Keep the faith. Back the boys! “Come on you, Orns!” Deep in my heart, the love of Watford burns strongly, yet the performance on the pitch is a charred wasteland of what was and could have been. The struggles continue to shake the luster off the Golden Boys, as they travel south on the M1 to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Expectations this weekend? None. Last season this was a great reverse fixture, as Watford came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road. At Wembley Stadium, Craig Cathcart picked up a 38th minute goal. It would be Spurs equalizing and taking the lead in the late throws of the game, scoring twice in seven minutes to undo the Hornets.
News out of Vicarage Road this last week has been very quiet. Then again, what can Quique Sanchez Flores say? Coming off a very uninspired 0-0 draw two weeks ago at home, a game in which Watford had some excellent chances to put the game away, I am struggling to find excitement what Sanchez Flores brings to our squad.
The idea of sitting back, defensively in a 5-3-2 and allowing teams to run at us for 90 minutes, in hopes of hitting them on the counter attack doesn’t excite me as a supporter. We do have the speed and skill with Danny Welbeck and Gerard Deulofeu to be effective playing that game, but do we see these speedsters playing up top?
Against Sheffield United, it was Andre Gray getting the start and wasting a key chance to score in the first half, but Deulofeu was left on the bench, getting just 30 minutes to make an impact. Without our inspirational leader and captain, Troy Deeney, we need to change our game, as neither of these players can hold up the ball to build on the attack.
Surrendering over 60% possession to a struggling Blades attack, what will happen to our defense when you have the perennial “big six” teams play Watford? We could find the answer to that question this weekend. While Spurs are struggling, Mauricio Pochettino’s job could be on the line with a loss to Watford this weekend. Their loss two weeks ago to Brighton & Hove Albion was their 17th this calendar year, which could force owner, Daniel Levy into action. Former football, Tony Cascarino said, “The signs for Tottenham Hostpur are alarming. The team are getting worse, they are noticeably poorer than two years ago.”
Looking at these teams, Spurs are still a better team, when compared to Watford and it should be a straight forward win at home for Pochettino, to settle some of the naysayers. Spurs have been good at home this season, conceding just three goals over four games and scoring nine goals, while winning three out of four games. Their attack looks to be too much for the Hornets to handle, led by Harry Kane, who scored two goals over the international break. While the Spurs attack was limited to just three shots on target against Brighton, they did control possession, which is a big concern this weekend against Watford.
Even with a quality performance from Christian Kabasele against Blades, the Hornets don’t have the defensive stamina to hold off an attacking team like Spurs for 90 minutes. There are just too many weapons from Kane and Heung-min Son to Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen.
QSF had six members of his team participate in international duty including Craig Cathcart, Ismaila Sarr, Roberto Pereyra, Domingos Quina and Adrian Mariappa. We could see some potential changes to the starting XI against Spurs. I could see Cathcart, Pereyra and Sarr starting on the bench with Kabasele, Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley or Will Hughes starting. Based on the previous game, the Hornets will deploy the 5-3-2, which means anther game with Gray up top.
At best, Spurs and Watford play to a scoreless draw but I just don’t see that happening. Based solely on the level of talent, Spurs get the advantage and the win this weekend, 3-1.
No assets should be on your starting XI or under consideration.