Monday, June 18, 2018

Can Watford’s new boys gel together in the BPL?

Spaniard Quique Flores will be hoping hat he can gel all the new signings into a team capable of Premier League survival

Spaniard Quique Flores will be hoping that he can gel all his new signings into a team capable of Premier League survival

Watford gained promotion to the Premier League by finishing as runners-up in the Championship.

It was rather a surprise result considering by October the Hornets were on their fourth boss of the season.

The incredible game of managerial musical chairs at Vicarage Road continued at the end of the season, as the man who guided the Hornets to promotion Slavisa Jokanovic left the club and was replaced by Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores.


Jokanovic could not agree an extension to his contract with the club from Hertfordshire and ended up leaving the club despite earning the club promotion in less than a year in charge of the team.

Flores has decent experience in the Spanish game with Valencia and Atletico Madrid. However, he has no experience of managing in the Premier League. This could be a handicap to his team’s chances of success.

The Spaniard is unlikely to be given much room for error as the Hornet s owners the Pozzo family have a reputation for being trigger happy with bosses, as last season proved perfectly.

The 50-year-old has certainly showed managerial acumen in the past and he will need all that acumen to keep the Hornets in the top-flight in the new season. Flores is the fifth Watford boss in less than 12 months and he will be hoping to last longer than the previous four Hornets bosses.


The new Watford chief has been busy recruiting ten new signings at Vicarage Road. Seven of the new recruits have never appeared in the Premier League, with only Matej Vydra, Etienne Capoue and Valon Behrami having appeared previously in the English top-flight.

Vydra has joined on a permanent deal after spending last season on-loan at Vicarage Road. The 23-year-old scored 16 goals in the Championship last season, following an unsuccessful stint on-loan in the Premier League the previous campaign with West Brom.

Capoue arrived at Tottenham from Toulouse as a highly-rated French international, but injuries and lack of form meant his time at White Hart Lane was frustrating. He still has time to prove his worth in the English top-flight though.

Behrami enjoyed a mixed spell in the Premier League last time out, spending two and a half years at West Ham. Now more experienced at 30-years-old he has gained a wealth of experience in Italy and Germany since his stint with the Hammers.

The other new arrivals are largely considered to be decent individual players. New Greek left-back Jose Holebas spent much of last season keeping Ashley Cole out of the Roma starting line-up. He looks like he could be a good addition to the top-flight newcomers.

Dutch winger Steven Berghuis arrives on the back of a stellar campaign in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar, having scored 11 goals in 22 appearances and also produced five assists. At 23-years old he still has a lot of time to improve.

Spanish attacking midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado is a player that was tipped to become a top player, but at 29-years-old he has never quite lived-up to his potential. Last season he scored three goals and produced four assists in 18 appearances for Spartak Moscow in the Russian top-flight.

The other new arrivals Allan Nyom, Miguel Britos, Sebastian Prodl and Giedrius Arlauskis all have decent experience in the European game. Whether they are a success in the Premier League only time will tell.


For all the new signings and different nationalities at the club, 22 in all, the player that could be vital for the Hornets in the new season is captain and striker Troy Deeney. The clubs 27-year-old skipper scored 21 goals and collected 10 assists last season and is the Hornets key player.

The striker had been linked with a move away from Vicarage Road, but signed a new contract earlier this month and seems committed to helping the club stay in the top-flight.


The Hornets are currently odds of 8/11 to be relegated back to the Championship and history is against them. The Hornets last two Premier League campaigns have ended with them finishing bottom of the top-flight table.

However, both of the teams that finished bottom won promotion through the play-offs and not automatically like this season’s team. Watford fans will be hoping that the current team fare better in the new campaign.


Like any promoted team the Hornets could find it difficult to survive in the harsh world of the Premier League. However, the club have certainly gone all out to strengthen their squad this summer and it looks like the Hornets have made some decent signings.

The key to Watford surviving the drop will be how quickly Quique Flores and his new signings can settle into life in the English top-flight. If they can settle quickly then they have a fighting chance of staying up, if not then they could be making a quick return to the second tier.

Can Watford’s new boys gel together in the BPL?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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