Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Dr. Roland, Aug 2, 2021.
A solid B. Would've liked a CB and a RB to take it to an A/A*.
I went B, but would probably say B-
CB/RB cover like TomWatfordFC said, but my glass is slightly more half empty (to use a clumsy choice of words)
A C for me.
Up front: Dennis looks good but the jury is still out on King and Fletcher.
Midfield: Overall we are stronger here but looks to be short term planning in this position. Sissoko and Kucka are old, Etebo and Tufan are on loan (unsure if they will stay if we go down) and Louza hasn't looked very good so far (and he was a big chunk of our budget). We still have Gosling and Cleverley who are old/not great yet have lost Chalobah and Hughes who are in their peak years.
Defence: Dreadful window for the defence. We still have Kabasele, Cathcart and Masina who we already know aren't good enough for the PL (even Kiko didn't look good enough last time. Rose looks like a hit or miss signing, not sure what way it will go. But to leave us with 4 CBs (1 going to AFCON and 1 currently injured) is just asking for trouble.
Either a C+ or a B- SO FAR, but I think there might be a couple more free agent recruits to come in, at least I hope so or we could be ****ed
B up to an A if we sign an out of contract CB who is quality . Not sure if this is even feasible but I guess the possibility exists .
Maybe you should leave this stuff to Going Down? One is enough.
If I wait until we are relegated it'll be pointless.
How many homegrown players do we have and how many do we need in a matchday squad?
Is Pochettino the next Sean Murray? Is he even homegrown?
So I graded it an E overall before we signed Kuca.
Since then I would say it's a B/C.
The signings of Kuca, Sissoko & Ozan Tufan have not only off-set the departures of Hughes & Chalobah but actually made us stronger in this area, which is exactly what we needed. We were too powderpuff in the middle. At least we have some players that can mix it up physically and carry the ball forwards.
We got Gray & Deeney off the wage bill and managed to clear out the deadwood of Navarro, Quina, Success & Perica. Want-away players Hughes & Chalobah also off the wage bill.
I said we needed a 15-20 goal a season striker. The jury is still out for me on IF we can score goals consistently to win games, BUT, I am more confident now the season has started having seen Dennis & Cucho in action. Both off the mark already, King will get sharper, Fletcher will pop up with the odd goal here and there off the bench & JP still to come back in. Keeping Sarr at the club is massive! Now the speculation has ended for another 5/6 months he can knuckle down again and concentrate on his football. He will be paramount to us staying up.
The biggest concern for me is our defence. Four centre-backs is not enough. Two of those are in their 30's and took us down previously and are injury prone. WTE is a big concern as a starting centre-back, him playing out from the back has already cost us and we are only 3 games in!! Sierralta is a monster and will be fine, but he needed a partner signed this summer! WTE looks better next to FS, but if Sierralta gets injured for a couple of months or longer we are as good as down.
I expect us to sign a centre-back in early January! We have to!
A right-back would've been nice as not convinced by Kiko at this level and Ngakia (who will be decent) is very inexperienced (didn't even feature much in the Championship last season).
IF we'd have signed 2 more defenders of decent quality this window would've been an A.
I wanted to say ‘a good transfer window apart from the defence’, but then I realised that’s a contradiction in terms. It’s either a good window or not. And I feel because of the lack of defensive cover, we cannot now say it’s been a good one.
Being light in numbers at the back did for Liverpool last season, and I’m very worried it will do the same for us. Will we have to play matches this season with the likes of Sissoko or Masina moved into central defence? We started the window with 6 centre backs but have offloaded Wilmot and Pollock. One will disappear in January, one might well be told he can’t play in September and the other two are of dubious quality. Very worrying.
The rest of our dealings look sound though. A much more experienced midfield now, although being harsh one could argue its packed full of cloggers and destroyers rather than creators. Plenty of options in attack that could, just could, bear fruit although still some question marks. And for a club of our size and standing, we also have to acknowledge and be thankful too that we’ve held on to our prized assists such as Sarr, Sierralta etc.
I make it 12 incomings and 20 departures if you include the loans (and count two players as being in both those categories). It’s rarely dull.
Agreed that we're in for another period of upheaval in midfield next season (especially if we go down), if we stay up, you'd think Etebo and Tufan will stay, but will Sissoko and Kucka have anything left in the tank? If we go down, I expect most if not all of them to not be here, are we banking on TDB and Dan Phillips to be ready to play for us in that case?
Great to have a long overdue rejig and to get a lot of high earners stealing a living out of the club - however, none of this greatly benefits us if in response we aren't even going to fill all the squad places. The attack has been a positive, currently qualified, but if they go on to contribute consistently and score goals as a collective, an unqualified one. I am certainly more pleased with our business in both midfield and attack than I thought I was going to be at this point midway through the window.
That being said, the defence is inexplicable, and in saying that I feel like a broken record. I cannot believe the Pozzo have actively chosen to play so fast and loose with such a key aspect of our team, and therefore our survival, again, when it so visibly cost us the very last time we were here. We can't talk about 'lessons learned' because younger, quicker forwards have been prioritised when our defenders are collectively worse than last time we were relegated with them. Four senior centre backs is genuine madness, relying utterly on basically no injuries occurring, and that's totally outside of the times we literally already know we will lose at least one of them for a period of games.
Kabasele and Cathcart starting for us in the Prem with any regularity at all is no different to Gosling, and we're not even just relying on hopes and prayers that none of them get a major, season-ending injury - what we really have to take into account is the yellow card suspensions, the 'impact injuries in training', and the 'players in the red zone' analytics that could and will all see various defenders be out for a game, or two, or three, dotted throughout the season.
Given how difficult a challenge we face in the Prem already, as evidenced by our three games so far (particularly Brighton) it is utterly profligate to leave ourselves so exposed to all of these myriad factors and at such close risk of fielding a centre back partnership of Cathcart and Kabasele, alongside a full back pairing of Masina and Ngakia, for example. I genuinely find it hard to believe, even after all these Pozzo windows, and it's the only reason I am clinging on to a hope that we have always had a free agent in mind, at the least.
C for me.
I like most of the business we have done, I hate what we haven't... again. What actually is this clubs problem with signing centre backs? It's f**king weird.
If by some miracle we avoid injuries then, on the face of it, it's a squad that looks like it could finish lower mid-table. However if we end up with Cathcart and Masina at centre back through injuries then we are absolutely f**ked.
C+ for me. No CB signing could well render all the other good work useless.
You can only assume Gino works off some secret moneyball formula, and that if you buy enough midfielders, their contribution will always somehow overpower glaring weaknesses in your defence across 38 games.
Now the window has been closed it's now the time to grade it.
Major outs were Deeney, Gray, Success, Hughes, Chalobah, Quina
I'm pleased we have said goodbye to Deeney, Gray and Success; as said elsewhere in the forum Hughes and Chalobah are not massive losses as their contributions up until now have been a bit hit and miss, however it would have been good to have kept at least one of them but we don't know what went on behind the scenes other than they were both offered new contracts. Losing Quina I'm not fussed about, I think he would carve out a decent career in the Championship but he's too lightweight for the Premier League.
Other outs on loan were not surprising, perhaps Zinckernagel may get some good out of his load to Forest.
Therefore outgoings could be marked as an A.
Major in coming players were:
Rose - experienced
Etebo (loan) - looking good so far
Louza - too early to say
King - short term
Fletcher - too early to say
Sissoko - experienced
Dennis - quick and looking hungry
Tufan (loan)- too early to say
Hernandez (from loan) - looking good so far, I'm hoping he starts a match though
Kucka - one great performance, one not so great; experienced
Baah - surprised he didn't get loaned to the Championship
On the face of it, it looks a little scattergun, but it can't be argued that there is a fair amount of experience in that lot.
In comings I'd mark as a C+, it would have been better had we brought in a new CB.
Overall a B.
Looking back to our previous promotions to the EPL in 1999, 2006 & 2015, the first two we didn't survive mainly because we were unable to bring in some solid experienced players; in 2015 we did survive because we did get experience in like Capoue, Prodl and Holebas. I think that on paper our squad is capable of getting somewhere between 13th and 17th but as @NathWFC pointed out, the failure to bring in a solid CB like we did with Prodl in 2015 could backfire.
Scenes when we score 125 goals this season but concede 179
178 of those just in games against City.
Yet we still go down because 121 of our goals come against Norwich
Yes, this is right. One of the reasons this forum is so good is because there's so much to discuss. (That and my posts, obvs).
This thread will be great to revisit after 10 games, hopefully those that had the summer transfer activity as an A or B are correct, but it's not looking particularly great so far.
As ever, it will be the same areas it always is that will be our undoing.
If we stay up it was great, if we go down it was crap.
Best part of the window was getting rid of these two:
Putting lackluster and poor performances on the field to one side - what we have brought in does show promise. We look better in attack but our serious lack of goals so far is a major concern. Our midfield is by far our
strongest outlet - and it could be where we lose or win games. Our defense hasn't improved much - Rose is a good signing, but that's about it. Cathcart is not to the standard we need and Masina and Kabs are both
prone to match losing brain farts. Kiko is probably one of our strongest along side Serialtra overall, with Ngakia looking like he wants to play for his place. I'm still not convinced on WTE passing but he is a good leader.
For me it's a C
We’ve barely looked like scoring for 3 games bar a 15 minute spell v Wolves.
I hope the encouraging start v Villa wasn’t a false dawn but maybe it was unfortunately.
Those scoring it a C or lower I just don’t understand. The outgoings alone represent good business and getting some major salaries and minimal contributors off the books was important.
Keeping hold of Sarr is a win too.
There seems some quality in midfield that we’ve acquired although we’ll have to see more of them as they settle in. Rose looks quality from what I’ve seen so far. Dennis the same.
So far so good.
On the downside we didn’t get the much needed CB and it looks like we’ll still **** the bed more often than not when a chance falls in front of goal.
From a purely football perspective it’s a B. For refreshing the squad and steadying the finances, it’s an A.
We likely had to pay/subsidise a fortune to get Deeney and Gray off the books. And Success required a contract extension from head office. Chalobah left for zero. Hardly A grade stuff is it?
The debt has come home to roost, it's good they're trying to finally address it but amazing how little it's questioned by some.
Apparently, according to the forum brain trust, we ve already been relegated .
Crazy seeing all the people saying that isn't it, I can hardly believe my eyes when I see it - all the people, here, who've said it.
Sissoko and King were outstanding today. Maybe enough for me to move my grade from an E to a D.
M8, why b such a h8er?
Kucka, looks worn out already. He is 34, but the Premier league is far faster than the Italian League.
Rose, I said he wouldn't play, but he looks ok. A bit overweight though.
Fletcher, he will not feature at all in our Premier league side
King, looks interested, but will need a goal to stay interested.
Dennis, has surprised me, though he has the talent. His attitude has been good so far.
Etebo, has played well. Poor distribution but works hard.
We shopped at the European leagues Jumble sale, so what else can you expect really.
I thought Kucka was good at the weekend! Not the player we perhaps thought he might be after the Villa game, but at 34 you wouldn't expect him to play every game! Think going forward I'd like to see a midfield of Tufan, Sissoko and Etebo playing regularly for us, but with injuries, suspensions and AFCON, I fully expect Kucka (and Cleverley) to be solid deputies, I think that's how we'll get the best out of him at his advanced age