Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Markoa$, Jul 26, 2020.
Yes I noticed that as well!
In Watford's first ever season in the top division (Then Division 1) they were, briefly, top of The League at some point.
Indeed until those pesky scousers took over, and we started to struggle a bit. This list implies we’ve won the Championship though. Just reminds me of how we threw away the only, likely, title we are missing. Need to make up for it this season!
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September 11th 1982 after beating WBA 3-0
On paper we should win our next two games, but we all know that football aint played on paper, and is often played on banana skins which could be the case in these two games, but lets hope not and lets net ourselves SIX points!!!
Games coming thick and fast. Sarr, Cathcart and Troost seemed to pick up knocks (hammies for the latter two).
We may have to make 4-5 changes for Wycombe just to prevent injuries. Fortunately we have quality players throughout but wouldn't be surprised to see Sierralta. Kiko wasn't on the bench, but if fit he'll come in too. Quina deserves a go as well.
Not surprised about Sarr, where did you hear that about Cathcart and WTE? Expecting to see Wilmot come in either way, him occasionally stepping up into the midfield could be useful in a game like this. Who to replace Sarr then? Assuming JP starts, but does he play up top on his own with Sema and Quina beside him, or do we go with someone like Murray or Deeney, and have Sema at LWB and Quina as an attacking mid?
Didn’t notice WTE’s problem, although it looks similar to what happened at Derby. Could be 2 games a week will be a struggle for him.
I don't believe anything has been confirmed regarding injuries but Kafka was holding his hamstring towards the end and I"m sure they're still trying to piece Freddie together again after the battering he took from the free flowing Total Football machine aka AFC Bournemouth.
Yes so if Sarr can get down the wing and ping a few crosses in....except we are talking about Murray coming in for Sarr ...
100M Sprint. Murray or Deeney?
Not sure either could manage 100m.
I’d expect Deeney to be in line for a return on Tuesday. Doubt Hughes and Gray will be rushed back. If all three of the above are out then I guess we’d be looking at something like;
Kabasele, Wilmot, Sierratta
Ngakia, Capoue, Chalobah, Quina, Sema
Obviously depends if any of the three are fit, if Deeney is fit (Murray otherwise I guess), and maybe Cleverly/Garner in place of Chalobah as likely to see a lot more attacking opportunities on Tuesday.
So important to get our injured players back. Having Hughes, Gray, Masina back really does make our squad look strong. Going to need to rotate a lot this season. Do think we will have a strong finish to the season for the first time in what feels like bloody ages.
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Actually Quina probably won’t get a start. So midfield of Capoue, Chalobah, Cleverly likely.
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He says so in the post-match interview (Hive live extra I think) that he felt his hamstring at the end. Cathcart was holding his in the box before their goal.
Fingers crossed they are fine, of course, but isn't worth the risk.
We'll have a strong finish to the season if we don't lose star players in the January window.
Yes I think its imperative that we are in a good position come the new year, if we are up there we could see reinforcements come in, however if we are floating outside the top six we may lose a few.
Blimey. I didn't see that in the highlights.
3 of the next 4 games before international break are against the the bottom 3 teams. I expect us to be top by the time we start again in Nov, hopefully with everybody back fit, but with our medical staff who knows.
If we look at the archetype of what we essentially want to be: the Wolves team that destroyed the league in the 17-18 season earning 99 points along the way thanks to an influx of ludicrous Portuguese talent courtesy of Mr Mendes, it's quite interesting and essentially, as we are now, we match up quite well.
Looking at that squad, the prem/star players they had for that campaign were Willy Boly, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, Conor Coady, Roman Saiss and Matt Doherty (It's worth noting that neither of the final two were part of the Mendes influx; Saiss having joined a year previously and Doherty having been at the club since 2010, including during their time in League One). There was no Jonny, no Moutinho, no Jimenez, no Adama Traore. Ivan Cavaleiro was there and did alright, but overall has not proven himself to be anything above Championship standard and has spent the past year flattering to deceive and scoring one goal in Fulham's otherwise successful promotion campaign from this very league. The bulk of their goals came from Jota, with 18, and Bonatini, with 12 (Bonatini, the striker who made the most appearances, is now on loan at Grasshopper Zurich). Their goalkeeper was a one John Thomas Gordon Ruddy.
If we compare those players, we have an equivalent to pretty much every one. Looking at Boly, he arrived as a centre back for a top team in a first division (Porto), but one who have never been capped internationally, had only made 10 appearances for that team over the previous two seasons. It's also worth remembering that the Portuguese league is a strong one, but it sits outside UEFA's top 5 country rankings by coefficient in sixth place, a full ten coefficient points below fifth-placed France. By comparison, William Troost-Ekong is a physical leader of a centre back, who came to us as a starter from a team who play in a top four league (fourth), making 65 appearances over the previous two seasons, with the added bonus of having been capped over 40 times for his national team, representing them at both Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2018 World Cup.
When it comes to Ruben Neves, he was incredibly influential straight off the bat and has remained so in the Prem to this day, but he was also 20 when he arrived. The obvious counterpart is Capoue, who whilst boasting a similar-at-least level of skill, is also an extremely seasoned professional with a career of experience including five years in the Premier League to draw from.
Jota is an obvious standout, particularly given the fact that he now plays for Jurgen Klopp's tiresome Liverpool 2.0 reanimation. I hardly have to remind anyone of his prowess, given the terror he inflicted upon us whenever we met, including in the early stages of that FA Cup semi final. But we also don't have to look very far for his counterpart - about as far as the 'talented young winger to Liverpool' transfer rumours from earlier this summer. Ismaila Sarr was possibly wanted even more by the Poolton Liverbirds, and is another player who has at least equivalent talent levels, but is at a more advanced level in his development than Diogo was when he arrived in the Championship, 20 years of age to Sarr's current 22 and with a season making almost 30 appearances for Porto in the Primeira Liga, as opposed to a season making almost 30 appearances for us in the Premier League to add to three seasons in France's Ligue Un averaging 30 appearances each year for Metz and Rennes.
Unfortunately it's hard to say that we have a counterpart for Conor Coady, a centre back who has gone on to become a fixture in the England team, given our other relative options in the centre of defence. But what we do have instead is Will Hughes - someone who will not do quite so much for our defensive solidity (although his all-action, never give up harrying style in the middle of the park is not to be sniffed at when it comes to relieving pressure/winning the ball) but is far more experienced at a higher level and should be more effective than any other offensive player Wolves could boast that season.
To add to those equivalents, we have players like Andre Gray - an extremely controversial centre forward who divides the opinion of our fanbase between 'is utterly ***** and irredeemable' and 'has been utterly ***** but might not be irredeemable', but is also a striker who is, once more, far more experienced at a higher level than anyone Wolves had to call on, as well as being a former Championship Player of the Season and golden boot winner having managed a not inconsiderable 25 goals the last time he featured in this division. Where they coincidentally had Saiss, we have Jeremy Ngakia, a Premier League academy graduate who has already made appearances at the top level and nailed down his position as first choice right back/wingback. There's also Ken Sema, who may not be a Premier League starting-level player, but has spent the past two seasons playing in the top flight of top four European leagues and is now demonstrating what that has brought to his game in the opening rounds of this Championship season.
That is all not to mention Joao Pedro, coming in at a similar age and experience/appearance level (albeit marginally younger and fewer) to some of those Wolves wunderkids and yet already a first XI fixture and our current top scorer.
Essentially, this post may appear insanely clapper-leaning, which I, of course, am in fact not. But what I am trying to set out is that there is a fundamental blueprint for storming the division using a smattering of players who belong at a higher level that was laid out a couple of seasons ago, and we have all the cogs () in place to run that blueprint to its successful conclusion.
If we have our better players back ready to play and they manage to stay fit, having already averaged 2 points a game without the majority of them, and we get our tactics and game management right, history tells us that we really should be right up there at the end in one of the automatic places. Obviously, there are no guarantees, and the Championship is the Championship. But there are reasons to believe that we should be optimistic. Hopefully we will continue to see them come to fruition and play out into actual performances and results as the nights draw in and the country goes further to the dogs.
Is there an executive summary ?
tldr: Wolves had good players when they went up and so do we
Interesting points, however like us in 2015 Wolves were primed by an upward trend as we were over a few years leading up to our promotion. Having got relegated we are in a downward trend, so while we may well have the personnel I also think the mindset plays a massive part, hence why I think the appointment of Ivic was a good one.
I didn't mention the coaches as I had even had enough of the writing by that point, but yes, although Nuno Espirito Santo had something of a higher pedigree than Vlad has in terms of club and league, I believe that he is another asset that we can boast who compares favourably. The organisation and workrate he has instilled in us defensively, a team who have been fairly defensively pathetic for several years, bodes very well for the effect he could have on the team as a whole as the season progresses.
For a point of comparison to my last post, I'd say our squad in the 2000/01 season was better than our promotion squad of 1998/99, but the promotion squad was in an upward trend.
So, maybe we should get relegated again to build some momentum from the bottom?
Relay, 50m each?
Just a little statistical aside looking at the influence of crowds at games:
In the last full Championship season with fans in stadiums (2018/19)
Home wins - 43.5%; Draws - 29.3%; Away wins - 27.2%
This season (after 7 games)
Home wins - 32.1%; Draws - 31.0%; Away wins - 36.9%
It might be a little too early to say, but it does look like there could be a significant equalising of the normal home advantage without crowds, with the proportion of draws remaining similar to normal.
The Luther Blissett derby:
A Bournemouth blog, there is a vote on who is dirtier, us or them.
Interestingly the blog is reasonably fair and balanced I think if you take off your yellow or cherry tinted glasses.
I saw a comment elsewhere online from a nervous Reading fan that it's not often that a team in the automatic places at this point will still be there come the end of the season. I was bored so I thought I'd check. I looked back at all the seasons going back to 2009/10 (11 full seasons):
The final top 6 are shown at the top, with Green for promoted and Orange for Play-Offs. The table below them shows how the table looked after 7 games of that season. The colours are mapped onto their respective teams wherever they were after 7 games.
So, after 7 games (it's an arbitrary number I know), on average:
50% of teams in 1st or 2nd after 7 games end up in the top two come the end of the season.
32% of the time, teams in 1st or 2nd don't even make the play-offs.
The lowest placed team after 7 games to still make the play-offs? Watford. In 2012/13, Watford were 20th at this point.
Of the top 6 after 7 games, 47% go on to still be in the top 6 come the end of the season.
Of the teams that go on to get promoted, 70% of them are in the top 6 at this point.
Token observation, it seems fairly common for teams in the lower half of the table at this point to end up in the play-offs. Just look at the number of times teams in 14th, 15th, 16th end up in at least a play-off position.
2015/16 was significant in that all 3 promoted sides were in the top 4 after 7 games.
In conclusion, the scattering of colour across the tables after 7 games show that it is still too early to read into the table too much (we know this anyway). However, the numbers do show that if you're gonna get promoted, you're likely to be in the top 6 by now.
If I was doing this more academically, I would extend how many seasons I'm looking at and better look into how many games must each team play before we can say with confidence (80-85%+?) that the top 6 contains the teams who will be promoted.
Edit: I'd also use Points, rather than Position, as too many teams are tied on points at this stage.
I just realised this is wrong, it's actually 36%.
What I calculated was that 50% of the time, teams in 1st or 2nd after 7 games get promoted.
I think that we either will or won't go up after reading that post.
Or possibly both: we finish top but the EFL bailout deal 'Project Big Clubs Rule' reduces the Prem to 10 teams and we're booted down to Premierish League 2 immediately.
Effectively a life sentence to Tier 2, an eternity of losing to West Ham and poor refereeing against Bournemouth without any worries of troubling the big boys ever again.
Reading 7 points clear as it stands
On this form we won’t be pushing them..