Whose fault is it?

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by hornetboy1, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Now this isn't intended to bash the club. Under the stewardship of the Pozzo family we've reached heights we could only dream of in modern football. When you compare Watford to all those clubs in the Championship (all those fallen Premier League clubs who are trying to get back to the promised land) we have to realise how good it's been.

    But given all the plaudits the board, owner, and other key people deserve, when apparently everything is progressing season after season in the right direction, something has gone dramatically wrong this season.

    For me, I've never been truly convinced by our Premier League credentials. I've always felt we've winged it a bit, but we've got away with it due to our spectacular starts, before it all falls away. A recurring theme. I've never been convinced we are a solid Premier League side who are best of the rest, even though we were riding a crest of a wave. It seemed a fragile existence to me. It didn't seem real or genuine. Punching above our weight.

    This season has been a long time in its incubation, so it's probably the right time to question, why has it gone so wrong, who is to blame, and how do we sort it out......or can we sort it out.

    We have to remain humble in our criticism. We have to remember who we are, but a club so well run, should never have been caught out like this.

    It was clear we needed to invest in the defence. A solid defence is the cornerstone to every team. If you do not have this, it's like building a house on sand.

    When we are so savvy in team building, knowing exactly what to do and always having the answers, how could this happen?

    Gino Pozzo is the owner, a very smart businessman and football intelligent. Probably one of the shrewdest owners in the game.

    Scott Duxbury has come in as CEO. He had a little bit of history, but I believe he's more than proved himself to be an excellent chairman for the day-to-day running of off field matters.

    Fillip Giraldi. He has come in for a lot of criticism recently, mainly because of recruitment, but is it really down to him? Do people think the Pozzo's do everything he tells them to do?

    Is it the coaches fault? Well Javi Gracia did a very good job for a decent length of time before it started to go wrong. Quique Sanchez Flores has come in and nothing has changed. So maybe the problem is far deeper than the influence of a coach.

    Is it the players then? Well......yes ultimately the club is held to ransom by how these chaps perform. We are a Premier League club because of their achievements. They are of course extremely important as a collective, but they are a team of individuals, and a coach has to get the best out of them.

    Is it the fans? Do we create a hostile atmosphere that players are fearful to perform in front of? I'd say that's the furthest from the truth. The fans can be pretty quiet, but are extremely supportive and tolerant.

    The truth is somewhere along the lines of a collective responsibility. The entire hierarchy has to take the blame, IMO. They sat down, with all the agents and other people of influence and made a collective decision which was signed off by Gino to sign Sarr at all costs. We were blinded by him and it took over the summer window.

    We did very little else apart from chase this guy and spent a fortune in getting him. The big question was why? Ok, he could become decent, but he's a punt.....a huge punt. Was he really a player we needed at this stage?

    Could no one see how poor the defence was? We were leaking an average of 1.7 goals per game and that average was increasing. I'm sure they number crunch and look at all the stats and trends. Why was this ignored?

    Do I think the club has the wherewithal to sort it out? Yes....I do believe they will do things to try and eradicate this mess. If anyone can, Gino can right?

    But the underlying question has to be, how can such smart people make such obvious blunders in the transfer market, put all their eggs in one basket and ignore obvious flaws in the side? It would be very nice to understand the answer to this and the logic behind it.
  2. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    Did not read.
    stevetalboys likes this.
  3. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    No pictures and no large font. This clearly wasn’t written for you.
  4. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain



    A mixture really - lack of scouting or purchasing of defenders to improve the squad and poor management plus players not looking like they care/heads being turned.
  5. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    Its the recruitment of no agile defenders to replace our aging backline, its the players themselves for giving up before a ball is kicked heads drop and game over.. bar 45 mins of a particular game.

    It"s not the coach, he picks a good formation and drops the cack like Kiko, has made good subs. It's not his fault the defence cant defend and the strikers suck.

    I blame the motivation of the players above all else. If they cannot be bothered to get out of this, nothing anyone says will matter.
    CaveManHornet, RMT79 and Robert Peel like this.
  6. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Jeremy bloody Corbyn probably
    folkestone orn and Moose like this.
  7. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Recruitment strategy is to blame. The obvious point is not investing in the defence but it is more than that.

    We’ve allowed a gap to develop between the senior players and juniors in terms of readiness. A number of the seniors are in significant decline, but our younger players are seemingly not ready to step in, or don’t even exist in some positions. This is a combination of bad luck (Chalobah), poor or lack of loan selections (Wilmot/Penaranda/Dahlberg), lack of application (success/peneranda) or poor buys (Navarro/Masina).

    Over several windows it has left us with a deeply unbalanced aged squad. Only Quina seems ready to step in.
    Hornpete, We hate 48, Moose and 5 others like this.
  8. @julesmckenzie

    @julesmckenzie Academy Graduate

    The Coaches.
    If we have had a "core" coaching team since the Pozzos took over then as RS2 noted in another thread they are responsible for drilling the team in positioning and shape in all phases. We have had a fullback issue for as long as the Pozzos.

    The Pozzo way is to try and make a profit from players. Successful Forwards and Midfielders command high prices, Defenders don't. They cannot afford the Forwards so we get a stock of Midfielders. Defenders are bought old and cheap, or surplus to requirements.

    The formation.
    When a team floods the middle, we stick with the 2 Frenchmen and they get crowded out. Seeing as they are our only playmakers the system falls down. Then we punt long and lose possession.

    The Frenchmen.
    When in possession they are crowded out, and when not they are either covering the fullbacks due to superstar wingers that are too good to defend, or too far away from the backline waiting for a breakdown.

    Superstar wingers.
    On their day, they are unplayable. But that revolves around space in the middle and counter-attack. We try and play possession. This negates their speed and usefulness. Added to this their inability to get back and cover the fullbacks means they are ineffective and luxury players .

    The back line.
    2 players too similar. Good in the air, but slow on the break. Again pulled away covering the space left by the fullbacks on the overlap. No one covers them.

    The strikers.
    Barn door/banjo

    Really, it's small areas but all together makes for a cluster"bleep".

    Being thrashed 14-0 in two games by City didn't help either.

    After Sheff U we have 2 weeks. Get Ant Middleton and his lads in to break and rebuild them . Hire a top notch defensive coach to drill them all. Coach the strikers on finishing.

    Get behind them as fans and build them up. Get rid of those that don't make the grade/effort.
  9. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    Since we cannot do much worse give Prodl a run out in the league ... he isn't to blame, but we might need another scape goat.
    Bwood_Horn likes this.
  10. Harrow Orn

    Harrow Orn Squad Player

    The Pozzo's and Giraldi.

    Their policy of buying young and selling big is the problem. They clearly think that there isn't enough sell on value in defenders to make it worth investing in and now that is catching up on us. Some of these figures are wrong but it is pretty damning:

    Kiko - Free - Championship standard
    Janmaat - 5m? - Squad player standard
    Kabasele - 5m? - Squad player standard
    Prodl - Free - Past it
    Mariappa - Championship standard at best
    Cathcart - Free - Squad player standard
    Dawson - 5m - Championship standard
    Holebas- 2m? - Squad Player
    Masina - 4m? - No idea tbh.
    Foulqier - **** knows. - **** knows.

    The main point of this list 1. It shows how much the owners have neglected the defence and 2. I dont think any other team in this league would want any of the above. Some would be ok as backup for mid table teams and thats it. None would walk into any other team. It's pathetically bad.

    We need some experienced, premier league standard defenders. The issue is if we get them in January, it will still take some time for them to get used to each other at which point it'll be too late.

    This isn't a criticism of Sarr, far from it, but I do think we put all our eggs (financially) in one basket.

    We are ****** and its their own doing.
  11. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    The Twitter crew were pretty mad on insisting we signed Sarr - probably losing focus on where the real issues were ?
  12. domthehornet

    domthehornet Moderator Staff Member

    Twitter is full of 16 year olds who think they are footballing experts despite never going to games or seeing the player they are talking about.
  13. I blame RC & GD. 100%.
    Pardew could do a job.
  14. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    Poor defensive recruitment. And a poor ‘leadership group’ who appear to set non-existent professional standards in performances, with a captain who is past his sell-by-date in the role.

    Putting the defensive frailties to one side, the lack of collective responsibility on the pitch this season has been nothing short of shameful. We looked like 11 strangers on the pitch on Saturday and to a man, they all looked like they could not care about the result as long as they got a wage to pick up.

    I’m not sure they are ‘invested’ in playing for Watford. We could be any PL team as far as a lot of them are concerned. The so called ‘leadership group’ is just the older players - they are no more leaders than the rest.

    We will get the usual this week - the clubs official social channels not referencing once how we are struggling and instead making out that we are fit and firing whilst referencing the latest internet craze.

    So far as I can see, the fans are the only ones bothered or hurting.
    SkylaRose and Jumbolina like this.
  15. Ágætis Byrjun

    Ágætis Byrjun Reservist


    These are the same players from last season and they waltzed into the Brighton game thinking they didn't need to get out of first gear. We only looked comfortable last season because of our 4-win start.

    There is no excuse.
    Rozerhorn, Chumlax and Bwood_Horn like this.
  16. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    What? Mowing the lawn? Sweeping up the autumnal leaves? Cleaning the gutters?
    Rozerhorn and Vicarage Road like this.
  17. Vicarage Road

    Vicarage Road Reservist

    Apart from Cleverley, not one player is putting in anywhere near 100% effort. Add into the mix, the majority of players not concentrating and switching off at critical times in games and obviously not following instructions given by the coach.
    How many times have we questioned the player’s attitude during the Pozzo era? Seems to be a continuing theme
    batterahatter and Harrow Orn like this.
  18. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Unfortunately when club strategy is to treat players like trading units and ferry them around the world the it must have an impact on the attitude of the players. Would you blame Peneranda (for example) if he had no pride in Watford at all. Loads of loans to get him a permit and when it eventually happens he is not given a sniff, even when the team is in a tailspin. He is then shipped off to a Belgian backwater by a team that can’t score any goals.
    GoingDown and CleyHorn like this.
  19. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    And what’s damming about that is that if a few players raised their standards to what they should offer, Cleverley shouldn’t really get in the starting XI.
    Vicarage Road likes this.
  20. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    The fault partly lies with the stupid EPL clubs, which decided to end our transfer window before the rest of Europe.

    Our primary transfer strategy is to wait until the end of the window, and act quickly before the deadline to steal players whose moves have fallen through.

    This year, I’m sure a number of targets were happy to wait and see if bigger clubs were interested.
    The undeniable truth likes this.
  21. RS2

    RS2 Academy Graduate

    We're the same as every other bottom half team in the league. Sometimes we're excellent, sometimes we're awful. We've never been in danger of relegation until this season but every bottom half team will have a dodgy start, this is just our year.
    stevetalboys and Knight GT like this.
  22. Aberdeen

    Aberdeen Academy Graduate

    The manager.
    It is always the manager.
    A good manager gets the best out of the players he has in the squad. Our managers have not done that of late.
    Some half decent defenders would not harm either.
    jrmich9 likes this.
  23. The Recluse

    The Recluse Academy Graduate

    I'm sure being loaned out affects some players but on the whole they're treated very well with player liaison officers, language teachers etc.
    And they don't seem to go where they don't want to go. Luis Suarez recently said WFC wanted him to go to a particular Spanish side but he felt Zaragoza was more suited to him, and that's where he's ended up.
    Also, as with any person treated well along with new found wealth, there is a possibility he won't stay focused wherever he is or however well he's treated. Yes Isaac, I'm looking at you!

    As for Peneranda, in June he sustained a ruptured hamstring while playing for Venezuela in a Copa America warm-up game 10 minutes after coming on as sub.
    That injury required an operation so he missed out on some of pre-season. He was always likely to struggle to make an impact here at the beginning of the season because of that so a loan seems the sensible option.

    That he's gone to a lesser team makes sense because he's more likely to get minutes on the pitch than if he were to go to a more established/prestigious club.
    To a point, he just needs games now after a calamitous last couple of years due in no small part to what you alluded to in your post, injuries and also having a bit of an attitude problem while at (I think) Malaga where he was less than professional in his behaviour.
  24. Harrow Orn

    Harrow Orn Squad Player

    Cleverley is one of the very few who can come out of this current form with any credit.
    Chiswell likes this.
  25. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    The fault lays squarely with the owners. Seem to be quite happy to back player power over the coaches. The lack of investment in the defence is criminal because as everybody in football knows you build a team around a strong defence. Im not too worried about the rest of the squad but our defence is woeful and look likely to concede every time the opposition attacks.
    wfcmoog and Burnsy like this.
  26. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    It is amazing that defenders on the bench of some of our relegation rivals would probably slot straight into our first team.

    Our defence is atrocious.
    wfcmoog likes this.
  27. ITK platypus

    ITK platypus Reservist

    We haven't been punching, previous seasons we got lots of wins by being good at football.

    However smaller Premier League clubs are always at risk of a run of bad form which can be very damaging. This could always happen no matter how well run we are. It's just how football is. Nothing more to analyse.
  28. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    Is that true? I don’t remember Watford particularly being a club that operates around the end of the window. Moreover, it’s been said by Duxbury that the club likes to get players in early so the manager can work with them.

    The club knew when the window was closing. We have an owner who’s stock and trade is transfers and ‘comes alive in the transfer window’ (supposedly) - the early closing of the UK window certainly doesn’t help us but I don’t agree that it’s to blame in any way for how bad we are defensively.
    wfcmoog likes this.
  29. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    It's not my fault therefore it must be yours
  30. Carpster

    Carpster Reservist

    Not investing in defense is the biggest problem and has been for a few seasons. I was hoping for an attempt to sign Mings after his displays for Villa in the Championship. At one stage I thought Villa were not even going to make a move for him. Expensive in the end but would of been a quality signing.
    Chris Smalling has been excellent for Roma, in fact unbelievable. Why would we not test the Mancs with offer after they bought slab head. Its all so simple to see. It really is. As somebody else wrote we've winged it so far and now it's all horribly caught up with us.
    wfcmoog likes this.
  31. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    HappyHornet24 and Bwood_Horn like this.
  32. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Yes I agree a loan was required this season. I did not understand last season however before his injury. Gracia gave him hardly any game time at all even off the bench. Surely as we had a horror run pre cup final with Deeney suspended he could have been give a half here and there.

    The guy has gone from playing regularly in La Liga to a Malaga/Udinese reserve and then not given any opportunity by Gracia and now off to Belgium. I think we have treated him poorly.
    wfcmoog and Burnsy like this.
  33. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    I think if you look at his stats Jumbo, you might be surprised to learn he's never played regularly anywhere. 21(2) league appearances for Pozzo's sock puppet La Liga club in 15/16. Then 12(4) at Malaga, where he spent most of the season with a run of injuries. Udinese was admittedly a waste of time. And then a fair few injuries here too. He pretty much has to be chalked off as one who hasn't lived up to his hype.
  34. The Recluse

    The Recluse Academy Graduate

    The first goal against Wolves?
    While in a good position alongside Janmaat he inexplicably drifted forward to confront a player Doucoure was already moving towards.

    By drifting forward into no mans land Cleverley left space behind himself & inside Janmaat, who now had a 2-on-1 - the original ball carrier/passer as he came inside & the outside runner.
    The ball carrier came inside and passed to the player Doucoure was covering, then ran into the space created by Cleverley for the return ball, the runner picked it up & crossed resulting in a goal scored.
    Sarr was just as culpable as he didn't appear to do anything to help Janmaat with the player on the outside making a dummy run.

    Janmaat was left out to dry for that goal by both Cleverley & Sarr.

    ALL of the players can have fingers pointed at them and blamed for something in this current horrendous run and it will take ALL of the players to up their performance levels to get the club out of it.

    I was surprised QSF had so many attacking players on the pitch to begin with at Wolves.
    We need to be difficult to breakdown all over the pitch, not just in defence. So pack the midfield and look to counter with Welbeck leading the line. I'd rather see Hughes and Cleverley playing wider of a central three with one of Deulofeu/Pereyra/Quina in front of any combination of Capoue/Chalobah/Doucoure. Sarr I'd have as a back-up forward for now. The way we set up currently just means the defence is exposed time and again.
  35. Cassetti's Beard

    Cassetti's Beard First Team

    Personally I blame you lot, it's all your fault.

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