Whispers have begun. Everton’s 1-0 victory at Goodison Park on Saturday makes it 8 losses in the row for Watford and 11 out of 13 dating back to the end of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Javi Gracia is being tested, “Today I’m disappointed for the result, not for the performance. I think we had a good performance, and, in my opinion, we deserved something, but you need to score in the moment you dominate the game.” It was a 10th minute Bernard goal that deflected off Craig Dawson, past the diving Ben Foster, the only defensive blemish on the day.
The defense looked better, but replaying the goal, it should never have materialized, starting with a long Lucas Digna pass out of the defensive third. The pass caught Kiko Femenia up the pitch, suddenly chasing Bernard down, taking the angle away, but never closing the Brazilian down.
In from that is reminiscent of Roberto Pereyra, Bernard cut inside to his right foot with Femenia and Dawson in front of him, still beating Foster on the short side.
Dawson had a chance to level the score on a Jose Holebas corner that found the defender at the back of the 6-yard box, as the sharp header bounded off the corner of the goal.
Troy Deeney made a great run into the 18-yard box, off a Deulofeu pass, took it in stride, but fired it directly at Jordan Pickford, who deflected the ball wide.
While the performance was better then what we experienced the week before Vicarage Road, the goal drought continues. The Golden Boys took fewer shots (8) and had fewer on target (2), then their game week one debacle.
“Today I am happy with the performance knowing we have many things to improve on, but there are many positives as well. I prefer to think this way knowing we’ve played only two games,” said Gracia after the game.
Gracia turned to VAR after the game, in a decision that was incorrectly awarded. Yerry Mina challenged Gerard Deulofeu inside the 18-yard box, as Mason’s decision, Deulofeu was diving, the ball over the end line resulting in a corner kick.
“I think today and in the last game there were many referee’s decision that were wrong in my opinion. In this moment I don’t know when it’s a penalty or not.” Gracia continued, “After Gerard got into the box Yerry Mina doesn’t touch the ball. There will be different opinions, but my opinion at this moment is I don’t know when it’s a penalty.”
While the Hornets looked improved over last week, there were still problems about the pitch. Deulofeu looked the most improved going forward, but Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure were “clumsy” and “sloppy” in their play. Will Hughes played well, but I believe he could find the bench, as Ismaila Sarr gains fitness, which could move Pereyra to the right wing.
Defensively, as a unit they have not come together in front of Foster. There could be a change needed at the back and I wouldn’t put it past Gracia to start Daryl Janmaat in place of Femenia and Adrian Mariappa for Dawson, giving the team a bit more defensive prowess and stability.
WATFORD FPL ASSETS
None. As an FPL manager, there are NO REASONS you should own any of the Hornets after GW2. They are of little value, even at their peak last year, they played much better as a TEAM, then individuals. Until we see some offensive spark or Deulofeu hit for goals in back to back games, the attacking assets are worthless.
Defensively, there needs to be work done. At this point, I don’t see the Hornets keeping clean sheets. Silly mistakes and some poor luck on a few deflected goals has made this one of the worst defenses in the league. Rest assured they won’t remain there, but no assets are worth pursuing.