(14) Nathaniel Chalobah

Discussion in 'The Team Bus' started by Meister, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    He's never going to be the same player is he?

    He's started games, come on as sub and has consistently looked spectacularly nervous. I suspect his passing stats since returning will show that he's given the ball away as much as to his own teammates. Not a criticism of him - I can't begin to think how difficult it must be to overcome the mental scars of such a horrible injury. Completely different level (and injury) obviously but when I broke my leg many years ago, I was physically recovered in 9 months but it took probably 3 years to recover mentally to the point that I was able to throw myself into tackles. (Interestingly enough the turning point was surviving a rather tasty "reducer" from a nasty piece of work a few years later - perhaps big Troy needs to do Nathan a favour by ploughing into him in training...)

    All very sad given that - for a few weeks at the end of Summer 2017, he looked like a real player. Aside from anything else, back then he was a nailed on starter alongside Doucoure but he now sits behind Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes, Cleverley and Quina in the pecking order and is facing the prospect of Wilmot overtaking him as well.
    RookeryDad likes this.
  2. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    I thought after a bad start he did okay at Everton. Was getting his foot in and making interceptions and a few key passes. It’s definitely a worry he isn’t seem as automatic starter when Capoue is suspended though and as you say he probably has psychological battles to overcome.
    The uninformed likes this.
  3. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    But after a shaky first few minutes he was throwing himself into physical battles yesterday. There was one in particular where be put his head in the way of a high boot to win a freekick when it was possibly to dodge it. It's his passing that looks off. I think he just looks rusty, which is pretty normal for players who have been out for a long time. He's also coming into a team not getting the rub of the green.
  4. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    I agree he did put his head in where it hurts but I don't see him doing the same with his leg/knee. I really hope you're right about the rusty bit. But given that I doubt the club would have exposed him to any risk of damage, you have to assume that the knee itself was fully healed by the time he came on as a sub at the end of last season. On that basis it is taking a hell of a long time to come through his rustiness. As I say, I really hope I'm wrong as I've been a big fan since he was here as a 17 year old and thought we'd pulled a rabbit out of a hat when we got him from Chelsea.
  5. carboy98

    carboy98 First Year Pro

    I honestly don't think he's looked like he was dodging any physical challenges since he's been back. He's been pressing and getting fairly stuck in - nothing like, for example, Pereyra, who definitely was pulling out of tackles when he first came back from his injury.

    For me the problem has been with his first touch and his passing. Which I'm hoping is more rustiness than anything else. He's also come in to some tasty games where there is a lot of pressing going on so he's not had much time to adapt. I think it's definitely too early to write him off, but it is difficult to see how many minutes he's going to get to help get up to speed, with Doucoure, Capoue and now potentially Quina above him in the pecking order, and Cleverley coming back too (also will be rusty).

    Having said that, there's every chance Doucoure leaves in January...
    PowerJugs and The uninformed like this.
  6. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    Chalobah needs a few games in the U23s. But I do worry whether he will ever be the same again.
    The uninformed likes this.
  7. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Me too. I think the issue will be more about his pace and turning ability rather than his touch.
    The uninformed likes this.
  8. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    I'm not going to expect too much of him this season. If after another full pre-season he's still looking sloppy and a bit of a passenger then I'd be concerned.
    PowerJugs and UEA_Hornet like this.
  9. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    If he's going to come good it has to be this season, surely. By the end of pre-season he will have been excused almost two years of football. Is there any precedent for a player being out that long and returning to anything like the form before the injury?
  10. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    Hopefully the club get rid of him asap and, ideally, move him on in january before other clubs cotton on to the fact that his career at the top level is over.

    Time and again you see a player come back from a bad injury and weaken a team while the manager/owners ignore the reality of their own eyes, and hope against all reason that the player will reach their former heights.

    He won't.

    I hope the club view the situation without the emotion a lot of our fans are showing, and say thanks for everything, but time to go. Now.

    It will be sad to watch his demise as he slips down the leagues into obscurity, but let's not make it WFCs problem.
  11. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    I don't see the benefit of doing so at this stage. There isn't a club out there that would pay any kind of fee that would make it worthwhile so we might as well give him the season to shake it off. Whilst I'm increasingly coming round to the idea that he's finished, I was similarly dismissive of Pereyra at times last season.
  12. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    Social Science taches you that people make quick judgements of players and then cannot see anything which contradicts that opinion. Never is that more evident than in football.

    Chalobah had a very bad first few minutes. Abysmal infact. His touch had completely gone. 5 minutes or so later, and he was absolutely fine. His passes were coming off, he wasn't ducking challenges and he was keeping control of the ball in good areas.

    Quite understandably, he needs minutes to rediscover his touch. 5 yesterday. Hopefully 0 in a few matches time.

    By the end of January, he'll easily be starting games like he finished yesterday. I can't say whether he'll be getting England call-ups any time soon, but that still doesn't excuse some of the hysteria I've heard.
  13. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss Squad Player

    Quina is now ahead of him in the pecking order .

    Unless we sell Doucoure in Jan he’s going to struggle to start games .
  14. kVA

    kVA Reservist

    Quina is the current favourite of Watford’s social mediaista.

    He’s scored a 30 yarder in a cup match against a second rate team and looked ‘lively’ against Everton so it’s understandable that he’s going to be one of the best in the world.

    I recommend we allow him 3-4 games to achieve this before we fully assess him. He should be given full support during this period, with songs sung. If he does not become ‘world class’ within this period please feel free to turn on him and treat him with the same contempt as Hughe, Chalobah and Doucouré.

    Must start Saturday.
    WatfordÉire and miked2006 like this.
  15. I hope you are wrong, but sadly I think you might just be right that it is the mental side of his game that is holding him back as he seems to be physically fit.

    Lets hope he can get his act back together very soon as he is such an outstanding talent and it would be an absolute shame and waste if he has lost it forever :(
    The uninformed likes this.
  16. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I'm hoping that he recovers his mental strength gradually over the remainder of this season.
    It can take a long time for an athlete to recover their trust in their body,especially if they are still experiencing discomfort.
  17. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    Quina is a social media favourite...but that's because he's looked exceptional so far. Yes, it's based on a limited amount of game time (although he's always impressed when playing for Portugal's under aged sides as well) but it's all positive so far so why not...be positive about him!? And, yes, I think he has been exceptional as opposed to lively. I personally think he looked brave on the ball, progressive, skilful, energetic...

    Not sure Hughes, Chalobah and Doucoure have been treated with contempt? The jury remains out on NC for obvious reasons - he isn't the player he was for those few games last season. And probably worth saying NC was also the social media favourite last season when that was actually only based on 4/5 games!
    The undeniable truth likes this.
  18. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Sound arguments.

    Btw, I do read your name as The Uniformed.
  19. kVA

    kVA Reservist

    Being positive and keeping hope that he’ll turn into a consistent top-top-player is one thing but not so long ago it was Doucoure, Chalobah, Hughes, £icharlison and Success that had this expectation thrust upon them after just a couple of games.

    ‘Doucouré’ is better than Pogba’
    ‘Nate and Hughes for England’
    ‘In Richarlison we've got the best player since Barnsey’
    and Success, well .........

    now look at the forum opinions to these four now that reality has hit.

    I take a more level headed approach, it makes the fall easier when they don’t meet expectations. Maybe knee-jerk opinions get more attention though.....

    Don’t get too drawn into believing social media hype, treat it like talking to the pub expert. It is quite unlikely that <insert name of the latest new young player> is the best footballer that he’s seen in his entire 74 years of supporting Watford.

    Don’t build up your expectations of young players too soon. Look at previous examples of the sometimes unrealistic expectations that fans place on the new young player and look at how that soon turns.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    DaveWFC likes this.
  20. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    At one point last season, someone on here tried to claim Doucoure was as good, if not better, than Kante.
    Knight GT likes this.
  21. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    I thought he looked better against Everton and it can take a while to get back to your best. Pereyra was the same but the difference is we don't have to rush him. I agree, a couple of U23 games will help but come Janaury we will have Hughes, Chalobah, Capoue, Doucoure, Quina and Cleverley all battling for midfield slots. The problem here is that they all central midfielders including Hughes despite him playing wide. Maybe 4-5-1 would suit us with Success up top, Pereyra and Delefeou wide and 3 of those 6 in midfield. We should play to our strengths and the midfield is certainly our strength.
    PowerJugs likes this.
  22. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    I Kante believe that. Silly Kante.
  23. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    I'm being more than slightly tongue in cheek here so please don't dissect this because...well, by my own admission it is dissectable! But:

    Doucoure better than Pogba? Possibly. Mainly because Pogba is doing an excellent job of looking bang average despite obvious talent
    Nate and Hughes for England? Well, Nate has already played for England and if he can regain any semblance of form it looks like Southgate is more than willing to throw him in. Hughes can't have been far off a few weeks ago and if he can get some of that form back, the competition for places isn't exactly compelling.
    And I genuinely think Richarlison is a special player. Best since Barnes? It isn't a ridiculous argument.

    Generally though I completely agree, knee jerk reactions generally prove silly in the long run. I remember arguing strongly that Jamie Moralee would be the best since John Barnes and at some stage I'm going to have to admit defeat on that one...
  24. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Well if this ruling about less overseas players being allowed in the squad after Brexit comes in we will have to rely on the likes of Chalobah more so hopefully he will come good again.
  25. kVA

    kVA Reservist

    I still hold hope that moralee will make it
    The uninformed likes this.
  26. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    He has. As an agent.
  27. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    Does the opening statement mean we can’t debate it? ;)

    Only because Doucoure is in no way possibly better than Pogba. I agree that the latter is bone idle and I’d have many befor him. But Pogba has achieved much more in his career so far. What’s more, we can’t use the reasoning that Pogba has talent but looks bang average right now - because that’s exactly what Doucoure looks like as well.

    And I wouldn’t agree that the competition within the England squad isn’t compelling for Hughes. England are on an upturn and have a host of exciting midfielders. They just look short in CM for someone creative....that isn’t a position Hughes has played in since he joined us. His form dipped at a bad time and I think 3 or 4 players have jumped the queue now and he’s way back in the reckoning. Chalobah though I think is a player Southgate really likes and will be back in the squad as soon as he has a run of games and gets any kind of (even) average form back.

    I think Hughes has a big future in the game. But at Derby he was touted as a creator and playmaker...we seem to be doing a ‘Wilmot’ with him and trying to make him something he’s never been....a winger.
  28. The uninformed

    The uninformed Academy Graduate

    I'm not sure that the fact Pogba has achieved more makes him better by definition. Messi hasn't won the WC but I'd argue he's better than anyone who ever has done so. Doucoure has indisputably played below his best levels this season but has still performed more effectively than Pogba. Pogba definitely more talented, but I'd rather have Doucoure in my side being perfectly honest. (Crikey, having said its all dissectable, I'm now starting to believe!!!)

    Hughes' form has fallen away which is disappointing and I agree he has fallen down the pecking order. But pecking orders change fairly quickly and I don't think it is inconceivable that he could have worked his way into the squad within the next few months. I genuinely think that if he can find that form again, and if as you say he's played in his best position, he has to be ahead of someone like Harry Winks who is in the picture.
  29. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    I get what you're saying. But to be a bit of a pedant with your World Cup example: Pogba and Doucoure both represent France.

    If a Messi-like Argentinian took Messi's place at the World Cup and then inspired them to win the tournament, it would be difficult to argue that Messi was the better selection/ best player in the world.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  30. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    Hughes is only playing as a winger in defensive positions. For the first hour or so, he tucks in, with the overlapping wing-back providing width when we're attacking.

    He's not getting as central as he was towards the beginning of the season, which is why he isn't playing so well, but he's still certainly not a winger. I'm not sure whether this is fatigue, confidence or a tactical tweak to protect our fullbacks, but it isn't working in an attacking sense.
  31. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    He hasn't been in the squad for the last three games.
    Is he injured or has he fallen behind TC in the pecking order?
  32. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    Yes. There are a couple but for the moment I can't remember who, which weakens my case slightly.

    I'd like to see him go out on loan to a Championship team for the rest of yhe season
  33. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    He's finished.

    Hopefully we can get rid in January before other teams cotton on to the fact that his bottle and ability has gone.
  34. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    Stick to your guns, Uninformed. Moralee is one of the few pre-Pozzo players to have played in European competitipn after leaving Watford
    Aberystwyth_Hornet likes this.
  35. Leighton Buzzer

    Leighton Buzzer First Year Pro

    Ok, but maybe not permanently.
    He was far too good a player to ditch......yet.
    Maybe Unhappy Bunny is right, loan him out, and see how he does. Nothing to lose really.

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