Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Monday October 21 2013
We did miss Troy Deeney: Followers on Twitter (@VitalWatford) will know that before the Derby game I said that Deeney`s niggle could be a blessing in disguise, my rationale being that despite his six goals, he hasn`t been great this season and maybe a couple of games out of the side would do him some good, especially as Gianfranco Zola won`t drop him readily.
After 90 minutes against Derby, it`s clear that we did indeed miss Deeney. Whilst his performances have not been at the level they were last season, he is still an out-ball and is still the biggest, strongest, forward at the club; someone who can hold the ball up.
Fernando Forestieri and Diego Fabbrini up front did not work. They are both No.10s who want to drop a bit deeper and play off the centre-forward. At times they were both coming short for the ball and that left a void up front which nobody filled.
To that end, we need to get someone in who can lead the line in Deeney`s absence/as an alternative to Deeney.
On that subject, Uche Ikpeazu isn`t the answer: He might be a big lad, but he is still only 18 and chucking him in because the current front pairing isn`t clicking isn`t fair.
There`s already a rumbling of discontent around the place and throwing a youngster with only reserve and academy experience in seems unfair - it`ll only take a few naive decisions and fans will start getting on the youngster`s back.
We were good defending away from a comfortable win: Derby played well in patches, but it wasn't like they split us open time and time again.
Indeed, apart from Connor Sammon's chance - blocked by the legs of Manuel Almunia - before his eventual winner, I'm struggling to think of any other clear-cut chances.
If we could defend, we wouldn't have conceded the goals we did and we would be talking about a comfortable 2-0 win. The stats might say we only had three shots in 15 on target, but we were on top for a lot of that game.
Josh McEachran can be an important player: A couple of people on Twitter were seemingly underwhelmed by McEachran`s impact yesterday, but I felt he did exactly what he was brought in to do. Even though he wasn`t playing as the deepest of the three central midfielders until Iriney was withdrawn, he still picked the ball up time and time again before moving it positively. His vision is clearly good and he was a force for good on the ball as a result.
Sean Murray unfortunate not to start: Whilst we are undoubtedly missing Almen Abdi, we do have several central midfielders who are playing well: Sean Murray, Cristian Battocchio and McEachran.
Reading Zola`s comments to The Watford Observer yesterday, the Italian revealed that Murray would have started if his legs weren`t tired. The homegrown midfielder has impressed on several occasions in recent weeks and came on against Derby and immediately stood out.
At the time of writing Sean leads our 'Man-of-the-Match` poll, which as a substitute, says it all really. Surely he will start against Brighton next Monday.
The Lewis McGugan conundrum: Another goal and another assist, yet between his individual moments of brilliance I tend to feel McGugan actually contributes very little. His passing neat and tidy by and large but he doesn`t take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive us forward.
Goals and assists are all very well and good, but as I`ve said before, scoring goals is completely redundant if you cannot contribute in other areas. Look at John-Joe O`Toole for example: a great midfield goalscorer, but he was just a bundle of energy if you took away the goals, it should be little surprise that he is now plying his trade at the bottom of League Two.
McGugan is clearly head-and-shoulders above O`Toole, but the pertinent issue is that he needs to contribute more to the team.
Fernando Forestieri has clearly worked on his finishing: Another really well taken goal after his superb cushioned volley at Huddersfield before the international break, Forestieri has obviously been working hard on his finishing in training.
One caveat to that was a chance which went astray in the second-half when he was through on goal but was caught by the last Derby defender. I can`t help but think that Matej Vydra`s pace would have taken him away & he would have finished.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda…
What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!
Date:Monday October 21 2013
Pozzo Round-up: November (Sunday December 8 2013)
Zola bemoans crucial refereeing decisions at Leeds (Sunday December 8 2013)
Watford handed away tie in FA Cup (Sunday December 8 2013)
FA Cup: Watford ball No.40 in 3rd round draw (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Leeds v Watford (Saturday December 7 2013)
Hornets snatch late point at Elland Road (Saturday December 7 2013)
Starting XIs: Leeds United v Watford (Saturday December 7 2013)
Opposing View: Leeds United (Friday December 6 2013)
Preview: Leeds United (A) - December 7 (Thursday December 5 2013)
Opinion: Time to get behind the players (Thursday December 5 2013)
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