Away From Home: Time to ease Bond in
Manuel Almunia - for all his experience, knowledge, and proven quality - is still culpable for an above average number of goalkeeping mistakes; whether that is clearing the ball into Chris Wood's physique to offer Leicester the lead, or dropping a routine catch through his own legs for Jermaine Beckford to tap into an open goal.
On a weekend with top level goalkeepers making the headlines - here`s looking at you, Artur Boruc - what better way to question the foundation of the flailing Watford team than through Almunia?
Through his Arsenal days - as with many north London based 'keepers - Almunia had previous. There is no doubting his ability as a Premier League level goalkeeper - his double penalty save in the Play-Off semi-final was remarkable - and Watford are extremely lucky to have him on their team sheet; especially knowing that he was wanted by Valencia over the summer.
Yet, while questions remain over his liabilities, questions will always remain for Zola. How long should you persist with a player who is single handedly costing you games? Zola has shown his extreme faith in out of form players - in the continuing appearance of Troy Deeney - and the 'illness' suffered by Almunia during the interval of the Bolton game could be a blessing in disguise.
Whether he truly was ill or injured - he did suffer a worrisome knock in the game - the decision to substitute newly Under-21 capped Jonathan Bond in his place should be seen as a logical move from Zola.
Bond has only ever impressed in his appearances for the club - his athleticism and shot stopping ability outmatch Almunia - and people have been calling for a more equal share of games between the two 'keepers.
It seems wise to bed in a young goalkeeper, as you do an outfield player, with a gradually increasing number of appearances until they are ready to step up full time. Unfortunately - as only one goalkeeper can play - they are far more likely to move from youth 'keeper to first team 'keeper without any prior experience; and this pressure can mentally effect the player.
Scott Loach - still an impressive goalkeeper for the Championship - was permanently ridiculed by sections of the Watford faithful as a 20 year old in a team known for conceding more than an average number of goals; he did incredibly well to last as long as he did before needing a fresh start.
And there is no need to go into detail surrounding Jack Bonham, whose Watford career ended the day it started.
The rambling does have a point, and it is a wish to see more of Jonathan Bond as a starter.
On current form, as Watford struggle from game to game, why not try someone new; the youthful energy - albeit from a goalkeeper - might rejuvenate the team into their winning selves.
But don't expect a quick fix. The abuse caused by the short sighted fan might just take another Watford starlet off his upwards career path and onto a life of self-deprecation and loathing in the lower end of the Football League.
Agree with Billy, disagree? Let us know your thoughts on the Hornets' goalkeeping situation by commenting below.