Perhaps unsurprisingly, we`re not actually experts on Czechoslovakian football here at VitalWatford Towers. However, thanks to Twitter we`re able to find someone knowledgeable on just about any league in this day and age!
In this instance we called upon Chris Boothroyd (@theczechup) of The Czech Up for a expert view on new Czech duo, Matej Vydra and Daniel Pudil. Here goes…
What sort of players are we getting in Granada left-sider, Daniel Pudil?
Pudil is an all-round fullback in my eyes, akin to David Limbersky who settled as the first-choice left-back for the Czechs at the Euros this summer. Actually, had Pudil not suffered from injury at the end of last season and Tomas Rosicky having his own injury scare, Pudil may well have been the designated left-back in the opening game. Instead Pudil missed out.
His experience will be key as well winning both the Czech and Belgian leagues in the past handful of seasons as well as turning out for Genk in the Champions League. Last season he faced the likes of Juventus and Milan as well, so his experience at playing at a high level and against quality oppposition could be vital and crucial for Watford this year.
What weakness` are there to Pudil`s game?
In terms of negatives I wouldn’t say that Pudil is by any means fantastic in the air, or able to spread forty or fifty yard passes regularly, but then again, that wouldn’t be expected too much of a left-back.
Our basic, basic research, (Wikipedia), says that he can play left-back or left-midfield – which is his strongest position?
In my eyes Pudil is a left-back first and foremost. Like many fullbacks these days Pudil is comfortable going forwards with the ball and this has seen him utlised as a left-winger for the Czech national side, but normally this has been used as a defensive measure against stronger opposition, or when there is a comfortable lead for the team to defend. I’d be surprised to see him used as a left-winger regularly, but he can certainly fill in there if required.
Pudil is fairly experienced at 26, why is he being sent out on-loan?That is a good question and one probably best put to the hierarchy at Granada (and Udinese). As soon as he made the move to Spain from Belgium he was loaned out to Cesena with whom he made seven appearances. Considering Cesena, like Granada, were in a relegation battle the move seemed a bit odd. The same can be said of this loan move in that respect, not that Watford should care much.
What sort of player is Matej Vydra?
The complete opposite of Pudil can be said of Vydra, somebody who I haven’t seen in action the past couple of years. He had a good goal-scoring record as a youngster in the Czech Republic, but since his move to Italy lack of playing time has really hampered his progression in the eyes of aspects of Czech media. An obvious downside of his is his complete lack of game time in the past season or two.
Vydra only made a handful of appearances out on-loan last season due to injury – what exactly was the problem?
Vydra suffered an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] injury last year which cut short his season so heading over to Watford will be a real test to see how well he has recovered. Hopefully there won’t be any problems and there is no reason why he potentially couldn’t lead the line. He’s much more of an unknown quanity though than Pudil, but if the stars align Vydra may well grab a couple of headlines.
Udinese paid £4m to bring Vydra to Friuli, how highly-rated is he in Italy?
Measuring how highly rated Vydra is in Italy is tough. He moved for a fair amount of money for an eighteen year old with one real good season to his name and obviously the step up from the Gambrinus Liga to Serie A is a big one, the signing was one for the future. Only twenty he has his best years far ahead of him and fingers crossed Udinese keep faith in him and let him develop unlike other clubs who have snatched up ‘the next best Czech thing’ at a young age only to cast them to the curb a year or two later.
Welcome to the club Matej & Daniel!