This was Watford’s largest match of the season. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say it was their largest since their return to the top-flight in 2015; and so they failed to show up.
There was no starvation, an entire lack of understanding and no depth. Maybe in the event that they’d began wherever close to like they did within the second half, they might have given themselves half an opportunity.
Nonetheless, latest victories over Norwich City and Newcastle United may now be irrelevant. With fixtures in opposition to Manchester City and Arsenal developing, mixed with Watford’s incapability to defend, means Nigel Pearson’s aspect are actually praying that outcomes go their method.
A shambolic opening 35 minutes means their Premier League standing now hangs by a thread. West Ham had extra starvation, extra struggle and extra importantly, extra high quality, as illustrated by Declan Rice’s fantastic third when he was given far an excessive amount of time to line one up from vary.
They have been first to each unfastened ball and positively for the primary two objectives, it was cowl your eyes stuff from a Watford perspective.
Caught in possession and much too gradual to react to 2 deflections for the primary after which Tomas Soucek, who’s so lethal from set-pieces along with his aerial prowess, was given the liberty of the London Stadium to go residence for the second.
But, this demise has been coming. Watford had the proper alternative to construct final summer time after ending 11th and reaching the FA Cup Closing. Arguably, Watford’s inventory had by no means been so excessive, even after being thrashed by Manchester City within the cup ultimate, because it was such an enormous achievement to get there.
However their humiliation on the largest stage ought to have been the wake-up name Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury wanted to put money into the squad, because the warning indicators had been there someday earlier than that.
The defence has been an enormous drawback and wanted funding for 3 seasons at the least. But the one defensive addition they made final summer time was Craig Dawson. Whereas Dawson’s been one of many membership’s higher performers in latest weeks, is he a lot of an improve on the membership’s different centre-back choices in Christian Kabasele, Craig Cathcart and Adrian Mariappa? No, is the reply.
You additionally ask the query what number of of this Watford defence would get into every other Premier League aspect’s beginning line-up. Other than goalkeeper Ben Foster, none is your reply. Plenty of them could be squad gamers or enjoying Championship soccer.
There’s additionally an enormous sentimentality from these larger up on the membership surrounding Troy Deeney, too. Deeney is, fairly rightly, a Watford legend and can go down within the membership’s historical past as one of many biggest striker’s to have donned the Hornets jersey.
There’s a motive, in any case, that he’s scored 132 objectives in all competitions, rating him among the many membership’s main goal-scorers.
However the membership’s talisman has misplaced a yard of tempo and isn’t as cellular as he was. They’ve wanted a extra cellular striker or somebody capable of rating 10-15 objectives ever since Odion Ighalo was offered in January 2016. There’s a motive why solely Crystal Palace and Norwich have scored much less within the league this season and that’s as a result of the Golden Boys’ strikers simply aren’t scientific sufficient.
Nobody appears to have that imaginative and prescient to make that run throughout the primary man or make an clever run in behind and there appears to be a reluctance to commit our bodies ahead.
There additionally appears an excessive amount of of an overreliance to go lengthy to Deeney as a lot as potential. But on the uncommon events the place the Hornets are affected person in possession, they give the impression of being a reasonably competent aspect.
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In brief, whereas different golf equipment within the Premier League have been proactive, Watford have stood nonetheless. The identical previous issues have been there for a number of years.
Pozzo and chairman Duxbury have carried out an enormous quantity of fine work to Vicarage Street stadium, the coaching floor and in re-energising the entire membership since their arrival in 2012. Nonetheless, their failure to deal with obvious points may nicely be such a pricey error, main, finally, to Championship soccer subsequent season.