Marco Silva’s Watford continued their impressive start to the Premier League season with an excellent 2-0 away win against Bournemouth last weekend.
Hiring the talented 40-year-old looks to have been a shrewd move by the club’s owners the Pozzo family. Silva’s arrival, along with the signing of several, mostly English, young players, seems to be a sign of a new approach by the club’s controversial hierarchy.
After securing promotion to the Premier League in the summer of 2013 the club fell out with their promotion-winning manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, and replaced him with Quique Sanchez Flores, before he suffered the same fate the following summer and was replaced by the experienced Italian, Walter Mazzari, who of course was given his marching orders at the end of last season.
The constant replacing of managers along with the club’s controversial policy of making wholesale changes to their playing squad via loans from other Pozzo owned clubs, Udinese in Italy and Grenada in Spain, led to heavy criticism from pundits who accused the club of lacking identity.
It must be said however, that although such a approach is new to English football and goes against the idea that you need stability to succeed, it has been quite successful for The Hornets, with both Sanchez Flores and Mazzari keeping the club in the Premier League with relative ease.
With their recruitment of talented-young players like Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes and Richarlson it seems that the club is departing from the complicated web of inter-club loans that had been their model up until this summer.
Central to this is highly-rated young coach Silva, who enhanced his reputation last season during his time with Hull City. The Portuguese was also heavily linked with the Crystal Palace and Southampton jobs before opting to take the reigns at Vicarage Road, with one of the prerequisites of him joining being that he would be backed in the transfer market to build a team for the long-term instead of one built purely to survive season to season.
The early signs are good for the former Sporting Lisbon coach with The Hornets earning rave reviews for their opening two performances. Although Hull were ultimately relegated Silva showcased his ability to not just organise his teams superbly but to also exploit the weaknesses of their opponents.
Although Watford have been in the Premier League for two seasons now it’s hard to really remember any stand out performers except maybe talisman Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, their survival seems to have been built on mostly solid but forgettable journeymen.
With Silva at the helm you get the feeling that this could be about to change, and it looks like the Vicarage Road outfit are ready to put some roots down in the top-tier of English football. They are currently 3/1 to finish in the top-half of the Premier League table come May, and I for one, think that’s a excellent bet.
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