It is crazy how much difference 2 games can make in football, on the moods of both fans and reporters. Although 2 games in a season of 38 fixtures doesn’t sound like a lot, it has certainly had a big impact on the pressure surrounding Watford FC.
After 4 games Watford had 3 points, no wins and as a result sat just above the relegation places. Some fans felt that it wasn’t working, despite the Hornet’s only loss coming to Manchester City and the fact that Watford could consider themselves unlucky not to have picked up more points. Sky Sports went with the headline that Watford were struggling after no wins in their first 4 games and many pundits stood by their prediction of the club finishing rock-bottom of the table this year.
What has changed?
Well the Hornets have now bagged themselves back to back victories, making it 9 points in 6 games, leaving them in 10th place . The wins came after impressive performances against Swansea City and Newcastle United, with Odion Ighalo scoring 3 goals in those 2 games.
It would seem that there’s been an impact on Watford fans as a bit of trust has been restored in both the manager Quique Sanchez Flores and Gino Pozzo’s scouting team after the high number of arrivals and departures this summer. From first hand experience I can say that the atmosphere at Vicarage Road was much improved after Ighalo gave the crowd their first goal at home against the Swans. However I think many fans were justified in saying that the team should play two up front because since Odion Ighalo has been pushed forward we have seen a terrific partnership between him and Troy Deeney.
Pundits and reporters have also changed their tune when discussing Watford FC. Jeff Stelling, before the Newcastle game, said that the Hornets usually “put up the shutters” and that he didn’t “see much of a threat in them.” A statement that in my opinion was a bit unfair as there is a difference between “putting up the shutters,” and being solid at the back, especially given that the Hornet’s were trying to attack but it just wasn’t quite clicking. However Stelling very admirably apologised for some of the comments made about Watford later after reviewing their performance against Newcastle.
Jamie Carragher also said that he was surprised at where the Hornets were in the league table after their first win and didn’t think they would be sitting above Bournemouth. He also mentioned the idea that Watford have slipped under the radar because most people have kept a closer eye on Norwich and Bournemouth.
Positivity shining through?
After 4 games it was rare to find a fan who was happy with every aspect of the situation at Vicarage Road. With no wins, a new manager that fans weren’t quite sure of yet and the departures of some fan favourites it was difficult for even the most positive Watford fan.
How things have changed in such a short space of time…. Quique has won over the hearts and minds of most Watford fans, especially through playing around with the formation by moving Odion Ighalo forward. Fans on social media are much more optimistic, although I hope this won’t turn into rising expectations as we all know the perils of that if you’re a regular match goer. Finally, I think the pressure has been lifted slightly. What I mean by this is that fans are starting to enjoy the experience of the Premier League a bit more and not worrying about where the points will come from. It is seemingly a more relaxed atmosphere on both social media and Watford related newspapers from what I have read over the last few days.
Will it continue?
If you’re a Watford fan you are probably a bit happier after seeing that the club are 6 points away from the relegation zone in the Premier League table. With fixtures coming up against Crystal Palace at home and Bournemouth away there is every chance that this good run of form will continue for the Hornets.
However, as we have found out, moods can change very quickly in football and so the question is will I still be writing about the positivity surrounding Vicarage Road in 2/3 weeks time, I sincerely hope so.