Watford: This Seasons Surprise Package?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on July 11, 2016
The decision by the owners of Watford to dispense with the services of Quique Sanchez Flores at the end of last season was greeted with both surprise and outrage. After delivering an FA Cup semi final and a safe mid table finish in the league for a newly promoted Watford there was no reason at all to relieve Sanchez Flores of his post. Especially considering he had 20 new players to work with during his time at Vicarage Road and the fact he kept Watford out of the relegation scrap all season delivering memorable wins over Liverpool and Arsenal along the way.
However, the owners of Watford believed the club can achieve more and can continue to grow which is why they have turned to one of Italy’s top managers, Walter Mazzarri. A manager who has managed two of Italy’s biggest clubs in Napoli and Inter. His biggest success came at Napoli where he won the Coppa Italia in 2012 and managed to transform Napoli into title contenders in Serie A. His Napoli team were the closest contenders to Juventus in the 2012-13 season finishing in second place. His work at Napoli led to him being chosen by Inter to rebuild their squad into Serie A contenders as he did at Napoli. It was a tough time for Mazzarri at San Siro ending in the sack in his second season following Eric Thohir’s purchase of Inter. It should be noted that since the sacking of Mazzarri Inter are yet to return to the Champions League and haven’t greatly improved.
As a manager Walter Mazzarri deploys a 3-5-2 system which is a system Watford have used under all their head coaches accept Quique Sanches Flores. Mazzari plays with two strikers and wants his teams to dominate the ball and score a lot of goals. As a tactician he has an incredible attention to detail with his in game management a particular strength. His tactical abilities will be tested to the limit in the Premier League but there is no doubt if he at his best as we have seen with Napoli he will excel in the Premier League.
Last season Watford relied heavily on the goals of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo with the lack of wingers in the squad a hindrance leading to central players such as Almen Abdi playing in wide areas. Walter Mazzari’s 3-5-2 system suits the Watford squad to a tee. Players like Ikechi Anya, Alan Nyom and Juan Carlos Parades are all better suited to wing back roles than full back roles. There is a wealth of central midfield talent for Mazzari to chose from with the likes of Mario Suarez, Almen Abdi and Valon Behrami who played under Mazzarri at Napoli and will likely be part of the midfield three this season at Watford. At Inter and Napoli Mazzari liked to operate with one defensive minded central midfielder and two more attacking minded players such as Marek Hamsik at Napoli. The players at Watford will certainly feel happier and more comfortable playing in Mazzari’s system which will give Watford a new dimension from last season before even adding new signings into the mix.
Watford have begun adding to the squad at Vicarage Road to suit the needs of their new head coach’s philosophy and to address the deficiencies in the squad. The signing of Isaac Success from sister club Granada is a particular highlight. The Nigerian is a very exciting prospect with blistering pace and good strength and will provide excellent backup to Ighalo and Deeney and will look to add more goals to the Watford squad. Watford are rumoured to be close to signing Camilo Zuniga from Napoli. The Colombian can play either left or right wing back roles and played under Walter Mazzarri at Napoli. Zuniga’s signing would give Watford another option in the wing back roles and helps strengthen the weak area in the squad. Watford have also signed youngster Jerome Sinclair from Liverpool. The youngster will be hoping to get more opportunities than he did at Anfield. Watford fans will hope it’s a signing that leads to more young English players getting a chance at the club. With Mazzarri’s appointment Watford can build on last season and take the league by surprise.