So. Have you recovered from what happened last season yet?
Absolutely. Despite having a season ticket for the Super Rams, I still managed to see Watford 11 times last season. Obviously, it was a bit of a downer at times (the 3 nil defeat to Leicester still sticks in my mind) but the close season under the Pozzos always offers the chance of renewal & a large influx of quality players. I’m pretty confident that Beppe Sannino is the right man for the job too.
Happy with what’s happened over the summer?
You could say that. I’ve been absolutely astounded by the players that have come in, so it’s really a question of whether or not they all perform & Sannino can meld them into a proper team. Almen Abdi’s back to full fitness too, which should make a massive difference. His absence last year was crucial. Vydra’s back & Andrews or Tozser can fill the Eustace/Hogg role to good effect (which Iriney was supposed to do last season but failed so spectacularly).
I think it’s worth listing the players that have been added over the summer:
Craig Cathcart (Blackpool, central defender)
Lloyd Dyer (Leicester, left winger/wing back)
Heurelho Gomes (Spurs, goalkeeper)
Juan Carlos Paredes (Granada, left back)
Gabriel Tamas (Doncaster Rovers, central defender)
Keith Andrews (Bolton, holding midfielder)
Odion Ighalo (Udinese/Granada, striker
Gianni Munari (Parma, midfielder)
Daniel Tözsér (Parma, midfielder) Matěj Vydra (Udinese, striker/ returning messiah ).
Not bad, really!
I went to the St Albans City & Udinese friendlies & was pretty encouraged by the performances. Having said that, I felt similarly positive last season & look how that turned out..
How do you think the team will look like for the first game against Bolton?
Despite some tinkering with 4-3-3 & 4-4-2, I expect the team to revert to the traditional 3-5-2 Pozzo formation. It will be interesting to see if Ecuadorian World Cup superstar Paredes lines up at right wing back & who plays up front. Deeney & Vydra haven’t looked completely “on it” during pre-season. I hope Tozser is fit enough to play the holding role, as I think he’s pretty crucial to the shape of the team.
Anything you’re worried about?
1) Angella, Tamas, Ekstrand etc continuing the over casual defending that led to so many lost points last season.
2) Sannino possibly not being up to it & being replaced by Christmas.
3) The East Stand still not being completed, meaning we can only get seats in an obscure corner of the Rookery again..
What do you feel positive about?
1) All the new players, especially returnees like Vydra & Toszer.
2) An injury free Almen Abdi.
3) Finally watching Watford in a ground with four sides (hopefully).
Finally. What are your predictions?
Given the quality in the squad, a play off bid is an absolute must. I’m going for 3rd place & victory at Wembley in the play off final. That’s jinxed it then..