Five thoughts after Norwich game.
Watford carved out a comfortable 2-0 victory over Norwich City at the weekend, thanks to goals from Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo.
That result moved the Hornets up to ninth position in the table and meant that they recorded back-to-back victories for the third time this season.
After attending the game at Vicarage Road, here are five of my thoughts:
Sanchez Flores will be a happy man.
Ahead of the week's game, Norwich manager Alex Neil said that his side should be looking to get points off of "the likes of Watford". His team didn't take notice and in the end, Watford made them pay. How Alex Neil can say that "there wasn't anything between the two teams" is beyond me. Norwich didn't cause Watford many problems at all. Over the course of the game, it was Watford posing more of the questions. Quique Sanchez Flores will undoubtedly be pleased with the performance from his side, as there were a number of good performances all over the park. In attack, Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo terrorised the Norwich defence all afternoon and never gave them a moments piece. In midfield, Etienne Capoue and Ben Watson hassled and harried the Norwich players all game and never gave them a moments piece. In defence, the Hornets back four were as resolute as ever and dealt with any threat that Norwich posed. On the whole, it was a good day at the office and Sanchez Flores will undoubtedly be very pleased with his side. Who would have thought that we'd be sitting ninth at this stage of the season?
Deeney and Ighalo cause Norwich a number of problems.
Before the game, Sebastian Bassong said that he would be passing on tips of his fellow team mates on how to deal with the threat that Deeney and Ighalo pose. They didn't take notice and Norwich defenders will be having nightmares for the rest of the week. We are so lucky to have such a potent and hard-working strike force in Deeney and Ighalo up front. Other Premier League sides would do anything to have two strikers who have such a good connection in their team. Ryan Bennett was left on his back side as he became the latest player to joining the ever growing club of players to fall victim of Ighalo's scoop, in one of the highlights of the first half. The Nigerian pressed the Norwich defenders all game and made himself a constant nuisance. Wherever the Norwich defenders were, Ighalo wasn't far away. He showed great strength to hold off Bassong for his goal and probably should have had more than one to his name, after having an effort wrongly ruled out for offside in the first half.
Troy Deeney was also superb. Some questioned whether he could make the step-up to the Premier League but he is starting to prove them wrong. Along with Ighalo, the Watford captain was a constant nuisance all game as he pulverised the Norwich defence. He won everything that was in the air and conducted so much hard work for the team. Took his penalty well and was the orchestrator for Ighalo's goal. He could have had more than one assist to his name. It is a pleasure to watch Deeney and Ighalo in action.
Some Watford fans wrote Miguel Britos off after he was given his marching orders on his Watford debut against Preston North End. Some labelled him as a liability and questioned Quique Sanchez Flores for putting him in the starting line-up against Stoke City. However, since then, the Uruguayan has started to turn fans opinions around and on Saturday, he showed what a quality defender he is. The Uruguayan international was a commanding and dominant figure at the heart of the Watford defence and snuffed out any half chances that Norwich had. The 30-year-old isn't afraid to throw himself into a challenge and pulled off a number of well-timed interceptions during the ninety minutes. His positioning is very good and has a struck up a good understanding with Craig Cathcart at the heart of the Watford defence. Plus, any defender who can pull off two bicycle kick clearances during one game goes right up in my estimations as well. Starting to look a real coup, after the Hornets signed him for a free transfer from Napoli in the summer.
Young Nathan Ake impresses again.
Nathan Ake just gets better and better with every game. It's easy to forget he is only 20-years-old as he plays with so much maturity and it's like he has played as a left-back all his life, but that isn't the case. Nullified Nathan Redmond in the first half, which lead to the Norwich winger being substituted at half-time and this was another impressive performance from Ake. Defensively, he was excellent, pulling off some good interceptions and challenges and also keeping a close eye on Johnny Howson and Robbie Brady during the second half. The Holland Under 21 international, combined his attacking and defensive duties well and was up and down the left flank all afternoon. As you would expect he is calm and composed with the ball at his feet, having come through Chelsea's academy and can also pick out a good cross. He also has extraordinary neck muscles. How he managed to carry on after a sickening fall during the second half is beyond me. It was another good performance from Ake on Saturday, who has made the left back position his own.
Work of Ben Watson should not go unnoticed.
Whilst Etienne Capoue put in another good performance on Saturday, some praise should also be given to Ben Watson. Some doubted whether he would able to perform at the top-level, but he has proved them wrong. He has struck up a good partnership with Etienne Capoue in midfield and they complement each other well. There was a great moment in the first half when Watson harried Graham Dorrans, leading to the Norwich man needlessly putting the ball out of play and that summed up the former Wigan Athletic man's performance in the first half. He hassled and harried the Norwich midfielders all game and went about his business well. He keeps Watford ticking over and does all the simple things that need to be done. His work can often be looked over, but Watson deserves praise. Behrami has a tough job to get his place back when fit.