A look at the season from a midfield perspective
In the penultimate part of our seasonal review, we at VitalWatford asses the input of the midfield throughout the 2010/11 campaign…
4. John Eustace: Captain fantastic. Probably on par with Martin Taylor in his ‘Player of the Season` credentials had Danny Graham not been so impressive. Lead by example throughout and although we didn`t miss him terribly during his injury he is critical to the side. Should he move on over the summer the midfield will be weaker considerably. Also worth noting the importance of his goal input from midfield having been quite shy previously.8/10Chrisgwfc says: John Eustace – 9
nother outstanding season from the glue that holds the team together. Experienced in the middle and pretty much everything goes through him. Managed to avoid 10 bookings before April 10th so he didn’t get a two match ban almost as big of an achievement as his 6 goals.
7. Don Cowie: Missed massively whilst injured, Cowie has re-captured his best form this season after a slump last term. An unbelievable effort at Bristol City earlier in the season and a hat-trick of assists in the Millwall demolition job are particular highlights for the workaholic Scot. Like Eustace, Don has added to his goal input and his experience is important in a youthful midfield. Contract extension was a relief. 8/10Chrisgwfc says Don Cowie – 8 Works really hard for the team and probably covers more ground than any other player. No coincidence our poorest spells have come while he was out injured. One of the highest assist’s in the league and has scored a few goals too.
8. Josh Walker: An incredibly frustrating season for the former Middlesbrough man who has clocked up more minutes out on loan than with the Hornets. One wonders if we will ever really see Walker in a Watford shirt or if his fate as an ‘Orn was decided soon after his arrival. Next season is a pivotal one for Walker. 4/10
11. Will Buckley: It`s been a good season for the Hornet`s ‘Young Player of the Season` who has really made the breakthrough this campaign. However, between the spells of brilliance have been absent displays and periods spent warming the bench. Next season Buckley will need to be electric more often; the management obviously believe in ‘Bucko` having rejected two offers from Brighton.7/10Chrisgwfc says: Will Buckley – 7 Has improved from last season and on his day can be one of the best players in the division. Has produced some wonderful performances this season but drifts out of games when things aren’t going his way rather than work hard to try and get into it.
14. Ross Jenkins: Thanks to the form of John Eustace it looked to be another season of bench-warming and reserve run-outs from Jenkins, however with the skipper picking up injury at Scunthorpe, Jenkins seized the slim chance handed to him. When Stephen McGinn was sidelined, Jenkins stepped in again but the long-term future is not Eustace-Jenkins in the centre of midfield.6/10
15. Stephen McGinn: Signed last January like Buckley, McGinn has also kicked on to prove himself a first-team regular. A season-ending injury at Doncaster was a blow but when he returns, he`ll be like a new signing. 7/10Chrisgwfc says: Stephen McGinn – 7 Season blighted with injuries. Really improved since the summer and found a niche playing behind the striker. Chipped in with a couple of goals just a shame his season was ended with an injury that will probably see him out for the first half of next season too.
16. Michael Bryan: Beset by injury, his brief impact on the first-team came before Christmas before injury put paid to his season. Now 20 it`s time for Bryan to really make a sustained impact and prove he`s not the next Liam Henderson.5/10
18. Jordon Mutch: An odd signing on paper when he first arrived with Josh Walker failing to make the cut. However Mutch was superb. Rangy, and with superb vision and passing he was the creative force in the centre of midfield and the definition of a box-to-box midfielder. Like Taylor, his January return to his parent club cost the ‘Orns badly in the long run.7/10Chrisgwfc says: Jordan Mutch – 8 Again, only here for half a season but looked every bit like he could grow into a Premiership team. Worked really well with Eustace in midfield.
21. Rob Kiernan: In that group of 20-somethings on year-by-year contracts looking to kick on and get first-team football. Loan spells with Wycombe and Bradford will have helped that cause but by how much? N/A
23. Piero Mingoia: Tidy on the ball, ineffective off it and with the potential to make something happen, Mingoia is definitely one for the future. His stunner against Hartlepool on debut showed what he is capable of delivering.6/10
24. Matt Whichelow: An impressive debut campaign with several important goals and some excellent displays. This much impact cannot have been expected of the academy graduate when he signed pro` forms last summer. It`s now about kicking on and continuing for Whichelow.7/10Chrisgwfc says: Matt Whichlow – 7 Despite only starting a handful of games has scored 3 goals and looked lively.
26. Sean Murray: Didn`t see him at PNE but first-team involvement is a decent start.N/A
32. Danny Drinkwater: On-loan from Manchester United, not FC United of Manchester – yet it`s hard to believe. In fleeting appearances it`s hard to see the loanee having a future at the highest level of professional football. Lacking intelligence, desire, mobility, vision and technique.3/10