Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Have Watford finally found stability under Javi Gracia?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 3 Sep 2018

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Watford are a club that has become synonymous with the number of bosses they have employed in recent seasons. The current incumbent, Javi Gracia joined the Hornets in the middle of last season as a replacement for the sacked Marco Silva.

In reality, many English fans will not have known much about the Spaniard who took the reins. Despite the number of bosses employed, the clubs hierarchy usually pick bosses who do a decent job.

To be fair to Gracia he achieved his aim for last season, while this season the Hornets have performed well beyond expectations. Could Gracia finally be the boss that stays more than a season?

A stellar start to the campaign

Watford were inconsistent throughout last season, under both bosses. However, this season the Hornets have won all four of their Premier League games heading into the international break.

I doubt many Hornets fans would have expected their team to be sitting third in the top-flight table above the likes of Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The Hornets most impressive result of the campaign came on Sunday when Gracia’s team dispatched of Tottenham at Vicarage Road. Despite going a goal down early in the second half, goals from Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart in the last 21 minutes secured maximum points for Gracia’s men.

An improvement from last season

Watford made a strong start to last season under former boss Marco Silva. However, an approach for the Portuguese boss derailed that stellar start to their campaign, and results suffered which eventually led to Watford sacking Silva.

It is unlikely that the Hornets can continue their strong to the season. However, their early season displays will give the fans hope that they are in for more than just avoiding relegation this season.

This season the team seem far more focused and together. The boss has to take credit for that sort of improvement. How long Gracia continues to stay popular with the fans, and more importantly the clubs hierarchy will depend on the team’s results.

A number of players have seemingly stepped-up their game at the start of the Premier League season, including Greek full-back Holebas, who has produced four assists in as many Premier League games.

Playmaker Roberto Pererya has also looked like a different player this season. The Argentinian arrived from Juventus for relatively big money last summer. He showed flashes of his ability in his debut campaign.

However, it seems he could prove to be more influential this season for the Hornets. He has already scored three goals in four top-flight outings this season. No doubt if he can stay in form then the Hornets will thrive.

Just how high can Watford finish this season?

Watford are currently in the Champions League spots heading into the international break. However, it will be difficult for the Hornets to sustain a top-six spot, never mind a top-four spot this season.

It is very early days and it is unclear of the team will lose form like last season after a good start. The good start to the campaign means that a relegation battle is less likely this season.

In fact, the Hornets odds of finishing in the top-six have dropped to 12/1 after an impressive start to their league campaign. That would be an amazing story the Hornets managing a top-six finish this season.

However, unless they suffer relegation, then the most important factor is Gracia staying and giving the team a touch of stability. If the Spaniard can keep the team performing to a high standard then maybe he will be the boss who manages to keep the job for a whole season.

Have Watford finally found stability under Javi Gracia?


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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