It’s now 7-straight games without a win as Watford continue a run of poor form at both ends of the pitch. After an improved performance at Goodison Park, in a 1-0 loss to Everton, the Hornets returned to Vicarage Road to play another team struggling with form, West Ham. Just a single point on the season, the Hammers picked up a final day, 4-1 victory to end last season.
The scoring opened early with an Abdoulaye Doucoure foul on Manuel Lanzini, sending Mark Noble to the spot. Capitalizing on his excellent penalty taking record, Noble sent Ben Foster the wrong way, 1-0 Hammers.
Watford was able to respond quickly and decisively as Andre Gray combined with Gerard Deulofeu and Will Hughes that provided the equalizer in the 17th minute. “We have to recover the balance with defending and attacking and when we have the chance we have to be more clinical, but in this moment we get punished for every mistake we make,” said Javi Gracia.
“We created 23 opportunities today, so the creative side was there, but we just weren’t clinical enough,” said midfielder, Tom Cleverly. Gracia implemented a formation change, running out a 4-2-3-1 with Gray the lone forward, Deulofeu moving back to the left flank and Tom Cleverly playing in a center role. Hughes had the best chance of the game in the 55th minute on a great move by Gray to beat around Lukasz Fabianski and find the Watford midfielder at the back post. Hughes put the attempt wide from just 2-yards out.
That missed opportunity summed the day in the attacking third, had Hughes converted, this could have potentially provided momentum for the Golden Boys, but just nine minutes later would start the Sebastian Haller show, as the Frenchman would net twice.
Defensively, Watford is in disarray having conceded seven goals since the start of the season, only Norwich City has shipped more (8). Through three games, they’ve conceded 15 shots on target and eight big chances. “If we are critics with ourselves or demanding with ourselves we have to know we can’t concede seven goals in three games,” said Gracia.
Gracia’s performance will continue to be watched, as the club has made great strides in the transfer window to address deficiencies. Now, three games in and there isn’t much to get excited about. One goal scored, seven conceded. All eyes turn to Gracia, to tighten up a defense that has made errors and continues to concede.
WATFORD FPL ASSETS
Much like the previous week, you should not own ANY players from Watford. Until this team gets sorted out, I don’t see many goals being scored. Both Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr saw the pitch against West Ham, which is promising, but until they get more time and earn starting spots, they are watchlist material.
I want to remain positive about Deulofeu, but if Gracia continues to push him to the flanks, he won’t produce like he did last season. With Deeney now out for a few months, it will be interesting to see how the forwards work. I don’t believe we have a forward who can hold up play the way Deeney could.
Defensively, no assets should be considered.