Watford

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Premier League

Round 38

2020-07-26 16:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Watford

In


Craig Dawson (def) WBA; Tom Dele-Bashiru (mid) Man City U23; Sam Dalby (att) Leeds; Marvin Zeegelaar (def) Udinese – end of loan; Dimitri Foulquier (def) Getafe – end of loan; Stefano Okaka (att) Udinese – end of loan; Cucho Hernandez (att) Huesca – end of loan; Filip Stuparevic (att) Vozdovac – end of loan;

Out


Miguel Britos (sp) (def) end of career; Tommy Hoban (def) released; Ben Wilmot (def) Swansea – on loan; Jerome Sinclair (att) VVV Venlo – on loan; Obbi Oulare (att) Standard Liege – loan made permanent; Kwasi Sibo (mid) Ibiza – on loan; Dodi Lukebakio (mid) Hertha Berlin;

Watford had very successful last season with the top half finish in the league accompanied by a memorable FA Cup campaign that saw the Hornets reaching the final for the first time in nearly 30 years. In the end no silverware was won, but nonetheless the results and displays were impressive. Coach Gracia hasn’t lost anyone important so far in the transfer window, and the interesting partnership Deeney-Deulofeu in attack is promising to be causing all sorts of problems to defences again. Defender Dawson is the only notable new arrival, with his signing suggesting that in some matches Watford might be tempted to go for 5 at the back. Especially against the Big 6, the Hornets were way too exposed last term, and a more defensive approach could only improve their results in such fixtures. Watford played some modern football last season and this should continue with the abundance of talent in midfield all gifted passers, plus the full-backs are all aggressive attack-minded players. The Hornets have a big squad and targeting another long run in the 2 cup competitions is likely, with Watford also looking well covered for pretty much every position on the pitch if injuries occur. Gracia is also known for his extra work on set pieces, with most of the defenders proven goalscorers from dead-ball deliveries, and Holebas one of the most accurate crossers from such situations. Last season only Liverpool, Chelsea and Crystal Palace registered more shots on goal from set pieces.

Target


To seek another top 10 finish, but in order to achieve it they will have to maintain the levels of performance from last season. Targeting long runs in the cup competitions also expected.

Season Review
2019/2020

№19: Watford

Only a single win in the opening 17 rounds and the sacking of 3 managers during the campaign were amongst the main reasons why Watford suffered relegation. Releasing Javi Garcia after just 4 games was strange, but it was even stranger that his replacement Flores was given just 10 games before he was sacked too. Pearson was next at the helm, with Watford bottom and 6 points adrift from safety when he came in. Under him at least the home results improved and the Hornets even exited the relegation zone before again slumping into mediocrity in July. This saw Pearson also sacked with just 2 rounds left. Without a fighting chance of survival 2 more defeats followed in their final games. The form at home was the team’s main strength and undoubtedly the most memorable game of this season was the 3:0 home win vs champions Liverpool in late February. Individually Doucoure, captain Deeney and, up until his serious injury in February, Deulofeu were the best players this season. An inability to defend set pieces and unfocused starts to matches were reasons for their struggles - Watford conceded 17 goals inside the opening 20 minutes of games. There was no unity in the squad with captain Deeney hardly giving an example when refusing to get back to training during the COVID-break due to safety reasons. Of the 4 managers that were in charge during the campaign, Pearson achieved the best results, but he showed poor management at dealing with the COVID-break and after the restart Watford were mere shadows of themselves. The Italian owners are now eager to sell the most valuable players, with reports that they might move all of their investments out of England due to Brexit concerns intensifying. All this suggests turbulent times for the Hornets and possible new ownership.


Player of the Season: Abdoulaye Doucoure

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