Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Jim_AFCB, Feb 7, 2021.
By this logic, beating Liverpool was a false result too, so swings and roundabouts I guess.
When you say we can take those off, though, are you really suggesting either result would have been different had he still been in place? If you're talking about fight, you're totally correct that City was an embarrassing shame of a performance, but I really don't think that's the way to go either - the main complaint about Pearson post-lockdown (other than the general losing) was that, for a motivating pashun merchant of a coach, he managed to send us out every single game looking like we were dosed up on sleeping pills having already confirmed our safe midtable mediocrity, rather than being the ones fighting tooth and nail (or at least, who should have been) to escape the very real prospect of relegation.
When you say the crucial two games, really all the games were crucial, they were just the only two he managed to get any kind of result from; one against an already relegated Norwich (something QSF also managed, but when they were very far from relegated) and the other against roughly the worst team in the league during that period of form. In fact, those two wins were explicitly not the crucial games to give us a chance of salvaging the mess, because we went on to fail to salvage it. How can you credit him for that when it was he who managed himself unable to do it? Given the total we went down by, the crucial win would have been any one of the other games - the ones we failed to win across the board.
You ask how much fight we showed at City, but that is fairly irrelevant compared to how much fight we showed at West Ham - a far, far more impactful game, against a direct relegation rival. To say they were in a false position is just rewriting history - over the course of a season, they were also consistently playing at the level of a relegation threatened team. They have improved this season because they have brought in several new players and had an offseason to implement a new style of coaching. You don't get to chalk off the abysmal performance at the hands of Pearson just because in a different season, they aren't as bad as they were then.
This is not to credit QSF or favour him, particularly, it is merely to point out that we really shouldn't be showering Nigel with rose-coloured accolades in comparison, either. That resumption stretch as a fan experience was as bad as anything we watched under QSF, and it was far more impactful in being so.
How is any team in a "false position" with 35 out of 38 games played?
QSF was a poor appointment but Pearson after lockdown in my view was worse. Much like now, we didn't seem to have a plan at the start of a game and certainly did very little during games to change things. He continued to play Deeney who was unfit and a knee that was buggered but ignored Welbeck. We beat Newcastle with two pens and only beat Norwich due to a bit of magic from the aforementioned Welbeck. In fact the only game I thought we possibly deserved to win was against Arsenal and he'd gone by then. Like many managers before him, good reputation but a reputation gained many years previous and had done nothing for a while. See Tony Pulis
He had fallen out with the board and was just working to order. Shakespeare taking the training. Pearson turning as per contact.
But those thrown away points against Villa and Everton could have seen us sailing over the horizon .
Post lockdown ?
He had COVID I think which didn’t help .
No, we would have simply needed to keep the losing margin against City to two goals and get a draw at Arsenal, something I maintain wasn't beyond us with Pearson in charge, but sadly we'll never get to find out if that would have happened.
When would you say those things happened? When Sarr got his hamstring injury? And there was a promise of another "honeymoon period" when he came back with the 3-0 over Liverpool, only for Pearson to lose Deulofeu next.
Based purely on results Munoz's honeymoon period has lasted no longer than Pearson's did (disregarding Liverpool who were beating everyone we won five and drew one of his first six league games, we got 13 points from the same number of games after Munoz came in) and this time he has absolutely no excuses.
His subs were genuinely horrific, it's like he constantly thought of the worst possible sub at the worst possible time. His subs against Everton and Villa lost us both games so all these cretins on Twitter saying Pearson would have kept Watford up can **** off.
Funny, you are the first person I've seen on here who's criticised Pearson's choice of subs, most people have criticised him for not making them when needed and playing the same set of players for too long/much, not who he actually brought on.
And I'm one of those "cretins" who maintains Pearson would've kept us up, we only needed a point and people insisting that we would've still had no hope are not factoring in the fact that the formbook frequently goes out of the window when you're fighting for your survival at the bottom (look at the results Villa and Bournemouth got in their last two games, AFTER Pearson was fired). Are you going to respect other people's differing opinions, tell me to f*ck off, or are you one of those people who is content to slag off people but not to them directly, even on the Internet?
I don't see much wrong with the six subs he brought on in those games, it's not like we were playing brilliantly and it all fell to pieces once they came on. Once again it seems to be overlooked that we didn't have Sarr and players like Pussetto, Welbeck and Success were brought on in an attempt to freshen things up in second halves where we were looking ragged and lacking attacking impetus with a severely underperforming Pereyra. Yes, those choices don't look great in hindsight, but it's not like we had any better options did we? The only possibly questionable one is bringing on Gray for Pereyra at Villa Park, but that didn't seem too bad at the time after he'd nearly scored late on at Bournemouth in the previous game. It was more bad refereeing and the players that lost us those games than Pearson.
It seems that Pearson is criticised for changing things either not enough, or too much, so it's a case of damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.
Agree. As soon as our survival relied on our peers losing games against disinterested opponents, it was clear we were in deep trouble.
Cret!n 4 lyf
The proof is in the pudding that Troy wasn’t up to it last season as he’s not even a championship standard forward now, and there is no way he’s declined that much in a few months. One of Pearson’s biggest mistakes was starting him ahead of Welbeck. I know it was only Norwich but Welbeck scored an over head kick against them.. Troy hasn’t even scored a header for about it five years. He’s not the first and sadly he won’t be the last, but picking a player with significantly less skill in such an important position cost us all dearly. It’s not like we got Troy’s famous leadership skills in return, we got absolutely nothing.
As I mentioned before, Troy's playing may not have been Pearson's choice. May have been 'orders from above'. In view of the alleged Ivic/Deeney spat , I'm prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to Pearson, whereas at the time I thought he was mad for playing him.
Villa was an absolute nightmare of a result.
Against Everton at home he took Chalobah off and needlessly changed the shape of the team when we were getting on top. He then brought Success on and the whole thing went to **** because the players had no idea what they were meant to be doing.
Against Villa he took off Pereyra for one of Andre Gray's cameos where he does nothing except get caught offside and give the ball to the opposition. Then in the final minutes when we just needed an out ball he takes Deulofeu off, brings Kabasele on and let's Villa pile on the pressure for the last few minutes.
There's also going to Burnley in need of a win and playing Cleverley on the left, the very thing we're criticising Munoz for now (except it's usually Hughes). Also West Ham away where we had a shocking first half and he brought Mariappa on at half time! He then took Deeney off when he was actually having a decent second half and then for some reason Doucoure as well.
He was pretty clueless and once he lost the players then he had nothing tactical to fall back on. There's absolutely no way in my opinion that we would have got anything except heavy beatings against City and Arsenal with him in charge. There's your response, take it or leave it I'm not fussed mate.
The Kabasele sub at Villa caused the extra 30 seconds of injury time they scored in.
I presume he gave up in that West Ham game ?
On the basis that Munoz plays Deeney pretty much every available minute and Ivic got sacked immediately after dropping him, then yes with the benefit of hindsight it may not have been Pearson’s choice.
He also took Chalobah off against Villa, bringing on Pussetto a couple of minutes after they equalized, and we never regained control of the ball for the final 15 minutes. Pressure just continued to build, until we finally broke.
It was an awful substitution to make, particularly as I remember Nate being in the midst of a mini-resurgence.
Does that absolve Pearson though? At the end of the day, he’s the one that had to live or die by results. So, either he was too weak to stand up for himself and do what was best for the team, or he genuinely did think Troy was the best option. Either way, he got it wrong.
He wasn't very good, but nobody knows if that is because he wasn't a very good manager or he had to work under our basket-case conditions
No it doesn’t it, it’s just now a recurring theme across a number of managers, so I think it means you have to slightly mitigate your view on it, but only very slightly. I thought it was madness at the time to not start a fit Welbeck, if that was Pearsons own choice then the man is an idiot, but if it’s because Deeney has to play as the evidence seems to suggest then you can understand it a bit more.
Ultimately the guy has a history of insubordination and getting sacked for standing up to interfering owners, and ultimately the guy was sacked in extremely bizarre circumstances with two games to go. Whose to say he hadn’t had enough of towing the company line and doing what Gino wanted (after all he’s his boss and pays his wages) and that was in part what happened? We’ll probably never know. The point being he may have had enough of playing players he didn’t necessarily want to play.
The number of managers we got through tends to suggest that they are not the problem. Regardless of what happened behind the scenes and Pearson has kept quiet about it since, he was sacked at the wrong time without being given a fair crack of the whip. If retained, would we have stayed up? Possibly not, but it would have been more likely and if not we would have been better suited with him at the start of this season.. Let's not forget it was the dreadful appointment before him that put us in that position in the first place.
No ill feeling to him and he's welcome back any time in my book.
If COVID hadn't happened he'd have kept us up.
If that hateful shyt who plays for liverpool hadn't have been a dirty cheat he'd have kept us up.
2 events outside of our control ruined everything.
Being asked by another team's fan if one of our past managers was any good is a bit of a waste of time really with a manager like Pearson imo. It can work out at the next club after it don't at the previous one especially if they have had reasonable success managing clubs in the past. Just the way football management is.
Pearson's Watford were probably the best Watford we've ever had in the last 30 years, except for a spell we had under Gracia. It really is a travesty how that all ended.
Beat Man Utd when we were all but down to instill hope that we might yet survive.
We then went to win back to back games with 10 men, which made us look invincible. We battered Villa with 10 men.
Went to Bournemouth in a genuine relegation 6 pointer, something which should have been terrifying and just utterly outclassed them to an easy win.
The Liverpool game
That Watford side was a top 10, maybe top 8 Premier League side and it got relegated.
All we can do now is hope to rebuild.
Deulofeu's injury in the Liverpool game is the modern equivalent of the Wilf Rostron sending off in the win at L*t*n in 1984, which caused him to miss captaining Watford in the Cup Final. It was our first win there for 20 years.
Paul Elliot caused the spat with Wilf I think.
What a bitter sweet day that was.
Funny thing is, I remember the forum ripping into me for suggesting that Van Dijk did it deliberately and that I hoped the same fate would arrive for him.
Right on both counts as normal.
If blame numerous factors in our relegation more than I blame the managers.
1. Our squad was purchased relatively cheaply because it is mentally weak. This means they need exceptional motivating to get themselves up to speed at the beginning of the season, such as hiring a new manager and fighting for their place. They also completely collapse towards the end of the season, as mentally they are already in holiday/ find it hard to get out of a rut.
Covid was always going to be the end of us, as it allowed our players to have a break and lose momentum and confidence.
2. Our players see how easy it is to get rid of managers, which encourages player/ agent power and poor squad morale.
3. The dirty cheat from Liverpool took out our game winner. When we had Sarr and GD, teams had to fear what we’d do if they pushed up. When he got hurt, we were easy to deal with.
I agree with everything else you say but I'd be surprised if that was one of the factors behind our getting relegated. They collapsed in previous seasons because for them there was nothing to play for once they'd reached 40 points, or their mind was on a cup final (although that mindset ended up being counterproductive, because maybe if we'd concentrated on the league and finished 7th-9th, going into the final with better form and confidence we wouldn't have got such a walloping). Why should they have already been on holiday when they still had survival to play for?
I think it was more that many players didn't want the season to restart in the first place and/or were convinced it wasn't going to happen so when it did, they really struggled to motivate themselves for games to play with the necessary passion and intensity to get enough points, and Pearson who, granted, should have lifted them wasn't helped by his personal and physical problems.
I thought at the time it was cynical and seeing the replays makes it even more obviously so.
It was also noticeable how often it was GD who disrupted the ‘play it out short’ goal kick attempts which meant sides would go longer more often than they would have wanted, and this played into our hands.
I agree and think the point could have been better phrased. It was more about confidence and momentum. We looked great when we were playing regularly and winning and the confidence was high.
Once we stopped being on that roll, because the foot was taken off the gas, or because momentum was lost, or because players were looking for a summer transfer away, we had to stop and start again and couldn’t quite get back to the level that was required.
Our end of last season form closely resembled our form at the beginning of last season (I.e. it was dreadful, negative and sluggish).