OPINION - Five thoughts from Southampton game.
Watford’s third match of the season against Southampton on Sunday, ended all square, with neither team being able to break the deadlock. After attending yesterday’s game at Vicarage Road, here are some of my thoughts:
Watford’s defence were rock solid again.
I’ll start with the positives. The Hornets once again looked at home in the Premier League, and the Golden Boy’s back-four was rock solid, with Southampton being restricted to half-chances. Ikechi Anya slotted into left-back after half-time, with Diamanti replacing Holebas, and the Scotland international went about his defensive duties well and was always available on the wing. New signings Allan Nyom and Sebastian Prodl were impressive once again, with both fitting in to the back-line superbly . Craig Cathcart showed that he was every inch of a Premier League defender and has made the step-up to the top-flight look seamless. The Northern Irishman has formed a formidable partnership with Prodl and the duo frustrated Southampton’s Graziano Pelle all game. Watford’s defence has been solid since the start of the season and long may it continue.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man, who the Hornets played a club-record fee for, was impressive yesterday and he was my man of the match. He dominated the midfield, breaking up play on numerous occasions and wasn’t afraid to bring the ball forward and release either one of Jurado, Ighalo or Deeney. The Frenchman showcased that he has an eye for a pass as well, spraying a number of balls across the park. Capoue has already forged a good partnership with fellow midfield enforcer, Valon Behrami, with the duo working tirelessly all game. The only black mark on Capoue’s performance was his glaring miss from a few yards out, which ultimately would have sealed three points for the Golden Boy’s. I think his miss will be giving me nightmares all week.
Final ball again an issue.
Similarly to last week’s game against West Bromwich Albion, one of the Hornets main problems was the final ball or final cross into the box. On numerous occasions on Sunday, Watford got into good positions only for the final ball or cross to be lacking in quality, leaving Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo being starved of service. You might have the best striker in the world, but they would be largely ineffective if they don’t get the service that they require. On countless occasions the cross would not even pass the first man, meaning that a decent looking attack would break down. This is where Watford need to look at improving that bit of quality, in order to seize the advantage.
Watford need to convert possession in to more chances.
Sunday’s game was a fairly even contest between Watford and Southampton. However the Hornets had long spells of possession without really creating any clear cut chances. It was a similar story last weekend as well, as the Hornets failed to create any clear cut chances against a well-organised West Brom defence. So from my point of view, the Hornets need to be more forward-thinking when they have possession of the ball, in order to create more chances and ultimately, kill the opposition off. Watford didn’t have a single shot on target yesterday and didn’t really trouble the Southampton defence much.
Too early to judge Diamanti
The Italian looks a bit of a mad man with his curly hair and tattoo’s doesn’t her? After coming on at half-time, the Italian received some criticism from fans at Vicarage Road and other Hornets supporters were also critical of the former West Ham man on Social Media. But from where I’m sitting, it’s far too early to make any judgment on the Italian. He’s probably not match fit, having not played a single game since either April or May, plus he’s playing with a new team in a new league, so he will have to adapt and get up to speed with things. If the Golden Boy’s hierarchy didn’t think that he would benefit the Hornets squad, then they wouldn’t have brought him here, so let’s get behind him.