Sean Murray: A Young Prospect Who’s Career Was Ruined By The Pozzo Family
Posted by Sean Walker | Published on March 3, 2016
Credit: Photo taken for WD Sport by Sean Hinks
Sean Murray. That name brings so many different emotions to Watford fans hearts. True Watford fans anyway. If you were not a Watford fan and you do not know who this player is, you are not on your own. After Britt Assombalonga did not work out, the only successful academy graduate before him was Sean Murray. Sean Murray grew up in Watford and signed for the academy at the age of nine. He officially signed for the first team in July 2010 and made his debut on the last day against QPR.
Malky Mackay then left to manage Cardiff City and Sean Murray was left out of the side. That was until Watford drew Tottenham in the F.A. Cup. When I was at the game, I could hear the whole stadium scream, “Who?” and “Why?” It was controversial, to say the least. It was the biggest game of the season, without a doubt. Watford was mid-table, with no ambition of getting the promotion. So this game was big. So when they called out Sean Murray was going to start, Watford fans were in disbelief.
Sean Murray played out of his skin. To date, he may never have played so well. He was so influential in all of Watford’s attacks. Sean Murray was just given freedom to play his game, that’s just what an attacking midfielder wants to hear. He then latched onto a poor touch from Kaboul and was one on one with Carlo Cudicini. Unfortunately, Cudicini made a brilliant save tipping the ball onto the post. Watford ended up losing the game 1-0 undeservedly, but things started to change for Sean Murray.
Murray then continuously played for the rest of the season, playing 18 games and scoring 7 times. He was loved by the Watford fans because of his brilliant run of form. He later in the season won the Football League’s Young Player of the Month Award for March and Watford’s Young Player of the season award. Watford fans were excited what he could do next. His potential was taken out of his hands, however.
With the Pozzo family taking over Watford, Watford fans were very excited and who wouldn’t be? The answer to that is Sean Murray. He must have loved to see such great quality players come in being a Watford fan. When those quality players are taking your spot in the side, it is a lot harder to appreciate. He embraced the challenge, or, at least, he tried to, but with the Pozzo family being so impatient with fans favourites like Sean, Sean Murray was being pushed out of the club. With the takeover of the Pozzo family came their players from Udinese and Granada. With the arrival of Cristian Battocchio and Almen Abdi, who plays in Murray’s position, led to him being expected to start every game and be Watford’s hero to him only playing 16 games scoring 1 goal.
With Watford having a terrible year in the league gave Murray a chance to play again. He played 39 games across all competitions scoring 6 goals. Watford only finished 13th where they were expected to do much better. Murray played like his old self. His career was revived. That was not the case, however.
The Pozzo family were adamant that Watford had to get promotion in that 2014-2015 season. They signed Ben Watson and Layun. Also Adlene Guedioura, Munari, Daniel Toszer and Keith Andrews on loan. Despite already having Battocchio, McGugan and Abdi in the squad. There was simply no room for Murray, however, I feel that some of those signings were not needed when we already had Murray. The Irishman only got to play nine games in all competitions with him not contributing to his goal tally. He could not do anything about it. He just had to grit his teeth and work hard, which is exactly what Murray has done.
Following Watford’s promotion to the Premier League, Watford signed Etienne Capoue and Valon Behrami. This led to Watford loaning out Murray to Wigan who had just been relegated from the Championship. It was cut short as he only played seven times and he said himself, “It was just one of those things,” he said. “I didn’t really play where I wanted to play – I was played holding midfield. I like to play a bit more forward, that’s where my game is – setting up goals and scoring goals.”
Now he is working incredibly hard but is isn’t technically good enough for Watford’s first team. His career may have been a lot different if it was not for the takeover of the Pozzo family. He is stuck in a dead end after such a bright start to his career. He may never play in that Watford shirt again.