Watford produced another lacklustre performance as they drew a blank away at Ashton Gate. Both Bristol City and the Hornets failed to capitalise on the limited chances that fell their way but both remain in the play-offs places after 13 games played. Here is how I rated the away side individually.
Ben Foster – 5/10
A couple of interventions for Foster on the night, he got a sharp toe on a dangerous cross which probably would’ve found the net if it wasn’t for the finest of margins. He collected well from Paterson’s second half strike at his near post but this wasn’t a testing night for shot stopping. His distribution was shocking, constantly producing wayward clearances or passes only increasing the pressure on his defence.
Jeremy Ngakia – 5/10
Ngakia could consider himself very unfortunate to have had a spell on the bench following some top form from Kiko Femenia and some fine form of his own but this was a disappointing performance, his first at right back. He was beaten too easily down his right hand side a couple of times, which led to alarming opportunities for the hosts. In possession he was too hit and miss and his attacking flair which made him an exciting prospect up to this point were too few and far between.
Christian Kabasele – 7/10
A clean sheet was much needed for Kabasele and his fellow defenders and he played his part with a largely commanding performance. He was dribbled past in the box which he was fortunate not to have conceded from but he won plenty of aerial duels and used his physicality effectively.
Craig Cathcart – 7/10
A sturdy display from the centre half. He will be ruing a guilt edged chance at the very end of the first half where he missed from close range. Defensively assured with sensible decision making throughout the 90 minutes.
Kiko Femenia – 6/10
A victim of the change of system, the Spaniard’s game was quite literally turned inside out operating at left back. This definitely halted his flying form making it more difficult to maraude down the wing and work the angles off his right foot. Not as cute and threatening in possession, the full back has suffered with some poor defensive performances in recent months so will be pleased that he passed his task going backwards this evening.
Nathaniel Chalobah – 4/10
A shoddy 90 minutes from a player that seems to keep finding his way into the starting line up. You could argue he was Bristol City’s best player in the first half as he found a red shirt more often than not when phased with anything that wasn’t extremely basic. He did use his strength to win a couple of duels but it’s redundant if you play in front of the back four and suffocate attacks from being built. And if you aren’t going to excel at that they you need to be completely tight defensively where he was also found wanting.
James Garner – 7/10
The leading light in terms of attitude and being pro-active on the pitch. Garner was a rare positive on a night of select few, showing bravery to get on the ball in difficult areas and playing incisive passes which led to Watford’s better moments in the first half. He was tenacious with this pressing and used the ball wisely. His set pieces felt key in a game of limited opportunities but despite a couple of wicked balls in he was lacking when it came to any consistency.
Ismaila Sarr – 5/10
His first start in his best position on right hand side of midfield, not taken. Watford’s star man should be too hot to handle for every full back in this division but it’s another game where he has failed to implement his quality. He didn’t really get at the opposition in the first half, trying his best to link the play but with limited success. He had two moments in the second half, firstly getting in behind the Bristol City defence and choosing to square for Gray which was superbly cut out. A very rare moment of getting the ball down the right flank meant a nice cross just evaded Chalobah in the centre but he was virtually a spectator when Watford really needed someone to step up.
Joao Pedro – 5.5/10
A match that demonstrated a real lack of experience in my opinion. The teenager was accomplished in possession of the ball showing some neat turns but throughout this was never hurting the opposition in dangerous areas. This is something that himself and management need to look into as Watford religiously find a way of having no one in the box which means it’s no surprise that they don’t look threatening. His decision making will understandably be frustrating at times but he had an easy chance to lay the ball off to Deeney in the box as the game wore on which had to go down as a significant moment in the match.
Domingos Quina – 7/10
Starting on the left hand side of midfield, this was Quina’s best showing in a Watford shirt this season. Whilst that is largely down to his poor showings so far, this was much more like the Quina that fans had high hopes for this season. He was constantly busy, making neat turns and finding his teammate more often than not. His long range strike in the first half was a fine effort, just too far wide of the right post. His second 45 was perhaps not as dazzling, giving away one really sloppy pass in particular but the most creative source of attack for the visitors. Hopefully he can build on this.
Andre Gray – 3/10
It’s hard to really knock a player who does put a good shift in up top but it got to a point where I laughed at how bad his touch and passing was. This was truly as bad as it got from a centre forward in terms of hold up play and leading the line. Despite not having a shot himself some of his work on the ball left you wondering how this man landed an £18 million move to Vicarage Road in 2017.
What do you make of these ratings? Let us know what changes you’d make in the comments below!