Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Dr. Roland, Aug 2, 2021.
A- currently. 24 hours to go...
Outgoings look like being an A+
Incoming so far based on our financial constraints I would say a B+
Overall quality of our signings (putting financial constraints to one side) based on what we would realistically need to stay up relatively easily C
So overall aggregated mark B+
Get in a first team CB then A+.
When Gray goes I'll upgrade to at least an A- and probably even higher if Navarro also goes.
A* might even be possible if we bring in a good CB & RB
It's numbers now.
I think the Louza move was an aberration giving our limited budget and subsequent signings in the same
position. An expensive Mogi Bayet appeaser.
Some good signings for sure but a lot of players to gel and several gaping holes in our squad. Probably a “B” due to the cutting of the deadwood but don’t think it will be enough.
Think we will be in decent shape next year though come what may. The lack of focus on defence is simply ridiculous and will cost us this year.
Good options in midfield and up front if all stay fit.
Not sure the defensive unit is enough though to last a whole season.
On the 'what goes well with toast' scale
It's percentages now.
B and it is only as high as that because of the deadwood we have managed to shed. It could have been higher had we strengthened defensively and had not let Chalobah and Quina go at the last minute as well.
On dry toast
Surprised we let both go but guess if Chalobah wanted to leave for first team football then so be it.
I’m giving it a B.
Chilli sauce - Cheap, could be good but risky and could leave you stinging.
I consider it a noble effort as there isn’t any money around and probably the best that could’ve been done but it’s unlikely to be enough, with too many “punts” that are as likely to go sour than bloom into fruition. Fletcher just straight up bizarre.
I just worry that lots of new faces is one thing but for a lot of them to be risks too, is another. For all the deconstruction of “proven premier league striker,” there are players out there that have been doing and can do the job that is needed to stay up. Signing them for Watford might be more tricky but it’s not that out there.
Lots of players gone that needed to go but that won’t make it easier for us to get any more points this season.
Still feel we needed someone that we can confidently play through on the left, so we aren’t so reliant on Sarr. Our game plan has been pretty obvious so far. I think Cathcart even said he aims to just give it to Sarr.
Teams will work it out (if for some reason they haven’t already) but also more importantly Sarr has off games, like Spurs and he could/probably will get injured.
Now I am giving Dennis the benefit of the doubt (as many see him as the main option), as someone who looked at his record, heard about his appearances for Cologne last year and wasn’t exactly excited by him. He has looked good but more effective through the middle and a lot of his impact has come from winning the ball up high rather than us actually building an attack as team through him.
Of course the team needs time to gell and I’m personally hoping that Cucho can solidify his place there but he’s been an impact sub so far and on for an Armstrong or a Danjuma would have obviously been even more effective than on for Sema.
Midfield recruitment has been good but something isn’t right when your two English, CM players want to leave after winning promotion. Kucka looks class but judging by Spurs can’t really play a full 90 at prem pace. Clevs also gets puffed. A lot will rest of Tufan to provide that extra bit of creativity we need. Please, please, please don’t be a dud. Can’t see Louza, Sema, Gosling being anything but liabilities (prove me wrong.) Louis potential but again, that won’t keep us up. Etebo has looked strong. Also needed another one now Hughes/Quina/Chabs gone/going.
We needed at least another CB so blatantly that I can’t believe I’m typing this again because it’s so obvious to anyone who has watched us play for so long. Troost already wrote off the game against Brighton with his hospital passing. I like him as a person but can see it happening again and again.
Maybe a B-.
Sits somewhere between a B and a C for me now the dust has settled.
Incomings are by-and-large full of promise even if spending a huge chunk of our obviously small budget on Louza looks a bit silly and should have been redirected towards defenders.
Outgoings has been a huge success. I’d rather have Hughes and Chalobah running down their deals than Louza and Gosling in all honesty. But I accept why we don’t have that. Letting both Quina and Zinckernagel go confuses me - should have kept one of them for creative depth.
But getting Success, Gray, Deeney Navarro out the door and getting fees for Hughes and Chalobah - we have done very well there.
But for me, and I accept I’m probably in the minority, the club have let themselves down with the total ignorance they show towards defensive depth and quality. It’s just beyond question now that they do things on the cheap in that regard. I think it will cost us. And it won’t even take a serious injury crisis to hit us hard and lay bare the error of our ways. We haven’t spent much at all this summer by way of net - and our wage bill I suspect is lower than last year even. I just fail to find reasonable excuses for it.
It’s a B- in my opinion. Can’t see at all how anyone is giving it an A grade.
Is there a way to retrospectively put a poll on a thread?
Not sure it’s worth a new thread but would be interesting to see the numbers on who votes what, including the lurkers.
Defence is still cack. All it needs is a couple of ace Italians. How hard can it be to get some? honestly.
Comes down to a few things:
1. Is the squad better than it was before the window? Yes, think so.
2. Is it balanced? No, not at all. Not enough cover defensively.
3. Is it good enough to stay up? 50-50 in my view.
4. Have we been sensible financially? We've definitely been prudent but that won't be much good if we go down for want of a centre back.
Needed a defender but overall we have strengthened the whole midfield and attack on a shoestring budget.
If Sierralta and Troost stay fit for the whole season then no problem, but history suggests all four will be unavailable at times.
Signing Sissoko is huge. I don't know how we convinced him to join, he's better than Watford. A whole grade increase just from him.
B+ from me.
I think we did well in the main given we're basically skint.
Giaretta definitely seems an upgrade on Giraldi at this stage.
I like the fact we brought in a few younger players like Baah. Hoping they get their chance in due course and any loan deals are with a purpose and a step towards the first team squad.
Would have liked another keeper, CB and LB. Don't think Masina is good enough for the Prem. Jury out on all our other FBs.
Seems it's just a loan deal?
We've done well in terms of getting rid of deadwood. Substandard players like Navarro and Perica gone, absolute wasters like Gray and Success FINALLY gone, and Deeney given the best possible (and much needed) farewell.
While we seem to have found solutions and hopefully decent fees for Hughes, Chalobah and Quina, it does feel like the club have screwed up there. It's concerning that two first team CMs turned down 5 year contracts for shorter ones and relative sideways moves to other clubs.
Also the Zinckernagel thing was confusing, especially as our midfield doesn't look hugely creative.
The new signings in Midfield and Attack look very promising, but I wouldn't go much further than that, currently. The Villa game looked as strong as the Brighton game looked weak...
And the Defence... **** me, it still looks an absolute bin fire. Apart from Sierralta, it looks weaker than when we got relegated. The fact that we've started three games with Cathcart at RB is disgraceful. As good as they were last year, the gulf in quality between Championship and Premier League attackers is huge. We're already seeing that
B- overall, I'd say. Would've gone higher were it not for our continued negligence of the defence.
Overall it's been a pretty good window.
- Success, Deeney, Gray, Perica and Navarro off the books
- Some decent loans for our youngsters (Dahlberg, Mebude, Pollock, Hungbo, Dele-Bashiru)
- Getting a fee for Hughes & Chalobah who had no intention of renewing and would have sat in the u23's all year leeching a wage
Our signings in Kucka, Dennis, King, Sissoko and Etebo look like great business for minimal outlay as with Cucho featuring also. We have the potential to be a very exciting team with everyone fit and settled, with Joao Pedro to come back also.
Defensively however, the only way it could make sense is if they couldn't get deals done, or have some out of contract defender(s) lined-up. Despite the variety of opinions on their methods at times the Pozzos are no fools, so I can't begin to imagine a scenario where they genuinely think we're fine defensively.
With Cathcart now injured (who shouldn't even be in the starting XI), Kiko yet to make an appearance this season due to injury, and half the back line f*cking off to the AFCON in January its a mystery as to why we haven't seen more defensive reinforcements.
My view. A-
- Profit made financially, especially when you you throw in wages.
- We’ve made ourselves financially secure if we do get relegated.
- We’ve sent our young guns out on very good loan moves (Dahlberg, TDB, Pollock, Hungbo, Mebude, Cukur, Phillips).
- We’ve shifted Deeney, Gray and Success whose total wage cost was £10.4mil a year.
- We’ve shifted Hughes and Chalobah who clearly didn’t want to be here, Hughes fee rising to £10mil, Chalobah £3-5mil. Which is great business considering they had one year left. Minimum we’ve made off them is £9mil. Will most likely be closer to £15mil in the end though.
- We’ve loaned out Quina who isn’t good enough, (in my opinion) with a £5mil option to buy.
- We’ve loaned out PZ7 to get minutes in the championship, get more accustomed to English football. Minutes he was never going to get this season.
- We’ve roughly made about £6mil in the overall sales of Wilmot and Dawson (still disagree with selling Wilmot).
- We got rid of deadwood like Navarro, Perica, and Stuparevic
- We have signed King, Etebo, Baah, Pollock, Kucka, Sissoko, Fletcher, Rose, Tufan, Dennis and Louza for a combined £14mil approximately. All of which improves our starting 11 and squad options.
- All the above players agreed to a 50% relegation wage cut. That may mean nothing to most people, but to me it’s speaks they want to be here and will fight to help us stay up. No-one wants their salary cut by 50%.
- We retained Sarr
- Cucho is finally playing for us and is enjoying being here
- We didn’t sign a CB. Is it risky, yes. Do I agree with the board in not signing one, no. It’s causing me to have flash backs of our relegation season. This is the only thing I don’t like about this window.
For me personally that’s it in a nutshell. Great window. The best we’ve had under Gino and Dux considering everything that has happened in this window. Giaretta has done a great job.
Could have been phenomenal if we signed a CB. And maybe we still might. At least 4-6 free options that would make us better or at least add squad depth. However I won’t hold my breath on that.
We have 2 players capable of playing in every position.
Cathcart looks an exciting prospect at RB.
Our defence is excellent, on paper, we aren't solely reliant on one decent CB, as Kabasele is quality. Reckon we will see goals, goals, goals at the other end.
Glad we got rid of duds like Hughes and Chalobah and replaced them with the sprightly Kucka and the proven powerhouse, Louza.
A group of players who know each other well and will fight for the cause. This makes Xisco's job much easier.
We have also shown some excellent forward planning, with regards to players going to the AFCON.
I love Gino.
The last line of the sentence highlighted in bold above is the only thing that makes any real sense to me with regard to our lack of defensive strengthening, and I really hope that is what the club has lined up or at least intends to explore once we know just what, if any, decent Defenders are still out there for the taking.
Otherwise IMO, for which I have been severely criticised, the only other thing I can see is that the club are relying on is using players from other positions as stand in defenders as and when needed. However, my theory that we intend to use DMF's to cover our defensive shortfall's has also taken a real dent with our last minute offloading of Chalobah & Quina, which has depleted what looked like a top heavy MF which is what sparked my theory in the first place.
So lets hope the theory that we have some out of contract Defenders lined up proves to be true, otherwise I think we could be ****ed
Juries still out for me. Tufan hasn't kicked a ball yet. Kucka looked good but his age may limit him for minutes. Louza looks a bit lightweight but may come good, at least I really hope he does.
King on paper looks a good acquisition and has considerable Prem experience. Dennis has been a pleasant surprise, hope he can continue his good form.
Both Sissoko and Etebo look like solid acquisitions and the former has a lot of Prem experience.
Pollock and Baah are prospects. Rose looks solid on paper as well and in a key position we desperately needed backup. Fletcher is a squad option for me.
Shame to see Deeney go but feel it probably should have occurred a year or two ago. Good riddance to Gray and Success. Ain't fussed about Perica and Navarro.
Hughes and Chalobah feel like a loss but if they didn't want to sign new contracts it's hard to stand in their way of new challenges. Quina not hugely fussed about either.
The '1st team' gives us a fighting chance of staying up. But a few injuries in defence and attack it'll be too hard.
I’m going to drop a grade to B now.
Midfield and attack have a lot of promise and we’ve certainly upgraded from last season without spending any money. We’ve in fact made a net profit on trading.
However, we’re now left with a senior squad of just 23 and only 4 centre backs, 3 of whom are of Championship standard. This is terrible planning.
Sad to see Deeney, Chalobah, Hughes and Quina go. Not sure why Gosling has been retained either, as Chalobah is vastly superior to him.
A major positive in keeping Sarr though and getting Gray out the door.
My gut says it’s been a good window generally but with some obvious failings: B.
Goalies - didn’t change and didn’t need to.
Defence - Rose is likely an upgrade at LB when fit; would’ve liked a similar upgrade on Kiko given how poor he was last time we were in the PL. Main dissatisfaction of the window is not signing a CB, which really is mystifying.
Midfield - Hard to judge at this point as most of the signings are relative unknowns, however given the Hughes and Chalobah contract situations I think Gino and co did well. Etebo and Kucka look like improvements, Sissoko looks on paper like a coup and the reviews of Ozan Tufan are encouraging.
Still can’t help but feel that for all the good CMs we may have signed, we’re lacking a proper ‘6’ to allow us to play out from the back as Xisco has asked of his team so far. Maybe Tufan is that man, or perhaps Louza, but so far he looks an astonishing waste of £8m; let’s hope he’s a fast learner.
Attack - This is where the best work was done. Not just signing King and Dennis (who looks like the real deal in his limited showings) but offloading Success, Gray and Deeney! I never thought it could be done. Cut down the wages and added quality, while hardly spending anything on transfer fees. Well done.
Having written all that, I’ve talked it down to a C. Good signings on the whole, but the point of the window is to build a squad to compete and it is disappointing that certain areas are still lacking. I expect come January we’ll all be crying out for a CB at the very least, and a CM as well if Xisco carries on with the same system.
B for me.
It's a transitional window that is probably overdue. Deeney, Gray, Chalobah, Wilmot and Hughes all out feels right if a little sad.
The new guys are a risk, any player bought in always is. But I am happier going for a refresh like we have rather than rely on the players that are past their best or have not shown their potential with us.
I'd have been happier if we'd brought in a quality CB but, overall, I've now got more hope that we might survive than I did a few weeks ago.
A couple of days ago I'd have said A-, I'll downgrade that to a B, because while we've done very well to cut the wage bill down (which unfortunately, but not surprisingly, did include Hughes and Chalobah who would have been first team options), and I like the signings we've made (especially up front), we're a little short in midfield and very short in defence (wasn't expecting Quina to stay, but for Chalobah and Pollock to go without even bargain basement options to replace them is concerning). Still, I feel slightly more positive about staying up compared with the end of last season
Part of me is thinking that we've got some Pozzo special up our sleeves that we aren't going to sign just yet because the AFCON isn't happening quite yet and we don't want to fork out for wages while we don't deem them strictly necessary...
I suppose any signing is risk and well our medical team is probably a bigger one in terms of keeping players fit!
I’d agree. The squad is much transformed, but obvious deficits remain. I like the move to pacey forwards with combative midfielders.
Work in progress.