Watford FC – Season Summary 2016/17

At the end of last season, many fans were puzzled as to why Quiche Sanchez Flores was sacked. Many had assumed Watford would never make it out of the relegation zone so it came as a big surprise to see them not only finish mid table but also to appear at Wembley for the FA Cup Semi-finals against Crystal Palace.

For the 2016/2017 season Watford is once again under new management. Despite remaining at Italian giants Napoli for four years, Head Coach Walter Mazzarri has, from the very beginning, faced mounting criticism. Fans find his insistence on speaking through an interpreter frustrating. He often displays animated behaviour and is regularly seen punching the pitchside shelter in annoyance at the team’s performance.

It’s fair to say that Walter had a very successful start, beating 2 top class sides (3-1 win against Man Utd at Vicarage Road and most convincingly, 4-2 against West Ham at the London Stadium).

However, Watford got plagued by many injuries to first team players. Roberto Pererya, one of Watford’s most talented players and their biggest signing at £13 million was ruled out for four months with a knee injury. This was a tremendous blow for the club since Watford (like Bournemouth), are in the early stages of consolidating their position in the Premier League. Both have yet to secure Premier League players with experience. Pererya was a real asset having spent time with Juventus and hopes were high he would be a game changer

Watford have had to bring in younger players to the first team against top class sides. It was good to see new young talent but against players with Premiership experience, they found it hard. We needed a strong 22 squad with backup not just an 11 side team. Going into games against Tottenham with youngsters not putting up a proper fight was difficult for the youngsters and most of all the fans. But Mazzarri made a good management decision getting Tom Cleverley from Everton (and previously of Manchester United). Same with Younes Kaboul (ex Tottenham and Sunderland), recommended by one of Watford’s greats Heurelho Gomes (also previously of Tottenham).  The Premiership is one of the hardest leagues in the world and Walter Mazzarri has done well to get us 40 points and virtually safe. However, it’s not good to leave Watford’s fate to chance.

Tom Holmes

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