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With the Championship season ten games old, Matthew Mesiano evaluates Watford's start
It feels as though only last week we were unpacking our scarves for the start of the new season and then in the blink of an eye we are ten games into our Championship campaign.
We are almost a quarter of the way through this season and now pundits start taking a serious look at the table for promotion and relegation candidates.
So far, Sean Dyche’s Burnley sit top of the pile joined by QPR and Leicester, while Barnsley and Bolton are at the botton having already let in a combined total of 42 goals.
Watford are currently seventh with 18 points from a possible 30.
Critics will look at last year’s team, which narrowly missed out on promotion and use this to suggest that we have started poorly. This view however can't be justified because so many factors have changed.
Arguably, the most important of those is that rival clubs no longer under-estimate us.
Performances from last year have made every Championship team sit up and take notice and this has been reflected in how they have lined up against the Golden Boys this term; putting out defensive-minded teams and playing to counter Watford’s attacking strengths.
Watford have Premier League ambitions but despite sitting just outside the play-off places many supporters will be viewing the table with great optimism when comparing the figures to this time last year.
Watford were sitting in 14 place, having lost half the games played.
It is exciting considering that last year the Hornets made it to third having had such an average first quarter.
This year the squad has had a vastly improved start and boasts a more unified team that is building on the great potential they showed in the later stages of last season.
Zola, like most of his counterparts is probably not looking at the table yet. But if he was to compare this season to last I’m sure he’d be a happy man.
Overall, while it is clear that there is still some work to be done, notably the consistency of high-level performances, on the balance the signs are very encouraging and had I been offered seventh place after ten games at the start of the season I would have snapped at the chance.
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