Top Ten Worst Signings Under The Pozzo Era

Top Ten Worst Signings Under The Pozzo Era
Jul 31, 2016


10) Essaïd Belkalem – Belkalem joined Granada on a free transfer and immediately joined The Hornets on a season-long loan which inevitably turned into a permanent transfer. Belkalem was then sent out on loan to Turkish side Trabzonspor after a lack of game time. He returned to Watford as they entered their first season in the Premier League, and there was no chance he was going to play if the likes of Angella wasn’t deemed good enough for the Premier League. He spent most of last season playing for the under 21’s on a pretty high wage considering what little he brings to Watford. He currently has 12 months left on his contract and will either leave in this summer transfer window or the next summer transfer window.


9) Rafael Romo – Rafael Romo, a man whose face I cannot even picture. Why is that you ask? That is because the only reason he signed for Watford was to cover the two-game suspension for Giedrius Arlauskis in August 2015. The Pozzo’s are known for whacky and outrageous transfers, and this was evidence of that as Romo only joined for two weeks from Udinese Calcio to cover the Lithuanian international. It was a smart idea bringing him, and that is why he is so high in my list. Because who would trust an Irish Rene Gilmartin in goal who is best on the radio?


8) Victor Ibarbo – Ibarbo came with a good reputation, unfortunately, that reputation was ruined by 12 year-olds who play the virtual football game “FIFA 16”, but still had done pretty well with Cagliari. Yet when he came into the Premier League, he was clumsy, lacked hard work and ironically lacked pace. He failed to impress, but was given one more chance to impress in January during a cold and bleak night for Watford vs Southampton. He was average, but he looked good compared to the rest of the team. The deal was only a loan, and once he had left in January, Watford could move on from it all.


7) Steve Leo Beleck – A young and promising Cameroon striker from Udinese joined Watford on loan with a handful of other players from the Italian club. However, every time I watched him play, he reminded me of a young Chris Iwelumo. In case you are unaware, this is not a good thing. Not once did I see him run. Constantly jogging and half putting pressure on defenders. Poor positional sense and, to put it lightly, a waste of space. It felt like we were playing with ten men with him on the pitch. He later joined local club Stevenage on loan for the rest of the season… Scoring no goals in 13 games. Just to top off his wonderful time in England.


6) Chu-Young Park – Park signed for Watford from Arsenal on January transfer deadline day to bolster Watford’s attack to try and push for a late play-off position. Sadly, he far from bolstered our attack and Watford finished the season in 13th place after being ever so close to promotion the season before. Park then endured a thigh and toe injury meaning he only played two games. Not only that, he then had a horrendous World Cup with South Korea and has been playing in South Korea ever since…


5) Lucas Neill – The Australian veteran joined Watford for the remaining of the poor and underwhelming 2013-2014 season. He joined at the end of his career, and he didn’t impress. In fact, Neill only played six minutes for The Hornets in a 3-0 home win against Barnsley at home. It surely doesn’t get much worse than that… oh, it does.


4) Alessandro Diamanti – Diamanti had been played for Italy in Euros 2012 and was Premier League proven with West Ham. How could it possibly go wrong? Well, since the Euros in 2012, Diamanti had been playing for low-key Serie A clubs, and then in the Chinese league. Also known as the ‘Best Retirement Home In The World League.’ As a result, he lost a lot of fitness, form and ability before joining. Despite spending a year on loan to Fiorentina, he clearly was far from his best. He made his debut for Watford against Southampton in a dull and uneventful 0-0 result. He looked slow, unfit and below the standard requirements to be a professional footballer. After making 3 appearances, he was no longer being paid a high wage as he went to Atalanta on loan for the rest of the season. Diamanti then came out and said that his loan spell was a nightmare, it was a nightmare watching him play, that’s for sure.


3) Jean-Alain Fanchone – Even hardcore Watford fans may struggle to remember this bloke. Fanchone had come along with a number of players from Italy, and unfortunately for him, was one of the weaker players to join. He was clearly not good enough and not needed in the side. The Frenchman was another player who only made one appearance for the club, his came against Blackburn Rovers as a substitute. His dreadful time at Watford could have been worse as you will later see in this list.


2) Vujadin Savić – On 23 January 2015 Savić signed for Watford until the end of the season. These 6-month signings never work, but yet Gino Pozzo is mad for them. Savic never actually played a game and following Watford’s promotion to the Barclays Premier League, the Serbian was released. I genuinely think his best moment at the club was buying the end of season promotion shirt with the face of the whole team, and seeing his face on it.


1) Gabriel Tamaș – The worst signing under Gino Pozzo, in my opinion, is the one and only Gabriel Tamaș. He really was something else. After Tamaș’s contract at Doncaster ran out, Watford signed him on a free transfer to try and recapture his old form at Premier League club, West Brom. Unfortunately, this could not be any further away from that. After many poor performances, a red card against Huddersfield and then giving away a penalty against promotion contenders Bournemouth, Watford fans did not exactly take a liking to the Romanian. Later in that Bournemouth game, the defender suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury. But what happened next was astonishing; all around me were Watford fans cheering! It was the only way Tamas would not be played, and I cannot deny, I did feel happy when he got injured. You should never wish an injury on a player, but this was an exception…


Did I miss any players? Was I too harsh or light on a player? Let me know on Twitter @SeanWaiker

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