the opening day with a lacklustre showing and a true indication of how easy the squad can fold without any hesitation.
The side have also blown opportunities in order to restore the fightback earlier under Flores and prior to the Liverpool result, just when fortunes looked all too good, they slumped to no win in 5 with some self imploding showings along the way. With the expectancy zero against Liverpool they proved triumphant but when the backs are really against the wall do they as a group have what it takes, their record not just this season proves otherwise.
Despite the huge victory against Klopp’s side, the major blow from the match was involving Deulofeu’s season ending injury. You won’t find a more frustrating player around than the Spaniard but he makes things happen for the team and is no doubt a key player. Both Deulofeu and Sarr are essential to the results on matches, their pace and flair on the wings opens teams up and is vital in finding a way out on the counter attack. Not only has Pearson lost a key performer but he’ll have lost a big part of the style of play that has inspired the wins since his arrival. I really feel this injury is a desperate hammer blow to the survival chances going forwards. Deeney is better with pace around him and the alternatives are one that don’t provide the same confidence. Pereyra has looked disinterested in recent months and has lost the faith of the fans despite being an obvious talent. We are yet to find out what Pussetto brings other than a clear work rate because of his limited game. The performances of Deulofeu’s replacement is going to be critical for how the league table finishes without a doubt.
The star man against the reds, Sarr’s absence through injury hit the squad hard when they went 5 games without a win. The 22 year old is probably the key to the survival chances which means they simply can’t afford his hamstring to go again. His work going both ways has been phenomenal and his pace is frightening, he gives that attacking penetration that slower players simply can’t offer. It would be unfair for the winger to have this much pressure on him being the difference but that is the sorry situation that Watford find themselves in.
I think it would be fair to say Watford ripped up the fixture list with their result last weekend. You really can’t look too deeply into what can happen at this stage of the season. You can however have a harder/easier 10 games than your nearest competitors and Watford will be looking at their fixtures particularly with key home games to come. Norwich, Newcastle and Southampton have to visit Vicarage Road and they have to pick up maximum points in these games. What’s been the downfall this season is being incredibly sub-standard in both boxes. If they can pick up in front of goal and try to eliminate the defensive wobbles then this set of players should definitely have enough, if only it was that easy…
What do you make of these points Watford fans? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image credit Sky Sports