Premier League Stories - Episode 9Sep 28
Watford Fan’s Premier League Season Preview
The Hornets are back in the big time and preparing for an extended stay in the top flight under manager Xisco Munoz.
To stay up is the single goal. It doesn’t matter if it’s by one goal, one point or a dodgy decision, we know how difficult it is.
We know how important a good start is. We need that again as we did six years ago and we need to make ourselves hard to beat.
When we started awfully in 2019/20 we were relegated. Watford have a relatively kind run of games to start with this season so we know we need to make the most of it.
Some of the chances we gave away last season in the Championship would’ve been punished so we need to make sure we make less errors in defence.
The biggest concern is the defence.
Danny Rose has pedigree but there’s question marks over his form. All our centre halves are capable of being solid but equally, all are capable of making a mistake.
Defence is definitely the area that fans will be worried about. If the defence is too porous it’s going to be difficult to make the necessary changes to firm it up and if we get found out early, then the confidence will drain away.
Xisco has never had to face a run of bad performances and has never needed to turn around the confidence. The concern is getting found out early and then the confidence can drain away if we ship a lot of goals.
The midfield too is a worry. Will Hughes looks on his way out and Watford fans view him as instrumental. Peter Otebo has joined on loan from Stoke and Imran Louza has arrived from Nantes so it could be a completely new look midfield.
Most important player
Ismaila Sarr. It has to be - he’s the one that is able to unlock defences.
Watford must look to get him into the game as much as possible as he could give any defender in the Premier League trouble. He roasted Virgil Van Dijk and the lot of them when Watford beat Liverpool 3-0 a couple of seasons ago. So he’ll be the one that supporters will look to.
Sarr is already an extremely hot property after shining in both the Premier League and Championship, but Watford supporters will be keen to see how young Joao Pedro adapts to life in the top flight.
Watford feel that he’ll go on and be a genine superstar. He showed how tough he can be after being kicked around in the Championship and there are high hopes for him from the hierarchy.
Tougher than his slight frame suggests, skillful and with a keen eye for goal, Pedro in the Premier League is an exciting prospect.
What I’ve missed the most
Missing out on seeing Watford win promotion live was tough to take. Seeing the celebrations from a distance took the edge off any partying, but the biggest miss was not being able to experience the Hornets winning again, sat alongside friends, family and fellow fans.
The countdown is on to a full house at Vicarage Road and it’s safe to say I’m not the only one that simply cannot wait!
The squad is a Premier League squad.
Xisco seems to be a good man manager who knows how to get the best out of players and how to get them to perform to the levels they are capable of.
There is the talent in the squad to worry opposition defences and a decent attacking threat with the likes of Sarr. Plus there is experience with Troy Deeney as a presence in the dressing room and Craig Cathcart - a real no-nonsense defender.
So there’s a nice mixture of experience, talent and players who have something to prove. It should provide the ingredients to be a balanced side. Watford are in a little league of six at the bottom and they just need to be better than three of those sides.