The Watford View
Back to league duty this weekend as Watford make the trip to South London, so we had a chat with the guys at popular fan group The Hornets Nest to find out about their season so far and thoughts on the game.
Q. How has the season been for Watford so far?
It’s been a bit of a topsy turvy one in truth. We started with those four wins which we knew was never going to last, but then had a dodgy September and October before being able to turn it around in recent weeks. We’re just over the halfway point and we’re in 8th which is I think where we deserve to be at this stage and no Watford fan can turn their nose up at the season we’re having, so overall we’re pleased with the progress we’re making.
Q. What did you make of the game at Vicarage Road?
It feels like a long time ago now! It was cagey and got a bit nerve-wracking before the end after Wilfried Zaha pulled a goal back. I thought Watford deserved the win, despite our winning goal quite clearly being a cross that’s just ended up in the back of the net. We’re difficult to beat at home and given our wins at the start of the season I think it was a bad time for Palace to be playing us.
Q. What are your hopes for the rest of the season?
I think we’re in a position now where we can be a little bit greedy and say that if we don’t finish in the top half, I’ll be disappointed. Best case scenario is Europe, obviously, and that 7th spot is up for grabs so who knows, perhaps it could be our season. So long as we finish in the top half, I’ll consider it a good season at Vicarage Road.
Q. Good early season form for Watford is nothing new but is there anything different to suggest the second half slump will not happen this time around?
I think the fact that we are in with a shout of getting 7th this season should spur the players on to be a little more consistent in the second half of this season than in previous years. We have something to play for, whereas the last few seasons it’s been a case of get to 40 points and that’s that. I think also the mentality that Javi has been able to implement means we won’t settle for just surviving again this time round.
Q. Who has been the stand out Watford player?
Whilst Roberto Pereyra has stolen the headlines for his goals, Watford’s stand out player so far this season is midfielder Etienne Capoue. A changed man under Gracia, Capoue is the player that makes Watford tick. If Capoue has an off day, Watford have a off day. His partnership with Doucoure in the middle of the pitch has been vital to our success this season. We have one of if not the strongest midfield outside the top six and Capoue is crucial to that.
Q. Do Watford have any needs ahead of the transfer window and how active do you think they will be?
At a fans’ forum earlier in the season our CEO and Chairman, Scott Duxbury, said Watford wouldn’t be very active during the transfer window. I think however this approach may have changed slightly. Kabasele’s injury against Chelsea and the fact we effortlessly threw away a two-goal lead against Bournemouth highlighted our desperate need for one if not two quality centre backs. I would like to see a new striker come in, as there have been too many occasions this season where I’ve left a game thinking “we paid the price for not taking our chances”, however I don’t expect there to be any additions to our frontline until the summer.
Q. If you could pick one Palace player for Watford to sign in January, who would it be and why?
I’d go for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He’d not only give us some defensive stability, but also be a good outlet when attacking on the right. Our wingers generally like to cut inside and I think Wan-Bissaka would be available to overlap and increase our width up front.
Q. Name one Watford player and one Palace player that you believe will be a threat in this game?
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Wilfried Zaha of course, who else..?
Q. Perhaps you could share your opinions on Palace so fare this season?
It looks to have been an inconsistent season so far, however your results in the last few weeks have pulled you away from the relegation zone. I think you’ll be fine, there are certainly three worse teams than you destined for the drop, but it must be frustrating beating Manchester City at The Etihad and then drawing to Cardiff at home!
Q. Your prediction?
It’s always a good game between these two sides and a guaranteed good atmosphere, but I have to go for a Watford win… 3-1!