Saturday’s game had a feel of mid-table staleness about it. What a staggering compliment that is to two newly promoted sides.
A game which saw Steve Cook awarded the player of the match award already summarises it was a day for the defences to come out on top as Roy Hodgson most probably fell asleep at the lack of opportunities England wannabes Troy Deeney and Benik Afobe had.
That’s their chances dashed for now… I’m asking you, what do you want to see next? We had played 27 league matches, we are convinced at least three sides are worse off than us.
Should we use this time for experiments? Or is it too soon? Personally it’s time to see what else this squad can do. I would like see Odion Ighalo and Deeney split, for a while anyway. Let’s see the modern convention of a lone striker, with the midfield filling and pressing up a a little more. Our depth across the middle is superb and I would love to see Adlène Guedioura and maybe Steven Berghuis or Ikechi Anya fill that gap. We need freshening up.
Part of my logic lies in what looks an inevitable departure this summer for Odion, a man we will struggle to replace no doubt. Now I am not saying let’s go ‘gung ho’, I’m not that brash or delusional. If Watford maintained the two holding rock viler centre midfielders, which would naturally ensure stability, it would leave Adlène space and an opportunity to excel. He is attacking and creative. So far he has been in a holding role and at times has tried too hard in a role where discipline is crucial.
I don’t blame the Algerian born player, because he has been itching to prove his worth. With a licence to roam, I think he could be our flair player which we have lacked with consistency. If not, how about young Berghuis who hasn’t featured in the squad since October against Arsenal.
Quique Sanchez Flores mentioned in the press that come the end of the season, we may get to see Steven start and he has been impressing in training.
For me, it’s time to break to combo and bring in a box-to-box or a flair player. This new dimension of player is what we need to reinvigorate our season. It’s with an air of greed I wish for this change. The likeliness is that Quique is unlikely to change anything unless an injury would occur in this injury free season so far.
Yes Deeney played out wide against Bournemouth, but for me its a change of personnel that is needed now, Quique is evidently superb at the tactical aspect of management.
Adlène; much like Nordin Amrabat, can run at defenders and cause problems. The benefit Adlène has is he far more used to the pace and approach of the English game. I’m urging Quique to make this change.
I would keep Valon Behrami and Étienne Capoue in the same roles; they have surpassed most pundits’ anticipation. I would then have Almen Abdi, Ambrabat and Guedioura behind front man Ighalo or Deeney. Surely a slight change in the way we attack is only going to have a positive affect?
Next season will be all change again; which yes we are accustomed too, and to me will not cast an inch of worry. With the likes of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Adalberto Penaranda joining the side, we need to start experimenting soon. At the moment, I struggle to see how they will fit in.
Yet again I am used to Watford needing to sign players to break into the first-team, I need reminding that the best clubs have superb depth all across the squad. The lovely news is what Watford is becoming. A superb squad which has Premier League quality from numbers 1 to 40.
Brad’s Prediction: Manchester United 1-2 Watford