First feature in our ‘fan talk’ series, as we speak to a Watford fan regarding their first month in the Premier League
Our first feature in this series of ‘Fan Talk’, which will include a new feature every month.
We will be chatting to various Watford fans regarding the football that has taken place over the month, asking them for their thoughts.
Our first in the series, is regarding our first month in the Barclays Premier League, and of course, the summer transfer window.
I spoke to Bradley, who runs his own Watford site himself, called thewatfordblog.com, in addition to the Twitter page, @WatfordFCBlog .
He gave me his thoughts regarding the busy summer business that has taken place at Vicarage Road, alongside the long awaited start to the new Premier League season, which has now got underway.
VW: We’re four games into the Premier League season, and still yet to claim a win, but have picked up three points and two clean sheets, how do you rate our performances in them first few games and what game stood out for you the most?
Bradley: I think our performances have been promising. We`ve held our own against established Premier League sides like Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton and our defensive performance against Manchester City for the first 45 minutes, was superb. A win would have been nice and we could have quite easily beaten West Brom and Southampton, should we have taken our chances. We were never going to get anything from Manchester City, but from the games that I`ve seen at the Vic against the Baggies and the Saints, we`ve looked every inch a Premier League side. The way we`ve performed, I don`t think a win is too far away, so overall, I think our performances in the opening four games has been promising.
VW: It’s been a very busy summer for Watford in the transfer market to say the least, and they have made the most signings in the Premier League, with the addition of ten players. Several players have also departed which played a key part in getting us promotion, what do you think of the Hornets business over the summer and do you abide by their approach in bringing in a ‘new look’ team? Also, do they possess the quality to keep Watford up?
Bradley: I think our business over the summer has been great. Like everyone else, I was disappointed to see Angella and Vydra leave, as I think that they deserved to have a chance in the top-flight. I think I was prepared for the departures of Pudil and Forestieri, given the lack of game time that they received at the latter end of the 2014/15 season. It`s too early to say whether the approach that the Pozzo`s have taken is the right one, but either way, investment was needed over the summer in each position, in order to give us the best chance of surviving. New signings Sebastian Prodl, Allan Nyom, Etienne Capoue and Valon Behrami have been superb in the opening few games and the other new signings that have featured, look of a good standard as well. I certainly feel that the players are more than capable of keeping us up; it`s now up to them to do the business.
VW: Baring in mind there is still more to come from them no doubt, but who would you say, out of those fifteen signings, has impressed you the most so far and why?
Bradley: Allan Nyom, Etienne Capoue and Valon Behrami have caught my eye, but for me, Sebastian Prodl has really stood out. He has already forged a good partnership with Craig Cathcart and the addition of the former Werder Bremen man has really strengthened our defence and it is no coincidence that our back-line looks so much stronger with him in it. Romelu Lukaku, Saido Berhaino, Rickie Lambert and Graziano Pelle have all been feeding off scraps against the Golden Boys and this is all down to how well the Hornets have defended and in particular Prodl, who has been entrusted with the task of marking these strikers. The Austrian international is also comfortable with the ball at his feet and the defender has really impressed me in the opening four games.
VW: Looking over the first couple of games, who do you think will be our key man this season, and be pivotal to Watford being a competitive team in the top flight this season and why?
Bradley Whilst he has struggled due to a lack of support in the opening four games, Troy Deeney will be key to our chances of staying in the division. The Watford captain has been our talisman for the past three seasons, scoring 20 goals or more in the process. Goals win games and we need Troy to start putting some in the net sooner rather than later.
VW: Finally, obviously a change of management heading into the new campaign, as the respected Slavisa Jokanovic departed the club over the summer, despite getting the Hornets back into the top flight for the first time in eight years. He was replaced by Spaniard, Quique Sanchez Flores. His decision in letting go of Vydra and Forestieri has left a lot of fans discouraged, but How do you rate him over the first couple of games? Of course it’s difficult to rate a newly appointed manager so early, and given the circumstances of a new team in a new league. But, Do you think the Hornets can adapt promptly to his preferred 4-2-3-1 system and play Troy as a lone striker?
Bradley: I think Flores has done ok during the first four games. However, it is far too early to judge him, as he is still getting to grips with the players and a new league and the players are still getting to grips with him. We`ve played reasonably well in the opening few games, but it`s just in the final third that we have struggled. I`m still undecided on the formation, but, similarly to what the guys on the From The Rookery End podcast have said, I think playing four at the back is the way forward, as if we were to play 3-5-2 in the Premier League, we would get battered and its flaws were exposed at times in the Championship. The players are still adapting to the system that Flores has put in place, but I trust that the Spaniard will find a way of getting the best out of these players. Give it some time and I`m sure that it will come good.
VW: Thanks very much for your time Bradley, great answers!
Please give Bradley a follow @WatfordFCBlog and check out his blog, which he updates regularly HERE.
Stay tuned for next month’s feature of ‘Fan Talk’, as we will be catching up with another Watford fan for their thoughts on the Hornets’ fortunes in September.