Away From Home: Hornets pass Reading class
Back with his second 'Away From Home` column, journalism student Billy Hawkins discusses Watford`s 3-3 draw with Reading at the Madejski Stadium at the weekend and looks ahead to Sunday's visit from Nottingham Forest.If a 3-3 draw against a team relegated from the Premier League shows one thing, it is that maybe your team is actually good enough to gain promotion.
Even early in the season, to leave the stadium of a promotion rival with a draw is a good thing - especially when it keeps your unbeaten run going.
Watford coming from 3-1 down to clinch a point at Reading`s Madejski Stadium is one of those good things. Goals from Troy Deeney and new signings Davide Faraoni and Diego Fabbrini, topped off a splendid second-half performance, which was preceded by a less than stellar first half.
Defensive errors abound - well, it wouldn`t be Watford without them - Reading scored twice in the first half to gain a modicum of control before being pegged back by a change in formation - from the first choice 3-5-2 to Zola`s preferred 4-3-3 - and a change in personnel.
Aside from confirming a serious ability to challenge the biggest teams in the league, the win also proved Zola`s tactical ability should not be overlooked. After slow starts in all three league games this season - most evident against the superior ability of the Reading team - the need for high intensity pressure from kick-off is obvious; thankfully Zola has understood this, and, if certain sources are to be believed, used this knowledge to galvanize his team into a rather electrifying second half performance.
This view is based upon views of a collection of people throughout the internet. A common theme for the internet manager is the strong belief of the 4-3-3 as a primary formation. As has been well documented, Zola prefers the 4-3-3; a formation used to much success by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, and which has built the foundations of Barcelona since Johann Cruyff`s tenure in the late 80`s.
For Watford, with the wealth of attacking talent available, a trio to spearhead the attack should bolster an already fruitful strike force - especially as it allows a faster, and more unpredictable, counter attack than with the 3-5-2. And no one would deny that a front three of Fernando Forestieri, Deeney and Fabbrini would score with regularity.
As for not actually getting to the game, thanks to the return of the Premier League, there was no dearth of football to watch; both BT Sport and Sky Sports had a great collection of matches on both the Saturday and the Sunday which offered much in the way of entertainment.
Talking of entertainment, it would be heresy not to mention the upcoming Nottingham Forest match on Sunday. Having been picked for Sky coverage - with what looks like incredible foresight apropos the starts both sides have made - it should be a fantastic game, and one in which one team can certainly assert their seasons expectations. It would also be nice to be the first team to score against Forest this season.
Thankfully I can get to the game this weekend, before I head down to Portsmouth on the Tuesday, to give me a few weeks before the start of the University year. It should certainly be a great game as the last one I watch for a while; a fantastic advert for the Championship.