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[FM18] Poking the Hornet's nest

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December 23rd 2017

"Hello and welcome to WD18 as we follow the career of the young and ambitious Josh Poynter after he took charge of Watford in July 2017, replacing outgoing manager Walter Mazzarri, Who had been sacked by the Watford owners at the end of the 2016/17 season after a downturn in form saw the hornets finish 17th in the Premier League. Marco Silva had been due to take over at Vicarge road however a dispute with the owner Gino Pozzo saw the appiontment fall through. Many expierenenced names were linked with the role but on the 26th June the Pozzo's made a shock announcement by appointing 23 Year old Josh Poynter despite him having only just gotten his coaching badges and not having any managerial expierience. Poynter was given a 1 year contact and was backed by the board in the face of the fans concerns about his appiontment. 

 

Poynter got straight down to business shipping out the dead wood in his squad as well as bringing in new signings to improve the team heading into his inaugural season as Watford boss. Over £30 Million pounds was spent in the summer but through player sales Watford ended the summer with a net profit of around 4 Million.

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2017/18 Season so far

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Confidance was high at Watford after winning all their pre season games but they were brought straight back down to earth with an underwhelming performence against Hudderfield on the opening day of the season. A 2-2 draw at Leicester followed before an embarrassing loss to League 1 Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup. The poor results would continue until a late goal against West Brom secured Poynters first win as manager and eased the pressure on him. Form still wouldn't pick up though and apart from a 4-0 demolition of Liverpool there was little to sing about with the Hornets stuck in the relegation zone, but two games would truly kickstart their season. A 6-2 win against Newcastle and a 5-1 win at West Ham took Watford out of the drop zone and led to big improvement in performances despite losing their next 3 games. However a 4 game unbeaten streak in December leaves Poynters men 15th in the table,  

Table

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Edited by JJFM

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Mid Season Review

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It's been a good first half of the season. Despite our poor start we have found our feet and look like a team on the up with a change in tactics doing the job at the moment.

Squad 

Goalkeepers:

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Quite a weak position with an average and ageing Gomis in goal and an unreliable back in Karnezis. An that needs improving in january or in the summer.

Defenders:

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By far the biggest weakness in the team shown by us shipping 45 goals in 19 games. Playing 3 at the back hasn't helped but we have to be doing better. The first choices at the back are usually Britos, Kabaselle and Tonelli, however the problem with this is that Tonelli is in on loan and Britos is 32, in the last year of his contract and is out for 3-4 months with a hip injury. An area that needs to be fixed going forward.

 

Midfielders:

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The Midfield has been decent this season but against expectations the wide players have the key men with only Pereyra really shining in the middle of the park. We had quite an overload at CM at the start of the season so I had to offload a few  players who weren't good enough for the premier league, selling them off for cut prices in order to get them off the wage bill.

Attackers:

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Far and away the strongest part of the team the goals from the frontmen have kept us bove water, without them we'd be cut adrift at the bottom and I'd probably be out of a job. we were a bit goal shy intially but a change in tactics unlocked our goalscoring capabillities and enabled us to take on side above us without parking the bus.

 

Key Players:

Richarlison

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A real life sucess for Watford since joining in the summer Richarlison has been just as impressive in game. The decision to play him as a Trequartista has paid off with him bagging 11 goals in 16 games leading to him winning young player of the month in November. If he develop to his potential then he could become a key player at watford for years to come.

Alejandro Chumacero

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The first of 2 summer signings to make on to this list Chumacero has been a revalation since joining from Bolivian team 'The Strongest' for £425,000. The right midfielder has put in solid performances week after week and is in his prime at 26 so has a lot to offer Watford.

Roberto Pereyra

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Far and away the best CM in the team Pereyra has bossed the middle the middle of the park since returing from injury in October. He is someone I am desperate to hold on to but with Chelsea interested in him  this could prove a challenge. Only time will tell if he'll be a Watford player come February.

Andre Gray

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Andre Gray is someone I didn't really have high hopes for coming into this season so his performance this season have really impressed me. 12 goals and 11 assists prove that he is a valuble player and a great forward in the front 3.

Lautaro Martinez

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The 2nd of my summer acquisitions to make this list and the best performer this season Martinez has amazed me with his performences this season. Brought in from Racing Club for £8.500,000 as one for the future he was only supposed to be a backup striker however a injury at the start of the season meant that he got in the starting XI and he's rarely been absent since, scoring 18 so far and leading the goal charts, If he keeps up his good form then he could be a contender for young player and even Player of the year. Overall a great buy.

 

Tactics:

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After starting out with 4 at the back I decided to switch to a 3-4-3 formation and it has worked a treat, enabling us to bang the goals in with 3 strikers despite being vulnerable at the back. If I can fix the defence and find a better goalkeeper then I think tha this will be the tactic to go with long-term. 

 

Aims for the transfer Window

  •  Keep hold of Pereyra
  • Sign some new centre backs
  • Bring in cover for Chumacero and Hazard
  • Buy a younger and improved Goalkeeper
  • Bring in a CM to do the dirty work
Edited by JJFM

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